Nathan Aber, President and CEO of AmTrust Realty, a national real estate company currently developing a 270-unit apartment building with hotel on Jay Street at the foot of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.


Jean Adamson moved to New York City, NY in 1997 from Salt Lake City, UT to attend culinary school at French Culinary Institute in Downtown Manhattan. During school Jean landed her first job at Tribeca Grill a then staple in downtown scene. 

After graduating one of Jean's professors at FCI helped Her land a job at the newly opened hotspot Balthazar. Working there for five years with her last two years as Sous Chef.

Jean credits this job as the highlight of her career working closely with Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson shaped her management style and heavily informed her cooking style as well.

The months following Jean traveled to Europe and did a stage at The River Cafe in London, with a month of traveling and eating her way through Italy, France and Portugal on the hind end. Again, under the tutelage of the great women chefs at the River Cafe, Jean began to hone the the type of restaurant person she strived to be.

Upon returning to NY, Jean returned to the Keith McNally empire and worked as chef of the bakery and then Sous Chef at Pastis. After 7 years total for that restaurant conglomerate Jean felt it was time to begin anew and began consulting for Frank Prinzansano helping him streamline and organize his mini restaurant empire in the East Village, including: Frank's, Lil' Frankie's and Supper.

One year later Jean landed her first Chef gig at the newly expanded Freemans Restauant on the Lower East Side. Working there she met her soon to be partner in business and life Sam Buffa. Three years later in the embodiment of this coupling Vinegar Hill House was formulated. Six years later and counting Vinegar Hill House is still are "where we eat deliberately".

James E. Bartlett is Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout Mr. Bartlett’s diverse career in media and the arts, he has developed new models for creative development that take into account the changing landscape of modern business, media, and technology. In 2006, Mr. Bartlett cofounded MVMT, a business cooperative supporting progressive companies that serve artists and arts organizations through marketing, design, media production, and consulting. Additionally, Mr. Bartlett co-founded, Media MVMT, a film production house whose first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Currently, Mr. Bartlett is leading MoCADA’s $12 million capital campaign for the construction of a new building, to be located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, which is scheduled to open in 2017.

About MoCADA
The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) is a platform for the creation and interpretation of Black arts, culture and imagination. An international organization with a dedicated community focus, MoCADA uses the arts as an agent for social change and connection. Through innovative programming that reaches well beyond the physical walls of the institution, MoCADA redefines the concept of a museum, and its place in contemporary life and discourse. The museum supports the work of multidisciplinary artists who sit at the crux of aesthetic innovation and social justice content, while placing Africa and the Diaspora in a central position. Through support of emerging artists, MoCADA strives to cultivate the next generation of artistic innovators who will continue to change our world for the better.

Benjamin Bernstein is the Co-founder and Principal of RedSky Capital and RedSky Management. As President of RedSky Capital, he oversees all investments made by RedSky and the execution of the investment strategy from the corporate to property level. He has led the acquisition, financing, repositioning and leaving of over 800mm in real estate.

Ben is a member of the Cornell Real Estate Council and on the Associates Council for Prep for Prep.

 Photo: Sharona Jacobs

Photo: Sharona Jacobs

Author, speaker, and blogger John Biggs lives in Brooklyn, NY and writes about technology, security, gadgets, gear, wristwatches, and the Internet. After spending four years as an IT programmer, he switched gears and became a full-time journalist. John’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Laptop, PC Upgrade, Surge, Gizmodo, Men’s Health, InSync, Linux Journal, Popular Science, Sync, The Stir and he is the author of Black Hat: Misfits, Criminals, and Scammers in the Internet Age and Bloggers Boot Camp. John also speaks and consults, and has forthcoming books about Marie Antoinette’s watch as well as a YA fiction book, Mytro. You can find out more information about John's writing here.

John is currently East Coast Editor of and runs the BWL family of blogs, and He also records the HourTime Podcast with Ariel Adams. This site is infrequently updated with his musings on technology, but for goofy stuff you can visit and for most of his tech content head over to TechCrunch. Check out John's Amazon Author Page here.

John is @johnbiggs on Twitter, or you can email him at

 Photo: Buck Ennis

Peter Boyce II is an investor at General Catalyst Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Cambridge, MA with offices in Palo Alto and NYC. In addition to his work at GC, he also co-founded and manages Rough Draft Ventures (an initiative to encourage more entrepreneurship on college campuses). Prior to this, he worked for online education marketplace Skillshare.

Since joining General Catalyst, he is one of two investment professionals based in their NYC office. He works closely with portfolio companies including Cadre, mark43, Outdoor Voices,, Rebagg, Giphy, Cymbal, and Indico. Through his work at the university level leading Rough Draft Ventures, he supports a community of 50+ early-stage teams started out of universities.

Peter is a graduate of Harvard University, earning a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a Secondary in Computer Science, with focus on Behavioral Economics & Network Theory. He grew up in New York, Where he graduated from Stuyvesant High School.

A Brooklyn-based entrepreneur, Jonathan is the co-founder of the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg markets as well as Berg'n beer hall. He received his BA from Princeton University in 1992 and an MBA from NYU in 1998 and founded the Brooklyn real estate blog, which sold in March 2015. Jonathan resides with his wife and two children in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

David Calligeros is the founder of Remains Lighting, the source for thousands of vintage and custom fixtures – from six showrooms on two continents, and one LEED Gold, solar-powered, daylit factory in Brooklyn, NY – that illuminate the world’s most  distinguished addresses.

David Calligeros received his BA in Architectural History from Columbia College in 1993. Shortly thereafter, in April of 1996, he opened Remains Lighting. Under his leadership the company has evolved from an off-the-beaten-path antique resource to a world-class restoration and manufacturing concern.

His keen interest in fine metalwork, as well as his desire to have a state-of-the-art restoration workshop, focused the business on antique lighting. In 1999 David continued this pursuit with the creation of his own designs, launching the made-to-order Remains Lighting Collection. David’s respect for the outstanding beauty and craft exhibited in vintage examples, and the knowledge he continually gains from restoring them, form the inspiration for each of the Remains Lighting Collections, and inform all custom designs and fabrication. Each piece is handcrafted of the highest quality materials and most sophisticated construction techniques possible, to ensure that they will last for generations and become our grandchildren’s treasured heirlooms.

A strong believer in environmental sustainability and community development, David has been able to incorporate his lifelong passion for environmental advocacy and sustainable manufacturing into the renovation of Remains’ factory building which was purchased and outfitted in Brooklyn, New York in 2008, and which achieved its LEED Gold rating in 2011. This site helps keep the history and knowledge of metal craft alive in the United States, and creates jobs for artisans.

The new capacity of this factory led David to the formal launch of a Custom Division, established to provide totally unique, project-specific solutions. With a long history of collaborations with designers and architects, and broad, in-house manufacturing capabilities, Remains offers a comprehensive service. David personally leads the design team from initial sketch through production run, with a combination of an unerring aesthetic acuity and passion for engineering.

Remains Lighting maintains showrooms in New York, Greenwich, Chicago, Los Angeles and London.

In 2014, David was elected president of the newly formed New York chapter of the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture, an organization dedicated to advancing the study of classical architecture and the allied arts.

David currently lives in Nyack, NY with his wife and business partner, Alix, and their two children, Eugene and Thalia.

Lindsay Campbell is the founder of Long Future, a full-service production company that specializes in short-form, digital entertainment. Since 2013, Long Future has built shows and videos from scratch with companies like Astronauts Wanted, Conde Nast, Twitter, and Social Leverage.

Lindway was an early web video pioneer with daily shows (Wallstrip and MobLogic) for AOL (Daybreak) and served as a director and producer of YouTube's first daily show: YouTube Nation (Dreamworks). Most recently, she created the feminist talk show Girl on Girl (which isn't what it sounds like.)

Though Long Future is based in Los Angeles, Lindsay resided in Brooklyn for 9 years and left her heart somewhere in Prospect Park.

Shawn Cheng is a Principal at Vayner/RSE, Gary Vaynerchuk’s venture capital firm. Vayner's focuses early stage investments for startups in need of strategic guidance in marketing and storytelling. Prior to joining, he worked in Digital Strategy, Digital Advertising, Social Media and Search at BBDO, Razorfish, and VaynerMedia for 10 years. He has also been working with startups for over 5 years and helped to build dozens of brands such as Mondelez, GE, Starwood Hotels, and Victoria’s Secret.

Originally from California, Shawn now lives in Brooklyn and is currently interested in virtual reality, esports, and consumer applications.

Isaac Chera was born and raised in Brooklyn New York and attended New York University while working in his family’s Children’s clothing retail business. During that time he helped grow the chain to a high of 30 stores within the urban areas of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

It was through his hands on retail experience with his family’s chain of stores that Mr. Chera learned the art of urban retail real estate.

Over time, the Chera’s began to acquire many of the buildings that housed their retail operations. The value of the properties exceeded the retail potential; so the family decided to focus their efforts exclusively on Real Estate.

In the late 1990’s, the Chera family formed Crown Acquisitions with goal of acquiring prime real estate properties in vibrant and proven markets.

Mr. Chera has been an integral part of Crown Acquisition’s success and resulting reputation as one of the premier urban retail investors in the United States.

Today Isaac Chera currently holds the position of Principal and Co-Founder of both Crown Acquisitions and its subsidiary, Crown Retail Services. Crown Acquisitions is an international urban real estate investment company with significant holdings in New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and London. Crown Retail Services is a New York City based international retail real estate consulting and brokerage firm whose tenant representation includes Sephora, Vitamin Shoppe, Kate Spade and Nordstrom Rack, just to name a few. Although Crown has achieved global status, Mr. Chera continues to ensure Crown still maintains its deep rooted knowledge of trade areas in a disciplined approach. Crown continues to grow as a global brand with local expertise.

An active philanthropist, Mr. Chera donates a substantial amount of time and funds to a number of charities and community organizations. He is the President of an effective and successful Drugs, Alcohol, and Gambling outpatient program called the Safe Foundation. He is also the Chair of a community based think-tank created to confront and solve future issues faced by the community. Additionally, Mr. Chera serves as a New York City Police Department Community Liaison and is a Board Member of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Fulton Mall Improvements Board.

Nicholas Chirls is a founder and general partner at Notation Capital, a pre-seed fund based in Brooklyn, NY. Previously Nick was an early employee at Betaworks, where he worked as a General Manager and Head of the seed investment program.


Ofer Cohen is the Founder and President of TerraCRG, a real estate brokerage and advisory firm dedicated exclusively to commercial transactions in Brooklyn. Since its founding in 2008, TerraCRG has handled marketing of over 500 Brooklyn properties, Under Mr. Cohen's leadership, the firm has established itself as a true market leader, closing over 75 transactions a year and handling nearly half a billion dollars in transactions in 2014 alone.

Prior to founding TerraCRG, Mr. Cohen was a senior broker at Massey Knakal Realty's Brooklyn office where he developed his passion and expertise for selling Brooklyn buildings. Prior to that, Mr. Cohen was a partner at a boutique marketing agency that focuses on helping foreign ventures launch their operations in the U.S. Market. Ofer is a board member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the co-chair of the Chamber's Real Estate Committee. In addition, Mr. Cohen sits on the board of directors of The Brooklyn Hospital Foundation, The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and on the Board of Trustees of the Hannah Senesh Community Day School. He is also on the advisory board of the Brooklyn Museum and actively supports several other Brooklyn non-profits.

David Dishy is responsible for all new investment and development activity at L+M. This includes the New York Affordable Housing (NYAH) Preservation Fund, an investment platform with Citi Community Capital as well as L+M’s joint venture with Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group (GSLM). David brings over 20 years of new construction and acquisitions experience and has been a key participant in transactions involving over 15,000 apartments and $5 billion of investment. Prior to arriving at L+M in 2009, David spent much of his career in senior residential roles at Forest City Ratner Companies and then Tishman Speyer in New York.

