Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation Welcomes New Trustees

July 20, 2021

Left to right: Stephen Martinez, Tom Evans, Tom Geisel, and Behnaz Baker

Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Behnaz Baker, Thomas Evans, Stephen J. Martinez and Thomas X. Geisel to its board of trustees.

“These new trustees are all excellent additions to our board,” says Clare Ward, interim executive director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and vice president, Principal Giving, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “Tom Evans and Stephen joined us at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and immediately stepped up to the plate to help Hackensack University Medical Center through its most challenging time in history. Behnaz joins us as the pandemic seemingly winds down, however she has been involved with children’s related causes tied to the medical center for several years and is eager to utilize her time and talents as Hackensack University Medical Center continues its expansion and recognition as one of the top hospitals in the country. Tom Geisel’s extensive experience with regional and national organizations, combined with his leadership background, involvement with many leading industry associations and passion for extending his expertise to business organizations and the local community make him a wonderful addition to our board.”

Baker is the CIO and executive director of integration at Riverside Medical Group, part of Optumcare. As a member of the executive management team, she leads multiple divisions of the practice to execute Riverside’s vision and strategy to provide the best possible care to New Jersey residents through partnerships with internal and external stakeholders through growth and acquisitions. In 2018, Baker was recognized as one of New Jersey’s “50 Best Women in Business” by NJBIZ.  She and her husband,  Omar Baker, M.D., created the Dr. Omar and Behnaz Baker patient assistance fund at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital to provide financial assistance to children and families facing chronic health issues. Additionally, she has served as a member of the Hackensack Meridian Health Children’s Hospital Advisory Committee for the past two years. Baker resides in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Evans retired from PwC after a 38-year career where he helped to grow the organization’s top leadership and teams at all levels. He began his career at PwC in 1977 as a Certified Public Accountant in the firm’s Assurance practice before joining the Leadership & Development team to launch its industry-specific training efforts where he quickly rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming the firm’s first Chief Learning Officer, followed by the Development Leader for PwC West cluster firms in Canada, Brazil and Mexico, as well as other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is a member of the Association of the US Army (AUSA), the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the AICPA. He is also very active in his community and is his hometown’s deputy mayor and commissioner of revenue and finance. Evans lives in Nutley.

Martinez is an architect at RSC Architects, a full-service architecture firm specializing in health care, education and municipal work. Previously, he worked in New York City for Kohn Pedersen Fox, an international architecture firm focused on skyscrapers in New York City and Asia. Martinez is a registered architect in the State of New Jersey and a member of the American Institute of Architecture and the National Council of Architectural Registration Board. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and his Master’s in Architecture from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Recently married, Martinez lives in Ridgewood with his wife Burgess.

Geisel is president of Corporate Banking at Sterling National Bank where he leads the strategic, innovation and execution activities of the corporate bank. His responsibilities include strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital allocation and overall revenue generating execution. In addition, Geisel is a member of many of the bank’s committees, as well as a number of prominent New York and New Jersey professional societies. He has been named one of New Jersey’s past “50 Most Powerful People in Banking” by NJBIZ and his insights have been featured in many prominent media outlets.

To learn more about how you can support Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, please contact Clare Ward, interim executive director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, at Clare.Ward@hmhn.org or visit hackensackumc.org/givenow.