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Family Beehive strengthens our communities by bringing together our Members and partner organizations

Empowering Women and their Families

Women and their families have a wide array of needs for support, but many do not have the time, tools, or energy to access help. Family Beehive was born from a vision to address these challenges by Laura Cashel. Laura spent 30 years working at various community organizations around the world and is a longtime business owner, arts patron, and community organizer. Laura is a natural born connector who has seen the power of collective action. 

Family Beehive exists to bridge the gap between women in need and their families and the amazing organizations and individuals that want to provide resources. Our partners have untapped potential for further growth themselves – growth that thrives on the connection of like-minded people and organizations. Family Beehive is here to be the ultimate connector.

Meet The Family Beehive Team

Amanda Alvarado-Frantz, Family Beehive's Director of Community Outreach.

Amanda Alvarado

Intern Coordinator

Amanda (Mandi) Alvarado is a Disability Advocate, Influencer and Nonprofit Leader. She joins the Family Beehive with over 17 years experience working with youth with disabilities and families in underserved communities; first a Program Director and Advocate with Children’s Bible Fellowship of New York, Inc. and then as the Executive Director of KEEN New York – Kids Enjoy Exercise Now.

In both positions, Amanda created and facilitated activities for youth with disabilities, supervised and trained staff, and empowered parents by connecting them with community resources.

Amanda is a leader in inclusion advocacy for people with disabilities. She was selected to attend the exclusive MIT Sloan School of Managements program LEAD20@MIT Leadership in the Digital Age, in partnership with the Ruderman Foundation in 2019. She also sat on a panel to discuss Beauty, Self-Advocacy, and Disability at the 2020 Reelabilities Film Festival.

Amanda is excited to support and learn from the women and families at the Family Beehive. She will use her experience serving diverse communities to engage and empower all who come to Family Beehive



Elzbieta Malyszko

Community Resource Specialist

Elzbieta is a nomad who found her home in NYC in 2002. Being an immigrant allowed her to see and witness many aspects of big city life. Her involvement in the non-profit sector began a lifetime ago in Poland, where she was a founding member of several foundations. She worked in child care, retail, fashion, and several non-profits in New York and Connecticut. She is passionate about empowering women by meeting them in any situation they encounter and providing them with tools to find their voices and grow. Women, just like bees, are the creators of families. The Big Apple resembles a giant hive – we are all connected, intertwined.

As Family Beehive’s Community Resource Specialist, Elzbieta provides Members with a more accessible path to self-sufficiency and empowerment to proudly stand on their own and give back to the Hive community.

Meet The Family Beehive Board

Laura wearing white sleeveless turtleneck smiling at camera

Laura Cashel

Founder & Chairman of the Board

A lifelong lover of community and the arts, Laura Cashel first began exploring non-profit ventures when looking for creative outlets for her five children. The first of these ventures was a small dance school. She broadened out this idea by starting Riverworks, an intergenerational 501c3 focused on bringing the creative arts to families of the Hudson Valley.

This love for community continued into a variety of other ventures: in 1998 Laura started a small company called Anything and Everything. While Anything and Everything began as a consignment shop, the community that naturally developed within the space spurred its reimagination into AER (Awaken, Energize, and Restore) Yoga and Living. The business became a successful holistic wellness center that was sold to another entrepreneur when Laura’s family moved to Massachusetts in 2008.

Once in Massachusetts, Laura continued her efforts to bridge community gaps by providing another space for wellness – assuming control of a yoga studio called Cohasset Yoga. Soon after, Laura began working alongside the Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Boston to build out a new real estate arm called the Creative Campus.

Laura has lived, worked, and raised her five children in three major cities and two countries, building deep and lasting relationships of trust on a truly global scale. Currently, Laura is focused on developing and growing her lifelong mission of supporting women and their families through the Family Beehive.

Michael Cashel


Michael is a senior securities brokerage executive with deep experience in electronic trading and  alternative trading systems. Michael has been the CEO of Luminex Trading & Analytics, and Harborside  Plus, both US Equity Block trading ATS’s. He has also served on the board of Level ATS, and has been an  advisor to Intelligent Cross, an ATS using Machine learning and AI to produce better execution outcomes  for clients. Most recently Michael was the CEO of Fidessa, a portfolio company of the ION group. 