He began his professional life working in city planning and economic development before joining HR&A Advisors to focus on public-private development strategy and housing finance. David has served on the Enterprise Community Partners New York Advisory Board, the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Manhattan Community Board Seven, and as a fellow with Coro Leadership New York. David graduated from Harvard College with a degree in urban studies and earned an M.S. in real estate development from Columbia University.

André Dua is the Founder of the Gotham Space Agency, a group dedicated to exploring the frontier of space and inspiring the next generation of citizen scientists. The Agency's first mission involves launching the Brooklyn's first-ever "manned" satellite into space, in partnership with MIT and NASA. 

André is also a Senior Partner in McKinsey and Company’s New York office. He is the Founding Chairman of McKinsey Academy, a digital platform designed to change the way people are prepared for the world of work in the private, public, and social sectors. McKinsey Academy has built a distinctive digital learning platform with edX, and created a set of rich courses and (blended) programs on management and leadership taught by leading business practitioners.  

Also in the world of education, he previously co-led McKinsey’s education practice. For many years, he was also a partner in McKinsey’s High Tech Practice.

He was named one of 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He was previously Vice-Chair of the Board of the United Way of New York City and currently serves on the Board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. 

He lives in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, and is married with three daughters. His current hobbies are 3D printing and near-space exploration. He recently sent 6 balloons into near space, many equipped with 3D printed characters. He is more or less obsessed with the Brooklyn Nets.

Nisha Dua is a Principal at BBG Ventures, a NYC based seed fund which invests in tech startups with at least one female founder. Nisha invests across marketplaces, mobile tools and services, commerce, and media/content platforms with a focus on founders who are consumer problem solvers, re-imagining the daily touch-points of life, and using technology to materially improve our work, play, and home lives.

Nisha has spent the last 10 years working in media, tech, strategy, and law. In addition to her work at BBG Ventures, she is the General Manager of AOL's millenial site, Cambio, which she re-launched in 2014 as a site "for girls, #BUILTBYGIRLS" in partnership with Girls Who Code. Nisha also conceived and runs the #BUILTBYGIRLS program.

Nisha was previously Chief of Staff for the AOL Brand Group, working on strategy, operations, and special projects. Prior to that, she was a management consultant for Bain & Company advising companies across Tech & Telco, Financial Services, and CPG. She cut her teeth as an M&A and securities lawyer at the Australian law firm, Blake Dawson. Nisha also consulted for edtech start-up, Learn with Homer.

Michael Duda is one of two Managing Partners responsible for the overall health of Bullish, an accelerator agency with a consumer investment fund. Bullish is derived of numerous athletes from the marketing and financial world and offers strategy, innovation, creative/design and investing.
With a well-rounded career that includes experience in brand management, direct response, interactive and consumer investing, Mike is a relentless business leader, driven to form dynamic teams, identify emerging opportunities early and help entrepreneurial endeavors – and their investors – win.

Over the course of his 20+ years in business, Mike has worked on a wide-range of brands including Birchbox, Casper, Goldman Sachs, DirecTV, GNC, Google, Harry’s, TripAdvisor and Under Armour. He has spoken at numerous industry events, named one of Crain New York’s “Top 40 Under 40,” Business Insider’s “Top Investors” and ADWEEK’s “Best Advertising Voices on Twitter.”
Prior to founding Consigliere Brand Capital (now Bullish Inc.) in 2010, Mike spent 13 years at Deutsch Inc., where he became the youngest Partner in the company’s 35-year history overseeing business development, marketing and corporate strategy. Other notable industry roles include being a past CEO of WPP-backed Johannes Leonardo, board member at Syracuse University’s David Falk School of Sports and Human Performance.

Outside of Bullish, he can be found spending time with his wife and three boys in Connecticut or arguing with referees at a sporting event.

Anu is the Founding Partner of F Cubed - an early-stage fund investing in female-founded technology companies. 

Prior to launching F Cubed, Anu was CEO of Doonya for two years where she scaled the business nationally, raised an initial round of growth capital and created a business development strategy positioning the company as "ZUMBA 2.0." 

In 2010, Anu co-founded Exclusively.In, a private sale e-commerce site (similar to GILT Group) focused on bringing the best of South Asian fashion, jewelry and home decor to the global audience. Within a year of the company's May 2011 launch, the company raised $16M in venture funding from Tiger Capital and Accel Partners. 

Prior to Exclusively.In, Anu co-founded The Tasting Room, India's first luxury wine bar, in 2005 with Rajeev Samant, CEO of Sula Wines. Throughout her professional career, she has been an active angel investor, supporting women entrepreneurs in both in the U.S. and India. 

Anu is a graduate of Vassar College and holds an MBA from London Business School. She speaks fluent French and has a passion for the restaurant world, having worked at Chef Floyd Cardoz's renowned Tabla restaurant in New York. She is also active politically - in 2012 she co-chaired an Obama Fundraiser at ABC Carpet, and was Finance Chair for Reshma Saujani's Public Advocate campaign in 2013. She is also a Board Member of the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in NYC.

Tina Roth Eisenberg grew up in the mountains of Switzerland but moved to NYC to work as a graphic designer in 1999. She worked in various prominent design firms to then start her own design studio in 2006. With the birth of her second child in 2010 she decided to take a client sabbatical to focus on her various side projects.

The hiatus has been extended indefinitely and Tina now runs four businesses out of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Tina runs a collaborative workspace called FRIENDS, organizes a global, monthly lecture series called CreativeMornings, is the inventor of the to-do app TeuxDeux, and just recently changed the world of temporary tattoos with her latest project Tattly.

Tina is often referred to as Swissmiss after her popular design blog, which is also the name of her Twitter handle.

Eben Ellertson is responsible for acquisitions for the New York Affordable Housing Preservation Fund (NYAH), a real estate private equity fund platform formed between L+M Development Partners and Citi Community Capital.

Through these investment funds, L+M employs value-add strategies to acquire and develop affordable and mixed-income multifamily housing in the New York City metro area. Since its inception in 2010, NYAH has acquired and / or financed the acquisition of over 7,000 multi-family units with a total capitalization of over $1 billion.

Prior to joining L+M, Eben held acquisitions roles at development and investment management firms in New York City.  Eben began his career supporting the growth of new small public and charter schools structuring public-private real estate partnerships for the New York City Department of Education during the Bloomberg administration. Eben graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with honors from Wesleyan University.  

Susan Feldman, President and Artistic Director, St. Ann's Warehouse, has built a career activating found spaces and turning them into cultural destinations, starting with the adaptive re-use of the landmark church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity in association with the NY Landmarks Conservancy and World Monuments Fund 35 years ago. Since then, Arts at St. Ann's, now St. Ann's Warehouse, has become a vital international presenter on New York City's cultural landscape, originating such projects as John Cale and Lou Reed's tribute to Andy Warhol, Songs for 'Drella; Band in Berlin, an award-winning production conceived by Susan with Pat Birch and Wilbur Pauley, that toured and went to Broadway; and memorable solo concerts by Marianne Faithfull, Aaron Neville, and Jeff Buckley, among many others. Since moving to DUMBO in 2000, Susan has led the organization in transforming two industrial warehouses into open, flexible theaters, and establishing an American artistic home for a global community of artists, including: the National Theatre of Scotland (Black Watch, Let the Right One In); Kneehigh (Brief Encounter, Tristan & Yseult); TR Warszawa (Festen, Macbeth, performed outdoors in the Tobacco Warehouse); Mark Rylance (Measure for Measure), Daniel Kramer (Woyzeck), Enda Walsh (The Walworth Farce, Misterman with Cillian Murphy); Lou Reed's Berlin with the Sydney Festival; the Donmar Warehouse (all-female Julius Caesar); the Tricycle Theatre (Red Velvet); and American avant-garde masters, The Wooster Group and Mabou Mines. The crowning achievement of Susan's career? Building a permanent home for St. Ann's in an historic Tobacco Warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront, a year-round cultural center and community hub in the heart of Brooklyn Bridge Park, opening in Fall 2015.

John Frankel is the founding partner of ff Venture Capital and has been a seed- and early-stage investor since late 1999. John focuses on advising and growing technology and technology-enabled companies across emerging industries, including smart locks, cloud-based security, machine learning and artificial intelligence, UAVs, enterprise software and crowdfunding, among others. He has served on the boards of more than 35 companies and has led investments in more than 80 companies, including Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), Indiegogo, Ionic Security, Unikey, Socure, Skycatch, Plated, 500px, Distil Networks, and Bottlenose.

 Elizabeth Lippman Photography

Elizabeth Lippman Photography

MaryAnne Gilmartin is President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), a New York-based real estate development company.

Ms. Gilmartin has been point person in the development of some of the most high profile real estate projects in New York City. She led the efforts to build Barclays Center, the new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue and the centerpiece of the $4.9 billion, 22-acre mixed-use Pacific Park Brooklyn development.

Ms. Gilmartin oversaw the development of The New York Times Building, designed by world renowned architect Renzo Piano and New York by Gehry, the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, designed by award winning architect Frank Gehry. In addition to these projects, Ms. Gilmartin has managed the commercial portfolio at MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn, which consists of 6.7 million square feet of Class A office space.

Ms. Gilmartin graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Fordham University, where she also completed her Masters Degree in 1990. Ms. Gilmartin began her real estate development career as a New York City Urban Fellow in 1986 at the Public Development Corporation.

Ms. Gilmartin served proudly for over 7 years on the New York City Ballet Advisory Board. Currently, Ms. Gilmartin serves as a Board Trustee for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); a Member of the Executive Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY); and as a Member of the Industry Advisory Board of the MS Real Estate Development Program at Columbia University. Most recently, she was named Co-Chair of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a member of the Board of Directors of the Jefferies Group LLC, a global investment banking firm, and a Member of the Board of Trustees of New York Public Radio.

Ms. Gilmartin has been recognized as a top professional in her field by WX as its 2007 “Woman of the Year”, by Crain’s in 2007 as one of New York’s Most Influential Women and again, in 2011 and 2013, by Crain’s as one of New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen leads the administration's efforts to grow and diversify New York City's economy, invest in emerging industries across the five boroughs, build a new generation of affordable housing, and help New Yorkers secure good-paying jobs that can support a family.

Ms. Glen began her career as a junior aide to then-Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins. After completing law school, she worked for Brooklyn Legal Services, where she advocated on behalf of low-income tenants and families in need of free legal counsel.

Glen served as the Assistant Commissioner for Housing Finance at the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development from 1998 to 2002, where she was responsible for financing the rehabilitation and construction of thousands of units of market, moderate and low-income units as well as overseeing the City's supportive housing, tax credit and tax incentive programs. Prior to joining HPD, Ms. Glen was an associate attorney at Fulbright & Jaworski and at Kalkines, Arky, Zall & Bernstein.

Most recently, Glen served as the Head of the Urban Investment Group (UIG) at Goldman Sachs, which provides capital to underserved urban communities. Additionally, she was a member of the Diverse Business Engagement Committee, the GSBank USA Management Committee, and co-led the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative. Under her leadership, UIG spurred more than $5 billion of development across dozens of residential, mixed-use and commercial projects in New York and other cities. UIG also structured and financed some of the most innovative public-private partnerships in the country,  catalyzing job creation and neighborhood revitalization strategies like the $40mm New York Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund, New York City's "Citi Bike", and the expansion of modern manufacturing in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Glen was a 2010 David Rockefeller Fellow and served on the boards of the Fund for NYC Public Schools, Enterprise Community Partners, the Bowery Residents Committee, the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, the NYU Institute for Affordable Housing, and was a Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission. Ms. Glen has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture, Planning and Design, and the Columbia Business School.

Glen is a graduate of Amherst College and Columbia Law School.


Kael Goodman is an entrepreneur based in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. He is the publisher of Brownstoner, Brooklyn's definitive voice on real estate, renovation, and matters that impact life inside and outside the home in Brooklyn. Kael is also the founder and CEO of two companies, We3 Real Estate and BlankSlate. We3 is a residential real estate platform, empowering brokers with tools to run their businesses and analytics for market participants to gain insights into trends and opportunities. BlankSlate is a leading digital agency and publisher network. Employing a mix of advertising, content marketing, and social media strategies, BlankSlate helps local, regional, and national brands reach engaged local audiences.

