Who We Are
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Board of Directors
Chair – Andrew Simons
Principal, Emphas!s Design
Vice Chair – Michael Porto
Manager, City Government Affairs, Consolidated Edison Company of New York
Secretary – Amy E. Turner
Senior Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
Treasurer – Ted Weissberg
Executive Chairman, Digital Marketing Institute
Scott Demel, Director, Marvel Architects PLLC
Kate Collignon, Partner, HR&A Advisors
David Dobkin, COO and Director of Investments, HK Organization
Petra T. Messick, Director, Gateway Program Planning Amtrak
Richard B. Miller, Vice President, Regulatory, Consolidated Edison Company of New York
Timothy O’Brien, Director of Compliance and Development, NYC Ferry, Operated by Hornblower
Sumner Pingree, Environmental Consultant
Robert Pirani, Director, NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program Hudson River Foundation
Eric Pitt, Climate Finance Consultant, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets
Michelle Young, Founder, Untapped New York
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Staff
Terri Carta, Executive Director
Terri Carta is a leader in public space stewardship and nonprofit management. As Executive Director of Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, Terri is responsible for driving forward the completion and long-term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, realizing its full potential as a critical connector of people and neighborhoods, a component of New York City’s sustainability and resiliency plans, and a mechanism for community-based visioning and stewardship. Terri’s career spans leadership positions in public engagement, community development, and leadership development, most recently developing the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks where she served as its Associate Vice President. Terri previously coordinated community development, engagement, and education efforts for a watershed management project in Guinea, West Africa while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Terri has an M.S. in Ecological Teaching & Learning and a B.S. in Conservation Biology. Terri is passionate about advancing a multidisciplinary approach to improving urban environments and the greater public realm.
Remy Schwartz, Director of Development & Administration
Remy Schwartz directs fundraising, partnerships, and administration for Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. He works closely with the Executive Director to build a diverse spectrum of support from businesses, government agencies, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and private citizens. He is excited to complete the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and help BGI grow into the future. Remy previously managed institutional development and partnerships at The Battery Conservancy, coordinated volunteer projects at The Prospect Park Alliance, and oversaw business operations and growth at Hearken. He is a 2019 Environmental Leadership Program National Fellow, an NYC Citizen Tree Pruner, and a proud graduate of Hampshire College. He likes to surround himself with community and spend time outdoors as an avid cyclist, a runner, and a beginning-but-obsessive tennis player.
Anna Bakis, Naval Cemetery Landscape and Stewardship Manager
Anna works with the staff at the NCL to maintain the space, engage visitors, and foster a thriving habitat for native plants and animals. She also works on BGI's stewardship and greening projects along the greenway. Anna grew up in Brooklyn and spent many of her formative days exploring plants and insects in whatever patch of greenery she could find in her home borough. She has worked in a variety of New York City's green spaces throughout her career, from community gardens to NYC parks to botanical and school gardens. She is excited to bring her experience in horticulture, outdoor education, and public engagement to BGI.
Anne Krassner, Brooklyn Greenway User Study Project Manager
Anne is working closely with the Executive Director and our partners to coordinate the design and execution of the study, thinking through the different uses of the Greenway, the neighborhoods it intersects, and how it's impacted Brooklyn residents and businesses. Anne is an urban planner who specializes in community-based planning and sustainable development, with an emphasis on social justice and dismantling systemic racism in public infrastructure, programs, and policies. She’s been a community organizer in NYC for 10 years, and was most recently leading the equity and community engagement efforts for Lyft's Transit, Bikes, and Scooters division. She approaches projects with empathy and problem-solves using an equity lens, always asking: who leads, who benefits, and who is harmed by what we are trying to do. Outside of work, Anne expresses her creativity through baking and loves riding her bike around the City.
Hagan Knauth, Naval Cemetery Landscape Associate
Hagan Knauth is an associate of the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL). He is responsible for informing visitors about the NCL, photographing, studying and tending to the plants and upkeep of the space. He appreciates that every square foot of the NCL features a plethora of lifeforms both above and below ground (insects, spiders, fungi, moths, worms, butterflies, ants, bees, and more). For this reason, he encourages visitors to slow down and take a closer look. He is a strong advocate for the conservation and preservation of public land, and a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of time spent outdoors. Originally from upstate New York, Hagan moved to Brooklyn to grow as a musician ... however, the itch to be outdoors again has to lead him to split his time between the studio and the garden.
Greg Topscher, Naval Cemetery Landscape Associate
Greg Topscher is an associate of the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL). He is responsible for connecting visitors to the natural and man-made history of the space, as well as working to maintain the delicate ecosystem of a reclaimed meadow and help it thrive. He comes from a writing and art background and previously wrote and edited guides to the National Parks and Forests. He’s an enthusiastic amateur naturalist who grew up studying the birds at the backyard feeder. Prior to joining NCL Greg worked as Copy Editor and Writer for American Park Network. Greg is an owner and operator of a cut-paper stationery company and he has a Bachelor’s in English from The College of William and Mary.
Leah Retherford, Naval Cemetery Landscape Associate
Leah Retherford is an associate of the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL) and works closely with the NCL team to steward the space and welcome visitors. Prior to joining the BGI team, she worked as the Project Manager at the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse and before that as the Farm Manager at the Queens County Farm Museum. She began urban gardening in Detroit in 2002 where she cofounded Birdtown Community Garden with Bashir Ali Hakim, and realized putzing in the garden is what she's best at.
Shreema Mehta, Communications and Marketing
Charles Rubin, Information Technology
Jitasa, Bookkeeping and Accounting