GrowNYC's Board of Directors

Robert J. Kafin, Chair

Robert J. Kafin is an environmental lawyer at Proskauer Rose LLP. He is the founder and a member of the firm’s Environmental Group and has a long history of involvement in non-profit conservation and civic matters.

From 1991 to 2009, Bob was a member of the senior management of the Proskauer firm, serving as its Chief Operating Partner for 15 years and also as its General Counsel.

In his legal career Bob has handled complex problems covering the entire spectrum of environmental issues including  air and water quality, solid and hazardous waste management, environmental impact, analysis, toxic substances, agricultural and forestry practices, public park protection, navigable waterways, land use and development regulation, wetlands, and conservation easements.

In addition to his position at GrowNYC, Bob is also Chair of the Times Square Alliance and the Adirondack Council.  He is a Director of Parks and Trails New York and a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section, both of which he previously chaired.  Bob has served on many other boards and other entities including The Broadway Association, the Preservation League of New York State, the Carl Schurz Park Association, Manhattan Community Board No. 8, Citizens for Clean Air, the Solid Waste Advisory Board of the Manhattan Borough President, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

Richard Abrons

Richard Abrons has received productions of his plays in New York and Los Angeles including: Three Travelers (Odyssey Theatre), Three Travelers (St. Clements), Whose Family Values (Clurman Theater), Every Day a Visitor (McGinn-Cazale) and The Brothers Berg (Here). Richard has published over twenty short stories and won the National Magazine Fiction Award for his short story, “Every Day A Visitor.” A compilation of his short stories titled Every Day a Visitor & Other Stories (Nightshade Press) includes the award winning story “Every Day A Visitor” and “Sleepy” (nominated for a Pushcart Prize).

Richard received his BA from Yale, his MBA from Columbia, and his MFA in Writing from NYU. He is a Managing Director of First Manhattan Co., an investment management firm he helped found forty years ago. He is a Vice Chairman and past President of the Henry Street Settlement and a director of GrowNYC.

Jordan Barowitz, Secretary

Jordan Barowitz is a Vice President and the Director of External Affairs for The Durst Organization. Mr. Barowitz oversees the government and media relations and corporate giving for the New York real estate builder, owner and manager. He oversaw the public affairs of the construction and opening of the 2.1 million square foot One Bryant Park, the first LEED Platinum skyscraper ever built. He helped win the RFP for One World Trade Center and manages the company’s government affairs and public relations for the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building.  In 2013, with the project team, he successfully won the zoning changes for a 709-unit residential rental tower on West 57th Street. He is the former First Deputy Press Secretary for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City, served as press secretary on the Mayor’s re-election campaign in 2005 and was the Communications Director for the New York City Council.  He is a native of New York City and a graduate of Friends Seminary High School and Vassar College.  Mr. Barowitz is an Executive Board Member of GrowNYC, a Vice Chair of the Brooklyn Public Library, a Steering Committee Member of the Association for A Better New York (ABNY) and The Durst Organization’s representative to the Grand Central Partnership, Times Square Alliance and Bryant Park Corporation and a member of the CLS BID. 

Arline Bronzaft

Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita of Lehman College, City University of New York and an Expert Witness on noise impacts. Dr. Bronzaft conducts research, writes and lectures on the adverse effects of noise on mental and physical health.

She has written broadly on noise including Why Noise Matters 2011 of which she is a co-author, chapters in environmental books and encyclopedias, published articles in academic journals and has writings in the popular press. She is frequently quoted in the media in the U.S. and abroad and in 2007 assisted in the updating of the 2007 New York City Noise Code.

 

Victoria Contino

Vicky Contino was a partner at Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman, & Dicker LLP, led the firm’s Government Relations practice in New York City for 16 years and was actively involved in matters in Albany, NY and at the federal level. She represented more than two dozen of the firm’s high-profile clients, from associations in the tourism, banking and real estate industries to individual Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations.
 
Several times each year Vicky spoke at conferences of the New York Bankers Association, New York Hotel Board, New York Association of Realtors, Broadway League and other firm clients on pending government issues and their impact on membership.
 
 Currently retired, Vicky now enjoying traveling the world with her husband.

