Leadership

STAFF

Felice Kirby
Executive 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.

Sarah Herold
Director of Food Services

Sarah entered into food service and the hospitality industry through the window of a waffle. After completing her Master’s degree in Community Development and Planning, she decided to breathe life into her thesis on spatial theory, place-making and community building by starting a waffle restaurant / community space focused on bringing diverse demographics together around delicious breakfast foods. After a couple of jaunts around the country - organic farming, pouring libations, pontificating with locals - Sarah entered into NYC’s restaurant industry. After writing a notable cover letter she was hired as a cook at Pickle Shack and after being unable to keep her mouth closed began managing the restaurant. Since then Sarah has managed a handful of New York’s high profile, high volume restaurants including Robertas, Wildair and her latest stint as General Manager of Frenchette. After volunteering for a couple of months during quarantine Sarah came onboard to run North Brooklyn Angels in November and is excited about furthering NBA’s work in the community.

BOARD

Reverend John Merz
Vice Chairperson and Co-Founder

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 LGBTQIA+ 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.

Neil Sheehan
Chairperson and Co-Founder

Neil Sheehan is a life-long North Brooklyn resident, with over 45 years of experience in non-profit leadership, advocacy, community organizing, and volunteerism under his belt. Most recently, Neil was the Executive Vice President for Outreach, a behavioral health not-for-profit that provides treatment and training services throughout the greater New York Metropolitan area until his retirement after over 35 years of service. Among his accomplishments, Neil helped open the agency’s second adolescent residential facility in Brentwood in 1992, which further expanded Outreach’s adolescent services and solidified the agency’s presence in Long Island. Sheehan also helped guide strategic efforts to develop and expand the organization’s training institute which provides certified training to prospective and current drug and alcohol treatment professionals. Establishing a successful record in fundraising, Neil also oversaw the development of the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser which regularly attracts 700-800 attendees from varying industries. A passionate volunteer for many community nonprofit causes, Sheehan was a longtime participant and Board member for the St. John’s Bread and Life Soup Kitchen as well as a Co-Chair for the Affordable Housing Task Force for the North Brooklyn Waterfront Rezoning. In his spare time, he is a married father of two boys, and a “struggling humorist” who takes great joy in tasting, smelling, seeing, and participating in spontaneous brainstorming. Neil is hoping to “earn his wings” with this new project.

Kevin Thompson
Treasurer

Kevin Thompson studied Business at LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and graduated from the Tulane University School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana. Originally from New York City, Kevin has lived in many places across the US, as a result of working in the oil and gas industry. Kevin practiced law in New Orleans for 9 years, prior to moving into Public & Government Affairs. In this new capacity, Kevin represented ConocoPhillips as Public Affairs Manager and Tribal Liaison in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. He was responsible for maintaining positive relations with the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes, as well as the Jicarilla Apache and Navajo Nations. Later, he represented Shell Oil and Motiva as Public Affairs Manager for Downstream Refining and Chemical assets at their New Orleans facilities. He then moved into the role of Communications and State Government Relations Manager for Sunoco, based in Philadelphia. Kevin is now responsible for Public & Government Affairs for ExxonMobil in New York and New Jersey. His responsibilities include public and government affairs, communications and media relations. A dedicated Brooklyn resident, Kevin serves on a number of boards in the community, including the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Isabel Gardocki

Isabel currently works in tech and has a varied background as a journalist and attorney. She spent the first eleven years of her life living in Greenpoint and moved back to New York to attend law school in 2008. Since then, she has worked as a volunteer for local organizations like the New York Polish Film Festival and Greenpoint Open Studios, and has also taught ESL to adults. Isabel lives in Greenpoint, speaks Polish and French, and is also hoping to “earn her wings” with this project.

Tony Kim

Prior to working in the real estate industry, Tony Kim worked in the restaurant industry since he was 16 years old where he gained deep knowledge of restaurant operations starting as a dishwasher, working as server, and eventually operating restaurants serving 6,000 customers a week as a General Manager. After participating in a company-sponsored volunteer event with the Angels in April 2019, Tony was inspired to get more involved with the North Brooklyn community. Tony now has the pleasure of “earning his wings” as a Board Member and active volunteer by providing his expertise, focusing on food safety and kitchen operations for the Angels. Tony currently works in Greenpoint Brooklyn as a Property Manager for the Domain Companies. He is also a licensed New York real estate broker, a New Jersey real estate sales agent, and a low income housing tax credit specialist.

