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Board of Directors

Cheryl Adolph

Ms. Adolph is the Executive Director for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at the College of Staten Island, a four-year, senior college of The City University of New York. She also serves as the executive director of the CSI Foundation, Inc. Ms. Adolph is the former president and chief executive officer of the Staten Island Museum, having worked nearly 20 years in the arts and culture sector, and also has experience in the technology infrastructure solutions industry. She holds a BA in English literature from Southern Illinois University, where she completed three years of postgraduate studies in English literature. Ms. Adolph also holds certificates in Developing Leaders and Senior Leaders Programs for Nonprofit Professionals from Columbia Business School Executive Education.

Shirley Aldebol

Ms. Aldebol is Vice President and Division Director of SEIU Local 32BJ. She directs field operations for the New York Metro Commercial and Schools Divisions, and is responsible for preparing and overseeing the budget of the Division, and oversees a team of field managers and field representatives. Ms. Aldebol is a graduate of Barnard College.

Vicki Been

Deputy Mayor Vicki Been leads the administration's efforts to grow and diversify New York City's economy, invest in emerging industries across the five boroughs, build new affordable housing, and help New Yorkers secure good-paying jobs. The deputy mayor oversees and coordinates the operations of over 20 agencies, offices, and affiliated entities. Ms. Been has extensive experience fighting to make New York a more affordable and equitable city. As HPD Commissioner from 2014 to 2017, she helped craft Housing New York, the mayor's plan to tackle the affordability crisis and create and preserve 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. She was also instrumental in advancing the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law, requiring developers to dedicate a certain percentage of rental units at below-market rate rents in areas that are rezoned for higher density. Ms. Been formerly served as the Director of NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and as an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Ms. Been graduated from Colorado State University and received her JD from NYU School of Law.  She has served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and as an Associate Professor of Law at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

William A. Candelaria

Mr. Candelaria is a partner at DLA Piper LLP, specializing in corporate finance matters and capital markets transactions. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Stanford University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, Mr. Candelaria served as law clerk to Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles. He is admitted to practice law in California and New York. Mr. Candelaria is the current Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He has also served as a Trustee of The Public Theater and on the boards of directors of Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund.

Wilton Cedeno

Mr. Cedeno is the Director of State Regulatory Affairs for Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison), where he develops and implements internal and external communication strategies and advocacy related to state energy policy. Since 1993, he has worked at Con Edison, serving as Director for Information Resources and General Manager for Staten Island Electric Operations, among other positions. He sits on the board of the Brooklyn Technical High School Alumni Foundation and is a recipient of the Defining Trends in Latino Culture (DTM) Trendsetter Award in recognition of his work with the community and excellence in his position at Con Edison. Cedeno founded the Cooperative Technical High School Intern Program which enables high school students to work at Con Edison. Mr. Cedeno is a graduate of Columbia University.

Marlene Cintron

Ms. Cintron is President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), which provides incentives and assistance to new and expanding firms in the Bronx. Among its activities, BOEDC is an SBA 504 lender (only one of two in New York State) and is in charge of the Bronx Empowerment Zone fund. She is the former Executive Director of the Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus of the New York State Senate and has worked in a variety of roles in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors. Ms. Cintron received an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Old Westbury, a Master’s Degree from the Fordham University School of Education, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Dr. Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán

Dr. Cordero-Guzmán is a professor at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is also a professor in the Ph.D. programs in sociology and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center. Dr. Cordero-Guzmán has published academic research and taught graduate courses on issues related to education, labor markets and employment, non-profit organizations, microfinance, international migration, poverty, and inequality, economic and community development, race and ethnic relations, and social policy. Before joining The School of Public Affairs at CUNY, Dr. Cordero-Guzmán worked as a program officer in the Economic Development and the Quality Employment Units of the Asset Building and Community Development Program at The Ford Foundation. He received his Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Chicago.

Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez

Ms. Cortes-Vazquez is a Senior Advisor to Mayor de Blasio. In September 2015, she joined Emblem Health as Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations and Government Affairs. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President for the American Association of Retired People (AARP). Prior to joining AARP, Ms. Cortex-Vazquez was Secretary of State in New York from 2007 to 2010 – the first Latina to service in that role. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College and her Master of Arts degree from NYU, Graduate School of Public Administration.

Mitchell Draizin

Mr. Draizin is the founder and President of the Concordia Philanthropic Fund whose mission is to support youth leadership initiatives primarily in the LGBTQ and Progressive political sectors. Previously he was the President of Longview Capital Advisors, a real estate investment and mortgage banking company. He is the co-founder and President of the CUNY LGBTQ Leadership Program, and he has created and volunteer teaches Financial Empowerment Workshops and classes at CUNY. Mr. Draizin serves on the boards of various nonprofits, including the Congressional Award Foundation, The New Leaders Council, the Williams Institute, Housing Rights Initiative, and the American LGBTQ+ Historic and Cultural Museum Project.