Danielle Gould is the Founder and CEO of Food+Tech Connect, the site of record and world's largest community for good food innovation. Since 2010, Danielle has been the leading voice for harnessing technology, innovation, and new business models to create a better food future. From her in-depth interviews with startups and innovators to her events, online business courses, and consulting, she helps companies understand and capitalize on emerging business, tech, and investment trends.

In 2010, Danielle launched the first-ever food hackathon, bringing together people from the worlds of food, agriculture, health, technology, and design to rapidly prototype solutions to big food challenges. Since then, she has partnered with game-changing companies like Applegate, Google, and Chipotle to accelerate innovation and collaboration across the food industry.

Named one of The Most Innovative Women in Food & Wine by Fortune and Food & Wine Magazines, Danielle is a founding member of the Culinary Institute of America's Business Leadership Council, a member of the Google Innovation Lab for Food Experiences, and a mentor for Accel Foods & Food-X. She is also a contributor to Forbes and The Huffington Post on trends in the food and ag-tech industries. Prior to Food+Tech Connect, Danielle worked in PR and Business Development at BrightFarm Systems (now Brightfarms).

Gail A. Grimmett, Senior Vice President—New York of Delta Air Lines, is charged with developing and achieving Delta’s key strategic objectives for New York State. She is responsible for the financial performance of all New York routes and oversees all commercial functions, including marketing, commercial sales, sponsorships, community relations, and the customer experience at the airports. She also directs Delta’s state and local government affairs efforts within New York State.

During the five years Ms. Grimmett has been in New York, she led Delta’s cross-functional team to reach an agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on a $1.4 billion terminal redevelopment program at John F. Kennedy International Airport. She also presided over the largest hub expansion in 40 years at nearby LaGuardia Airport, doubling Delta’s overall capacity out of that airport in July 2012. Through her team’s efforts, Delta’s visibility as a community partner and brand recognition as a corporate sponsor have grown throughout the state.

Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Ms. Grimmett to the New York State Tourism Board in 2011, she is currently serving her second term.  She was also selected to serve on the Governor’s New York City Regional Economic Development Council.

In June 2013, Ms. Grimmett was named one of Crain’s New York Business “50 Most Powerful Women in New York.” She was also named Woman of the Year in Aviation in 2010. Grimmett ‘s board memberships include: Executive Committee and Board Member of NYC & Company, the NYC Vice Chair of the New York Building Congress, Vice Chair of the Business Council for New York State, a board member of the Food Bank for New York City and a steering group member of the Association for Better New York. She holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and a MBA from George Washington University with a concentration in Business Economics and Public Policy.

Ms. Grimmett has a reputation for quality work and exemplary leadership, making long-term contributions to New York’s economy.

Abby Hamlin is the President of Hamlin Ventures LLC, a Manhattan-based real estate development company that focuses on select, design-driven projects that engage urban issues.  Founded in 1998, the company is one of a handful of women-owned development companies in the United States today.

Since 2003, Hamlin Ventures has played a significant role in the revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn.  As designated developer of the Hoyt Schermerhorn Urban Renewal Site, a crucial two-acre parcel with 500,000 square feet of development rights, Hamlin completed 14 Townhouses, 9 Townhouses and with Common Ground Community and The Actor’s Fund, The Schermerhorn, a 217-unit supportive housing residence which is also home to a black box neighborhood theater and the Brooklyn Ballet Studio.  All three projects have won numerous design awards including the prestigious AIA National Housing Award.   In 2012, Hamlin sold a portion of the site to Carlyle and Flank who are currently developing The Boerum at Smith Street.  Other Brooklyn projects have included a loft conversion at 192 Water Street in DUMBO completed in 2009 in partnership with Alloy Development LLC.  Hamlin Ventures’ is currently developing 34 Prince Street, a restoration, renovation and new construction project of the former Old St. Patrick’s School in NoLita.

Prior to forming Hamlin Ventures, Ms. Hamlin spent fourteen years with Swig, Weiler & Arnow, then a New York City and San Francisco based developer and owner of commercial properties and the Fairmont Hotels.  Ms. Hamlin joined Swig, Weiler as a Vice President for development and over the years rose through the ranks to become President of the company.

Ms. Hamlin has been an active participant in the real estate industry, supplementing her business activities by teaching, as well as serving and leading a number of boards.  Since 2010 Ms. Hamlin has been an adjunct professor of real estate development at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture and has also served as the program’s Director of Curriculum.  Previously, Ms. Hamlin chaired the Real Estate Roundtable at NYU’s Real Estate Institute.

A recognized expert in the field of public design, Ms. Hamlin served on the board of the Van Alen Institute for Public Architecture for nine years, and held the post of Chair of the Van Alen board from 2009-2012. She has served as a juror for multiple design competitions including the National Endowment For the Arts "Design Works" program, and has also been an expert for the Mayor's Institute of City Design.


Tia Powell Harris’ career as an arts educator began at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and spans over twenty years. Following her work at Ellington she served first as Manager of Community Partnerships at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and then as Associate Director of Education Programs at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

While at the Smithsonian she also acted as co-chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s Material Culture Forum. She returned to Duke Ellington School of the Arts in 2006 where she held the position of Dean of Arts and finally Director of Artistic Affairs.

Tia now serves as President and Executive Director of Weeksville Heritage Center, a multidimensional museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn. She holds a BS in Speech and Drama Education and an MA in Communication Arts and Theatre from the University of Maryland.

Twiiter Handle: @weeksville


Justin Hendrix is Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. Hendrix connects companies seeking to advance digital media technologies with New York City's Economic Development Corporation, NYU, and Columbia University. NYU Media Lab is a public-private partnership encompassing the universities of NYC and corporate members such as Hearst Corporation, ESPN, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Bloomberg News Corp, NBCUniversal, Viacom, and Verizon.

The Lab's interests range across disciplines from data science to design to engineering, and its programs include seed R&D projects with member companies as well as The Combine, which encourages digital media startup formation and technology commercialization on the City's campuses.

Previously, Hendrix was Vice President, Business Development & Innovation for The Economist, where he directed prototyping and commercialization of new digital media business concepts. He is a regular writer and speaker on media & innovation. Hendrix holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William & Mary and a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @justinhendrix.

Charlie Herman is the Business and Economics Editor for WNYC News. He regularly reports on local and national business stories and hosts WNYC's weekly finance segment, Money Talking. Charlie joined the station in 2010. Prior to WNYC, Charlie worked at ABC News for nearly 16 years. For more than five years, he oversaw the Business News Unit during the financial meltdown and recession. Prior to that, he was Deputy Bureau Chief in the Los Angeles Bureau and Producer in the Miami Bureau. In 2003, Charlie helped set up ABC News’ operations in Baghdad, Iraq. He began his career at ABC News in the Washington Bureau in 1994. Charlie has won a Business Emmy and shared an Alfred I. DuPont and a Peabody Award with the ABC News division for coverage of September 11, 2001.

Steve Hindy is co-Founder, Chairman and President of The Brooklyn Brewery, one of America’s top 20 breweries. A former journalist, he became interested in home-brewing while serving as a Beirut-based Middle East Correspondent for The Associated Press. After returning to the States as Newsday’s assistant foreign editor in 1988, he began brewing his own beer and persuaded his neighbor, banker Tom Potter, that they should quit their jobs and start a brewery. Hindy is a member of the Board of Directors of the Beer Institute and The Brewers Association. He is a director of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Alliance, chairman of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, former chair of Brooklyn’s Tourism Consortium and a former member of Community Board 1.

Hindy also serves on the Board of Transportation Alternatives and the Alcohol Beverage Manufacturer’s Research Foundation. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Ellen, principal of Intermediate School 89 in Manhattan. With Potter, Hindy co-authored Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery, with a forward by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, published by John Wiley & Sons. His latest book, The Craft Beer Revolution: How A Band Of Microbrewers Are Transforming the World’s Favorite Drink, chronicles the rise of the craft beer industry by one of its pioneers.

Rachel Haot is a Managing Director for New York City on the 1776 senior executive team. Prior to this role, Rachel served as Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology of New York State as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Executive Chamber for two years, from January 2014 to December 2015. During her time in this role, landmark technology initiatives included Governor Cuomo’s historic $1 billion universal broadband plan, the $2 billion Smart School bond act to modernize education and the relaunch of official website, the first update in 15 years.

Previously, Rachel served under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York for three years, from 2011 through the end of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration in 2013. There she she led initiatives including the redesign and rearchitecture of official website, .NYC top-level domain program, tech sector campaign We Are Made in NY, the Digital Ready tech curriculum for public school students, and the Reinvent hackathon series.

Earlier in her career, Rachel was founder and CEO of GroundReport, an early global citizen journalism platforms, from 2006 to 2010. She previously worked in business development for LimeWire and taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. Rachel is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and Chief Digital Officer of the Year by the CDO Summit. She lives with her husband Max and son Jack in Rockaway Beach, NY.

Helen Hollyman is Editor in Chief of MUNCHIES, VICE's food channel. She's a former cook, truffle-dealer, and food writer who has written for publications including GQ, Food & Wine, Saveur, Lucky Peach, Refinery 29, Food 52, Time Out, and Tasting Table.

 Photo: Jill Futter

Photo: Jill Futter

A shared vision for over a decade for Emily Hyland and her husband Matt has been to open a restaurant. Their search landed them in cozy Clinton Hill in 2013 where they rehabbed a space into a reflection of the warmth and hominess that they feel when being together and wanted to bring to the neighborhood.

"Our first shared meal was a pizza. It was 13 years ago – pepperoni and olive – while sitting on the floor of Matt's dorm room at school in Rhode Island. Two days later, on a casual drive to a beach in Newport, we stopped for lunch and had more pizza together. A few nights later, Matt took me on a proper date to our beloved Al Forno in Providence, and we shared their famous grilled pizza then, too. We do eat other foods (sometimes), but pizza has been the special fare that we have enjoyed sharing in since the moment our relationship began."

Now, at their restaurant EMILY, a wood-burning oven centers as the hearth of the space where you will find Matt cooking pizzas from dough he has hand-mixed and mozzarella he has made by hand. Matt's outlook on cooking for others is that when you put genuine love into the preparation of a meal, those who eat it can taste the sentiment behind it. Emily is the namesake of her husband's restaurant, and you will find her either chatting with guests in the dining room or hosting at the front door.

Purnima Kapur is the Executive Director of New York City Department of City Planning (DCP). Working closely with the Chairman of the City Planning Commission, Ms. Kapur is a key advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development on planning, housing and economic development issues. Ms. Kapur leads the Department in its work program which includes promoting transit-oriented growth, housing production and affordability, economic development and resilient and sustainable communities across the five boroughs.

Currently she is overseeing DCP’s housing initiatives, a key part of the Mayor’s Housing Plan. Prior to assuming this position she was Director of the Brooklyn Office of City Planning and Director of the Bronx Office before that. In these roles she led high priority and transformative projects including development in Greenpoint-Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn, Coney Island, Yankee Stadium and Port Morris.

At Huge, Sherine Kazim leads the global UX Design practice out of the company's HQ in Brooklyn, and ensures client solutions live up to the agency's high standards of experience design. Prior to Huge, Sherine served as Creative Director and Head of UX at AKQA NY, and as a consultant to several forward-thinking startups and Fortune 500 companies. Her work spans the spectrum, from retail experiences to service design initiatives to physical forms for clients including: LG, Twitter, Google, Verizon and EA. 
Sherine's human-centric approach to design has garnered industry awards and attention from Cannes, The Webbys, The One Club and The FWA.

In August 2013, Andrew Kimball joined Industry City as CEO directing the redevelopment of the long-underutilized six-million square foot industrial facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  In March 2015, Industry City launched a 12-year, $1B redevelopment that will create 20,000 jobs through a unique mixed-use blend of innovation economy and modern manufacturing, retail, and academic uses.

From 2005 to 2013, Mr. Kimball served as President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard overseeing the transformation of the 300-acre former Naval ship-building facility into a national model for the creation of innovation economy jobs and sustainability.

Prior to his Navy Yard appointment, Mr. Kimball served as Director of Operations for NYC2012, the privately-funded bid to bring the 2012 Olympic Games to New York City, and as Vice President of the New York Public Library.  He holds a BA from Hamilton College and is a graduate of the Coro Public Affairs Fellowship program.  Mr. Kimball lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife, Sarah Williams, and two children and serves on the boards of the Citizens Budget Commission, Prospect Park Alliance (Executive Committee) and the Coro New York Leadership Center (Vice Chair).

Harry Kotowitz is principal of HK Organization, a real estate firm focused on the acquisition and development of properties in the New York City metropolitan area.  He and co-founder Howard Klaus own more than 1,000 residential units and in excess of 1,000,000 square feet of commercial and industrial space.

HK has been active in Downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle since the early 2000s, when Mr. Kotowitz and Mr. Klaus developed the first luxury apartments in DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, and Williamsburg. These pioneering developments include the restoration and renewal of several loft warehouses and factories, including the Smith Gray Building and 99 Gold Street. In 2012, the City of New York and Brooklyn Bridge Park selected HK, in partnership with Midtown Equities and Rockwood Capital, to develop the Empire Stores – a project that will transform the vacant Civil War-era warehouses into a vibrant loft office and retail hub.

David Kramer is a principal with the Hudson Companies, Inc. ( which he joined in 1995 and currently runs with fellow principal William Fowler. Hudson has developed 5,600 residential apartments since 1986. Hudson’s projects range from market rate condominiums (J Condo, Riverwalk Court, Third + Bond, The Marais) to institutional housing (Cornell Tech residential tower, NYU Dormitory, staff housing for Memorial Sloan Kettering) to renovations (345 West 13th Street, Cobble Hill Tower, The Knick) to market rate rentals (Riverwalk Crossing, Hudson East, The Crossroads, The Clinton) to affordable housing (Atlantic Center, Dumont Green, Gateway).

Prior to joining Hudson, Kramer developed affordable housing as the Housing Director of the Venice Community Housing Corporation in Los Angeles, and a project manager for the Skid Row Housing Trust.  In 1989, David was one of the founders and the first Executive Director of People for Parks, a Los Angeles non-profit coalition of parks advocates.

David has a Bachelor Degree from Yale University and graduated from the Coro Foundation's Public Affairs Program. David serves on the Alumni Council of the Collegiate School and the board of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and has served on the boards of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Coro Foundation and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, where he also served as Chair.  David founded the quarterly Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable to benefit the Brooklyn Historical Society.  He lives in Brooklyn Heights with his wife, three children and poorly trained dog. He is a long suffering New York Giants fan, has completed 5 New York City Marathons, 4 Century Bike Races and knows the lyrics to most Broadway musicals. He has finished in the money in both KenKen and Su Doku tournaments.

Jared Kushner is the CEO of Kushner Companies, a private holding company with interests in real estate, media, banking and technology. Kushner Companies has earned a reputation for innovation and embracing new technologies in the service of its tenants, readers, partners and customers.

Kushner Companies’ real estate portfolio consists of over 20,000 multifamily apartments and 12 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space across the country. One of the most active investors and developers in the nation, Kushner Companies has completed more than $13 Billion in transactions in the last eight years, primarily in the New York market. Its Westminster Management division is recognized for its quality care for properties and residents across the US.

Jared serves as Chairman of Observer Media Group, which owns several print and digital publications including New York Observer. In the technology arena, Kushner launched WIRED NYC in 2013 in conjunction with Mayor Bloomberg to create greater transparency and understanding around the broadband deficiency in most commercial buildings. He also sits on several boards of technology companies and is a Co-founder of CADRE, a real estate technology company.

Jared Graduated Harvard in 2003 with honors, received a JD/MBA from NYU in 2007 and received an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University in 2014.

Steven Kuyan is Managing Director of Incubators and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. He co-founded and is responsible for managing two of the three incubators located at Varick Street in Soho and DUMBO in Brooklyn. On campus, Steven develops strategic initiatives to accelerate innovation at the University through programs that catalyze student innovation.

The incubators at NYU were the first New York City sponsored incubators and developed the model for the city’s Incubator Network. The unique incubation process has graduated 64 companies, nine graduated as acquisitions, with a combined portfolio valuation of $721M. Worth Magazine named the Incubators at NYU one of the top 10 startup spaces in the US.

Prior to the incubators, Steven founded and co-founded three ventures in the mobile, B2B logistics and retail.

Steven is an adjunct professor of Graduate Entrepreneurship at Tandon and leads entrepreneurship curriculum across the University, including new courses and initiatives such as the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program. Steven is also the founder, advisor and board member of the NYU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Association (EIA), Tandon’s largest student organization with a mission of bridging the gap between academia and entrepreneurship to streamline student ventures.

Steven holds a bachelor’s and a master’s from the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. He is a board member of the Business Incubator Association of New York State, Executive Alumni Council of NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, and nonprofit teaching teens computer science skills.

 Photo: Christian Johnston

Photo: Christian Johnston

Founded in 1985, United American Land, LLC (UAL) is a family-owned real estate development, investment, and management company based in Soho. Its principals, the brothers Albert, Jason and Jody Laboz, own and manage over fifty properties in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They have restored, improved, and reinvented historic buildings in Tribeca, Soho, Chelsea, and the Flatiron District via conversion from commercial use to luxury residences, as well as adaptive reuse of the historic buildings to prime retail use.

 Throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, UAL has created spaces for high-profile retail enterprises including Just Cavalli, La Perla, Dylan's Candy Bar, and Sephora, as well as middle market tenants such as Bank of America, Duane Reade, Payless Shoes, Steve Madden, and others.

Among the current UAL projects is the repositioning of a 250,000-square-foot landmark building on the Fulton Street Mall in Downtown Brooklyn comprised of a 130,000-square-foot retail component as well as a 120,000-square-foot residential loft component, with H&M, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, and Old Navy as tenants. In addition, the company has assembled a site at Bridge and Willoughby  Streets, where UAL has joint ventured with Avalon Bay to build a 750,000-square-foot mixed-use building of residential and retail.

  UAL was also selected by the New York City Economic Development Corp. to own and develop 50,000 square feet of the Brooklyn Municipal Building into prime retail space. Located at 210 Joralemon Street, in the epicenter of Downtown Brooklyn, the tenants include Sephora, Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio, SoulCycle, YogaWorks and It'Sugar.

A significant past development is the luxury residential condominium known as Soho Mews, which is a 175,000-square-foot building designed by the renowned architects Gwathmey Siegel, which comprises 68 residential units, ground floor retail shops, and underground parking.

 Albert Laboz serves as chairman of the Fulton Mall Improvement Association, as member of the executive committee of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and as a member of the MetroTech Business Improvement District. He is also a trustee of the Yeshiva of Flatbush.

Kevin Lalezarian is a principal of Lalezarian Properties, a privately held real estate development and investment firm in New York. Lalezarian Properties has developed numerous projects in New York, and currently owns in excess of 3,000 residential apartments, and one million square feet of commercial space.

Lalezarian Properties’ first project in Downtown Brooklyn was the 510-unit luxury rental building, BKLYN GOLD, which was completed in 2010.  A more recent project in Downtown Brooklyn, BKLYN AIR, a 255-unit 40-story high-rise, was completed in 2014.

Some other current projects include a 375-unit 37-story luxury rental building on the High Line in West Chelsea, as well as a 500,000 square foot 312-unit luxury rental building located at        1 Third Avenue in Mineola. Another current development is a new Class-A office building in Long Island, which will be the headquarters for North Shore LIJ Health System.

Kevin Lalezarian is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University. He is also a Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), and is actively involved in various charities.

Jeffrey Laut received the B.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, New York University in 2009 and the M.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2011, respectively. Currently, he is working toward the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. He has served as a Teaching Fellow in Brooklyn middle schools through the School of Engineering’s GK-12 program and through a grant from the Mitsui USA Foundation. His research interests include controls and robotics. Jeffrey has worked on the Brooklyn Atlantis Project since January 2012.

Ya-Ting Liu is the Executive Director of Friends of BQX, a non-profit whose mission is to educate and engage communities along the proposed 16-mile BQX streetcar corridor in order to foster participation in the planning process and to build public support across six Community Boards and seven City Council Districts. Liu is one of New York’s leading advocates for transit equity and environmental justice, with a decade of experience leading campaigns and organizing communities in support of transit and sustainability initiatives, including PlaNYC. Ya-Ting was previously Director of the New York League of Conservation Voter’s New York City Sustainability Program, where she led and directed NYLCV’s legislative, advocacy and civic engagement work across the five boroughs. Prior to joining the League, she was Director of Transit and Government Affairs at Transportation Alternatives, a leading transportation advocacy organization. At TA, she planned and developed civic engagement strategies, built coalitions around specific campaigns and liaised with elected officials at all levels. Ya-Ting was previously the Federal Advocate at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, where she engaged coalition partners on national transportation policies and organized the first-ever state transportation reform conference. Ya-Ting holds a Master of Arts degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. She is a member of the Board of Directors at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. Ya-Ting is Mom to a toddler, twins and rescue dog, and a rider of all modes of public transportation.

Jeff Mandel joined Tishman Speyer in 2014 and oversees the firm’s acquisitions efforts for the New York metropolitan area. Prior to joining the company, he served in the Bloomberg administration as senior advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. In that role, Mr. Mandel was responsible for a number of signature redevelopment initiatives, including the World Trade Center and Essex Crossing projects, as well as several million square feet of public and private re-zonings. Previously, he held positions at Bank of America Securities, Lehman Brothers and Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP. Mr. Mandel holds a BA, MBA and JD, all from Columbia University.

Rick Mast is co-founder, co-owner and master chocolate maker of Mast Brothers Chocolate.

Mast Brothers is a New York based chocolate maker with flagship locations in Brooklyn and London. Founded by pioneering brothers Rick and Michael Mast in 2007, Mast Brothers is introducing chocolate to the world with an obsessive attention to detail, meticulous craftsmanship, groundbreaking innovation, and inspirational simplicity.

Mast Brothers are makers of their signature chocolate bars, beverages, and confections with an emphasis on clarity of flavor. Mast Brothers chocolate is available in specialty shops across the globe.

Dana Mauriello is the Senior Director, Wholesale and Manufacturing at Etsy, where she is responsible for growing Etsy’s Wholesale & Manufacturing communities. She has held multiple roles at Etsy, all related to developing new business opportunities. Prior to her work at Etsy, Dana was the co-founder & president of ProFounder, a crowdfunding platform that provided tools for entrepreneurs to raise investment capital from their communities. 

She has also testified twice as a Congressional expert witness on crowdfunding and played an active role in the shaping and passage of the Crowdfunding Bill of the JOBS Act. Before starting ProFounder, Dana worked on the Corporate Product Innovations team at Estee Lauder and in Marketing at L'Oreal. Dana created a unique major at Stanford University, earning her BA in Product Development, and returned to earn her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2009.

Roland S. Merchant, Jr. is a Director at Eastdil Secured, LLC, a wholly owned Real Estate Investment Bank of Wells Fargo.  Mr. Merchant has over 20 years of experience in finance, sales and real estate investment banking.  He has been involved in over $12 billion of investment sales, debt placement and loan sales transactions for clients including AIG, Blackrock, Brodsky Organization, Equity Residential, MetLife, Related and TIAA-CREF.  Prior to joining Eastdil Secured, Mr. Merchant was an investment banking associate in the Capital Markets Group at Cushman and Wakefield and the Leveraged Finance Group at Merrill Lynch. 

