Hank Gutman Board Chair
Henry “Hank” Gutman is a retired Partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, where he headed the Intellectual Property Practice Group from 1996 until his recent retirement. During his 40-year legal career, Hank litigated a wide range of high-profile intellectual property cases, including Lotus v. Borland, which he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Hank is a Professor at New York Law School, and a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. He also serves on the Board of Brooklyn Bridge Park, helping create a world-class park on what was an abandoned waterfront. He is a trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library, where he co-chairs the Digital Innovation Committee, and a member of the Board of St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Rotimi Akinnuoye Founder, Bed-Vyne
Henry T. Berger Attorney, Law Office of Henry T. Berger
Henry Berger is currently retired after a career as an attorney in practice concentrating on election and labor law. Prior to retirement, Henry was the Special Counsel to the Mayor of New York City from 2014 to 2018.
Marco Carrion Executive Director, El Puente de Williamsburg, Inc.
Ofer Cohen Founder & CEO, TerraCRG
Ofer Cohen is the Founder & CEO of TerraCRG, the ‘Only Brooklyn.®’ commercial real estate firm. Ofer founded the company in 2008 with the vision of catering solely to the most exciting and robust sub-markets in the U.S. Ofer’s focus on Brooklyn extends beyond business and into philanthropy and civic service. He is the Board Chair of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and serves on the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, TerraCRG actively supports many local causes and Brooklyn-based non-profit organizations.
William Cruz Senior Program Director, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
William Cruz is the Senior Program director at the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. William has a varied and successful career in the administration and delivery of social and governmental services. His experiences include being an Area Program Coordinator for the Urban League’s Work Incentive Program, Administrative Assistant for the Community Development Agency, a NYC teacher, and a narcotic Parole Officer and Human Rights Investigator. Additionally, he has also received the DSAS and OASAS Commissioner’s awards for outstanding work and has been recognized by two State House Speakers for personal advocacy efforts and involvement on behalf of substance abuse treatment programs.
Lisa Davis Executive Director, Impact Investing, PGIM Real Estate
Lisa Davis is an Executive Director for PGIM Real Estate and a portfolio manager of Impact Investing. Before joining PGIM Real Estate, Lisa was director of Investor Relations and Specialty Originations at Pembrook Capital Management, where she raised capital from institutional investors for commercial real estate investment, primarily focusing on affordable housing and community development. Additionally, Lisa spent six years at the Ford Foundation, where she made grant investments in affordable housing and community development, led the foundation’s Detroit program, and helped to start Ford’s impact investing initiative. Prior to the Ford Foundation, Lisa spent 12 years doing commercial real estate development in Boston,.
Gabrielle Fialkoff Former Commissioner, New York City Parks
Gabrielle Fialkoff was the former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Gabrielle brings more than 25 years of experience working with the government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and business communities.. In March of 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio asked Gabrielle to temporarily return to the City administration to serve as Senior Advisor to the Mayor for COVID-19 Relief to leverage her extensive experience with crisis management as well as relationships in the private and philanthropic sectors to aid the City’s response efforts.
Adam Friedman Chief Strategy Officer, Provost’s Office for Research and Strategic Partnerships
Adam Friedman is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Provost’s Office for Research and Strategic Development at Pratt Institute. Previously, he was the third Executive Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development. Prior to his work at the Pratt Center, Adam was founder and chief executive officer of New York Industrial Retention Network, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to strengthening New York City’s manufacturing sector and promoting environmentally sustainable development. Additionally, Adam also acted as Deputy Director for Development for the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.
Camille Hastick Brooklyn Director, Office of the New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Camille holds the position of Brooklyn Director within the Office of the NYS Comptroller for Thomas P. DiNapoli. Camille has been employed in various industries, including over 15 years at the Bank of New York Mellon, New York City Department of Small Business Services and for a short while employed at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Programs and Services/Chief of Staff.
