Board of Directors
HOPE HARLEY is President of the Bronx Children’s Museum. She held senior positions at Verizon for over 28 years in Sales and Marketing, Engineering and External Affairs. Her final assignment was as Director of External Affairs in New York City where she was responsible for maintaining Verizon’s relationship with key stakeholders and elected officials as well as providing support for non-profit organizations and managing employee volunteer activities. Ms. Harley is a graduate of the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury. She received an MBA in Organizational Development from Pace University and a Certificate in Corporate Community Relations from Boston College. Ms. Harley has served on numerous boards including The Harlem School of the Arts, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and Audubon Partnership for Economic Development. She is past chair of Hearts and Hammers in the Bronx, an organization renovating homes for senior citizens and the disabled. She serves on the Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship selection committee.
JOHN ABRONS was an investment advisor at Oppenheimer & Co. for 27 years and Executive Director for over 15 years. He has been a volunteer tutor in the Marlene Meyerson Jewish Community Center's Gift of Math program on the Upper West Side since 2016. Mr. Abrons has served as a board member of the Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation for 27 years and at the 149 Fifth Avenue Corporation for two years. He was also the President of the Madison 53rd Street Corporation for a year and a half. Mr. Abrons, a graduate of Connecticut College, has a strong interest in health and natural methods of healing. He lives with his wife in Manhattan, has three sons and has been following Bronx Children’s Museum’s progress over the years through his father Richard Abrons’ committed involvement with the Museum.
ARLENE LEWIS BASCOM is the Chief Financial Officer for Green-Wood, a national historic landmark which includes The Green-Wood Cemetery and The Green-Wood Historic Fund. Ms. Lewis Bascom's family emigrated from the island of Jamaica and settled in the Bronx in the mid-1970s. They resided in the northeast section of the borough. She is a graduate of SUNY-Fashion Institute of Technology with a concentration in Buying and Merchandising. She also earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from Pace University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Lewis Bascom currently resides in Harlem just a few ‘stops’ away from the designated new home of Bronx Children’s Museum. Her passion for enriching and empowering the lives of children through learning outside of the traditional environment propelled her to join BxCM's Board.
AMANDA COLLADO-MILLIGAN, a seasoned industrial security professional, partners with government contracting firms to provide sound guidance and expertise regarding the National Industrial Security Program. Ms. Collado attended Marymount University for her undergraduate degree, and earned her MA in Government Security Studies and MBA in Management at the Carey Business School of The Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Collado's connection to the Bronx Children's Museum is through her father Rafael Collado, a successful entrepreneur, who was born and raised in the Bronx. Together with her father Ms. Collado supports several educational scholarships for high school students.
SHAWN "PECAS" COSTNER is the Vice President of Brand Development for Roc Nation. Working with high-profile talent in sports, music and entertainment, he develops personal appearances and media opportunities for top-name athletes throughout the country including players from the New York Giants, the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Wings. Raised in the Soundview neighborhood of the Bronx from the age of 15, Mr. Costner began his career following and promoting the burgeoning Hip Hop music industry. Starting as the National Director of Street Promotion for Penalty Records in 1994, he joined Arista Records in 1999 as the National Director of Rap Music and Mixshow Promotion. Landing a groundbreaking position as Vice President, Lifestyle Promotion with Island Def Jam Music Group in 2005, Mr. Costner rose to Executive Vice President in 2013, forging relationships with some of the most prominent names in the entertainment industry. In 2014, he moved to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports as Senior Management Executive and became the VP of Brand Development in 2018.
NICK CROWELL is a litigation partner in the New York office of Sidley Austin LLP, and has been with the firm since 2002. He concentrates on complex securities and commercial litigation matters. He has represented many of the nation’s preeminent financial institutions, insurance companies and investment advisers in federal and state courts, before regulatory bodies and in arbitrations, in matters encompassing securities and commodities trading, derivative products, insurance and reinsurance disputes, distressed assets, real estate, yield burning, accounting fraud and antitrust violations. Mr. Crowell has been recommended by The Legal 500 in the area of Financial Services: Litigation. He received his BS from the University of Arizona and graduated with honors from The George Washington University Law School. Mr. Crowell currently resides in Fair Haven, New Jersey with his wife and three children.
