RYAN KUONENEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ryan has been an activist for food, environmental, and social justice in NYC for 14 years. Ryan first discovered her passion for small-scale neighborhood activism as a tenant organizer for Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG). Working in the non-profit sector in North Brooklyn since 2008 in various community organizing roles and projects, Ryan has also been an active volunteer in environmental and food activism in her home base of Williamsburg, running a farm share – the Southside CSA, and participating in the New York City Street Memorials Project. She would rather be camping, prefers bike riding to other modes of transportation, and thinks all sidewalks should be transformed into urban gardens. Ryan has a B.A. from University of California, San Diego in Literature/Writing.
FELICE KIRBY SPECIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR
Felice Kirby has been in Williamsburg for 4 decades. Originally hired as a professional community organizer to fight property & business abandonment, Felice eventually became co-owner of Teddy’s Bar & Grill, managing the popular community spot until its sale in 2015. Based on her community organizing experience in the South Bronx, Queens & North Brooklyn, Felice spent 15 years employed as a trainer & lecturer in collaborative problem-solving & community policing, training with the NYPD, Harvard Kennedy School Executive Sessions & 24 other municipal agencies. She is also involved locally, with cherished community organizations: NAG (Neighbors Allied for Good Growth), Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce, Brooklyn Allied Bars & Restaurants. Felice lives with her family on N. 8 St.
ALAN MINORDIGITAL DIRECTOR
Alan Minor is an urban planner originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Since moving to New York City in 2011, Alan has been a serial volunteer and has engaged in his own community development projects in North Brooklyn. With the intent of creating an online platform that would allow individuals to self-organize over one-time volunteer opportunities, Alan developed a website that aggregated one-time volunteer opportunities in Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. While working on this project, he became sidetracked by another issue in 2012: litter. That year he founded Curb Your Litter, a project seeking to reduce litter and waste in North Brooklyn. In 2014, Alan, his project partner Caroline Bauer and the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce were the recipient of a half-million dollar grant from the State of New York through the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund to reduce litter and waste in Greenpoint. Earlier in 2014, Alan joined the board of directors of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth (NAG), a North Brooklyn-based environmental justice organization. As a board member, Alan has focused on tackling local transportation and waste management issues. He became the chair of the NAG board in 2017. Alan seeks to reduce spatial injustice in North Brooklyn in his professional and personal endeavors. He has resided in Williamsburg since 2012.
Reverend John Merz
John is the Vicar of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Greenpoint Brooklyn where he has worked to focus the church toward the needs of the vulnerable. He has been involved in ministry and advocacy for those without housing; those living with AIDS; the LBTQ community and others. Before becoming Vicar at Ascension John was the Episcopal Chaplain to NYU and surrounding campuses. He lives in Greenpoint with Tara Anderson where they are raising their two children, Phaedra and Vito.
Joseph Occhiuto was raised in Williamsburg Brooklyn, later moving to Middle Village, Queens. Joseph was a Deacon for the Brooklyn Diocese for 10 years, serving at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Williamsburg where he taught adult religious education, ministered to the poor, and counseled those in need. Subsequently Joseph studied at the Mercer School of Theology and was received into The Episcopal Church. Afterwards Bishop Provenzano assigned him to the Church of the Ascension where his ministry includes the "Greenpoint Community Table" – a parish outreach that feeds 60-100 hungry people each Saturday at 11AM. Joseph is a product of New York City’s public school system, including Grover Cleveland High School and Hunter College. After college Joseph began his 25+ year career in advertising at Grey Global Group where he was a Director of Finance. Joseph is now semi-retired, focusing on his ministry and is a manager at Trader Joe’s in Queens. Joseph is married and has a large family including his parents, siblings and siblings-in-law, one adult son, and many nieces and nephews.
If you are interested in applying to be a member of our board of directors, please send a letter of interest and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.