Paul R. Gottsegen, Chair
Paul Gottsegen previously held positions as President and Director of Management of the Halstead Management Company, Managing Director at the Insignia Residential Group, Owner and Chief Executive of Soren Management, Inc., and Vice President at Douglas Elliman-Gibbons & Ives. He was awarded Certified Property Manager of the Year in 2007 by the Institute of Real Estate Management in Chicago and is currently on the executive committee of the New York Chapter. In 2009, he was voted Management Executive of the Year by the Real Estate Board of New York. He is also an Honorary Member of the New York Building Managers' Association, an Honorary Associate Member of the Scandinavian American Building Managers Guild, and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York's Residential Management Council. He currently serves on the boards of NY4P and NY Edge.
Bryan Grimaldi, Secretary
Vice President of Corporate Affairs, National Grid
Bryan Grimaldi is the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for National Grid in New York, where he oversees the company’s communications, government relations, economic development community relations and transmission connection services in the state. Prior to joining National Grid, he practiced law with the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, counseling corporate clients, trade associations, destination marketing organizations, and public-private partnerships (P3) nationwide, which was a natural extension drawing from his nearly 15 years as Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel at NYC & Company, Inc, the destination marketing organization for New York City.
He previously served as General Counsel in the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, where he provided legal counsel and support to city agencies and senior administration officials in dealings with the United Nations, foreign governments, diplomats, and federal agencies. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Mr. Grimaldi practiced law in the private sector where he represented several large investment firms and corporate clients.
In addition to the Board of New Yorkers for Parks, he is a Trustee of the Destinations International Foundation; he previously served on the Destinations International Association Board sitting on the organization’s Executive Committee. Bryan is also an appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Travel & Tourism Infrastructure and has previously served on the Board of the Javits Convention Center Development Corporation. A graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School, he received his B.A. in Economics from NYU and resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and son.
Fern Thomas, Treasurer
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, Grunfeld, Desiderio, Leibowitz, Silverman & Klestadt
Fern Thomas is the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer of Grunfeld, Desiderio, Leibowitz, Silverman & Klestadt, responsible for all aspects of its national and international operations, including finance, human resources, technology, risk management, real estate, and practice facilitation. Before joining the firm, Fern served as a senior finance executive, providing strategic financial expertise to a variety of organizations across multiple industry sectors from start-up to established multinationals. Fern was most recently President of Cornerstone Capital Group, where she oversaw the design, enhancement, implementation, reporting, and oversight of the firm’s financials, operations, human resources, technology, and compliance. She began her career at PWC and has served in CFO roles at several organizations over her career. She serves as a Board Member of several nonprofit organizations and is a former Board Member and Membership Chair for the New York City Chapter of Financial Executives International. Fern is a CPA and holds an MBA from Rutgers University.
Gabrielle S. Brussel
Executive Vice President, Business Development & Properties, JCDecaux North America
Gabrielle Brussel is the Executive Vice President of Business Development and Properties at JCDecaux North America, the US subsidiary of the largest out-of-home media company in the world. In that role she manages on a day-to-day basis, the public-private partnerships of JCDecaux for street furniture concessions in the cities of New York, Boston and Chicago and works with the western team in connection with programs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Gabrielle joined JCDecaux over 13 years ago as its first in-house U.S. lawyer. In her role of General Counsel, she built the in-house legal department before moving to the business side. During her many years in private practice both in New York and London, she worked on international corporate transactions in Europe and in Latin America at both Sullivan & Cromwell and Linklaters. Gabrielle has volunteered as a mentor in numerous high school and college-related roles, she currently is a mentor with the SEO Scholars High School program and volunteers at Y Tu También NYC (both programs working on providing higher education access to underserved students in NYC).
Gabrielle graduated from CUNY-Hunter College and holds a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
Senior Advisor, Capalino + Company
Christopher Collins is a Senior Advisor to Capalino + Company. Prior to joining the firm, Chris served in a variety of capacities in New York City government. Most recently he was a Commissioner and the Vice Chair of the Board of Standards & Appeals hearing and deciding zoning variance cases, special permits and administrative appeals. From 1992 to 2006 Chris was Counsel to the Land Use Committee of the New York City Council and Deputy Director of the Land Use Division. In addition to his work in government, Chris was a founding board member of Friends of the High Line, and has served on the Law Committee of the Municipal Art Society. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA, and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.
Margaret A. Doyle
After 7 years as a financial journalist at The Bond Buyer on Wall Street, Margaret Doyle changed careers to Historic Preservation and attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation. As a Preservationist she worked for the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, the NYC Bureau of Design and Construction and went on to work for the Technical Preservation Services Division of the Department of Interior in Washington, DC. In 1980, Ms. Doyle moved to Miami Beach where she worked on the Miami Beach Historic District (Art Deco District) along with her husband and mother-in-law–Andrew and Barbara Capitman–who founded the District. Margaret was responsible for the restoration of the Cardozo and Carlyle Hotels and the design of the the first two restaurants to open on now world-famous Ocean Drive. While in Miami she taught full-time at the University of Miami in the Architecture School. During 2003-2007, Ms. Doyle was Co-President of Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center. In 2004, she restored Wright's Studio which, along with the house, is now a National Historic Landmark. After serving for 15 years on the Board of the Broadway Malls, she is now on the Advisory Board and a member of The Millbrook Garden Club (GCA). She is also the Garden Coordinator for her local Greenthumb Community Garden.