ANTONNIQUE DAY is Senior Vice President, People and Capability Business Partner for Finance and Law, Franchise and Integrity at Mastercard based in Purchase, New York. She is a member of the senior leadership teams for these 3 functional areas and provides her professional expertise to support the business priorities and talent strategies. Ms. Day joined Mastercard in 2008 and has held multiple HR leadership positions globally of increasing responsibility across the organization. Prior to joining Mastercard, Ms. Day developed her HR expertise in the banking and health care technology sectors at CitiMortgage (division of Citigroup) and Computerized Medical Systems. She holds a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, and a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from Jackson State University. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and Alumni Fellow of St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative. Ms. Day lives in Greenwich, CT with her husband and 2 daughters. She is passionate about making positive impacts in her community through volunteerism and mentoring young professionals.
LUISA ESCALERA is a Fabricator/Designer/Special Education Teacher who advocates for children of all abilities and supports the process of learning and creativity. She has worked in the New York City Department of Education (DOE) for about 13 years, focusing on the field of special education. Prior to this, Ms. Escalera worked with various children’s museums and exhibit firms as a designer, fabricator, educator and prototyper. Her clients included Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Long Island Children’s Museum and Stepping Stones Museum for Children. In 2011, Ms. Escalera joined the Bronx Children’s Museum (BxCM) team as an Exhibit Manager for the Rivers On the Go! exhibit. In 2014, she also assisted BxCM in the initial planning and development of their first two ArtSpot summer programs for NYCHA Mitchel Houses in the South Bronx. Ms. Escalera holds an MA in Special Education from Mercy College and a BFA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. She is also an NYC Teaching Fellow and is working on her second Masters in School Building Leadership from The College of Saint Rose. Ms. Escalera is a South Bronx native.
JILLIAN FAULLS has been in real estate for over 10 years, working in the Bronx for many of those years. She was also a resident for five years, strengthening her bond to the borough. She has been affiliated with New York City's top brokerage firms, holding leadership roles from Project Manager, Sales Director and Leasing Director to Associate Broker for over 35 new development projects. Ms. Faulls received her BA at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and also took Continuing Education coursework in Marketing and Interior Design at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) respectively, broadening her creative and aesthetic vision. Ms. Faulls is an avid yogi, a clutter-free advocate and an alternative health warrior. She is committed to strengthening and unifying the community and has an infectious passion for the Bronx and for its children.
KATE GREEN has taught art and crafting workshops at Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Riverdale Country School and privately for many years. Since 2009 she has designed, created and sold jewelry in her shop on the website Etsy. Other passions include singing and tennis. Ms. Green graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School with a BA in Theater Design after studying for several years in the Lee Strasberg Acting Program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She has appeared in hundreds of television commercials, industrials and print advertisements. Ms. Green was on the board of the Church Street Music and Art School in Tribeca, where she assisted in finding and developing new space for their successful and expanding program, as well as occasionally substitute teaching there. She and her husband have lived in the Bronx for more than 14 years, and raised three sons there.
STANLEY GREEN, JD is a retired Acting Justice of The New York State Supreme Court. He was a judge for twenty seven years, handling a variety of civil matters. Prior to his election, he represented clients in both civil and criminal litigation. He earned his BA at New York University, Bronx campus, and his JD at Brooklyn Law School. While attending law school at night, he taught fifth grade at PS 42 in the Bronx. After graduation, Judge Green worked for the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx in its Criminal Division from 1971 to 1977, where he served as a trial and supervising attorney. He spent sixteen months as a full-time parent when his son was born. Judge Green was born and raised in Washington Heights and lived in the Bronx with his wife and son for 26 years.
APRIL HORTON is a registered lobbyist for Verizon. She leads all government affairs and legislative activity for Verizon in the Bronx and Mid-State. She is responsible for securing Verizon’s short-term objectives and advancing its long-term goals by communicating with key internal and external audiences and positioning the company’s strategic direction, progress towards targeted goals and advances in products and services. Ms. Horton is responsible for philanthropic strategy, grant-making and foundation initiatives in the areas of education and literacy, family safety and health, and employee volunteerism. She has served as Co-Chair for the Young Professionals Advisory Group of A Better Chance, working to ensure children of color have access to premier education opportunities. She was selected as one of 25 Influential Women of the Bronx and honored by the Bronx Democratic County Committee. Born and raised in the Bronx, Ms. Horton is a current resident and serves on Community Board 12. She is a graduate of Fordham University and holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational psychology from Columbia University. As a mother of two, she brings a passion of cultivating young minds through education, exploration and diverse experiences.