Mr. Merchant holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, where he was awarded the Robert A. Toigo Fellowship and a BA from Dillard University.  Mr. Merchant is a Licensed Securities Representative (Series 7 & 63), a Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of New York and a member of Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Real Estate Roundtable (RER) President’s Council.

Toby Moskovits is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Equity Partners, a woman-owned real estate and development firm specializing in mixed-use development in the New York metro region.

The company’s fast-growing portfolio is comprised of unique, contextualized buildings in some of New York’s outer borough neighborhoods. In addition to
the two-million square feet of commercial and residential properties the firm has already completed, Heritage currently has a number of major projects in various stages of development: The Williamsburg Hotel, 150 room hotel in the heart
of Williamsburg's Wythe Avenue district, 25 Kent Avenue, an innovative light industrial and office development in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, targeting tech, creative, and maker tenants; a 190-unit residential rental development at 564 St. John’s Place in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; a 75,000-square-foot light industrial and office project at 215 Moore Street in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Other successful projects include: conversion of the old St. Vincent de Paul Church, rectory, and school in Manhattan into the Spire Lofts, a 100-unit residential rental building that preserves the original facade and ecclesiastical aesthetics; development of Grand Living, a five-story, 75,000-square-foot building in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn that is fully leased; conversion of the
Quarry Building into a 40,000-sf, mixed-use property; and pre-development of 170-unit residential project at 41-21 28th Street in Long Island City, Queens.

Prior to founding Heritage, Ms. Moskovits served as managing director of private equity and venture capital investment activity at Cammeby’s Capital Group, where she also developed a merchant banking practice.

Ms. Moskovits, who holds an MBA from Bar Ilan University, also serves on the National Advisory Board of Springtime Enterprises, a nonprofit supporting women’s access to capital markets, and is the founder of Gotham Angels, a New York City-based Angel Investment group that provides angel investors with opportunities to invest in mature growth and middle market private equity opportunities.

Ms. Moskovits resides in Queens with her three children.

Chris Murtha is an Executive Director in the Commercial Bank at JPMorgan Chase. He handles a large diversified client portfolio concentrated in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Prior to this role, he served as a Division Manager in the Metro South Market from 2005 to 2007.

Chris joined the firm in 1980. He began his career in heritage Chemical Bank's Factoring & Finance Division (now Asset Based Lending). In 1983 he moved to the Special Loan Group. During his 10 years with the group he was promoted to Vice President handling problem credits of significant size and complexity. In 1993, he transferred to the Middle Market working in the Brooklyn/SI Market.

Chris is a native New Yorker and lives in the Middle Village section of Queens. He is a long time Board Member of Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation.

Chris is a graduate of Bernard M. Baruch College with a BBA in accounting.

Jason Muss joined Muss Development, LLC (“MDL”) in 1996 and is Principal in charge of development, construction and acquisitions for the company.  He is involved in all aspects of real estate development for MDL, including existing, under construction and planned projects. 

Mr. Muss oversaw the development of Oceana Condominium and Club, a 1.6 million sf, 927-unit condominium project, including the recently completed 16th building at the development, a 125,000 sf mixed use tower.  He also completed the development of a 100,000 sf rental building with a retail component in upper Manhattan and 35,000 sf of retail at 345 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn, as well as the redevelopment of a 200,000 sf office building in Queens and the acquisition of two office buildings in Manhattan, retenanting over 30,000 sf of retail in those two properties. In the last year, Muss negotiated the acquisition of 6 properties (3 in Manhattan and 3 in Brooklyn) including their newest development, a 28 story tower in Brooklyn, to be built in partnership with Avalon Bay. Mr. Muss oversees a five million sf, multi-building commercial and retail portfolio for MDL and its affiliates, and has overseen the development of over 20 residential buildings and the leasing and development of over 1 million sf of retail property.

 Mr. Muss graduated Yeshiva University in 1993 and received his JD from the New York University School of Law in 1996.  He is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, Mr. Muss has served as a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.  There, he was involved in planning council events and working with other religious groups on tolerance education initiatives.  He also is national board member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a 100,000-member advocacy organization, where he rallies support for Israel among New York’s real estate community.  And along with industry superstars Larry Silverstein, Steve Ross and Jonathan Mechanic, among others, Mr. Muss sits on the Board of Advisors for the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University School of Law.

 Photo: Julienne Schaer

Photo: Julienne Schaer

Regina Myer is President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, responsible for the creation and construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park for the City of New York. The 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park, scheduled for completion in 2017, stretches approximately 1.3 miles along the East River, and has transformed the formerly industrial Brooklyn waterfront into a civic space for all New Yorkers. Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the most significant public investments on the waterfront outside of Manhattan in the 21st century. Under her leadership, the Park has been the recipient of numerous awards from such organizations as the Municipal Art Society, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects. 

Prior to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Ms. Myer was the senior vice president for planning and design at the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Borough Director for the New York City Planning Department, where she directed the comprehensive redevelopment for two miles of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg waterfront, the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn for high density office and apartments and numerous neighborhood rezoning efforts. She received her BA and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Martin Nussbaum serves as Principal at Slate Property Group. In this capacity, Martin oversees operations and is the strategic visionary behind the business platform and investment decisions. With a focus on multifamily and mixed use properties in Manhattan’s and Brooklyn’s emerging neighborhoods, Martin leads strategic repositioning, ground-up development and conversion projects. By developing thoughtfully designed properties, Martin strengthens the potential for appreciation and growth of all of Slate’s real estate assets in New York City. Prior to co-founding Slate Property Group, Martin served as the co-founder and managing partner of Silverstone Property Group, a full-service real estate owner and operator. While overseeing Silverstone, he purchased more than $500 million in real estate assets and, through strategic repositioning and development, created outsized returns on these investments. Earlier in his career, Martin worked for a family office based in New Jersey overseeing a portfolio of over 5,000 apartments and three million square feet of commercial property throughout the tri-state area. Martin earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York Albany.

Charlie O'Donnell is the sole Partner and Founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. The fund makes seed and pre-seed investments and was the first venture firm located in Brooklyn--where he was born and raised.  Brooklyn Bridge invested in the first rounds of Canary, Orchard Platform, Tinybop, Hungryroot, Clubhouse, Ringly, and goTenna among others. He previously had investment roles at Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital.

Charlie has a reputation for being early to identifying important companies. Nick Bilton identifies him as an influence on early Twitter investors in his book, Hatching Twitter. Dennis Crowley credits him as having helped kick off the first funding of Foursquare before other VCs had said yes. At First Round Capital, he sourced the firm's investments in Singleplatform (sold to Constant Contact) and GroupMe (sold to Skype).  Charlie discovered GroupMe at the hackathon where the service had been built. He also sourced investments in Backupify (which was an idea he had tweeted to the founder, a friend of his), chloe + isabel, and Refinery29.  

Charlie bikes to work, has done four triathlons, the NYC marathon, and runs the kayaking program in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The longest he has consecutively been outside of the five boroughs of New York City is three weeks.

JB Osborne started his career at Saatchi & Saatchi. Although he worked for clients such as P&G and General Mills, he ultimately became a go-to problem solver for clients that didn’t quite fit into the standard agency mold – and from this grew his true ambition; to collaborate with businesses that defy expectations. 
In 2007 JB co-founded Red Antler to focus on championing both startups and existing businesses with a startup mindset. He’s devoted to positioning brands ripe for reinvention, striving for hardcore differentiation, and pushing companies to make the smart and sometimes scary decisions necessary to take their brands to the next level. Under JB’s leadership, the company has worked with many top clients including Casper, Foursquare, Aloha, Birchbox, and Vevo.
JB graduated from Cornell University and serves on the Entrepreneurship at Cornell Advisory Council. He is a Philadelphia native currently living in DUMBO with his wife, his dog Brodie, and a lot of plants.


Stephen P. Palmese, a Brooklyn native, joined Cushman & Wakefield (formerly Massey Knakal) in August 2004 after graduating from Georgetown University. Stephen has exclusively focused on the Brooklyn Market, specifically Downtown Brooklyn, for over the past decade while working for the company. He is one of the firm’s leading sales agents having sold over 200 properties with an aggregate consideration of over $1.35 billion. Since 2012, he has completed 100 transactions with an aggregate value of over $955 million.

In 2014, having completed 30 sales with an aggregate value over $256 million, Stephen was named company-wide Salesperson of the Year and Brooklyn Salesperson of the year.

Stephen has been honored with various accolades throughout his career. He was
named one of Tomorrow’s Leaders by Real Estate Forum for making a noticeable impact on the New York City real estate market. He was also selected as one of the 45 most influential commercial real estate professionals by Real Estate Forum. In 2012, he was profiled on the front cover of The Commercial Observer for having handled 8% of all Brooklyn sales in the first half of 2012. Additionally, Stephen has been honored by Massey Knakal with the Stephen B. Siegel Brooklyn Salesperson of the Year award for several consecutive years.

Some notable transactions from Stephen’s career include 551 West 35th Street, a
425,000 buildable square foot development site in the center of Manhattan’s Hudson Yards which sold for $88 million, 90-02 Queens Boulevard, a 250,000 square foot conversion site in Elmhurst, Queens which sold for $47,000,000 and the Brooklyn Law School Portfolio, which included six multifamily properties in Brooklyn Heights and sold for $36,462,000.

His client list includes: The Archdiocese of Brooklyn, The Watchtower, Brooklyn Law School, National Grid, Pratt Institute, Alloy Development, Toll Brothers, HK Organization, Spitzer Enterprises, TF Cornerstone, Thor Equities, St. Vincent’s Services, Daytop Organization, among many other private individuals.

Stephen’s charitable endeavors are numerous as well. He is a Founding Member of the Young Leadership Council for The Brooklyn Hospital Center and a Founding Board Member of Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School. He is a Member of Generation Advance at Brooklyn Academy of Music, a Member of the Jewish Children’s Museum and Museum of Jewish Heritage, and he sits on the steering committee for the Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable.


Prior to joining Ingram & Hebron, Caroline Pardo served as director of leasing at Jamestown, focusing primarily on Industry City, where she helped launch the redevelopment of six million square feet on 30 acres of industrial property. During her tenure, she leased over 500,000 square feet of retail, industrial, and office space. Notable leases included those of Li-Lac Chocolate, One Girl Cookies, Fashion Chef, Shyp, Juniper Design, Christophe Pourny, Alexis Bittar, Steven Alan, the MTA, and MakerBot.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Pardo held several positions at Two Trees Management Co., most recently as managing director for its commercial leasing division. At Two Trees she negotiated deals with Trader Joe's, Barneys, Urban Outfitters, Lenscrafters, Red Mango, Etsy, Huge, West Elm, Aiden, and Anais, to name a few.

At Ingram & Hebron, Ms. Pardo will use her vast owner and tenant representation experience to identify prospective tenants for the firm's extensive listings. She also will be responsible for creating ongoing new business opportunities with both landlords and tenants. She will help identify new ideas and concepts that further enhance I & H's position as a leader in Brooklyn real estate brokerage.

Ms. Pardo attended Hofstra University where she studied speech communications and rhetorical studies. She was recognized in BisNow's list of "New York Power Women 2014."

Ms. Pardo serves as co-chairperson of both the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce real estate development group and the Brooklyn Historical Society real estate round table. She is a board member of Jazz Reach, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, performance, creation, and teaching of jazz.

A resident of Brooklyn, Ms. Pardo is married and has four-year-old twins.


Irina Pavlova is the president of Onexim Sports & Entertainment, which controls 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets and 45 percent of Barclays Center on behalf of Mikhail Prokhorov. Based in New York, Pavlova oversees the business operations of the team and coordinates all necessary activity regarding Barclays Center with the majority owner of the venue, Forest City Ratner Companies. She serves on the boards of both entities.

Prior to joining Onexim, Pavlova was the first employee on the ground at Google Russia, where she helped establish the company’s operations and served as head of strategic partnerships.  Her earlier career focused on financial analysis and portfolio management at several institutions, including Merrill Lynch and Prudential.

