Who We Are

Chair – Andrew Simons

Principal, Emphas!s Design

Vice Chair – Amy E. Turner

Senior Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School

Secretary – Kate Collignon

Partner, HR&A Advisors

Treasurer – Ted Weissberg

Executive Chairman, Digital Marketing Institute

Board Members

Terri Carta, Executive Director, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy

Scott Demel AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CPHD, Marvel

David Dobkin, Managing Director, Head of Acquisitions, Parkway Corporation

Deborah Flynn, Design Consultant

Paul Gertner, CEO, Starborn Industries

Gordon Hill, Climate Index Quantitative Researcher, Gro Intelligence

Richard B. Miller, Vice President, Regulatory, Consolidated Edison Company of New York

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

Kati Solomon, Vice President of Operations, Bryant Park Corporation / 34th Street Partnership

Michelle Young, Founder, Untapped New York

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Staff

Remy Schwartz, Deputy Director

Remy Schwartz directs strategic partnerships & fundraising, communications, external relations, and works closely with the team on advocacy, operations, events, and public programs. He is working 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 expand greenways in NYC. He completed an Urban Parks Management Certificate from the Central Park Conservancy Institute of Urban Parks in 2020, he was a 2019 Environmental Leadership Program National Fellow, is an NYC Citizen Tree Pruner, and a proud graduate of Hampshire College. He likes to spend time outdoors as an avid cyclist, runner, stroller-pusher, and tennis player.

Cait LaMorte, Partnerships Director

Cait LaMorte leads the team on strategic partnerships across various sectors by using her decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising and administration. Cait has previously worked at New York Restoration Project, Central Park Conservancy, and Gowanus Canal Conservancy. She holds a Masters of Public Administration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from NYU Wagner School of Public Service and a BA in Environmental and Urban studies from New York University. She has dedicated her career to improving NYC's open spaces and enjoys spending downtime in Brooklyn's greenest spots.

Anna Bakis, Naval Cemetery Landscape & 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.

Brian Hedden, Advocacy & Greenway Projects Coordinator

Brian coordinates advocacy & project development for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and citywide greenway network, liaising with elected officials & greenway leads at government agencies, and coordinating the NYC Greenways Coalition meetings, member outreach, & campaigns. Before joining BGI, Brian was a co-founder of Bike South Brooklyn, where he organized actions that resulted in the largest expansion of bike lanes in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. Brian was born in New York State, and biked from his native Western New York to his home in Brooklyn along the Empire State Trail the first spring after it opened.

Elizagrace Madrone, Development & Communications Manager

Elizagrace manages the fundraising operations and the overall communications for BGI working to tell the stories of the Brooklyn Greenway itself and of the communities the greenway connects. She has previously worked at a variety of New York non-profits (including Central Park Conservancy and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre) and continues to be an occasional instructor with Bike New York’s Gear Femmes program. In addition to being a bike commuter on all of New York’s greenways and a dedicated enjoyer of the city’s public spaces, Elizagrace is a theater artist and writer making small works across the country.

Leah Retherford, Naval Cemetery Landscape Gardener

Leah Retherford is a gardener at the Naval Cemetery Landscape 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.

Geraldine Simonis, Naval Cemetery Landscape Gardener

Geraldine is a gardener at the Naval Cemetery Landscape and works closely with the NCL team to steward the space and welcome visitors. She has previously worked at a variety of green space organizations, including Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farms, and is passionate about pollinators and connecting city dwellers with nature. After years of gardening and beekeeping on NYC's rooftops, she is excited to be back on terra firma! When she's not chasing after native bees with a macro lens, she can be found in her garden or at your local bakery testing their pastry selection.

Field Research Team

Jack Darcey, Field Research Coordinator

Wisely Chang Wu, Field Research Coordinator

Daniel Kim, Field Research Assistant

Eric Thompson, Field Research Coordinator

Joaquim Stevenson-Rodriguez, Field Research Assistant

Matthew Shore, Field Research Assistant

Max Murgio, Field Research Assistant


Jon Orcutt, Advocacy

Jitasa, Bookkeeping and Accounting

Tech4Results, Website and IT Support


Sarah Kornbluth, NCL Advisory Committee

Jeffrey Longhenry, NCL Advisory Committee

Penn Marchael, NCL Advisory Committee

Andrew Ullman, NCL Advisory Committee