Kei Hayashi Founder, BJH Advisors
Kei Hayashi is the founder of BJH Advisors, a firm that provides analysis and strategies for using economic development finance tools at the local, state, and federal level. She has extensive experience advising clients on innovative financing and development strategies for real estate projects. Prior to founding BJH, Kei was Senior Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, in addition to serving as Executive Director of the New York City Industrial Development Agency which provides tax-exempt financing and tax incentives to businesses and non-profits. Kei was also a Vice President at Bay Area Economics and worked for the Regional Plan Association and Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Jillian Joseph Managing Director, Associate General Counsel, TIAA
Jillian Joseph serves as Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at Nuveen, the asset management arm of TIAA. Outside of TIAA, Jillian serves as a Corporate Director on the Board of Carver Federal Savings Bank, a publicly traded federally chartered stock savings bank. Prior to TIAA, Jillian spent five years as Executive Counsel for GE Capital’s Real Estate Business and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. While at Skadden, Jillian represented Empire State Development Corporation in connection with its Atlantic Yards Project, the $4 billion mixed-use development that includes the sports arena for the Brooklyn Nets, “Barclay’s Center”.
Meredith Kane Of Counsel, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP
Meredith Kane is Of Counsel at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP. She regularly represents developers, equity investors, institutional and entrepreneurial owners and government agencies in all aspects of development, finance, acquisitions and sales, equity joint ventures, restructuring, leasing and securitization of real estate. Previously, she served as a commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and was a member of the World Trade Center Memorial Center Advisory Committee.
Joseph Kohl-Riggs Principal, Hudson Companies
Joesph Kohl-Riggs is the principal of Hudson Inc., where he manages Hudson’s acquisition program, investment funds, and a portfolio of development projects. Previously, at Hudson, he was responsible for sourcing and evaluating new business opportunities. Before joining Hudson, Joseph worked for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development in the 421-a tax exemption unit and interned for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.
Joel Leitner Founding Partner, Leitner Berman
Joel Leitner has over 36 years of experience in real estate valuation, investment, analysis, and consultation. Joel’s experience includes a diversified background in the valuation of real estate on a national basis for a wide range of applications including market value appraisals, property portfolio consulting and management, investment advisory service, valuations and consulting studies for securitization-equity based and mortgage-backed transactions, purchase price allocations, liquidation sale valuations, condemnation, tax reduction, estates, and expert witness testimony for litigation. These assignments have been conducted on behalf of foreign and domestic investment firms including major industrial corporations, leading foreign and domestic financial institutions, individual investors, leading law firms, and government agencies.
Edward Mafoud Principal, Damascus Bakery
Jane Marshall Senior Vice President, Forest City Ratner Companies
Jane Marshall is the Senior Vice President of Forest City Ratner Companies. Jane joined Forest City Ratner Companies in 1995 and has been responsible for overseeing the development of 1.6 million square feet of commercial space in three projects. She has over 25 years of experience with real estate, land use, zoning and economic development in New York City. Prior to joining Forest City Ratner Companies, Jane was Vice President for Development at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Prior to working for EDC, she was the Assistant Executive Director of land use at the New York City Department of City Planning.
Amani Martin Founder, Executive Producer, Peaceful Warrior Productions
Amani Martin is a multiple Emmy-Award winning Producer and Director, and founder of Peaceful Warrior Productions. A former Director of Production for HBO Sports, Amani now specializes in the development and production of documentaries and documentary series; commercials and commercial campaigns; and cutting-edge branding entertainment for major companies. Amani is a member of the Production Executives group of the Academy of the Television Arts and Sciences.
Ronald McCain Consultant
Alexander Nojovits Member, United Jewish Organization
Alexander Nojovits was born in Budapest, Hungary and moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1950. Alexander serves as a member of the United Jewish Organization since 1968 and been on the Board of Directors of the Satmar Organization in Williamsburg since 1965. He previously served as the President of the Metropolitan Business Brokers. Further, he studied at the United Talmudical Academy in Williamsburg.
Ramon Peguero President & CEO, The Committee for Hispanic Children & Families
Ramon Peguero is the President and CEO of the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc. Prior to this role, he served as Executive Director of Southside United HDFC, focused on developing affordable housing, preventing tenant displacement, running a senior center and food pantry, and managing affordable housing projects. Ramon is the founder and director of an annual community Thanksgiving Dinner, founder and director of an Annual Dominican Independence Day Celebration, Board Chair of Nuestros Ninos Preschool Center, and was the first President of the Community Education Council.