ASUNCIÓN "SUNNY" HOSTIN, is a co-host of the daytime talk show The View and the senior legal correspondent for ABC News. Previously, Sunny was a host and legal analyst at CNN. She covered many high profile trials, from George Zimmerman to Casey Anthony, and a number of other major stories, including the AME church shooting in Charleston and the selection of Eric Holder for Attorney General. Prior to working at CNN, Sunny filled in as co-anchor for ABC News' "World News Now" and "America This Morning." Sunny began her legal career as an appellate law clerk, trial attorney for the Justice Department and lastly a federal prosecutor. She received a Special Achievement Award from then Attorney General Janet Reno during her time as a federal prosecutor. Sunny graduated from Binghamton University and Notre Dame Law School. She currently resides in Westchester County with her two children and husband.
JOEL S. KASSAN is the Principal Executive Officer of Gotham Tennis Academy and Stadium Tennis Center, a Bronx-based business and a neighbor of the Bronx Children’s Museum. Prior to his involvement in Gotham Stadium Tennis, Mr. Kassan worked in the health-care sector as a management consultant to teaching hospitals. He has held various management positions with physician organizations and health insurance companies. Mr. Kassan holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA with Honors from Wesleyan University.
FRED KAUFMAN, Executive Producer of the acclaimed Nature series, has been one of the world’s top executives in the natural history genre for over 30 years. He has won seven Emmys and two Peabody Awards, and in 2012, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Media from the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, Montana. In 2007, Mr. Kaufman wrote and co-produced The Best of Nature: 25 Years, a successful fundraising show for PBS that looked back at highlights of the series’ first 25 years. He also created and executive produced an urban wildlife series for kids, called Wild TV. He works with filmmakers from around the world and is often approached by leading scientists seeking national exposure for their research. Mr. Kaufman serves on the board of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. He is in his fourth decade with WNET/Thirteen, the PBS flagship station, and appears regularly on their pledge drives as a spokesman for quality natural history television. Born and raised in the Bronx, he attended the Bronx High School of Science and is a graduate of Binghamton University.
JEROME LAMAAR is Bronx-born and raised. He has been defying expectations in fashion, art and culture for 20 years. He has dressed A-listers, created “South Bronx Luxe,” collaborated with major companies, designed Beyonce’s Ivy Park x Adidas line and was featured as a key designer in Beyonce’s Black is King film. Mr. LaMaar is a polymath with experience as a Creative Director, Designer, Stylist and Futurist. His career began in 2001, at the age of 15, when he worked for Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons as a high school intern and later as the Junior Creative Director/Brand Coordinator. In 2008, he became a trend forecaster traveling the globe to contribute to, and guide, some of the world’s leading brands such as Adidas, L’Oreal, Uniqlo, Calvin Klein and Mattel, lending his perspective on art, culture, concepts and colors to push new ideas in technology and style. He created his own brand called 5:31 Jérôme in 2013. Two years later Mr. LaMaar opened his luxury pop-up boutique in the South Bronx called 9J, which shifted the image of the Bronx by showcasing art, music, design and new thought, landing him on the cover of the New York Times Styles section. He recently created a state-of-the-art, hands-free interactive exhibit for Bronx Children’s Museum called Bronxtopia. Mr. LaMaar is also the youngest Trustee to join the board of The Bronx Museum of the Arts.
PAUL LIPSON is President of Barretto Bay Strategies LLC. From 2004-2011, he served as Chief of Staff to Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-16). Earlier in his career, Mr. Lipson founded and led The Point Community Development Corporation, a pioneering CDC based in the Hunts Point section of The Bronx. The organization launched the South Bronx Greenway, initiated the revitalization of eight acres of scatter-site brownfields, developed a creative sector incubator in the historic American Banknote Building and led local community consensus-building around land use and waterfront issues in the Hunts Point peninsula.
