Who We Are

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative Board of Directors

  • Chair – Sumner Pingree

Environmental Consultant

  • 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

  • Board Members

Scott Demel, Director, Marvel Architects PLLC

Michael Cairl, Senior Manager, Engineering Operations, STV Group, Incorporated

Kate Collignon, Partner, HR&A Advisors

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

Robert Pirani, Director, NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program Hudson River Foundation

Caroline Samponaro, Head of Bike, Scooter & Pedestrian Policy, Lyft

Andrew Simons, Principal, Emphas!s Design

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 the community and spend time outdoors as an avid cyclist, a runner, and a beginning-but-obsessive tennis player. 

  • Danielle Knott, Naval Cemetery Landscape Coordinator

Danielle Knott is the Park Coordinator and beekeeper at the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL). She has been actively involved with beekeeping at the park since June of 2016. In 2017, she worked with City Growers and the NCL to develop curriculum for the pilot year of Brooklyn Bee Corps, a program for high school students interested in beekeeping, entrepreneurship, and community service. In 2019 she became Park Coordinator, in an effort to grow the NCL’s potential as a place for visitors to engage and interact with nature for years to come.

Hailing from the stage of Oregon, Danielle has come to love New York City through interacting with its sacred green spaces.


  • Nina Bowers, Programs Coordinator

Nina Bowers is the programs coordinator for BGI. She works closely with our Executive Director to develop and maintain relationships with programming partners, community members’ and business owners to ensure quality events and programs throughout the Greenway. Prior to joining BGI Nina worked as the Operations Coordinator for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Her interest is focused on non-profits that cultivate accessible spaces to bring people together.

Originally from Boston, she is a New School alumni with a passion for filmmaking and travel. She enjoys bike riding and exploring all the different cuisines in Brooklyn.


  • 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.



Administrative Support

Charles Rubin, Information Technology

Ten Key Pros, Bookkeeping and Accounting

Important information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on BGI’s programming and events. LEARN MORE