Bret Csencsitz

Bret Csencsitz is the Managing Partner of Gotham Bar and Grill and long-time friend of GrowNYC. 

At Gotham, he ensures that the restaurant lives up to its legacy while continuing to push boundaries and elevate itself among New York’s best and most beloved restaurants. Prior to working at Gotham, Mr. Csencsitz was a leader for seven years in Daniel Boulud’s restaurant group. Before entering the restaurant industry, he worked in the performing and cinematic arts as an actor, director and producer.  

Mr. Csencsitz has demonstrated his commitment to New York and fresh local food through his work with GrowNYC since 2009. He began by supporting GrowNYC’s educational programming, believing younger generations could greatly benefit from understanding where their food comes from and how to eat better. However, he has consistently supported GrowNYC’s mission throughout his tenure by highlighting fresh local produce from the Greenmarket on the Gotham menu, celebrating Gotham’s 30th Anniversary with a stylish GrowNYC fundraiser and donating proceeds from various Gotham campaigns to support Project Farmhouse.  GrowNYC looks forward to having Mr. Csencsitz and Gotham  Bar & Grill as a neighbor in 2016.

Jacqueline Dryfoos

Ms. Jacqueline D. Dryfoos is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City.

She has a lifelong interest in environmental issues and has been on the GrowNYC board for more then 20 years. She strongly feels that maintenance of our natural resources is critical for our mental health.

Christopher Elliman

Christopher Elliman serves as CEO of the Open Space Institute, a land conservation organization based in New York, which has protected 2.3 million acres and created or expanded over 60 public parks. Previously, Mr. Elliman has worked in both financial and environmental sectors. He has worked as President of Gray, Seifert & Co., Inc., an investment management company; Managing Director of Barrett Associates, Inc.; General Partner of Elmrock Group. He was Director and Chairman of Piggly Wiggly Southern, director of Fresh Fields Markets, and he held the post of President of the Overhills Group.
Mr. Elliman has served on many other non-profit and foundation boards, including the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Wilderness Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Overhills Foundation, Storm King Arts Center, Environmental Defense, the Dalton School, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Everard Findlay

Everard Findlay is the founder and CEO of Everard Findlay LLC (EFLLC), specializing in International Brand and Development Strategy.

EFLLC involves a broad network of world leaders and innovators that come from an array of industries. Findlay’s work emphasizes intersections between urban planning and its impact on branding, designing sustainable environmental and social programs to reconcile public, private and NGOs, and in strengthening alliances through cultural exchange.

Recent projects include the development of a brand strategy and identity for the country the Republic of Suriname. Findlay is also currently a consultant to Ram Real Estate Development Company/The Platform, a major stakeholder in the re-development of the City of Detroit.

In addition to GrowNYC, Findlay is a member of the advisory boards for Columbia University’s National Center for Children in Poverty at the Mailman School of Public Health, The Center for Cosmic Origins at Dartmouth College, The Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth, Neuehouse, and UNDP's Turning Tables Project.

Eric Goldstein

Eric A. Goldstein is a senior attorney and New York City Environment Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has worked for more than three decades on urban environmental issues, including solid waste, air pollution, drinking water and environmental justice.

In his early years at NRDC, Eric helped create the organization’s urban program. He gained nationwide attention in the early 1980s for spearheading the public campaign to reduce levels of toxic lead in gasoline. He filed successful lawsuits to reduce ozone smog pollution discharges in New York and New Jersey. He was one of the leading citizen advocates pressing for enactment of New York City’s landmark 1989 recycling law, was key strategist in the eight year effort to enforce the law in court in the 1990s and helped draft recycling reform amendments in 2010.

In addition to his work at NRDC, he co-teaches the Environmental Law Clinic at New York University School of Law.

Marian S. Heiskell, Honorary Chairperson

Marian S. Heiskell, among many accomplishments, is a former newspaper executive, lifelong conservationist, and a leader in numerous public and philanthropic activities. She was a member of the Board of Directors of The New York Times Company from 1963-1997, and also served as its director of special activities from 1963 to 1977.

In 1970, Mayor John Lindsay created The Mayor's Council on the Environment of New York City - which we now know as GrowNYC - and persuaded Ms. Heiskell to lead it.