Robert E. Englert

Mr. Englert is the Director of Land Use, Planning, and Infrastructure at the Office of the Staten Island Borough President and a member of the Mayor’s Staten Island Growth Management Task Force. He is a registered architect in the states of New York and New Jersey. His professional experience includes the practice of architecture, urban design, site planning, interior design, space planning, and governmental approvals including NYC and NYS regulating policies and compliance for land use-related reviews. He was formerly President of the American Institute of Architects, Staten Island Chapter and Principal of Englert & Norton Architects and Scarano & Englert Architects. He received his undergraduate and professional degree in architecture from The City College of New York.

William S. Floyd

Mr. Floyd is head of external affairs for Google New York, leading Google’s government and regulatory interactions, public affairs programs, and community relations. Before joining Google, he was a member of the Law Offices of Claudia Wagner and a Senior Advisor in the Government and Regulatory Affairs Division of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Mr. Floyd has served as Executive Director of the New York City Districting Commission and as Director of Community Affairs for New York and Connecticut for Verizon Communications Inc. He spent nine years working in New York City government, including at NYCEDC. He is an active member of several non-profit boards, including the Little Red/Elizabeth Irwin School and the Children's Museum of the Arts. Mr. Floyd is a graduate of Columbia University.

Matthew Hiltzik

Mr. Hiltzik is the Founder and CEO of Hiltzik Strategies, providing a wide range of communications services including strategic counsel, crisis management, and corporate positioning. Hiltzik previously held roles as the President and CEO of Freud Communications and as Senior Vice President of Communications and Government Relations for Miramax Films. He also served as Press Secretary/Deputy Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Committee, having worked on campaigns for Sen. Charles Schumer and former Sen. Hillary Clinton. Mr. Hiltzik is a graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell University and Fordham University School of Law.

Tanya Levy-Odom

Tanya Levy-Odom is a Director on BlackRock's Investment Stewardship (BIS) team in the Americas. She has coverage responsibility for the Consumer Sector. BIS evaluates the corporate governance of companies in which BlackRock invests, including environmental and social factors material to a company's business operation. Prior to joining the BIS Americas team, Ms. Levy-Odom served as the Executive Director of Investor Relations for Time Inc. as well as the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility Officer. Prior to joining Time Inc., she was a Vice President and Domestic Equity Analyst for Alliance Bernstein, responsible for equity forecasting and stock recommendations in the Consumer sector. She earned her MBA in Finance from Fordham University and her undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University.

David Lichtenstein

Mr. Lichtenstein is Chairman and CEO of The Lightstone Group, one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the United States. Since its founding in 1988, he has directed all aspects of the acquisition, financing, and management of Lightstone’s diverse portfolio of multi-family, hospitality, retail, and industrial properties. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York, a Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission, a member of the Real Estate Roundtable, and Co-Chair of the Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee. Mr. Lichtenstein is a founder of the Friendship House, an organization that provides housing for families of sick children and adults in the Greater New York City area.

James McSpiritt

Mr. McSpiritt is the first Chief Executive Officer for Archdiocesan Housing of the Archdiocese of New York, responsible for the housing work undertaken by Catholic Homes New York, a Catholic Charities affiliate. Catholic Homes New York is an owner and developer of affordable housing. He had been Chief of the New York City Law Department's Economic Development Division, which plays a central role in advising and negotiating major development projects for the city. Before returning to the Law Department, where he previously had served in the Economic Development Division and as Deputy Chief of the Municipal Finance Division, Mr. McSpiritt was Corporate Vice President and General Counsel of the Phipps Houses Group, a non-profit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing in New York City. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Dr. Gail O. Mellow

Dr. Mellow has served as President of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City since 2000. Under Dr. Mellow’s leadership, LaGuardia is pioneering new approaches to educating and graduating under-represented students and leveraging education to support the growth of local businesses and job creation. On a national level, she is actively involved in promoting the role community colleges play in spurring economic growth while developing both education and career ladders for students. Before joining LaGuardia Community College, she served as President of Gloucester County College. Dr. Mellow is a graduate of Jamestown Community College, SUNY Albany, and The George Washington University.

