Board of Directors
Danny Meyer, Chairman of the Board
Danny Meyer is Founder and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). In 1985, Mr. Meyer opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, launching what would become a lifelong career in hospitality. Three decades later, USHG comprises some of New York City’s most beloved and acclaimed restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Maialino, and more. Mr. Meyer also founded Shake Shack; originally a small part of a public art initiative in Madison Square Park he invested in, the modern-day “roadside” burger restaurant became a public company in 2015. In addition to his entrepreneurial leadership, Mr. Meyer has been a champion for New York City through his leadership and board service at NYC and Company, Madison Square Park Conservancy, and Union Square Partnership. He is also known for his employee-first model, changing how restaurants were historically managed. Mr. Meyer is the author of Setting the Table (HarperCollins, 2006), a New York Times Bestseller, which articulates a set of signature business and life principles that translate to a wide range of industries. Mr. Meyer and his wife live in New York City and have four children.
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.
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 Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and a member of the International Advisory Council of The Hispanic Society of America Museum & Library. He has also served on the boards of directors of Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund.
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.
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.
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.
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.
James Katz is Deputy Borough President of Manhattan. He leads key land use initiatives on behalf of Borough President Gale Brewer, serves as a trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee of the New York City Employer Retirement System (NYCERS) and represents the Borough President and Manhattan residents on the boards of various parks conservancies and business improvement districts. Prior to joining the Borough President's Office, James served as an Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at NYCEDC. In that role, James was a senior officer of the corporation with responsibility for day-to-day management of the President's Office, the Strategic Investments Group (NYCEDC's mission-driven investing arm) and External Affairs Division.
A lawyer by training, James served previously as a Senior Advisor and Special Counsel to the New York State Attorney General. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School, a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor's from Brown University.
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.
Ms. Loeb is President of New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she oversees NYCEDC’s portfolio of projects focused on life sciences, land use, investments in infrastructure, and innovation. Prior to her appointment as President in 2021, Rachel served as Acting President, and Chief Operating Officer since 2018, overseeing and directing NYCEDC’s strategic priorities for real estate, asset management, and neighborhood planning. Highlights of her work to date include negotiating with Steiner Studios to develop a new film and television production hub at the Made in New York Campus in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, which will support 2,200 jobs and fund local workforce development to diversify the film and television industry; and advancing plans to activate the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal as a staging, installation, and maintenance site for the growing offshore wind industry. She also has been instrumental in supporting NYCEDC’s work to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the city’s economic recovery.
Prior to joining NYCEDC, Rachel was a senior executive member of World Wide Group, overseeing all aspects and phases of the development process. Before joining WWG, Rachel was a Senior Director of Development for AvalonBay, where she was responsible for the development of over 1,400 apartments. Rachel began her career in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she worked on the Saigon South development, an 8,000-acre new town community. Rachel is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a master's in city planning. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.
Mr. Longani serves as Chief Counsel to the Mayor of New York City. As Mayor de Blasio's chief problem solver, Mr. Longani advises the Mayor and City Hall on high profile and sensitive legal matters affecting the City, including police reform, economic development, affordable housing, and immigration. Most recently, he played a central role in the Administration's legal response to the historic issues confronting New York City during the COVID-19 crisis. Before joining the Administration, Mr. Longani served as Senior Counsel to Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Congress where he acted as the Democratic staff's lead investigator in several high profile investigations, including the Flint water crisis, the Department of State's rejection of the Keystone Pipeline application, and the Trump Administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Prior to his work in Congress, Mr. Longani served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, worked as a litigator at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and clerked for judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. District Court. Mr. Longani holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and legal degrees from the University of Florida, Yale, and Oxford University (U.K.).
Mr. McSpiritt is a lawyer and non-profit director. He served as 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. Under his leadership at Catholic Homes, 400 new units of affordable family and senior units were completed and construction commenced on over 190 additional units of family and supportive housing, all in the Bronx. 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.
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.
Anthony Perez is Deputy Chief of Staff at the New York City Council Speaker's Office where he serves as a strategic advisor on key legislation and on the Speaker's signature initiatives, and as a senior administrator helping to oversee the day-to-day operations of the City's legislative process. Mr. Perez is the former Executive Director of the Bronx Democratic Party and previously served in a number of senior roles at the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. A graduate of Union College, Mr. Perez was born in The Bronx and is a lifelong New Yorker.
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.
Mr. Tebele is the founder and CEO of Digital Gadgets, a leading manufacturer and distributor of technology products. Prior to founding Digital Gadgets, Mr. Tebele was the President and CEO of RCS Computer Experience, a major retailer of consumer technology products with locations throughout New York City. Mr. Tebele has experience in many areas of the tech sector as well as retail and wholesale distribution and logistics. Mr. Tebele currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Safe Foundation, a not for profit based in New York City that helps individuals and their families recover from addiction problems.
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.