Board of Directors

Vicki Been
Deputy Mayor Vicki Been leads the administration’s efforts to grow and diversify New York City’s economy, invest in emerging industries across the five boroughs, build new affordable housing, and help New Yorkers secure good-paying jobs. The Deputy Mayor oversees and coordinates the operations of over 20 agencies, offices, and affiliated entities.

Been has extensive experience fighting to make New York a more affordable and equitable city. As HPD Commissioner from 2014 to 2017, she helped craft Housing New York, the Mayor’s plan to tackle the affordability crisis and create and preserve 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. She was also instrumental in advancing the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law, requiring developers to dedicate a certain percentage of rental units at below-market rate rents in areas that are rezoned for higher density.

Been formerly served as the Director of NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Been graduated from Colorado State University and received her JD from NYU School of Law. She has served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and an Associate Professor of Law at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

HeeWon Brindle-Khym
Ms. Brindle-Khym is Director of Research and Global Strategies for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU-UFCW). She oversees all corporate research and international affairs functions for the union. Formerly with the Fair Labor Association, UNITE HERE!, and the Worker Rights Consortium, Ms. Brindle-Khym has a broad-set of international and domestic experience in advocating and campaigning for workers’ rights and corporate accountability.

Brindle-Khym holds a Bachelor of Science from Boston College and a Master’s in Public Affairs from Columbia University School of International Policy and Affairs. Brindle-Khym also sits on various committees and boards for the global union federations, UNI Global Union and the IUF, and the New York City pan-Asian community-based organization, CAAAV.

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) as well as being 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.

Khary Cuffe
Mr. Cuffe is Chief Operating Officer of Heritage Link Brands. He oversees all fiscal control functions. Formerly with Prudential Financial and UBS Investment Bank, Cuffe has a decade of experience in public and corporate finance, with transactional experience in mortgage-backed securities, mergers and acquisitions, debt, equity, and initial public offerings. Having also served as director of marketing for L'Oreal USA and, prior to that, as a marketing executive with the Proctor & Gamble Company, Cuffe brings extensive general management experience to the organization.

Cuffe is a graduate of Wesleyan University and holds Master's degrees from Harvard Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also serves as a board member for LISNR, communication protocol that sends data over audio.

Albert V. De Leon
Mr. De Leon is an attorney/ consultant in the financial services industry. He was previously Head of Compliance Advisory & Monitoring with the Zurich Insurance Group-Americas; General Counsel at Dexia Bank’s New York Branch, and at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken’s NY Branch (at each bank he was responsible for US legal, regulatory and compliance matters). He has extensive experience in the financial services industry, including providing volunteer services for the Financial Services Volunteer Corps and lecturing part-time at the Pace University Center for Global Governance, Reporting & Regulation. He sits on the Board of Trustees for Newark Public Radio, Inc. (WBGO 88.3 Jazz). Mr. De Leon is a graduate of The City College of New York, where he majored in political science and philosophy, and the University of San Diego School of Law where he received his law degree.

Andrea Feirstein
Ms. Feirstein is a Managing Director with AKF Consulting Group, which she formed in April 2002. Previously she was an investment banker with Citigroup’s Municipal Securities Division and she was a bond lawyer with Brown & Wood, now Sidley & Austin. She is a member of the College Savings Foundation and is active in the College Savings Plans Network as the Chair of the CSPN Corporate Affiliate Committee and a member of the Legal and Regulatory Affairs Committee. She also serves on the Board of the Corporate Affiliates of the National Association of State Treasurers. Ms. Feirstein graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a FINRA-licensed Registered Representative (Series 7) and a Municipal Principal (Series 53).

Marisa Lago (ex officio)

Marisa Lago is the Director of the New York City Department of City Planning and Chair of the City Planning Commission. Before City Planning, she served in the Obama Administration as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development. She was the President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Empire State Development Corporation, Global Head of Compliance for Citigroup’s corporate and investment bank, Director of the Office of International Affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and General Counsel of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Lago earned a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School (1982), and a BS in physics from the Cooper Union (1977).

James Patchett
James Patchett is President and CEO of New York City Economic Development Corporation.  In his current role, James taps into his deep experience in real estate, finance, government, and urban planning to oversee some of the city’s most ambitious projects.  Since the start of his tenure, he has launched NYC Ferry, the new citywide ferry system, strengthened New York City’s competitive position as a hub for growing industries including cybersecurity and life sciences, and continued to optimize NYCEDC’s 60 million square feet of real estate.  Prior to his appointment as NYCEDC president in 2016, James served as Chief of Staff to former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.  In this capacity, he helped oversee more than 25 City agencies and played a pivotal role in preserving thousands of affordable homes.  Before moving to City Hall, James was a vice president in Goldman Sachs' Urban Investment Group.  James also serves on the board of the Prospect Park Alliance, the nonprofit organization responsible for running and maintaining one of Brooklyn's most beloved greenspaces.