Pavlova, who is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), earned her master’s degree in business administration from Stanford, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from from Moscow Linguistics University. She serves on the board of PeacePlayers International, a nonprofit that promotes conflict resolution among kids through the game of basketball.

Marco Perry, Founding Partner of Pensa, is an information sponge, addicted to the news, blogs, and audio books. Marco has over 20 years experience inventing, designing, and engineering just about everything from candy to 3D printers and solar chargers. When he is not busy with his work, he loves to build hovercrafts with his kids.

Wrede Petersmeyer is the General Manager of Airbnb in New York City, the company’s largest and most high-profile market worldwide. He focuses primarily on managing the overall business, building out local operations, and representing Airbnb regionally, building coalitions among key leaders, stakeholders, and influencers at the intersection of innovation, regulation and technology.

Prior to joining Airbnb, Wrede was with Bain & Company in New York and London, where he spent most of his time advising private equity, technology, and media companies on strategy, growth and innovation.  From 2010 to 2011, he served as an inaugural Innovation Fellow at Harvard Business School, where he worked with Clay Christensen and other faculty on how companies find ways to disrupt themselves and others.  

Prior to business school, Wrede worked for the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and spent a number of years as a foreign policy officer of the US government, serving in the United States, Middle East and Europe.  He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MSc from the London School of Economics and an AB from Harvard College.

A leader in the DIY movement, Bre Pettis led MakerBot as CEO from its beginning in 2009. Now, as founder of Bre & Co., he is exploring the frontier of gratitude, friendship, and craftsmanship. Pettis has a long history of making things and inspiring others to make things.

Prior to co-founding MakerBot, Pettis co-founded the Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor, where MakerBot technology was first concocted, tested, and proven. He was also an art teacher in the Seattle Public School system. In 2012, Pettis was honored with the Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival, for “creating an entire ecosystem for desktop 3D printing.”

Martin Piazzola joined AvalonBay as a Senior Vice President based in the New York City office directing the company's development activities in the five boroughs of New York City. Most recently he has spear-headed the acquisition of Avalon's two most recent development opportunities in NYC, one locate in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and the other at West 61st Street near Columbus Circle. Additionally, he has overseen the development of the 710-unit Avalon West Chelsea on West 28th Street, which is currently in lease up, and Avalon Willoughby Square, an 825-unit residential building currently under construction in Downtown Brooklyn.

Prior to joining AvolonBay, Mr. Piazzola was Vice President for Lincoln Property Company responsible for identifying, underwriting, acquiring, and developing residential projects in the New York City area. Mr. Piazzola was responsible for assembling and overseeing the design and development of a 22-story luxury condominium project on West 55th Street and a 21-story luxury condominium project on East 85th Street at Second Avenue. Previously, Mr. Piazzola was Executive Vice President of The Clarrett Group, where he assembled and developed several luxury high rise residential buildings in Manhattan including the Post Toscana at East 89th Street and Fifth Avenue, Sky House at East 29th Street and Madison, The Opus at 107th Street and Broadway, Place 57 at 207 East 57th Street and Post Luminaria at 23rd Street and First Avenue.

Prior to his residential development experience, Mr. Piazzola was Vice President of Park Tower Realty responsible for acquiring, financing, leasing, and development of a portfolio of properties in Metropolitan Washington DC, including a 1.6 million-square-foot office development and a 1,200 acre multi-use development project with IBM. Mr. Piazzola earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at the State University of New York at Binghamton, certified as a CPA and earned an MBA in Finance from New York University. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York.

In her capacity as MakerBot’s Plant Manager in Brooklyn, NY, Diana Pincus leads the factory’s Operations with an unrelenting focus on quality and efficiency.  Driven to enact positive change and innovation, Diana’s leadership drives MakerBot towards world class manufacturing and sustainable growth.

Diana was the first Manufacturing Process Engineer to be hired by MakerBot and was instrumental in constructing the Operations department as it exists today.  Since November of 2012, Diana has built a reputation within MakerBot for efficient project execution and process development.  She also focuses on promoting inter-departmental and company-wide engagement and communication.

Diana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University.  She is a former Engineering leader at Evergreen Packaging, a beverage packaging company, where she organized projects across seven domestic factories, led corporate initiatives and supervised both operational and improvement teams.

In 2007, Tim Quinlan took over all day-to-day operations of Quinlan Development Group and is directly responsible for all aspects of the company. During his tenure he has invested in, developed, or is developing over one million square feet of new projects. Tim also oversees the family's legacy portfolio and the leasing and management affiliate Walker, Malloy and Company, Inc.

Prior to joining Quinlan Development Group, Tim worked as SLCE Architects, Cushman & Wakefield, Tommy Hilfiger, and at a startup technology company. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, and received a Master of Science in Real Estate from New York University.

Tim serves on the boards of Open House New York, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District. He was involved in the foundation of the Junior Committee for the High Line, and assisted the Park Avenue Armory in starting its Avant-Garde program. He is a Member of the New York Farmers, the Urban Design Forum, New York Landmarks Conservancy, and Chairman of Friends of Coleman Station Historic District. Tim also actively supports several other non-profits.

Bruce Ratner is the Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, a New York-based real estate development company which he started in 1985.

As one of the largest urban real estate developers in the country, Mr. Ratner has developed forty-four ground-up projects in the New York City area over nearly thirty years.

Mr. Ratner is the majority owner and developer of Barclays Center. By making Barclays Center the home of the Brooklyn Nets, Mr. Ratner is recognized for bringing the first major professional sports team to Brooklyn since the Dodgers left in 1957. The arena is part of the Pacific Park Brooklyn development, which will include 6,400 residential units, 2,250 of which will be affordable.

In addition to Barclays Center, Mr. Ratner recently completed several critically-acclaimed buildings including New York by Gehry, a residential apartment building designed by architect Frank Gehry, and The New York Times Building, designed by architect Renzo Piano.

Mr. Ratner’s MetroTech Center, an eleven building corporate campus, is occupied by over 20,000 workers and has often been credited with helping spur the renaissance of downtown Brooklyn.

Mr. Ratner currently serves on a number of boards including Weill Cornell Medical College; the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, where he serves as Chairman; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Mr. Ratner is a graduate of Harvard College and the Columbia University School of Law. He holds honorary degrees from Brooklyn College, the Pratt Institute, and Long Island University.


Tucker Reed is the President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP), a not-for-profit local development corporation that serves as the primary champion for Downtown Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential, and retail destination. Under Tucker’s leadership the DBP has become the driving force behind the emergence of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle as a key contributor to the growth of the innovation economy in New York City.

He previously was the Director of Special Projects for Two Trees Management Company, a real estate development firm based in DUMBO, Brooklyn, where he assisted in the execution of development projects with an aggregate budget of nearly $200 million, while directing communications and community development efforts for the firm.

From 2008 – 2009 Tucker worked for the State Department in Baghdad, Iraq on the rebuilding of the City and serving as Chief of Staff of the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

Prior to joining the State Department, Tucker was the founding Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District, responsible for launching the organization in 2006 that has overseen the flourishing development of that waterfront office and residential district. Previous to his DUMBO position, Tucker was a Senior Policy Advisor for the Department of Small Business Services in the Bloomberg Administration.

Jay Reno is a thinker, maker, founder and investor. A 2x entrepreneur himself, his greatest pleasure comes from helping other entrepreneurs through the startup gauntlet. On weekdays (and weekends), you can find Jay dreaming up new product ideas for businesses at Fueled as the Senior Product Strategist. In his previous life Jay co-founded and successfully sold his company, Happy Any Hour, worked in business development at Cover (acquired), and ran the coffee department at Craft Coffee (YC S14). He now drinks decaf.

Jay's work has been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Thrillist, Time Out, and others. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his girlfriend, Sarah, and his dog, Daphne.

Syed Rizvi is Vice President and Area Manager at Chase, working with Brooklyn-based businesses to help them achieve their goals. He is an advisor to businesses regarding their finances and improving business efficiencies by helping them with cash flow, lending, and cash management needs. Syed has spent the last 15 years in the financial services industry, also working as a personal banker and loan officer.

Prior to joining Chase Bank, he has spent two years at Morgan Stanley providing strategic financial advice to business owners and served as a Financial Advisor. 

Syed is actively involved in the local community, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and Hope Lodge. He is an avid runner and has completed 18 marathons and also coaches marathon runners for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Syed holds a B.S. degree from the City University of New York.

Terry Hope Romero is Kickstarter's Outreach Lead for the Food and Crafts categories and has helped hundreds of food business projects come to life. She's also the author of several bestselling cookbooks including Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Eats World, Salad Samurai, and many more. Terry has presented cooking demonstrations and culinary talks at food festivals and conferences throughout North America, Europe, and Australia and holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University.

Michael Rudin is Vice President of Rudin Management Company. He has been with the firm since 2008, and along with his sister Samantha, represents the fourth generation to work for the family business. Michael focuses on multiple areas within the company including new developments, capital markets, commercial leasing, sustainability and technology. Michael also helps lead the family’s real estate venture capital business, Rudin Ventures.
Michael graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May of 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design and Planning with an emphasis in Real Estate and also holds a Master’s of Science in Sustainable Real Estate Development from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Michael also manages Rudin West Development, based in Aspen, Colorado since 2009. In 2012 he completed the redevelopment of a 10,000 square foot mixed-use building and in 2016 he completed a 40,000 square foot mixed-use project.

Michael is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the WiredScore Advisory Board, the Real Estate Round Table Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee and has had a New York State Broker’s License since 2008. He serves on the board of the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The First Tee of Metropolitan New York, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Friend’s of the BQX and the Aspen Art Museum. Michael lives in Manhattan with his wife Sabrina and their son Lukas.


Dorothy Ryan has been Managing Director of Theatre for a New Audience for 13 years.   The managing leader of the organization, she managed the Theatre’s project to build its first home, Polonsky Shakespeare Center, which opened in the fall of 2013 in the Brooklyn Cultural District.

Dorothy spent more than a decade in fundraising positions with the 92nd Street Y and the Brooklyn Museum.   After graduating from Brown University with a music degree, she began her career in classical music artist management.  She also held positions with Chautauqua Opera, the Opera Ensemble of New York, and Eugene Opera.

She has served as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Pratt Institute’s Arts and Cultural Management Program, and was a 2014 Brooklyn Woman of Distinction.

Carlo A. Scissura has been the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce since September 2012. Carlo leads one of New York's largest business advocacy and economic development organizations, with over 2,000 members. Prior to this, Carlo served as Chief of Staff to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Carlo, a lifelong Brooklyn resident who was born and raised in Bensonhurst, has been an advocate for the borough his entire career. After graduating from Pace University and Pace Law School, he served on the staffs of State Senator Vincent Gentile and Assemblyman Peter Abbate, and later started a legal practice that became a thriving small business in Dyker Heights.

Carlo was elected to Community School Board 20 in 1999, and during his five years on the Board, he reinvigorated both the Legislative and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committees.

He was appointed to the Community Education Council for District 20 in 2004, where he served as President and Chairman of the Legislative committee. During his time at the CEC, Carlo was instrumental in having the School Construction Authority approve the largest capital construction plan for District 20. He also served as a member of Community Board 11.

In January 2008, Carlo became General Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Three months later, he was promoted to Chief of Staff. During his tenure, Carlo restructured government operations at Borough Hall and served as senior advisor to the Borough President. At the same time, he served on the 2010 New York City Charter Commission.

Carlo has served on the boards of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Public Library. He is also the President of the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, where he has spearheaded the building of the new Italian Cultural and Community Center.

Jonathan Shieber is a senior editor for TechCrunch. He previously spent 9 years at Dow Jones & Co. covering venture capital and private equity from New York and Shanghai for The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, LBOWire, and Private Equity Analyst.

Claude Silver is VaynerMedia’s Chief Heart Officer, the capstone of a career focused on guiding client relationships, global brand strategies, operations, and management. An abiding passion for creating spaces in which people can thrive defined her previous leadership positions at J. Walter Thompson, Publicis, SAY Media, and Organic, among others. At VaynerMedia, Claude cultivates the heart of the agency’s success: its people. With a purview that includes staff relations, development, recruitment, and retention, each practice is underscored by Claude’s drive to unlock the inner professional potential of every VaynerMedia employee.