Michael worked at Fidelity Investments from 2008-2017, where was a Senior Vice President (SVP) and  Head of Fidelity Trading Ventures, an innovation team at FMR LLC that brought Luminex Trading &  Analytics to the market. Michael was the first CEO at Luminex, leading the patent pending design,  development, sales, and transaction financing teams. Luminex Trading & Analytics is the first ATS built,  managed, and governed by the buyside, built for the purpose of trading large blocks of stock while  minimizing information leakage. 

Prior to FTV, Michael was an SVP and Head of Equities at Fidelity Capital Markets, the brokerage arm of  Fidelity Investments from 2008-2012. Here he was responsible for the execution of equity order flow for  Fidelity’s retail and institutional clients.

Prior to Fidelity Michael was a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns responsible for the sales,  execution consulting, and client onboarding teams for Bear Stearns electronic trading suite of products. 

Michael also spent time at ABN Amro where he was responsible for US and Latin American Equity sales  globally, and European and Asian equity sales into the US. He spent 10 years at Morgan Stanley as an  Executive Director building out and managing the firm’s Global Emerging Markets research sales and  sales trading teams in both NY and London.

Lastly Michael has served on several boards including: East Stone Acquisition Corporation, Luminex,  Level Trading, ESP Technologies, and the Okemo Mountain School.

Michael wearing a light blue button up collared shirt smiling at the camera.
Kcenia wearing white button up shirt smiling at the camera.

Kcenia Kloesel

Secretary & Administrative Coordinator

Kcenia Kloesel graduated from Sewanee, the University of the South, in 2021 with honors in both her history and Russian majors. While these areas of study may seem far from a career in non-profit development, Kcenia enjoys applying her strong research and writing skills to an important and helpful cause. Utilizing her previous job and internship experiences in marketing and non-profit development, Kcenia hopes to bring light to the inspiring mission of Family Beehive.

By using creative outreach efforts on social media and the blog, Kcenia wishes to engage current and potential members of the Family Beehive with the potential of community and the subtle but important reminder that the Hive is always here to help. If you have any questions or want to join the Hive (either as an organization or an individual) feel free to email Kcenia at

Gina Keir

Gina Jarrin Keir is a former film publicist and marketing executive who — in the middle of raising two children — decided to heed a lifelong calling to become an actor, screenwriter and stand-up comic. In between the juggle of varied jobs and bi-coastal moves for work, Gina was sensitive to the needs of community support and has been a volunteer and advocate for this her entire adult life. As Director of Public Relations at the Katonah Museum of Art, she was also a co-creator of new programming, and developed cross-brand sponsorships with local businesses and vendors. She continued the role as producer and “connector” for other publicity clients after relocating back in Manhattan. Gina gladly brings this same knack for cohesive connection and support to Family Beehive.

She has co-produced various short films, music videos, and live programming, including sold-out shows at the legendary Duplex cabaret room in Greenwich Village. As a Latinx professional, Gina’s fluency in Spanish has been instrumental in all of her work experiences. A lifelong writer with a journalism degree from the University of Southern California, Gina is a member of SAG-AFTRA, and has performed stand-up comedy in NY and LA.

Gina with a blue and white pinstripe button up collared shirt smiling at camera.
Jean wearing a black blouse smiling at camera.

Jean Muir

Degrees in History, Fine Art & Architectural Conservation

Experience as a Personal Chef, Development Chef, Blog & Cookbook author

Two Term Local Elected Official in Fife, Scotland with focus on History, Tourism, Cultural, Greenspace, Food & Growing, and Climate Emergency

Maia Brockbank

Maia graduated from Stanford University in 2021, with B.A. in political science and a concentration in governance and representation. Building on work experience in government, law, and numerous nonprofits, Maia is passionate about creative systemic approaches to equity—with a specialty in sexual violence prevention.

Maia is excited to be a part of the Hive as we work to understand and uplift the complex needs of women and families. Utilizing skill sets in written and oral communication, Maia works with Family Beehive to put our community-building ideology into practice. In order to help the Hive grow, Maia focuses on developing relationships with potential family and organizational partners. 

Maia wearing sleeveless white shirt with a red sash over her shoulders smiling at camera.