Mrs. Heiskell and her late husband, Andrew Heiskell, a former chairman of Time Inc., hold many honors, including being recognized in November of 1999 as "Living Landmarks" by The New York Landmarks Conservancy for their efforts towards preserving New York City.

In recognition of her years of service to the city and her efforts to make its neighborhoods green, vital and more humane, the Marian S. Heiskell Garden was opened in September 1997.

Anita Kawatra

Anita Kawatra is a communications and public affairs executive in New York. She is currently executive vice president at Edelman, where she oversees a global portfolio in life sciences. She previously held leadership roles at Prothena Biosciences Inc., Elan Pharmaceuticals and Merck & Co. Anita wrote speeches for New York City Mayor David Dinkins and New York State Governor Mario Cuomo during their administrations, and she served as Mayor Dinkins’ chief of staff and media advisor following his tenure in office.
 
Anita holds a BA from Yale University and an MA from Columbia University.  She is an adjunct instructor in the MS program in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at New York University. She serves on the President’s Council of Sanctuary for Families and the benefit committee of the Association to Benefit Children and works with other nonprofit human services groups including Mothers2Mothers and Generation Citizen. Anita is a 2015 recipient of the Indian American Forum Achievement Award. She has presented on women’s history at academic conferences, curated a contemporary women’s art exhibition, and published short stories in collected volumes and magazines.

Anjali Kumar

Anjali Kumar is a humorist, author, advisor and attorney.  Most recently, she was the Founding General Counsel and Head of Social Innovation at Warby Parker.  Prior to joining Warby Parker, Anjali was Senior Counsel at Google NY, where she was a commercial and product attorney on areas ranging from Google X to advertising technology to YouTube. She also curated the @Google speaker series, bringing Googlers around the globe face-to-face with some of today's most prominent thinkers. Pre-Google, Anjali was General Counsel at Acumen Fund, an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and led strategic planning at Robin Hood Foundation. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and Fordham University and an advisor to several tech companies and non-profit organizations including IDEO.org and Organize.org.  She is also a Board member of Edible Schoolyard NY.
 
Anjali is at work on a book called "From Google to God"​, and the co-creator and host of the forthcoming podcast "Unsearchable". She has also designed a handbag line featured in Vogue and on Sex and the City. She earned her BA in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and her JD from Boston University School of Law, and lives in New York City and Hudson, New York with her husband, Atul, and daughter, Zia.

John S. Lyons

John Lyons is a producer who resides in New York City.  His recent credits include the Universal film Sisters and the upcoming HBO series The Young Pope. He also produced Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Pieces of April, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Austin Powers in Goldmember. From 2003 to 2011 he was the President of Production at Focus Features, overseeing all aspects of production and shepherding the making of a popular and award-winning slate of films, including Gus Van Sant's Milk, Joe & Ethan Coen's Burn After Reading and A Serious Man, Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, Fernando Meirelles' A Constant Gardender, Martin McDonagh's In Bruges, Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers, and David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.
 
John is the Board Chair and Founder of Edible Schoolyard NYC, as well as serving on the board of the Film Committee for the Museum of Modern Art.
 
He has a summa cum laude degree in the History of Art from the University of Michigan.

Lys McLaughlin Pike

Born and raised in New York City, Lys McLaughlin Pike graduated with a degree in Classical Civilizations at NYU. She served as Executive Director of the Council on the Environment of NYC (now GrowNYC) from 1978-2005.

Lys is married to Thomas F. Pike and lives in Maine and NYC.

Liz Neumark

Liz Neumark is the Founder and CEO of Great Performances, New York City’s leading catering and creative events company with a commitment to local and seasonal food, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Liz transformed the company from a part-time staffing agency for women in the arts in 1979 to one of the country’s foremost catering companies. Great Performances serves many of the top organizations in the tri-state area and is the exclusive caterer for distinguished NYC institutions including, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Museum, BAM, Apollo Theater and The Plaza Hotel. In 2006, she established Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, NY, making Great Performances the first catering company to own and operate an organic farm. The same year she also helped launch The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing issues in children’s health with hands-on experiences growing and cooking healthy food.

In addition to the GrowNYC board, Liz sits on several food- and community-related boards such as the New York State Council on Food Policy, West Side Campaign Against Hunger, and the Food and Finance High School. She is the Board Chair of the Hudson Square Connection and The Sylvia Center. She is also author of Sylvia’s Table, a highly acclaimed seasonal cookbook for the family, and writes a blog on the Huffington Post. 

Charles Ramat

Charles S. Ramat is presently the President and CEO of Neurotrope, Inc (NTRP), a biotech company with a lead compound in clinical trials exploring disease reversal in Alzheimer's Disease  as well as pre-clinical investigation in other neurodegenerative  diseases affecting children and young adults. He is also an investor in and consultant to various industries, among them real estate, mortgage banking, wireless communications and medical devices, and the founder and owner of Bethel Farms Communities, an environmentally friendly series of gated communities on aprox. 1000 acres in the Catskills, where he also owns Wagging Tail Farm, a 200 acre organic farm producing hay, organic fruits, vegetables, eggs and maple syrup.

Mr. Ramat also served for several years as a Director of The City Parks Foundation, and as the CEO of various public and private companies engaged in real estate, apparel design and manufacturing, and restaurant operations and franchising.

He presently resides at Wagging Tail Farm in Bethel,N.Y. as well as in Manhattan, and is married for forty years to Ora Ramat, a prominent yoga instructor and the owner of Wagging Tail Yoga. Together they have three children.

Mr. Ramat graduated cum laude from Yeshiva College and from the Columbia School of Law.

Frances A. Resheske

Ms. Resheske manages government relations, regulatory relations and the energy markets policy departments. She oversees Con Edison’s corporate communications; media relations; digital and social media; branding and advertising. She also oversees community relations, economic development, corporate philanthropy and volunteer programs. She manages a budget of $40 million and a staff of 120. Ms. Resheske is a member of the company’s Corporate Leadership Team.
Ms. Resheske is board president of Queens Theatre and a board member of BAM, St. Joseph’s College, the Lincoln Center Women’s Leadership Council, and the Association for a Better New York and its Foundation. She is a member of the Women’s Forum. She has served on numerous non-profit boards throughout the years.

Before joining Con Edison, Ms. Resheske was the general manager of government relations and community development at KeySpan Energy. Previously, she held several positions in community relations and economic development in the administration of New York City Mayor Koch.

Ms. Resheske is a summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University with a degree in government and politics. She is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council, received her Certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from the Boston College Carroll School of Management, and a Certificate of Professional Development from The Wharton School. She is currently enrolled in in the Women’s Senior Leadership Program at the Kellogg School of Management.

She is a graduate of Leadership America, Leadership New York, and the Rockefeller Fellows program.

Steven P. Salsberg

Steven P. Salsberg is the Chairman of Global Access Advisors, a strategic advisory, investor, and capital access consulting firm with offices in NYC, Washington DC, Melbourne and Tel Aviv.

He is a member and active director of numerous boards including the American Sustainable Business Council, Board of Visitors of the CUNY School of Law, The Friends of Hudson River Park, and the Social Venture Network (SVN).

Steven currently represents and advises multinational companies focusing on Natural and Green Products, waste and energy technologies, and digital technologies.

Barbara Samuelson

Barbara Samuelson is a Senior Vice President at Merrill Lynch where she has been for more than 30 years. She oversees a team of investment professionals who manage client portfolios. Early in her career, she wrote investment articles for Barron’s and The New York Times.

A lifelong New Yorker, she is very interested in improving the environment where we live and in helping others to improve it too.

She is on the board of the American Israel Cultural Foundation, the President’s Commission at Wheaton College, an active member of the Westport Country Playhouse and a Senior member of the Financial Women’s Association.

Axel Santiago

Axel Santiago is Director of Risk Management Services for Pfizer Inc., leading Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS), Security and Business Continuity for Pfizer commercial operations in the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. Previously, he oversaw EHS performance for Pfizer manufacturing operations in Latin America. Prior to joining Pfizer, Axel held numerous EHS leadership roles in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, and food processing.

An avid arts enthusiast, Axel has explored music and painting, but his true passion is photography.

