- Open Waters Initiative
- Ferry Transit Program
- Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines (WEDG)
- Design the Edge
- Harbor Camp
- Task Forces
- Comprehensive Waterfront Plan
- One Stop Permitting
- State of the Waterfront
- Waterfront Revitalization Plan
- Upcoming Events
- 2014 WATERFRONT CONFERENCE
- Talking Transition
- City of Water Day
- 2013 Waterfront Conference
- Past Events
- MWA 2012 General Assembly
- 2012 Waterfront Conference
- Conference Sponsors
- Morning Plenary
- Access and Equity Panel
- Adapting to Climate Change Panel
- Emerging Sustainable Harbor Panel
- Ferries Bang for the Buck Panel
- Harbor Coalition: The Heavy Lift Panel
- Harbor Coalition: Waterfront Project Workshop
- Implementing Water Quality Panel
- Lunch Panel: Climate Change
- NJ Comprehensive Waterfront Plan Panel
- Open Up the Harbor!
- Safety and Real Time Water Quality Panel
- Saturday Morning Keynote
- Use Public Money Wisely Workshop
- Wakes Panel
- Waterfront Design Panel
- Waterfront Financing and Governing Panel
- World Class Attraction Panel
- 2012 Heroes of the Harbor Awards
- 2011 Waterfront Conference Floating Follow-Up
- 2010 Waterfront Conference
- CONFERENCE PROGRAM
- Morning Keynote and Plenary Sessions
- Conference Sponsors
- Historic Boats
- Ecology & Economy Workshop
- A Plan to Bring Our Harbor Back to Life
- Future of the Port
- Recreational Revolution
- Opportunities for Green Infrastructure
- Oyster & the Clean Water Act
- Show Us the Money
- Waterfront Edge Design
- A Green Working Waterfront
- Water Mass Transit
- Program Recap
- Climate Change Resiliency
- Dredged Materials Management
- Harbor Education
- 2014 Heroes of the Harbor Awards Dinner and Parade of Boats
- The Waterfront Platform for New York City
- After Sandy
- Harbor Literacy Points
- Voters Guide
- City of Water Film
- MWA in the News
- 2014 Summer Aqua Calendar
- Best Waterfront Day Trips
- Press Releases
- MWA Live from Abu Dhabi
- WaterWire Archive
- Waterfront Action Agenda
Board of Trustees
Chris Ward, Chair
Kent L. Barwick, Vice-Chair
Municipal Art Society of New York
Colonel (Ret.) John R. Boulé, II, P.E., Vice-Chair
Jennifer Costley, Treasurer
Kathy Robb, Secretary
Hunton & Williams
Paige C. Sutherland, Assistant Treasurer
John Atkins - Global Container Terminals
Margaret C. Ayers - Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
Paul Balser - Ironwood Partners, LLC
Laurie Beckelman - Beckelman & Capalino, LLC
Jake Beinecke - Prospect Hill Foundation
Adrian Benepe - The Trust for Public Land
Helena Durst - The New York Water Taxi
Jeffrey Hwang - IRX Therapeutics, Inc.
Capt. Andrew McGovern - New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots Association
Rich Miller - Con Edison
Michael O'Keeffe - Restaurateur
Dr. Julie Pullen - Stevens Institute of Technology
Peggy Shepard - West Harlem Environmental Action
Kate Sinding - Natural Resources Defense Council
John H. Watts, Chair Emeritus - Sequel Energy Solutions, Inc.
Steve Wilson - FilmRise
Roland Lewis - President and CEO
Chris Ward recently stepped down as the Executive Director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (and President of the Port Authority's wholly owned entities: Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation, the Newark Legal and Communications Center Urban Renewal Corporation, and the New York and New Jersey Railroad Corporation). He was appointed on May 22, 2008. He previously served at the Port Authority as Chief of Planning and External Affairs, as well as Director of Port Redevelopment from 1997 to 2002. Prior to his service at the Port Authority, Mr. Ward spent much of his professional career in service to the City of New York in various capacities, such as Senior Vice President for Transportation and Commerce at the Economic Development Corporation, Assistant Commissioner at the Department of Telecommunications and Energy and as Director of Research at the Department of Consumer Affairs.
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Kent L. Barwick is a civic activist involved in urban planning, design and preservation issues in New York. He was president of the Municipal Art Society of New York and its executive director from 1970 to 1975. From 1995 to 1997, he was president of the New York State Historical Association, having previously served as its vice chairman from 1993 through 1995. In 1998, Mr. Barwick became the first director of "The Waterfront Project," a reconnaissance effort organized by a coalition of leading New York and New Jersey foundations, which was originally housed at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The Waterfront Project burgeoned into the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance under the banner of the Municipal Art Society and was launched as an independent nonprofit organization in the Spring of 2007. From 1978 to 1983, Mr. Barwick was chairman of New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission and, in 1977, was administrator of the Adopt-A-Station program to improve New York City's subways. Prior to that, he was director of the New York State Council on the Arts (1975-1976). An early organizer of the South Street Seaport, he was also co-chairman of the Architectural and Engineering Committee for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island.
