Founders & Staff
United by a passion for social justice & Michigan football, Scott Thomas & Sammy Politziner founded Arbor Brothers in 2009 and continue to co-lead it today.
Sammy graduated from the University of Michigan and moved to New York City, where he taught second grade in the South Bronx with Teach for America and founded a small academic summer camp for his students. After a stint of world traveling, Sammy moved north for a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then down south to teach at a KIPP school in North Carolina. Sammy returned to New York for a job in investment banking at Kildare Capital, a boutique firm, where he spent five years providing sell-side M&A and capital formation advice. In addition to co-leading Arbor Brothers, Sammy serves as a director on the board of Exponent Philanthropy, the nation’s largest association of funders.
After graduating from the University of Michigan with an engineering degree, Scott began his career teaching middle school mathematics with Teach for America in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. He went on to earn an MBA from NYU, where he helped launch the nation’s first student-managed venture philanthropy fund. Scott worked at Lehman Brothers and later Neuberger Berman, where he helped manage investments in infrastructure and alternative energy companies. In addition to co-leading Arbor Brothers, Scott serves on the New York and National Boards of Summer Search, a national youth development organization.
Prior to joining Arbor Brothers, Erica served as the Executive Director of City Year New York where she oversaw a $12M budget and led 50+ staff members to recruit, train and manage 250 AmeriCorps Members in NYC public schools. Before City Year, Erica spent nearly two decades in roles across the social enterprise and private sectors. She has managed educational programs at Prep for Prep, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, iMentor and the Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship and led strategy and sales teams in the US and abroad at Goldman Sachs and Citi.
Erica currently serves on the boards of Arbor Brothers and the Community Roots Charter School in Brooklyn; she also teaches at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Erica earned her MBA at Wharton, her MPA at Wagner, and her BA at Harvard. Erica resides in Brooklyn where she and her husband are raising their two children.