Retired Director, Hunter College Teacher Center
Mrs. Audrey Feuerstein is the former Director of the Hunter College Teacher Center, and Supervisor of Elementary Student Teachers in Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College. For the past thirty years, Mrs. Feuerstein has also worked in various capacities as an educational consultant, following her tenure in the New York City Public School system. She has earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Hunter College and served on the board of the Dalton School and the Board of Advisors to Park East – ESHI Day School.
Catherine Morrison Golden
Catherine Morrison Golden has had a long career in parks, open space and non-profit management in both New York and Washington. Working for the Nassau-Suffolk Regional Planning Board on Long Island she designed or planned gardens, parks and wildlife areas in fragile coastal regions. In Washington, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) she worked on specific issues of Coastal Zone Management, and aspects of deep seabed mining relative to the Law of the Sea negotiations. She served as Deputy Director of the Marine Systems Laboratory at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and as Special Assistant to the Director of the Museum. She also headed The Conference Board’s Washington Office of Public Policy. After returning to New York she became Senior Advisor to the New York Tree Trust at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
For five years, Catherine wrote a regular column on gardens for the Staten Island Advance, and now writes a blog, The Sunday Gardener. She serves on the boards of the National Museum of the American Indian, The American Trust for the British Library, The Historic House Trust of New York City, Riverside Park Conservancy, the Leadership Council of Black Rock Forest, and the Advisory Committee of Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs. Mrs. Golden holds a bachelor's degree from Bennington College, and an M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the Pratt Institute.
George J. Grumbach, Jr.
Retired Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
George J. Grumbach, Jr. is a retired partner and senior counsel to the firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. He was a law clerk to the Honorable Wilfred Feinberg in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Mr. Grumbach is a trustee emeritus of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, a former trustee of the Storefront Academy Harlem, and a former director of MasterVoices (formerly the Collegiate Chorale). A graduate of Harvard Law School, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University. He is married to Antonia M. Grumbach and resides in Manhattan. They have two sons and five grandchildren.
Partner, Mitchell Giurgola Architects in New York
Carol Loewenson is a Partner at Mitchell Giurgola Architects in New York. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College and a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. Ms. Loewenson was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2013.
She was the 2016 President of AIA New York and has served as a Board member of the Center for Arts Education and the Center for Architecture Foundation. Her Expertise ranges from highly technical buildings, renovations and façade replacements to work involving both the private and public sector.
Jonathan Meyers is a partner at HR&A with deep experience advising public and private sector clients on the financing and implementation of complex real estate projects.
Following 9/11, Jon managed HR&A’s work to support recovery efforts with the Alliance for Lower Manhattan. He was later instrumental in creating an economic rationale for the re-use of the High Line, leading the firm’s efforts to estimate the impact of saving the historic structure as a public open space as an alternative to demolition.
Jon also spent ten years in the public sector, including as Chief Operating Officer at the Trust for Governors Island.
Lynden B. Miller
Public Garden Designer
Lynden B. Miller is an internationally renowned public garden designer who has changed the face of New York City's public places by providing beautiful plantings and a connection with nature for neighborhoods rich and poor. Beginning in 1982 she rescued and restored the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Mrs. Miller has designed gardens for many of New York's most prominent public spaces such as Bryant Park, The New York Botanical Garden, Madison Square Park, Hudson River Park, and Wagner Park. Her work includes landscape improvements for several important campuses such as Columbia, Princeton, and Stony Brook University.
In response to 9/11, Mrs. Miller inaugurated the planting of 1 million daffodils given to the City of New York. The Daffodil Project, now under the leadership of New Yorkers for Parks, has planted daffodils in parks, schools, and public housing to beautify the city she loves.
Trained as a painter and horticulturist, she has received many awards, and she lectures widely to promote her belief in the social and economic benefits of beautiful public space as well as teaching at New York University and Columbia. Her motto is "Make it gorgeous and they will come. Keep it that way and they will help."
Mrs. Miller has written an inspirational and practical book based on 30 years of experience about the benefits of enhancing cities with well-planted gardens, parks, and streets. Parks, Plants, and People: Beautifying the Urban Landscape describes the elements of successful public space and explains how to design, improve and maintain year-round plants, work with volunteers, advocate for increased public funding and attract private dollars.