From 1981 to 1987, Mr. Barwick was as an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and its north-east regional chairman from 1988 to 1990. In 2001, he served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Governors Island. Mr. Barwick is currently chairman of the State Council on Waterways, vice president of Riverside South Planning Corporation, and serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the Clark Foundation, Historic Hudson Valley, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation, North River Historic Ship Society, Otsego 2000, Parks & Trails New York, the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial and the Seventh Regiment Armory Conservancy. Mr. Barwick played a leading role in establishing theTribute in Light temporary memorial to the World Trade Center victims and was actively involved in the Municipal Art Society's Imagine New York: Giving Voice to the People's Visions project. A graduate of Syracuse University, Mr.
Barwick also attended Harvard University as a Loeb Fellow. A founder of the Preservation League of New York State, the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Historic Districts Council, he is also the recipient of a number of awards for his civic works from, among others, the AIA, the Parks Council (now New Yorkers for Parks) and the American Planning Association.
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Colonel (Ret.) John R. Boulé II, P.E. has over 27 years of experience delivering innovative engineering solutions in the most difficult environments during numerous combat and disaster relief missions with the US Army. John joined Dewberry in September 2014 where he is a Senior Vice President and runs their New York operation as Business Manager. Previously, he led Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Sandy Recovery and Resiliency Program which consists of delivering near and long term resiliency solutions to numerous clients in the NYC metropolitan area, including NYCEDC, MTA, NYSDOT, NYSHCR, NYNJPA, and NJDOT. Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff, John was an Army Colonel and the Commander of the New York District of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – a position that made him responsible for the Corps’ water resource development, flood and coastal storm damage prevention, and regulatory activities in much of New York State, New Jersey, and parts of New England. John graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He has two Masters of Science degrees from Stanford University, is a registered professional engineer, and serves as Vice Chairman of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.
Colonel Boulé is married to the former Lisa Duquette and they have three children, Lisbeth, John III and Thomas.
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Jennifer Costley, Ph.D., has over 20 years of experience as a technology manager for leading financial and Internet services firms. As Principal of Ashokan Advisors, her consultancy, she does research on major technology trends and advises corporations on technology strategy and governance. She is also the Chair of the IEEE committee (1680.4) developing an environmental standard for servers. Her prior role was as Director of Enterprise Architecture for Credit Suisse, where she was responsible for defining and optimizing information systems architecture. Prior to Credit Suisse, Dr. Costley was Vice President for Global Networks & Infrastructure at DoubleClick where she ran their global data centers, network operations center, and network engineering function. She also held a number of positions at Bankers Trust, including managing applications development for the bank’s Defined Contributions business unit.
Prior to her affiliation with MWA, Dr. Costley served on the Boards of Directors of several non-profit organizations, most recently as Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee for the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Dr. Costley holds a Ph.D. In Chemical Physics, an Advanced Certificate in Finance from New York University, and recently completed a Certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia University's Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC). She has been designated a “Thought Leader” by Wall Street & Technology and has been a panelist and speaker on topics ranging from web technology deployment to Green IT.
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Kathy Robb is a partner at the law firm of Hunton & Williams. Her practice focuses on energy and environmental litigation, regulation, and counseling before federal, state, and administrative courts, involving water, solid, and hazardous waste, nuclear materials, wetlands, endangered species, sustainability, and environmental transaction issues, especially in the energy and manufacturing sectors. She is the founder and director of the firm's Water Policy Institute, which seeks innovative solutions to water supply and quality issues. She serves on the boards of the Environmental Law Institute, the advisory board of BNA's Environmental Due Diligence Guide, and the Women's Network for a Sustainable Future, which she co-founded and chairs.
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She spent 10 years on Wall Street in real estate finance at Kidder, Peabody and PaineWebber. Her experience included the sale and financing of large commercial properties, portfolios and leisure properties including trophy golf and ski resorts; real estate bankruptcy, workouts and securitizations for the Resolution Trust Corporation; and investment banking services for real estate companies, primarily real estate investment trusts (REITs). Prior to Kidder, Peabody, Ms. Sutherland was with Security Pacific Realty Advisory Services where she evaluated reuse and redevelopment plans for "white elephant" real estate owned by Fortune 500 companies. She began her career working on tax-exempt bond financings in the public finance group at Warburg, Paribas, Becker.
Following the 2001 World Trade Center attacks, Ms. Sutherland served as executive director of ReSTART Central, an economic development group formed to help lower Manhattan's small businesses reopen and recover from the devastation of the events. She was awarded a Harvard Business School Class of 1985 Courage and Valor Award for this work. Previously, she had been a member of the team that founded The Franklin Report: The Insider's Guide to Home Services, a book series and website which evaluate home renovation and maintenance service providers.
Ms. Sutherland has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Politics from Princeton University. At Princeton she authored an independent research paper on the politics behind the construction of the World Trade Center by the Port of New York Authority.