LEE MICHEL has been involved in a number of community organizations since moving back to New York from Los Angeles in 2009, including Wave Hill (seven-time gala co-chair), Graham Windham, BronxWorks and Riverdale Country School, where she served as co-chair of the Parent Association. She is on the boards of Untermyer Gardens Conservancy and the Riverdale Yacht Club, recently serving as Commodore. After completing an intensive yoga training course in 2017, she now teaches private clients and also volunteers as a yoga instructor at the Mary J. Blige Center for Women in Yonkers. When living in Los Angeles, Ms. Michel co-founded Baby2Baby, an organization that collects and distributes gently used baby gear and clothing to families in need in LA. Before starting her own family, she held various positions in the art world, working with both collectors and artists in New York and Los Angeles. Ms. Michel received her BA at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in economics and minored in French. She currently lives in Riverdale with her husband and two daughters.
JEANNE B. MULLGRAV has significant experience in both City and State Government and non-profit management. In her role as Executive Vice President, Ms. Mullgrav oversees Capalino+Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Group. Prior to joining Capalino+Company in 2014, Ms. Mullgrav served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Youth And Community Development (DYCD) for 12 years. In this capacity, she led New York City’s principal agency for administering youth and community programs and was responsible for funding experienced community-based organizations that provide after-school programs, train young people for jobs, and support immigrants, among other goals. Previously, Ms. Mullgrav served as Vice President for The After-School Corporation and as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Relations for the NYS Attorney General. She received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College and a law degree from New York University School of Law.
PAUL RAMIREZ, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner at Mainland Media LLC, was born and raised in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. Mainland Media has partnered with numerous organizations both inside and outside of the Bronx to accomplish its goal of improving the borough’s image. Mr. Ramirez received his BA in Philosophy with a specialization in Ethics and Public Policy, as well as a BS in Music, from Lehman College. Shortly after graduation, he worked as the Deputy Director of Wildcat Service Corporation's Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP). YAIP provides young adults with a paid orientation, training, and work followed by services and assistance for placement in permanent jobs, training programs, and educational opportunities. While working as the Deputy Director of YAIP, Mr. Ramirez also managed several Bronx-based musical acts, including the Steven Oquendo Latin Jazz Orchestra. He joined Mainland Media and its subsidiary From the Bronx in 2010, and opened the Bronx Beer Hall in 2013. Currently a member of Bronx Community Board 6 and the Jamaica Food Entrepreneurship and Services Training Space Advisory Council, Mr. Ramirez also sits on the Junior Board for the Bronx-based nonprofit, Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco).
JOSÉ A. RODRIGUEZ, MD is an Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Lenox Hill Hospital. Born and raised in the Bronx, Dr. Rodriguez is a graduate of Bronx Science High School, Harvard College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. His professional focus is minimally invasive, and complex reconstructive surgery of the hip and knee, and his research focuses on documentation and advancement of patient recovery and improved implant design. He has received numerous academic awards for research and excellence in medical education. Dr. Rodriguez is a retired US Army officer and served two tours of duty in Iraq.
ALANNAH SHEERIN is a Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in New York City. Since joining BCG in 2009, she has worked on marketing and media issues for companies in industries ranging from financial services to consumer goods. Some of her most recent work has focused on media challenges in the nonprofit world. Before joining BCG, she worked at Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare, a division of the Publicis Groupe SA. Ms. Sheerin attended Tulane University for her undergraduate degree, and earned her MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She has been committed to supporting nonprofit organizations in all the communities in which she has lived. Ms. Sheerin’s connection to the Bronx goes back to her childhood, when she took dancing and music lessons in the Riverdale and Woodlawn sections of the borough. She brings her passion for art, history and education to her role at Bronx Children's Museum.