Eric Skiff is one of the co-founders of Tanooki Labs, which partners with startups to provide Rails and iOS development, as well a co-founder of the Brooklyn hackerspace NYCResistor. He's passionate about empowering entrepreneurs by helping them build the software that powers their business, and by sharing experiences (and battle scars) from over a decade of building technology for startups.

D.K. Smith is managing director of the Brooklyn Innovation Center startup incubator, which provides entrepreneurs with mentoring and seed funding. D.K. helps founders develop sustainable growth strategies and investor pitches that get funded. D.K. is a mentor for BigApps NYC; a judge for the Brooklyn Public Library's "PowerUP!" business plan competition; and teaches in Pratt Institute's Design Entrepreneurship program.

 Photo: Christian Oth

Photo: Christian Oth

Deborah Solomon is the art critic of WNYC Public Radio, in New York City.  A nationally-recognized critic and journalist, she has written for many newspapers and magazines, and her weekly interview column, “Questions For,” appeared in The New York Times Magazine until 2011.                                                                                     

Solomon is also a prize-winning biographer.  Her books include Jackson Pollock: A Biography (1987) and Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell (1997). Her most recent book, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2013. It was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography and shortlisted for the 2014 Pen Literary Award for Biography.

In 2001, Solomon was awarded a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, in the field of biography.

Solomon was born in New York City in 1957 and educated at Cornell University, where she studied art history. She earned a master’s degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in New York with her husband, Kent Sepkowitz, the deputy physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital.

The brand sounds like Gorilla, but their trucks look like tigers; the flavors are Korean but served south-of-the-border style. Though we can't really explain the animal hybrid, cultural mash-ups are a way of life for Queens native Eddie Song, who says, "Whoever said America was a melting pot must've been a strap-hanger on the 7 train." After graduating from Columbia, Song chucked his economics degree to catch food-truck fever, with a mission to spread his passion for Korean food. Favoring tortillas over cutlery, Korilla's famous bulgogi burrito was born. A Vendy Award and a stint on Food Network's Great Food Truck Race followed, and now three tiger-striped vehicles prowl the streets of NYC. Amid rumors of a brick-and-mortar shop and expansion to other cities, Song says he's working on taking the Korilla concept to a "new level."

Dr. Katepalli R. Sreenivasan is the Dean of the Tandon School of Engineering and Executive Vice Provost for Science and Technology at New York University. He is a physics and mathematics professor, as well as the Eugene Kleiner Professor for Innovation in Mechanical Engineering.
Sreenivasan holds memberships in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Italy’s Accademia die Lincei.
Before coming to NYU, he served from 2003 to 2009 as the director of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. Prior to that, he taught at the University of Maryland as the Distinguished Glenn L. Martin Professor of Engineering and Professor of Physics and served as the Director of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology. At Yale, he held a variety of posts, including teaching in the department of engineering and applied science and being named the Harold W. Cheel Professor of Mechanical Engineering (1988-2002). He has been a visiting professor at Caltech, Rockefeller University, Cambridge University, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, among other institutions.


Douglas C. Steiner has worked in real estate development with his father David for over three decades. Their most prominent development project to date is Steiner Studios, a 580,000 square foot, state-of-the art film and television production facility set on 20 acres at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, which employs thousands and is being expanded to 50 acres. 

Other notable Steiner projects include: Manalapan EpiCentre, a 460,000-square-foot Power Center anchored by Wegmans, Target, Marshalls, Home Goods, PC Richard, and Sports Authority; Pharmacia’s World Headquarters, 122,000 square feet; Bridgewater Towne Centre, a 570,000-square-foot mixed-use center anchored by Wegmans and Home Depot; AT&T’s Research Headquarters of 1,840,000 square feet; and 58 and 80 Metropolitan, a two-phase luxury condominium project of 173 units comprising a full city block in Williamsburg. 

Mr. Steiner is currently developing (i) six additional stages at Steiner Studios, (ii) The HUB, a 750 unit, 54 story residential tower opposite the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which will include 150 units dedicated to low and middle income tenants, (iii) an as yet unnamed 82 unit, 160,000 square foot luxury condominium project in the East Village, and (iv) Admirals Row, a mixed use complex to be anchored by Wegmans at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Douglas serves on the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, has served on panels for Crain’s New York Business and the New York City Office of the Mayor, and is the recipient of awards from numerous political and civic organizations. He also serves on the boards of BRIC Arts Media, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and the Open Space Alliance.

Mr. Steiner graduated from Stanford University with an A.B. in English and holds an honorary PhD from Brooklyn College. He owns Gladstone Tavern restaurant, has three children, and lives in Brooklyn.

Michael Stern is the Founder and Managing Partner of JDS Development Group, an innovative real estate development, construction, and acquisition firm responsible for the creation of numerous residential, hospitality, and mixed-use projects in New York City and Miami.

Stern’s philosophy is to push the boundaries of design and construction to deliver the most dynamic projects to the market. He has extensive expertise in the fields of design and construction, project management, results-driven sales and marketing, and real estate-related financing.

Founded in 2002, JDS takes pride in their ability to execute on complex projects. As experts in creative adaptive reuse and large-scale new construction, JDS revived the legacy of architect Ralph Walker through the restoration and conversion of the Art Deco-era Walker Tower and the recently completed Stella Tower. At 111 West 57th Street, a 1428 foot skyscraper is rising adjacent to the landmarked Steinway Hall that will add to the skyline and set a new standard of pioneering architecture and design. In Downtown Brooklyn, the dramatic and expressive 9 DeKalb will rise adjacent to the Brooklyn Dime Savings Bank landmark to become the most significant addition to the Brooklyn skyline in decades.

Other projects include the green terracotta copper clad Fitzroy in Chelsea and 626 First Avenue, a mixed-income project of 800 units in a pair of distinctive dancing copper towers that are nearing completion on Manhattan’s East River. In South Florida, JDS is developing several inventive projects including Monad Terrace, Miami River, Echo Aventura, and Echo Brickell that will bring imagination to Miami’s design landscape.

Paul Travis is Managing Partner of Washington Square Partners, a real estate development and advisory firm in New York City which he founded in 1994. Mr. Travis is also a partner and project executive for the City Point project, a 1.8 million square foot mixed-use development in Downtown Brooklyn. The second of three phases, which will be comprised of 669,000 square feet of retail, 125 affordable housing units, and 575 market rate housing units, is currently under construction. The project is being developed in partnership with Acadia Realty Trust. 

Since he founded Washington Square Partners, the firm has worked on several major initiatives in the City, including Moynihan Station, Theatre Row Center, and the Downtown Brooklyn Rezoning.  Clients have included The City University of New York, The Cooper Union, Empire State Development, The New York Historical Society, and the Archdiocese of New York.  As a partner in Kingsbridge Associates, Mr. Travis also developed River Plaza Center, which was the first major commercial development in the Bronx in over twenty years. Prior to forming Washington Square Partners, he was Chief Operating Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies and responsible for the development of MetroTech Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Mr. Travis is a member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the Board of Directors of Playwrights Horizons, the Southampton Center, the Milano School at the New School, and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University of Albany.  He is also Chairman of the Zoning Commission of Southampton, New York.

Joana Vicente has been the Executive Director of the IFP- the oldest and largest nonprofit organization for independent filmmakers in the U.S.- since December 2009. Under Vicente's leadership, the IFP was most recently bestowed with the honor of developing and operating the Made in NY Media Center after an RFP was issued by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The state-of-the-art Media Center brings together professionals from the film, television, advertising, new media, gaming, marketing and branding industries for collaboration and new opportunities, and opened in DUMBO, Brooklyn in October 2013.

Prior to the IFP, Vicente and her partner Jason Kliot produced/executive produced over forty films by such acclaimed directors as Jim Jarmusch, Miguel Arteta, Brian De Palma, Hal Hartley, Steven Soderbergh, Nicole Holofcener, and Todd Solondz. She has co-founded three separate and unique film production entities over the course of her career. These  include Open City Films, Blow Up Pictures, the first digital production company in the United States, and HDNet Films, an award-winning digital production company founded with Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner. Among the many films that Vicente and Kliot have produced are Tony Bui's Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience  Award-winner THREE SEASONS, Jim Jarmusch's cult classic COFFEE AND CIGARETTES, Niels Mueller's THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON, Todd Solondz's Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, Brian De Palma's controversial REDACTED and Alex Gibney's Academy Award® nominated ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM. Vicente has served on the jury at Sundance and many other festivals.
Vicente's films have garnered numerous accolades and awards, including twenty-three Independent Spirit Award nominations and four wins. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Made in NY Award for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to New York City's entertainment industry. Vicente graduated from the Masters program at The Catholic University of Portugal with a degree in Philosophy and began her career as the press attaché for the Portuguese delegate-and former Prime Minister of Portugal-at the European Parliament. She later became a radio news producer for the United Nations before turning her attention to film.

David Walentas is a principal of Two Trees Management Company.  As the founder and owner of Two Trees -- a New York-based real estate development firm that has owned, managed and developed more than $3 billion in real estate over the past forty years – Mr. Walentas is credited as the visionary who assembled numerous DUMBO properties twenty five years ago and played a singular role in creating the artistic, vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood that it is today.

Under David Walentas’ leadership, Two Trees has successfully rehabilitated and converted more than 6,000 apartments and over 3 million square feet of office and retail space. The company currently owns more than 4 million square feet of commercial, industrial and residential real estate throughout the United States with the majority of its properties located in New York City.  Notable condominium and co-op conversion projects that Two Trees has completed include: One Fifth Avenue, the Alwyn Court, and the Silk Building (in Manhattan), as well as the Clock Tower, Sweeney Building and 70 Washington (in DUMBO) and 110 Livingston (in Downtown Brooklyn).  David, along with his son Jed, has been recognized for his commitment to smart growth and adaptive reuse practices in his real estate development work.

Mr. Walentas received Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Virginia.  He has endowed a Jefferson Scholarship (a scholarship program for outstanding undergraduate students) at the University of Virginia and is a sponsor of The University’s Darden Business School.  David is a trustee of the Pratt Institute, a member of the Board of Directors of St. Ann’s Warehouse and a member of the Advisory Board of the New York University School of Medicine. Mr. Walentas routinely makes generous philanthropic contributions to numerous arts organizations and is establishing a foundation through which he will continue his work in this area.

Born in Rochester, New York, David worked his way through school where he excelled academically and as an athlete.  He was awarded a Navy ROTC scholarship to college and worked on an Army construction project in Thule, Greenland to pay back student loans after graduation.  Upon completing his project in Thule, David worked his way through Europe and North Africa and back to New York on a freighter.  He completed his MBA and another overseas job, taking him to Japan and Australia, before he returned to New York to pursue his career in real estate.

David lives with his wife, Jane, in DUMBO and at their farm, Two Trees Stables, a 115-acre show horse and polo facility in Bridgehampton, New York.  They have one son, Jed, who works with David at Two Trees.

Jed Walentas is a principal of Two Trees Management Company. Jed began his career in real estate working for The Trump Organization after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. When the Giuliani administration agreed to rezone DUMBO in 1997, Jed came to work with his father, David Walentas, at Two Trees.

In recent years, Jed has assumed daily operating responsibility at Two Trees. Jed manages the company and oversees all aspects of the acquisition, development, construction, marketing and leasing of Two Trees’ properties. Under Jed’s leadership, Two Trees has transformed DUMBO from a gritty, underutilized industrial district into a vibrant, creative community that has preserved and built upon the existing local arts scene to create a world-renowned neighborhood. Today, DUMBO is a home to emerging and established arts and cultural organizations, as well as an eclectic mix of commercial and residential tenants. Two Trees leases space to approximately 400 commercial tenants including Etsy, Huge, Amplify, West Elm, and scores of others who create one of the City’s most vibrant technology sectors in DUMBO. 

Two Trees successfully spearheaded a campaign to wire the entire neighborhood making DUMBO NYC’s first truly wireless community. Continued cultivation of the neighborhood’s retail establishments create wonderful shopping opportunities for visitors, workers and residents alike and provide the neighborhood with its genuine feeling of authenticity. In addition, Two Trees gives away or heavily subsidizes close to 100,000 square feet of space every year for artists and arts-related organizations.

The recently completed Mercedes House is the architecturally breathtaking, 29-story, LEED certified, mixed-use building with more than 900 residences on the West Side of Manhattan.  Designed by Enrique Norten, it also houses a 330,000 square foot showroom and service facility for Mercedes Benz and a 36,000 square foot facility for the NYPD mounted horse police.

Two Trees’ first foray into the hotel world, The Wythe Hotel, is a 72-room boutique hotel in the heart of Williamsburg. The project was a painstakingly executed renovation of an old cooperage that has maintained the building’s historic charms and provides guests with tremendous service along with today’s modern conveniences. Since its opening in March of 2012 it has been the recipient of numerous design and travel awards.

Completed in 2011 and 2013 respectively were the residential conversion of Gair 2 and Gair 1. Gair 2 is a 106-unit 80/20 rental building in DUMBO which provided the neighborhood with its first affordable housing units. Gair 1 has 94 rental apartments and retail space on the ground floor.

Currently in construction is The Dock Street project, also in DUMBO. This will be a four hundred thousand foot mixed-use building at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, featuring a new 300-seat middle school which will be donated to the City of New York. The project will also include more than 300 units of rental housing, parking and retail at the street grade.

Still in development stage is the BAM South project designed by Enrique Norten. The 32-story apartment tower with over 300 units will include a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, performance spaces for BAM and a new public plaza.

he conversion Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg will be Two Trees largest undertaking yet with over three million square feet of residential, commercial and retail space.  The ShoP designed buildings will transform the waterfront in Northern Williamsburg.

In past years, Jed led the conversion of 110 Livingston Street from the headquarters of the NYC Board of Education into 300-uxury condominiums; the transformation of 70 Washington Street, a former industrial warehouse building, into 259-high-end residential condominiums; and the conversion of a Downtown Brooklyn parking lot into the Court House, the first and only 80/20 rental building in Brooklyn housing the 40,000-square foot acclaimed Dodge YMCA and 320-luxury rental apartments for mixed-income tenants. Across the street, Two Trees has also brought retailers Trader Joe's, Barneys Co-op and Urban Outfitters to Atlantic Avenue.

Jed is a committed supporter of the arts and education. He is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of REBNY, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Urban Assembly and Creative Time. He lives with his wife Kate Engelbrecht, a photographer, and their son, Theo, in Manhattan.


Alan Washington is Managing Director of Real Estate + Economic Development at Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. In his role, Alan oversees all of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s planning, commercial attraction, and real estate services.  

Prior to joining Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Alan was a real estate consultant with experience in commercial, residential, and student housing development. Alan co-founded and served as managing principal at Campus Housing Partners, a real estate development and advisory firm that assists colleges and universities with the planning, financing, and building of student housing facilities. Prior to founding Campus Housing Partners, Alan developed residential properties in upstate New York and prior to that worked for Van Wagner Communications.

Alan serves on the board of trustees of Harlem Academy. He is an active alumnus of Dartmouth College and earned a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from New York University.

Acclaimed for his monumental “sculptural paintings,” Dustin Yellin now nurtures voices in the art community with Pioneer Works, his mammoth Brooklyn art center.

 Dustin Yellin’s mesmerizing glass sculptures explode collage into three dimensional forms, and have won him accolades from all over the art world. From early works of layered resin, Yellin’s sculptures increased in size (and weight), culminating in the 12-ton, three paneled The Triptych.

But Yellin’s most ambitious project may be Pioneer Works, a colossal, 27,000 square foot artist’s complex and foundation in Red Hook, Brooklyn. With its residencies, workshops and on-site science lab, Pioneer Works cultivates cross-disciplinary experimentation regardless of profit potential.

Susi Yu is the Executive Vice President of Residential Development for Forest City Ratner Companies.  She returned to Forest City in February 2015, after a 20 month tenure with the Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) as Senior Vice President of Development.  She is currently overseeing the build-out of Pacific Park Brooklyn, the 22-acre project in Downtown Brooklyn that will ultimately be comprised of 6,430 residential units, 247,000 SF of retail space, 336,000 SF of office space and 8 acres of publicly accessible open space. Prior to the stint at HHC, Susi spent 12.5 years at Forest City Ratner Companies leading the development of large scale, mixed-use urban projects. 

In 2003, Susi began researching the feasibility of residential development for the company.  She created a comprehensive report comprising rental market analysis and tax-exempt bond financing scenarios, which she presented to the senior executive staff. The plan to pursue residential development as a new business venture was approved.  As part of the plan to create a residential development pipeline, Susi worked closely with Bruce Ratner on Brooklyn condominium market research, investor tours, public presentations and overseeing the initial master planning for Pacific Park.

Beginning in 2004, Susi was the development executive overseeing all aspects of the development of 8 Spruce Street, the 76 story residential building in Lower Manhattan designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. 8 Spruce opened in March 2011 with rents and absorption exceeding the proforma projections and continues to outperform.

Susi’s other projects for Forest City Ratner include negotiating the acquisition of 800,000 SF of development rights with Polytechnic University and overseeing the development of a 900,000 SF academic and residential tower designed by Renzo Piano in partnership with the NYC College of Technology.  Susi also spearheads the search for new residential opportunities including responding to RFP’s and assessing potential site acquisitions.

Trained as an architect at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, Susi previously worked for 10 years as an architect, most recently as a Project Architect for Robert A.M. Stern on hotel, public, multi-family residential and single-family residential projects.  She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Masters of Science in Real Estate Development Program and is a registered architect in New York State.  Susi emigrated from Seoul, Korea to Richmond, Virginia at the age of 10.  

Susi currently resides in Downtown Brooklyn with her husband Roger Fortune and their two daughters, Cooper and Marlow.  Susi also serves on an advisory board of a privately held real estate company.

Jared Della Valle is CEO + Founder of Alloy Development. He has been a real estate professional and architect for more than 18 years and has managed the acquisition and predevelopment of more than 1 million sf in New York City along the Highline, In the Hudson Yards and in DUMBO, Brooklyn. 

Jared Della Valle sits on the Board of the Van Alen Institute, the Architecture League of New York, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. He has previously taught at Columbia University, Syracuse University, Washington University, Parsons School of Constructed Environments and Lehigh University. Jared has widely lectured at major universities and institutions and his work has been the subject of more than 50 articles and publications including a monograph entitled Think/Make published by Princeton Architecture Press. He holds a B.A. from Lehigh University and Master’s degrees in both Architecture and Construction Management from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. He is a LEED Certified, licensed Architect in New York State, holds an NCARB (National College of Architectural Registration Boards) Certificate and is a licensed real estate broker and a member of the AIA (American Institute of Architects).

Juliet Cullen-Cheung is Executive Vice President of Steiner NYC. She oversees the development process at Steiner NYC, including executive management of Hub, a 750-unit 80/20 mixed-use rental building in Downtown Brooklyn.

Prior to joining Steiner NYC in 2006, Juliet worked with the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development for five years, where she was the Chief Policy Analyst and Director of Third Party Transfer. Juliet holds an M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a B.A. from the University of Chicago. Along with her husband and two children, Juliet has lived in Downtown Brooklyn for over ten years. She currently serves on Community Board 2, chairing its Transportation & Public Safety Committee, and is a board member of the Myrtle Avenue BID.

Sukanya Paciorek is the Executive Vice President and Head of Asset Management at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. In this role, Sukanya oversees Leasing and facilities' operations at the Navy Yard, including the yard's maintenance, energy infrastructure, and utilities management efforts. Prior to BNY, Sukanya was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Vornado Realty Trust, worked in the energy industry, and for the U.S. Department of State.

Sukanya serves on several boards and advisory groups, including the Urban Green Council, NYU ACRE, and is a member of the Real Estate Board of NY's (REBNY) Management Division Board of Directors. She has a master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs where she studied international energy management and policy, and an undergraduate degree in international studies and political science from the Ohio State University.

Carolee Fink is Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, New York City Economic Development Corporation. As NYCEDC’s first Chief Development Officer, Carolee oversees the Real Estate Transactions Services and Planning & Development divisions. Previously, Carolee served as Senior Advisor to Deputy Mayor Glen and, before that, to Deputy Mayor Robert Steel. In those roles, she was responsible for implementing the de Blasio administration’s City-wide economic development strategy and job-creation efforts.

She also served as the lead City Hall Advisor for NYCEDC, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Hudson River Park Trust. During the Bloomberg Administration, Carolee championed economic development and job creation efforts in Brooklyn, serving as the lead City Hall advisor for DOT and DCP, following a long tenure in Real Estate Transaction Services at NYCEDC. Carolee is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Matt Chaban contributes to The New York Times and New York magazine, where he writes about development, design, politics, bike sharing and gefilte fish. For two years he wrote the Appraisal column for the Metro section, and before that he as an editor or reporter at the Daily News, Crain's, and The New York Observer. He got his start in real estate playing with LEGOs in Pittsburgh and currently resides in the frontier town of Jersey City.

Morris B. Jerome is a Principal with JEMB Realty Corporation, a position he has held since 2006. In that role, he is responsible for commercial asset management and growth for JEMB Realty. As such, he oversees assets and acquisitions in the United States. He provides overall leadership to JEMB property management teams in the New York Region and is involved in the development of new projects, based on input from the operational side and customer appeal aspect. An integral part of the corporate team, Morris provides innovative vision to the company. Introduced to the industry early in his youth, he has acquired broad experience in real estate property management. This in-depth understanding enables him to envision a more strategic and creative approach while exercising sound judgment in identifying and evaluating opportunities for value creation. “At JEMB, we promote a team-based culture, solid leadership and the continued fostering of strategic relationships with leading partners.”

Su Sanni is an experienced tech entrepreneur, who is passionate about SaaS, Sales, team building, social impact and small business. Su is the CEO at WeDidIt, a Brooklyn based tech company that helps nonprofit organizations fundraise. For the last 5 years, Su has helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations raise funds and find new donors through WeDidIt's innovative technology. Some of WeDidit's customers include Amnesty International, Network for Teaching entrepreneurship, NYC Coalition Against Hunger, LA Zoo, and New York Public Radio. Before WeDidIt, Su worked at the Meltwater Group, a global media monitoring software company, where he did sales and account management for Fortune 500 companies and national nonprofit organizations like RR Donnelley, Sherwin Williams, the Boys Scouts of America and UNICEF. Su is currently a mentor at New York Needs You, a nonprofit organization that pairs high achieving first-generation college students with young professionals, who volunteer their mentorship and career building skills. He is also a member and alum of the Boys' Club of NY, a nonprofit that has provided afterschool and enrichment opportunities for young boys in the NYC area since 1876. Su's professional experience also includes investment banking at Brown Brothers Harriman, the country's oldest private investment bank, where he was an investment analyst in the Treasury dept.

Zack Seward is Editor-in-Chief of, the local technology news network. Previously, Seward was the Innovations Reporter at WHYY and in Philadelphia. Before that, he worked at WXXI in Rochester, NY as a reporter and editor for a statewide public radio reporting project on the reinvention of the upstate New York economy. Seward is an alumnus of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. He's originally from San Fransisco and went to college at the University of Chicago.

Bill Cromie is Director of Emergent Technology at Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood. He has been the technical cofounder for two successful tech startups, from generating and refining the product through building and leading a team to execute the vision. In his free time, when he's not hacking on the latest tech, Bill likes to build wooden boats with his Dad, sail, and practice hot yoga.

Tyler Woods is the lead reporter for Brooklyn. His work has previously appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, CT Financial News and the New Canaan News. There's little he loves more than great tweets on