Phil Mauro

A Greenpoint native raised on Staten Island, Phil Mauro is a professional photographer and professor of photography at Wagner College. His diverse work has included clients ranging from Random House, to Apple Computer, to the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, to name just a few! Returning to Brooklyn in 1987 and settling back in Greenpoint in 1995, Phil has also dedicated the past 25 years to causes supporting the Greenpoint community. As a board member and active volunteer, among many ways in which he helps, Phil can be seen taking snapshots of the Angels in action to help us tell and share the stories of our neighbors and volunteers!

Jonathan McKenna

Jonathan has worked in client-facing roles across varied industries, from hazardous waste management to fitness to finance. More recently, he has started two different client success teams as an early employee at a software company (and also hosts his company’s large conferences, which he claims “simply means bombing jokes in front of 1,000 people at 9am”). Having moved in March 2020 to Williamsburg, he found a sense of belonging and purpose in the mission of “neighbors helping neighbors”, especially given the increased need in challenging times. One of his goals is to figure out how to continue to serve the community in ever more environmentally friendly ways.

Paul Samulski

As VP Creative/Marketing for the East River Ferry, Paul was an integral part of the team that launched the successful service which eventually became NYC Ferry. He was the US Project Manager for Karsan, the Turkish auto manufacturer whose submission made it into the finals of Mayor Bloomberg’s NYC Taxi of Tomorrow competition and was the Senior Innovator at Uberangst, a Brooklyn-based innovation & technology company. Paul also spent time as Creative Director/Interactive at Mirrorball, a NYC nightlife agency and as Sr. Producer with Action Sports Adventure Productions, a sports hybrid-agency that represented the US World Cup Soccer teams, the US Soccer Federation, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the American Basketball League (later the WNBA), and the US Volleyball Association. While at ASAP he directed commercials for such clients as Nike, Reebok, UPS, Budweiser, Noxzema, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Time Warner. He also spent over 20 years in the video game industry as a Chief Creative & New Technologies Officer, working with such companies as Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, SEGA, NewKidCo and Acclaim Entertainment. He was EVP of R&D & Licensing at both Acclaim and NewKidCo and managed relationships with MLB & MLBPA, NFL and NFLPA, NBA, NHL, NCAA, and also MCA/Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Paul managed the development of such video games as the Mortal Kombat series, the NBA Jam series, the WWF series, and the Simpsons games. He led the development of the first ever dedicated motion capture studio, where, in addition to creating video game content, special effects for the first two Batman movies were produced. Prior to video games, he spent many years in the toy industry working for Matchbox and later LJN Toys. As EVP of Product Development at LJN, he was head of the team behind the creation of the Thundercats cartoon series and toy line. During his time at both LJN and Matchbox, he also Directed and Produced a large catalog of commercials. Earlier in life he had the pleasure of participating in the often misunderstood world of rock n’ roll, but that’s for another time. Paul was born in Buffalo (Go Bills!), and now works as a Creative/Marketing Consultant as well as serving as President of the North Brooklyn Chamber and Chairman of the Photoville BOD. He lives with his wife Debbie and their dog Juno. He also owns a collegiate, summer baseball team and has seen 27 of his players sign Major League contracts.

Evan Thies

Evan is co-founder of Pythia Public Affairs, a New York-based communications, government and political strategy firm. Prior to founding Pythia Public, Evan spent years in public service as a senior adviser in the New York City Council and at other government offices, and as a communications officer on political campaigns, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s successful campaign for attorney general. As a government aide, Evan developed and executed political and communications strategies to pass legislation, change land use, and influence the direction of public resources. During these fights, Evan built relationships in government and communities throughout New York and beyond, and developed a keen understanding of public process–keys to executing successful issue–based and business efforts.

If you are interested in applying to be a member of our board of directors, please send a letter of interest and resume to northbrooklynangels@gmail.com