PETER SHERMAN, MD, MPH, has been a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist providing care to children in the Bronx for over 30 years. He is dedicated to providing health care to underserved pediatric and adolescent populations with a particular emphasis on integrating care with community resources. He has served as Chair of Pediatrics at Bronx Lebanon Medical Center since 2013. Dr. Sherman is also co-chair of the Asthma DSRIP Committee for the Bronx Performing Provider System, Bronx Health Access. Previously, he was Program Director of the Social Pediatrics Residency as well as Medical Director of the New York Children’s Health Project at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Dr. Sherman has served on several national boards, including Health Care for the Homeless Clinicians Network and Association of Clinicians for the Underserved. Both involved terms as Board President. He received his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and did his residency at Montefiore Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Sherman has an MPH from Lehman College.
RICHARD L. STEIN has had a varied career as an architect, graphic designer, editor and publisher of the Pulitzer-prizewinning Riverdale Press. He returned to architecture after retiring from the northwest Bronx newspaper in 2015. As a publication designer, Mr. Stein has created the templates for websites, newspapers and magazines as varied as The Jewish Star in Long Island and The Muslim Observer in Detroit. His client list ranges from Chase Bank to the New York Farm Bureau. The New York Press Association has named its highest award for newspaper design the Richard Stein Award. In addition to membership on the Bronx Children’s Museum board, he has served on or presided over several not-for-profit organization boards as well as the Community Newspaper Advisory Board of the American Press Institute, the Center for Community Journalism and the New York Press Association. Mr. Stein is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.
ELLIE MEEK TWEEDY is an archivist and editor. She began her editorial career at HarperCollins Publishers immediately after graduating from Yale University in the 1970s. She then became a freelance editor for clients such as Random House, Bantam Doubleday Dell and McGraw Hill. After many years in the publishing industry Ms. Tweedy enrolled at Pratt Institute where she received a Masters degree in Library Science. She is now an archivist who works for institutions including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Brooklyn Museum and the Romare Bearden Foundation, and also acts as a consultant for personal clients. Her focus is on preserving the collections of artists of African descent across all disciplines. She is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association. She has been involved in Bronx Children’s Museum almost from its inception, volunteering her time and expertise to help get the Museum off the ground. Ms. Tweedy lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.
SAPAN VYAS, CFA, is a Partner at Kimelman & Baird LLC, an investment advisory firm in New York City. Mr. Vyas was born and raised in the Bronx and attended the Bronx High School of Science. He received his undergraduate degree from Binghamton University. He has been committed to supporting nonprofit organizations in the community in which he has lived. He has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, serving the role of a “Big” to children from the Bronx for several years. Currently he lives in Scarsdale, NY with his wife and son.
VALERIE M. WASHINGTON is an Associate Professor Emeritus at Lehman College, CUNY, was born and raised in the Bronx. She attended public schools, including Hunter College, CUNY, where she earned a BA and MS in Education. After teaching elementary school for almost 10 years, she joined the faculty of Lehman College in 1970, where she supervised student teachers and taught a variety of teaching methods courses. During this time she earned an EdD at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. At Lehman College she has been Director of various state and privately funded teacher education programs, notably the Teacher Opportunity Corps, the Pathways to Teaching Careers Program and the Teacher/Leader Quality Partnerships Program. Key elements of these programs have been models for other teacher education programs, such as NYC Teaching Fellows. Dr. Washington’s work with master’s degree students in these programs meant collaborating with school districts in the Bronx, often leading to the restructuring of many schools. She is Vice Chair of the Board of East Tremont Childcare and Development Center and Vice President of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. With her husband of 41 years, Dr. Washington lives in the Bronx. They have one daughter, acclaimed screen, television and Broadway actor, Kerry Washington.
KATHY GLICK WEIL spent over 35 years as a public librarian in the greater Boston area, including positions as Director of the Lincoln Public Library and 15 years as Director of the Newton Free Library. She served on the boards of the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition Employer Advisory Board, which works to expand employment opportunities for adults with a history of mental illness, and Step Up to Excellence, a nonprofit that strives to help disadvantaged high school students achieve to the best of their abilities. After moving to Pennsylvania in 2008, Ms. Weil continued her commitment to libraries by serving as a board member of the Bethlehem Area Public Library Trustees and as President of the Board for four years. She received her undergraduate degree from Newcomb College of Tulane University and her MLS from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2015 Ms. Weil moved to Brooklyn, where she currently resides.
HONORABLE RUBEN DIAZ, JR., BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT