Staff


Tupper Thomas – Executive Director

Tupper retired in February 2011 after 30 years as President of the Prospect Park Alliance and Administrator of Prospect Park, the 580-acre flagship park of Brooklyn. In 1980 Tupper was hired as the Park’s first Administrator. She was responsible for the ongoing operation of the park, its multimillion-dollar restoration, special events, public information, fundraising and visitor services. The Prospect Park Alliance was formed in 1987 to revive, enrich, restore and preserve Prospect Park in partnership with the City of New York, with Tupper as its founding President. Tupper is the founder, former Co-Chair and current board member of City Parks Alliance, a national organization that advocates for urban parks. She has received numerous awards and has been a guest speaker for parks groups throughout the United States and abroad. She has a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Pratt Institute and a BA from Goucher College.

Alyson Beha – Director of Research, Planning & Policy

Having started her career as a planning intern at NY4P, Alyson now directs New Yorkers for Parks’ research and advocacy agenda.  She oversees data collection, analysis and writing of timely research projects and reports, including The Report Card series, the Open Space Index, the Playground Utilization Study, and City Council District Profiles.  She advises on and helps develop NY4P’s positions on parks policies and practices and regularly testifies before government bodies on key open space issues. Alyson received a master's degree in Urban Planning from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and holds a B.A. in Art History from Davidson College. Originally from North Carolina, Alyson now lives in Brooklyn.

Evelyn Chen – Director of Development 

Evelyn oversees NY4P’s development efforts, building relationships with individuals, foundations and corporations committed to quality parks and open spaces throughout the five boroughs. Prior to joining NY4P, Evelyn spent most of her nonprofit career at The Nature Conservancy, most recently serving as Director of Donor Relations in the Conservancy’s New York City office. Evelyn graduated from Dartmouth College and worked in regional sales and marketing at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group before finding her calling in the nonprofit world. Born in Queens, Evelyn lives in Lower Manhattan with her fiancé, dog and 12 street trees.

Sam Mei – Fiscal Manager 

Sam assists with NY4P’s accounting, budgeting and audit preparation. He served as Director of Finance at the Parks Council, and later NY4P, from 2000 until 2011. Prior to joining the Parks Council, he worked in grant officer roles at the International Rescue Committee and the Women’s Refugee Commission. Earlier, he was an Accounting Assistant at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. He graduated from Baruch College and lives with his wife and two children in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Lucy Robson  – Research & Planning Analyst  

Lucy collects and analyzes data on civic engagement, usage, park maintenance, access, and safety to support NY4P’s policy and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining NY4P, Lucy was a project manager for Streetscape and Community Outreach at the Garment District Alliance. She assisted the Manhattan Office of New York City’s Department of City Planning with the creation of the East Midtown Rezoning proposal as a graduate intern. Lucy is a magna cum laude graduate of Carleton College, where she studied History. She holds an M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, focusing on land-use planning and mega-events. Born in London and raised in Connecticut, Lucy now calls Brooklyn home.

Emily Walker – Outreach & Events Coordinator

Emily manages NY4P’s relationships with parks advocates and “friends of parks” groups throughout New York City and oversees The Daffodil Project.  Prior to joining NY4P, Emily was Research Assistant to Tom Hayden and helped facilitate the incorporation of the Peace and Justice Resource Center, a 501(c)3 research organization founded by Mr. Hayden.  She had internships at the Eastern Environmental Law Center in Newark, NJ, and in the East Los Angeles office of L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina.  She also has experience working in grassroots community outreach in Los Angeles and Hunts Point in the South Bronx.  Originally from Orange, CA, Emily holds an M.S. in Nonprofit Management and a M.S. Certificate in Sustainability Strategies from Milano: The New School for Public Engagement, where she received the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Award in Nonprofit Management.  She graduated cum laude from Scripps College in Claremont, CA with a B.A. in Legal Studies.  Emily is a proud resident of the East Village.

Robin Weinstein – Director of Operations & Finance

Robin oversees NY4P’s financial management and fiscal, administrative and Board governance activities, and leads our annual analysis of the Parks Department budget. Prior to joining New Yorkers for Parks, Robin worked in a variety of roles at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).   Most recently, Robin served as Executive Director of Operations for the agency’s Office of Development, where she directed budget and fiscal functions, credit review, performance development and reporting, human resources, and other key functions in support of the City’s Housing Plan to create and preserve 165,000 housing units.  Earlier in her career at HPD, Robin administered numerous housing preservation and regulatory oversight divisions and programs and led a variety of program and staff development initiatives.

Robin received her B.A. in Urban Affairs and Political Science from New York University and was a participant in the University’s Metropolitan Leadership Program.  She is also a graduate of New York City’s Top 40 Program.  Robin is a lifelong resident of the Bronx.

James Yolles – Director of Communications

James directs NY4P’s communications efforts, including media relations and strategy, social media and press events. Previously, he was the Director of Public Affairs at the Alliance for Downtown New York, a Lower Manhattan business improvement group. Earlier, he served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Community Development Administration at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and as a Desk Assistant at "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." James earned an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He grew up in Baltimore and lives in Morningside Heights.