Melva M. Miller

Ms. Miller is the Executive Vice President at the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) where she leads the organization’s Census 2020 initiative for an accurate count. Most recently, Melva has served as the Deputy Borough President of Queens, working with the Borough President on moving Queens forward. Melva has been a passionate and dedicated community organizer since 1993. Her achievements include the creation of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, a stakeholder-driven strategy to increase quality employment, economic diversity and financial security in downtown Jamaica, and she was also the lead organizer of the Western Queens Tech Strategic Plan, an initiative that produced a five-year blueprint for equitable growth of the Long Island City and Astoria tech ecosystem. Melva has held several senior economic development roles throughout her career, including Director of Economic Development for her hometown borough and Executive Director for the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District. Melva holds a bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Justice, a master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, and recently received a second master’s degree in Philosophy from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Welfare program at CUNY's Graduate Center.

Patrick J. O’Sullivan, Jr.

Mr. O’Sullivan is a partner at Herrick, Feinstein, LLP where he advises clients on a range of real estate matters, including development projects, acquisitions and dispositions and financings. Prior to Herrick, Mr. O’Sullivan was a senior attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Previously, Mr. O’Sullivan served as Executive Vice President and Head of the Real Estate Transactions Group at NYCEDC for seven years. Prior to NYCEDC, Mr. O'Sullivan spent five years advising clients on corporate and securities law matters in private practice. Mr. O’Sullivan is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

James Patchett

James Patchett is President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation.  In his current role, James taps into his deep experience in real estate, finance, government, and urban planning to oversee some of the city’s most ambitious projects.  Since the start of his tenure, he has launched NYC Ferry, the new citywide ferry system, strengthened New York City’s competitive position as a hub for growing industries including cybersecurity and life sciences, and continued to optimize NYCEDC’s 60 million square feet of real estate.  Prior to his appointment as NYCEDC president in 2016, James served as Chief of Staff to former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.  In this capacity, he helped oversee more than 25 City agencies and played a pivotal role in preserving thousands of affordable homes.  Before moving to City Hall, James was a vice president in Goldman Sachs' Urban Investment Group.  James also serves on the board of the Prospect Park Alliance, the nonprofit organization responsible for running and maintaining one of Brooklyn's most beloved greenspaces.

Mark E. Russo

Mr. Russo is President of Russo Picciurro Maloy (RPM) Insurance Agency, Staten Island’s largest and oldest independent insurance agency established in 1886. RPM also provides commercial real estate and mortgage services throughout the Tri-State Area. Mr. Russo joined the firm in 1989 and became a partner in 1994. He manages company relations as well as sales, marketing, and advertising.

Michael Schlein

Mr. Schlein is the President and CEO of Accion, a global non-profit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world. For more than 50 years Accion has helped to build 63 microfinance institutions in 32 countries that today reach millions of people living in poverty. Before leading Accion, Mr. Schlein served as President of Citigroup’s International Franchise Management, was Chief of Staff at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and served in economic development positions under Mayors Koch and Dinkins. Mr. Schlein has graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves as Chairperson of NYCEDC’s Board.

Matthew S. Washington

Mr. Washington is a Deputy Borough President in the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. He is responsible for the capital and expense funding programs and is office liaison for all Manhattan economic development projects. He is the former Board Chair of Community Board 11 in Manhattan and served on the boards of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and El Barrio’s Operation Fightback among many other nonprofit organizations. Before his current role, Mr. Washington was Deputy Director of External Affairs at The Durst Organization. He is a graduate of Alfred University.

Timothy A. Wilkins

Mr. Wilkins is a corporate partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where he advises leading the US and international corporations on cross-border mergers and joint ventures and serves as the Co-Chair for the New York Office’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He is an Adjunct Professor of International Law at Hunter College, and founding Chair of the Steering Committee of The Opportunity Agenda, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding equal opportunity. Prior to joining Freshfields New York, he worked for 11 years in Tokyo, Japan as an investment banker and lawyer. Mr. Wilkins serves on the Board of Directors of New York City Global Partners, The Public Theater, and the New York City Bar Fund. Mr. Wilkins is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Business School.

Betty Woo

Ms. Woo is the chief of the Economic Development Division at the New York City Law Department. She joined the Law Department in the Commercial and Real Estate Litigation Division in 1995 and then moved to the Economic Development Division in 2001, where she became senior counsel in 2004 and then deputy chief in 2011. During her tenure in the Economic Development Division, Ms. Woo has worked on many complex real estate and other commercial transactions including the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, the Hudson Yards development, and the management of the airports. Prior to the Law Department, Ms. Woo was a litigation associate at the firm of Mandel and Resnik. She has a JD from Fordham University School of Law.

Kathryn S. Wylde

Ms. Wylde is the President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit organization of the City’s business leaders dedicated to maintaining New York City as a center of world commerce, finance, and innovation. A graduate of St. Olaf College, she was also the founding President and CEO of the Housing Partnership Development Corporation.