Director, Portfolio Strategic Initiatives, Citi Impact Fund
Josh Moskowitz serves as Director, Portfolio Strategic Initiatives for the Citi Impact Fund, which invests in companies that apply innovative solutions to help achieve positive societal change and a more equitable future. Prior to joining Citi in 2013, Josh was Vice President for Strategic Planning and Business Development at Global Strategy Group. He previously worked for Democratic presidential and congressional campaigns in Washington, DC, Ohio, Illinois and Colorado. As Northeast Political Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, he guided activists in their efforts to build effective relationships with elected officials and advocate on legislative priorities. Josh also serves on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
Managing Director, New York State and Local Government Affairs, Delta Air Lines
Patricia Ornst serves as managing director for Delta’s state and local government affairs efforts in New York, where her work helps Delta develop and achieve its key strategic objectives throughout the state.
Ornst brings more than 15 years of experience in the aviation industry. Prior to joining Delta, she was a director of state and local government affairs for the Northeast region at American Airlines. She also served as vice president, aviation, for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she led aviation strategy for New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration. Earlier in her career, she spent nearly seven years at Airports Council International – North America as director of legislative affairs.
Ornst, who grew up in New York and the Czech Republic, has a degree in political science from Susquehanna University. She was named to City and State’s “40 under 40” list of rising political stars in New York in 2012. She currently serves as a Mayoral appointee on the Workforce Development Board and the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance, Queens. She also serves on the board of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island.
Executive Director, Red Hook Conservancy
Marlene founded Red Hook Conservancy in 2011 to support the Red Hook Recreation Center, and a few years later partnered with others to expand the organization’s work to include local parks. In 2018, she co-founded Brooklyn Parks and Open Spaces Coalition, a borough-wide parks organization advocating for greater investment in Brooklyn’s green spaces. Marlene brings many years of experience in behavioral health and applied research to the conservation effort and utilizes her public speaking skills to share strategies and insights on volunteer recruitment and management, capacity building, and partnership engagement. She has received several awards for leadership and parks stewardship.
Karol S. Robinson
Karol S. Robinson is a partner in Herrick's Real Estate Department where she practices cooperative, condominium, and real estate law with a focus on affordable housing, non-profit organizations, and general transactional work. Karol is known for her integrity and hands-on, direct working relationships with directors and agents for her cooperative and condominium housing and not-for-profit clients, advising on day-to-day operational and corporate governance matters. In addition, her experience includes dealing with and advising clients on compliance with various federal, state, and city governmental housing agency regulations.
Karol is a longtime volunteer with the Vassar College Alumni Program and has also volunteered with various New York groups including New York Cares, Fresh Air Fund, Association of Black Women Attorneys, and the Lawyers Alliance for New York, a provider of pro bono business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations. In 2020, the Lawyers Alliance for New York honored Karol with its Cornerstone Award for outstanding service to nonprofits that improve the quality of life for low-income New Yorkers.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
Alan Steel has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (NYCCOC) since 2012. The Corporation, which operates the Javits Center, completed a comprehensive renovation including significant investments in security, sustainable and technology improvements in 2014. In 2016, the Corporation embarked upon a major addition to the Center, adding another 1 million square feet to its existing, 2 million square feet, footprint. Before joining NYCCOC, Mr. Steel spent more than 30 years as an event management executive and United Kingdom trade development representative. He is the former President of George Little Management (GLM), a major producer of trade shows in the United States and Canada. Before joining GLM in 1982, Mr. Steel worked for more than 15 years with the British government in a number of trade-related positions at the Department of Trade and Industry and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 2014, Mr. Steel was awarded with the King’s Glove award by the International Association of Exhibitors and Events.
Joel Steinhaus is an entrepreneur, non-profit leader and writer. He is the former Head of Strategic Initiatives at WeWork.
Prior to WeWork, Mr. Steinhaus was Managing Director and Chief of Staff to the Chairman at Citigroup, and was previously Senior Vice President for Global Public Affairs at Citi. Before joining Citi, Mr. Steinhaus helped launch NBC News’ Education Nation, a multi-media enterprise focused on engaging the public in a conversation about improving education in the U.S. He is on the board of the century-old non-profit New Yorkers for Parks, and is Vice Chair of Corlears School in Manhattan.
Mr. Steinhaus has an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where he was a Sutphin Fellow. He earned an AB, magna cum laude, from Harvard University. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.
Mark S. Weprin
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Mark Weprin has unique experience having been appointed to and elected to various positions in New York City and State government. Before joining Greenberg Traurig, Mark served as Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs for Andrew Cuomo, New York State Governor. Mark has also served as a member of the New York City Council, where he chaired the sub-committee on Zoning and Franchises of the Land Use Committee. In addition, he held the position of Chair of the Queens City Council Delegation.
Prior to his election to the New York City Council, Mark served 15 years in the New York State Assembly where he authored 63 laws and served as Chair of the Small Business Committee. Mark was the lead proponent of the Autism Initiative, which provided much needed funding for autism services for children and families. He also worked with the United States Tennis Association to initiate a program of tennis instruction for autistic children. In addition, he supported the National Autism Walkathon in New York and was a creator of the New York Mets Annual Autism Awareness Day.
Ann L. Buttenwieser
Barbara S. Dixon
Richard Gilder *
Ira M. Millstein
Philip R. Pitruzzello
Edward C. Wallace
* - in memoriam