NYCEDC Board of Directors

Tony Barsamian
Mr. Barsamian is the publisher of the Queens Gazette newspaper chain, owns GN Printing, and is the president of Future Properties, Inc. and of Service Advertising Group. He is the publisher of the Pennysaver, the Queens Dollarsaver, the Halsey Junior Gazette, and is a member of the New York Press Club. He is a graduate of Queens College.

Rev. A.R. Bernard, Sr.
Rev. Bernard is the founder and pastor of Christian Cultural Center, a ministry and not-for-profit organization with over 30,000 members. He is the president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York, which represents 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans, and Orthodox Christians. He has previously served as president of the Christian Men’s Network. He is one of the founders of the Christian Renaissance Corporation, established to foster urban revitalization through an alliance of church and para-church organizations.

William A. Candelaria
Mr. Candelaria is a partner at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, specializing in corporate transactions, private equity, and capital markets. He was previously a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and before that at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP. He received his undergraduate and master of arts degrees from Stanford University and a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, Mr. Candelaria served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles. He is admitted to practice law in California and New York.

Marlene Cintron
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. Ms. Cintron was previously the 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 juris doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Dr. Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán
Dr. Cordero-Guzman is a Professor at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College of the City University of New York. He is also a Professor in the Ph.D. Programs in Sociology and in Urban Education at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. Dr. Cordero-Guzman has published academic research and taught graduate courses on issues related to education, labor markets and employment, non-profit organizations, micro-finance, international migration, poverty and inequality, economic and community development, race and ethnic relations, and social policy. Prior to joining The School of Public Affairs at CUNY, Dr. Cordero-Guzman 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 M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from The University of Chicago.

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.

Alan B. Friedberg
Mr. Friedberg is the President of Alan B. Friedberg Investment & Development Corp., an owner, operator, developer and manager of apartment, hotel and commercial real estate in Manhattan, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. He was Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Charles H. Greenthal & Company, Inc. and is a recipient of the lifetime achievement award by the Associated Builders and Owners of New York City. Mr. Friedberg is on the Board of the Educational Alliance, a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services for the needs of all races and religions. Mr. Friedberg has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and as a member of the Advisory Board of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. He is a graduate of New York University.

Joseph N. Garba
Mr. Garba is the Deputy Borough President of the Borough of Manhattan, focusing on Policy and Budget. He was previously the Director of State Legislative Affairs for the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York where he was responsible for leading the administration's State legislative agenda, which included the approval of legislation to allow for development at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Hudson River Park, Coney Island, Hallets Point, and the USTA National Tennis Center; reform of the New York City Housing Authority board; and approval for the use of Speed Enforcement Cameras in the City of New York. Prior, he worked in a variety of other roles in City and State Government. Mr. Garba received an undergraduate degree from the University at Albany and holds an MA in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, State University of New York.

Alicia Glen
Ms. Glen is the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development of the City of New York. She was previously Managing Director and Head of the Urban Investment Group for The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Deputy Mayor Glen was New York’s Assistant Commissioner for Finance at the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development from 1998 to 2002 and served as an attorney with Brooklyn Legal Services from 1993 to 1996. Deputy Mayor Glen is a graduate of Amherst College and Columbia Law School.

Tanya Levy-Odom
Tanya Levy-Odom is the Director of Investor Relations for Time Inc. responsible for communicating with existing and prospective investors and key influencers including buy-side and sell-side analysts as well as corporate governance contacts. Prior to joining Time Inc., she was a Vice President/Domestic Equity Analyst for Alliance Growth Equities, a subsidiary of Alliance Bernstein, responsible for equity forecasting and stock selection in the Consumer sector. She received her MBA in finance from Fordham University and her undergraduate degree in banking and finance from Hofstra University.

James McSpiritt
Mr. McSpiritt is the Chief of the New York City Law Department’s Economic Development Division, which plays a central role in advising the City and negotiating major development projects. Prior to returning to the Law Department, where he had previously 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, the nation’s largest non-profit developer, owner and manager of affordable housing. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Haeda B. Mihaltses
Ms. Mihaltses is the Executive Director of External Affairs with the New York Mets. She was formerly the Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. As a member of the Mayor’s Senior Staff, she coordinated the City’s interaction with the City, State, and Federal legislative offices, as well as the Offices of the City Comptroller, Public Advocate, and Borough Presidents. She previously served as the Director of the City Council Finance Division under Former Speaker Peter F. Vallone. Prior to becoming Director, she served as Deputy Director of the Council’s Finance office. Ms. Mihaltses received a Master of Arts as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University.

Melva M. Miller
Ms. Miller is the Director of Economic Development at the Office of the Queens Borough President, where she advises and provides assistance to small businesses throughout Queens and leads a borough-wide workforce development initiative to support economic development. She received a Master’s degree from the Hunter College School of Social Work.

Chima Obichere
Mr. Obichere currently serves as a Unit Head for Infrastructure and Economic Development in the New York City Council Finance Division where he is instrumental in the Division's oversight and evaluation of the City's budget, providing fiscal analysis for the City's Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Recreation, Taxi and Limousine Commission and for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Before joining the City Council in 2000, Mr. Obichere served as the Chief Fiscal Officer for the Southern Queens Park Association, a nonprofit entity, in South East Queens.  He holds an MBA degree from St. John's University Tobin College of Business and a BSc degree from Shaw University, North Carolina.

Shaifali Puri
Ms. Puri is the Executive Director of Global Innovation at the Nike Foundation. In that capacity, she leads a global team that identifies and accelerates highly-scalable and sustainable business models and new interventions that have the potential to help end intergenerational poverty globally. Prior to working at the Nike Foundation, Ms. Puri was Executive Director of Scientists Without Borders, a web-based initiative that aims to improve the quality of life in the developing world through the coordination and mobilization of science-based, capacity-building efforts. Ms. Puri was also Senior Advisor to the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Empire State Development Corporation. She also served as Assistant Solicitor General for the State of New York Attorney General. She received an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School. Ms. Puri is also a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Frank Randazzo
Mr. Randazzo is the Public Administrator of Bronx County. He formerly worked at the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), the economic development consultant to the Bronx Borough President’s Office, as a Senior Manager of the organization and as the Director of the Bronx portion of the New York Empowerment Zone. Prior to that he was a partner at the law firm of Pino & Associates, LLP, and prior to that he was an Assistant District Attorney in the office of the Bronx District Attorney. He received his undergraduate degree from Fairfield University and his law degree from the Albany Law School of Union University.

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.

Michael Schlein
Mr. Schlein is the President and CEO of Accion, a global non-profit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world. Over more than 50 years, Accion has helped to build 63 microfinance institutions in 32 countries that today reach millions of people living in poverty. Prior to leading Accion, Mr. Schlein served as President of Citigroup’s International Franchise Management, was Chief of Staff at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and served in economic development positions under Mayors Koch and Dinkins. Mr. Schlein has graduate and undergraduate degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Schlein is the Chairperson of NYCEDC’s Board.

Robert J. Strang
Mr. Strang is the Chief Executive Officer of Investigative Management Group and is one of the world’s leading corporate investigative specialists, serving major financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, large law firms, and high net-worth individuals and families. He began his law enforcement career in 1979 with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, DC, graduating from the Department of Justice’s Special Agent Basic Training class in December 1980, and serving as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration until 1989. At that time, he formed the firm Strang Hayes with a fellow agent, with whom he also founded Investigative Management Group in 2003.

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. She previously was the founding President and CEO of the Housing Partnership Development Corporation. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College.

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