Axel holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, and an MBA from the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico.

Nick Scharlatt

Nick is a co-founder of Foothold Technology, a software company that works with nonprofit agencies across the country.  Foothold helps human service agencies keep track of the people they are providing services to and then report back to different funding streams.  Since 2000, Foothold has expanded to work with over 900 agencies across more than 26 states in all areas of human services, from mental health and homelessness to substance abuse, developmental disabilities and beyond.

Nick’s career prior to Foothold included work in the sports media and business sector most recently in sales and marketing positions at The Sporting News magazine.  He has also spent time at ESPN Classic, Major League Baseball, CBS Sports during the Albertville Olympics and working as a sous chef at the Boonville Hotel in Northern California.  Nick graduated from Vassar College with a BA in English.

Eugene Schneur

Eugene is the co-Managing Director and co-founder of Omni New York LLC. Since Omni’s inception in 2004, Eugene has overseen the day to day operations of the organization that has grown into a full service real estate organization (development, construction and management) employing over 600 full time employees. During this period, Omni has acquired and rehabilitated (or is in the process of rehabilitating) 64 properties totaling over 12,700 units of affordable housing with an aggregate transaction amount of approximately $1.5 Billion dollars.
 
Prior to becoming a principal with Omni New York LLC, Eugene was a Mergers and Acquisitions attorney with Olshan Grundman Frome Rosenzweig & Wolosky LLP in New York.
 
Eugene holds a degree from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations, a J. D. from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, and is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School in New York City.
 

Richard M. Schwartz

In Memoriam

For nearly twenty years, Richard Schwartz helped guide GrowNYC through waters calm and smooth. He was the kind of board member that nonprofits dream of – which is to say, he was a true friend. We knew we could call Richard anytime. His wise counsel, keen mind and ‘let’s start at the beginning’ approach would have our rattled nerves soothed and a solution underway. We will miss him: his humor, his humility, his goodness as a person. He will always be remembered with fondness and affection.

Marianne Spraggins

Marianne Spraggins is an investment banker, attorney and marketing executive with extensive experience in municipal and mortgage finance, private equity and asset management.  She began her Wall Street career at Salomon Brothers where she was part of the team that created residential mortgage securities and marketed this new product to institutional and public pension fund investors. Later, while at Smith Barney, she became the first African American female Managing Director on Wall Street. She also served as Senior Counsel to the Congressional Oversight Panel, a body created by Congress to oversee the U.S. Treasury’s implementation of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

She is now part of several entrepreneurial ventures that are developing new products including BondFactor, a company that is developing a disruptive approach to municipal bond insurance and app.ology, a custom voice messaging app for enterprises.

Ms. Spraggins is a former director of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation ( S.I.P.C.), where she was appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the agency that protects investors in the event of broker/dealer failure.

She formerly served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee, co-chair of its Credentials Committee and as a super delegate to several Democratic National Conventions.

A native New Yorker, Ms. Spraggins received an LL.M. in International Law from Harvard Law School, a J.D. from the New York Law School and a B.A. in English Literature from Boston University. She is a member of the Bar of the State of New York and is a member of the federal bar in the Southern District of New York.  

Stella Strombolis, Treasurer

Stella Strombolis was appointed to GrowNYC's board in 1987 by Mayor Koch.

Stella's banking career started in 1960 and in her almost 40 years of banking, she worked is corporate banking, commercial and retail lending, small business development, and managed numerous branches in Manhattan. Stella retired in 1999 from JP Morgan Chase. Her financial and banking background has been invaluable as she continues to guide GrowNYC toward more sophisticated and meaningful financial reporting.

Eva Tan

 

 

Coming soon...

Barbara J. Turk (ex oficio)

Barbara J. Turk is the Director of Food Policy for New York City, in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.  Prior to her appointment in April 2014, she was a Senior Fellow at Community Resource Exchange, a nonprofit management consulting group for seven years.  Barbara has also served as Executive Director of the YWCA of Brooklyn and Director of HIV CARE Services for the Medical and Health Research Association (now Public Health Solutions), where she and her colleagues administered federal grant funds to New York City for services for people living with HIV and AIDS. Barbara was Deputy Director for Health and Human Services in the New York City Office of Management and Budget under Mayor Dinkins, and served as a policy advisor to City Council President Carol Bellamy and Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins.  She has served on multiple nonprofit boards and teaches at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU.  She graduated from Goddard College in 1979, and earned a Masters Degree in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in 2007.