Georgia Pestana, Acting Corporation Counsel of NYC

Jacques-Philippe Piverger
Jacques-Philippe Piverger is an entrepreneur who has harnessed his business and philanthropic acumen to affect change where it is needed most in the globe. He is co-Founder and President of Metripol Corporation, a company that will disrupt the brokerage side of the real estate market using a tech-enabled platform. He is co-founder and former CEO of MPOWERD, Inc., a solar product company he led from inception to global distribution into more than seventy countries. He is Executive Chairman of RegenOrganics, a commercial-scale, smart technology food dehydration system with its base in the Central Plateau of Haiti. He honed his business acumen as a Director at PineBridge Investments, helping direct over $10 billion of private equity, hedge and real estate transactions globally. Jacques-Philippe also worked at AIG Investments, Friedman Billings Ramsey, and Barclays Capital. He founded The Soleil Group, a strategy firm with a diverse portfolio of clients such as Western Union, Universal Music, New York Public Library, Glaceau Vitamin Water, BMG, and Motorola. He is co-founder and board member of The Council of Urban Professionals, a nonprofit which is focused on empowering women and minorities with a presence in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. with support from over one hundred corporate partners. He's a Young Global Leader as designated by the World Economic Forum. He was a Term Member at The Council on Foreign Relations and an Advisory Board Member of George Clooney’s Hope for Haiti Now Fund. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He also has executive certificates from Yale University and the Harvard Kennedy School.

Angela Pinsky
Angela Pinsky is the Executive Director for the Association for a Better New York (ABNY). She is dedicated to promotion of New York City and civic dialogue through the expansion and evolution of ABNY's membership, as well as ABNY's signature power breakfasts. Prior to joining ABNY, Angela served as Senior Vice President for Management Services and Government Affairs at the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) where she was responsible for REBNY’s commercial and residential Management Divisions, and oversaw policy issues concerning construction and building management, the building code, real property regulations, sustainability, energy and federal issues. Angela also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding within the Bloomberg administration. Ms. Pinsky holds a B.A. in Public Health, Natural Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

James Prendamano
James Prendamano is the CEO for Casandra Properties, Staten Island’s premier real estate firm. For over 20 years, James has shepherded the completion of transformative projects, including major initiatives reshaping Staten Island’s commercial real estate landscape. Currently James serves as a consultant and Broker responsible for bringing NYC’s first and only outlet mall to the St. George district of Staten Island. This has resulted in bringing thousands of much needed construction and permanent jobs to the community. He also developed an exclusive Real Estate Portfolio Optimization program helping non-profits unlock capital through their real estate to help fund their mission.

James also serves on the board of Staten Island Chamber of Commerce; as a cabinet member for the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and various Real Estate Associations. He also serves on the board of directors CFLC (Central Family Life Center).

Robert D. Santos

Mr. Santos is the Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Management at The City College of New York. He oversees all phases of facilities planning and capital projects on the CCNY campus and has managerial responsibility for Physical Plant Services and Campus Security. His career spans a wide-range of senior level appointments in higher education, cultural institutions, municipal government, and construction. He joined CCNY from The New York Public Library, where he served as Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. Prior to that, Mr. Santos was Assistant Vice President, Operations with Lehrer McGovern Bovis, Inc. He holds BA degree from the State University of New York and a juris doctor degree from University of Michigan Law School.

Shanel Thomas
Shanel Thomas recently joined the LaGuardia Airport Team as the Community Outreach Manager for the LaGuardia Redevelopment Program. In this role, Ms. Thomas serves as the public information liaison on the redevelopment program by developing and maintaining working relationships with elected officials, businesses, and community leaders. Her responsibilities include keeping the public informed on the progress of the program, informing the public of available opportunities during and after redevelopment (e.g. employment and contract opportunities), and monitoring consumer activities to improve customer experiences, as well as support the communities surrounding the airport.

Ms. Thomas brings over fifteen years of experience in community development, capacity building, sales, business development, event production, program execution, and media relations. A life-long resident of East Elmhurst Corona, Ms. Thomas has served on several local boards, including the Kiwanis Club of LaGuardia Airport, Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities, Inc., Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens CDC, Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, 115th Precinct Council, and Community Board 3. Ms. Thomas has a BA in International Business with a concentration in marketing and holds her Masters in Public Administration from Howard University. Ms. Thomas has also studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, and the Cultural Institute in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Scott Stringer (ex officio)
Scott M. Stringer is the New York City Comptroller. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992, representing Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and won election in 2006 as Manhattan Borough President. He was elected Comptroller on November 5, 2013. As a trustee of the New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS), Mr. Stringer has worked to protect and grow members’ pension dollars. He has also called for more comprehensive risk assessment and management, and further diversification of pension investments to ensure the fund’s long term sustainability. Mr. Stringer has pushed hard to create economic opportunity for all New Yorkers, and has been a strong advocate for open government and community engagement. He has fought hard for immigrant rights, was one of the first co-sponsors of a 1995 bill in the state assembly to provide marriage equality, and passed landmark legislation protecting victims of domestic violence. He has dedicated himself throughout his public service career to building a strong middle class for the city—focusing on New York City’s fiscal health and issues that matter to working people, including affordable housing, budget reform, school overcrowding, and public safety. Mr. Stringer was born and raised in Washington Heights, where he attended local public schools and graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He and his wife, Elyse, live with their two sons, Maxwell and Miles, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

*Alternates may be temporarily replaced for single meetings

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