Jocelyn Rainey President & Chief Executive Officer, Brooklyn Community Foundation
Jocelyn Rainey joined Brooklyn Community Foundation as President & CEO in December 2021. She oversees the development of strategic initiatives, innovative programs, and community-centered philanthropic services. Before joining the Foundation, Jocelyn served as CEO and President of Getting Out and Staying Out, a citywide nonprofit serving justice-involved individuals. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. During her eight years at BNYDC, Jocelyn increased workforce placements, increased the number of minority and women owned business that secured procurement contracts, and was integral part of the team that created the innovated STEAM Center Department of Education High School Program.
Wendy Rowden Former President, Building for the Arts NY, Inc.
Wendy Rowden served as the President of Building for the Arts NY, Inc. (BFA). Wendy has over 30 years of experience in the real estate industry. Prior to joining BFA, Wendy was the President of 42nd Street Development Corporation, a 40-year-old non-profit that champions arts investments that catalyze neighborhood development. Further, she led Jonathan Rose Companies’ Investments where she was responsible for all aspects of the firm’s investment management. Ms. Rowden is a past President of Women Executives in Real Estate (WX) and was the 2016 WX Woman of the Year. Notably, Wendy taught real estate development at Columbia Business School.
Carlo A. Scissura President and CEO, New York Building Congress
Carlo A. Scissura is the President & CEO of the New York Building Congress, a position he has held since January 2017. The New York Building Congress is a broad-based membership association committed to promoting the growth and success of the construction industry in New York City. Prior to joining the Building Congress, Carlo was President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. He previously served both as Chief of Staff and General Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for nearly five years before leading the Brooklyn Chamber. Carlo is a member of the Boards of The New York City Regional Economic Development Council, ACE Mentorship, Salvadori Center and the Friends of the BQX.
Steven M. Sinacori Partner, Akerman Senterfitt LLP
Steven Sinacori is a partner of Akerman Senterfitt LLP. He has broad experience in both land use and transactional real estate matters. He has represented numerous clients before the Board of Standards and Appeals, the City Planning Commission, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Department of Buildings, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and numerous other government agencies. Steven previously served as Counsel and Compliance Officer to the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals, which functions as the City’s local land-use review and relief agency. He has also served as Director of Appointments in the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, representing the Mayor at public events and meetings and serving as a liaison to various elected officials and communities.
Sam Stern Chairman, United Jewish Organization
Sam Stern serves as chairman of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn’s Community Advisory. He is a well-known activist for the Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg. He served on the transition team of NYC Mayor Eric Adams, as a clergy committee member. Sam has a career in Yiddish writing. He assisted city agencies in crafting Yiddish messages appropriate for native Yiddish is an advocate for providing information for Yiddish speakers the right format and dialect.
Bill D. Turner
Bill Turner spent three decades as a management consultant at McKinsey, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and A.T.Kearney, working with large financial institutions in 25 countries on issues of strategy, corporate governance, and operational effectiveness. He led strategy and financial services consulting practices in the U.S., the United Kingdom, the Middle East, across Europe, and in Greater China. Prior to consulting, Bill led the corporate banking business for Chemical Bank, now JPMorgan Chase, in five mid-western states. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in economics and earned an MBA in finance from Columbia. Bill has served on the boards of Aspen Public Radio and the Aspen Science Center, with stints as Chair of both.
Lester W. Young, Jr. Chancellor, New York State Education Department Board of Regents
Lester W. Young, Jr. is the first African American chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents. Lester has served as the Assistant and Associate Commissioner of the New York State Department of Education. In 2008, the New York State Legislature elected Lester as Regent At Large, The University of the State of New York. His leadership during four terms serving as Regent At Large led to the establishment of the New York State My Brother’s Keeper initiative. Continuing his commitment to public service, Lester is a Governor appointee to the New York Commission on African American History, and he is a member of the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group.
Toni Yuille-Williams Former Director of Public Affairs, Con Edison
Toni Yuille-Williams is the former director of Public Affairs, Government Relations, for Con Edison Company of New York, Inc. Toni joined Con Edison in 1988 where she was Manager of Public Information, shortly thereafter, she was promoted to the Director of Public Affairs position with the Company. Before joining Con Edison, she was the Director of the Human Resources Administration’s first Voucher Day Care Program. Toni is or has been on the boards of the Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Alliance, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, The Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Information and Culture, Children’s Defense Fund, New York City Technical College Foundation Board and The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College. Toni was also appointed to the Mayor’s Panel on the Role of Brooklyn in the 19th Century Abolitionist Movement.