Sonia Toledo, Vice Chair

Ms. Toledo is a public finance investment banker at Wells Fargo Securities.  Over her 27 year career, she has led a number of complex transactions designed to solve public infrastructure funding challenges throughout the Northeast.  
Ms. Toledo is a member of the Board of Governors of the Municipal Bond Forum of New York.  She is a General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7) and is both Series 53 and Series 63 licensed.  Ms. Toledo is a resident of New York City and a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Business School. 

Coco Quinlan 

Coco Quinlan’s lifelong passions are the culinary arts and sustainable food production. Coco graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from Trinity College and fine-tuned her love of cooking with training at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, in the kitchen at NYC’s bastion of seasonal eating, Savoy, and in planning events for the James Beard Foundation.
 
Coco and her husband Timothy spend their free time working on their family farm in Dutchess County where they grow herbs, vegetables, tend a small orchard, keep bees and make their own honey, raise livestock, and soon hope to add cheese-making to the list. As a mother, her passion for farm to table dining has expanded to include not just eating locally-sourced and seasonal foods but also helping her family make the healthiest food choices. 

Jeffrey Zurofsky

In 2003, Jeffrey partnered with chefs Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortúzar to co-found ’wichcraft as a sandwich shop where the ingredients and cooking techniques are rooted in fine dining but served in a casual and welcoming environment. Since then Jeffrey has all aspects of the business ’wichcraft, spearheading its expansion to fifteen stores including locations in San Francisco and Las Vegas and employing over four-hundred team members.

Most recently, Jeffrey can be found writing about his experiences on his blog, jeffreyzurofsky.com, and as co-host on Bravo’s new restaurant competition show “Best New Restaurant”.  Jeffrey was also a key advisor and contributor to Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Chef. 

In 2009, the original partnership opened Riverpark, a fine dining restaurant that was recently awarded 2-stars by the New York Times, as well as the innovative Riverpark Farm, New York’s most urban farm, located adjacent to the restaurant..

Prior to the founding of ’wichcraft, Jeffrey worked in some of Manhattan’s most prestigious kitchens including a stage at Lespinasse, Savoy (while enrolled at the French Culinary Institute), Union Square Café, and as opening sous chef at Restaurant AZ. With desire to leave the stove and feed his entrepreneurial passion, Jeffrey took an offer at a tech startup, Bank Pass as Director of Business Development where he developed his interest in business growth. After honing his business acumen, Jeffrey found his way back to his passion at Payard where was Director of Operations and CFO at Francois Payard Patisserie and Bistro.

Jeffrey’s passion as an entrepreneur and love for food started at the age of eight, attempting to replicate in his family’s New Jersey kitchen what he saw master chefs create on classic PBS cooking shows. His mother, a small business owner, encouraged his budding interest in everything culinary and Jeffrey put his self-taught skills to work in professional kitchens while studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He paid his way through school in the area’s best restaurants, and eventually became sous chef at the Mobil 4-star La Residence. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City and where he has been able to feed his desire to develop new and innovative ideas in a fast paced environment.

In addition to Jeffrey’s many job accomplishments, he was recently awarded Outstanding Alumni from The International Culinary Center in 2011. He continues to be committed to numerous civic and philanthropic institutions and has passionately supported entrepreneurial ventures throughout his career.

Commissioner Mary Bassett, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene
Commissioner Katherine Garcia, NYC Dept. of Sanitation
Commissioner Emily Lloyd, NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commissioner Mitchell Silver, NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation
Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYC Dept. of Transportation

This year, why not make some resolutions you can actually stick to? Here are some of what we'll be doing to improve ourselves, our city and our environment in 2017.

  • Greenmarket

    Our network of farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Recycle

    We blanket the five boroughs with resources like textile and food scrap collection, Stop 'N' Swaps, and free training to make waste reduction easy for all.

  • Garden

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Teach

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 60,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.