Ms. Sutherland serves on the Board of Advisors of the Harvard Business School Club of New York's Community Partners program, which conducts pro bono business consulting projects for area nonprofits. She was co-leader of a team that conducted a three-year strategic study for the Municipal Art Society on the future direction of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. Following the presentation of the final report and recommendations to the MAS Board, Ms. Sutherland and her co-leader, John Solomon, worked closely with MAS and MWA to implement the successful launch of MWA as a stand-alone nonprofit organization.
Ms. Sutherland is also on the program committee of the Association of Real Estate Women (AREW), where she was formerly a Board member, and is a member of the Urban Land Institute.
Ms. Sutherland has lived in New York City for over 20 years and is inspired by the incredible improvement in the quality of life in the City over that period. As a native of Long Island's North Shore, she grew up swimming, boating and water-skiing in the Long Island Sound and later participated in other water sports including competitive swimming, water polo and crew, where she was a coxswain. She would like to see the NY/NJ waterfront have an abundance of water-related recreational activities as well as numerous opportunities to experience nature and the outdoors.
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John Atkins is a 30-year maritime executive with extensive experience in stevedoring and terminal operations as well as equipment maintenance / management, labor relations, contract negotiations and vendor management. He is accountable for the tactical management and daily operation of GCT's container terminals in New York and New Jersey.
John began his career in the industry after graduating from Kean University with a B.S. in Management Science. Throughout his career, he has held senior management positions including posts at various steamship lines. John has a distinctive hands-on approach with a focus on customer service.
Additionally, John is on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Marine Maintenance Contractors Association, New York Shipping Association, Maritime Association of the Port of NY, and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.
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Margaret C. Ayers is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation where she has served since 1979. Under her leadership, the Foundation has awarded more than $100 million to organizations that promote reproductive rights nationally, government accountability and child welfare reform in New York State, and improved management of cultural organizations in New York City. Margaret Ayers also serves on the Board of the New York Foundation for the Arts where, in the past, she served as President. Past board affiliations include the Alliance of Resident Theaters/NY (ART/NY), and the New York Council for the Humanities. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Ms. Ayers worked with the New York Foundation for the Arts to create the New York Arts Recovery Fund through which some $5 million was made available to individual artists and small arts organizations located in Lower Manhattan. Ms. Ayers is a graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, where she majored in political science. She has been recognized by the University for her various contributions and has been inducted into the Douglass Society and the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
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Paul Balser is a founding partner of Ironwood Manufacturing Fund, Ironwood Management Fund II, and Ironwood Partners, private equity firms in New York, N.Y. since 2001. In 1996, Mr. Balser co-founded Generation Partners, a $325 million private equity firm with offices in Austin, Greenwich, CT and San Francisco. Prior to co-founding Generation Partners, Mr. Balser was a founding Partner of Centre Partners, L.P., the managing general partner of Centre Capital Investors L.P., a $150 million investment fund affiliated with Lazard Freres & Co. LLC. Mr. Balser is a graduate of Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and attended New York University Graduate Business School. He has served on over 25 boards and currently serves on the Boards of Janus Capital Group Inc. (NYSE: JNS) and Tweedy, Browne Funds, Inc., as well as other private companies. Mr. Balser is Chairman of the Board of the Hudson Guild. He is a board member of United Neighborhood Houses, a Director of the Hale Foundation, and a trustee of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. He serves as a class agent for The Lawrenceville School, and is a member of Business Executives for National Security.
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Prior to founding Beckelman+Capalino, Laurie served as the Director of the New Building Program for the Museum of Art & Design at Columbus Circle. Previously, she was Deputy Director for Special Projects for the Guggenheim Foundation, where she was responsible for the proposed Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum at Wall Street and the East River in Manhattan. Laurie served as the Vice President for the World Monuments Fund, a private, global, not-for-profit organization founded in response to the accelerating destruction of important artistic treasures throughout the world. She was the Executive Director of The Joseph Papp Public Theater and the Vice President of LaSalle Partners, where she managed the plan for the redevelopment of Grand Central Terminal, and advised the Empire State Development Corporation on the redevelopment of 42nd Street. Laurie was appointed Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission by Mayor David N. Dinkins and continued as Chair under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Before that she was Executive Director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
Laurie was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and now serves as a member of the GSD’s Alumni Council. She studied for a Master’s degree from New York University’s Graduate School of Public Administration, and received her Bachelor of Arts and Science from Boston University. She is a member of numerous boards of directors including the Municipal Art Society, Performa, and the Advisory Council for the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
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Jake Beinecke is a New York City-based attorney and strategic consultant with experience in sustainable food & agriculture, environmental conservation, social enterprise and philanthropy. He is currently a Program Analyst with the Open Space Institute, a $200m regional land conservancy, and has previously worked on the Legal Team at Acumen, a $100m global social venture fund. Prior to launching a legal career, Jake was a professional cook, mostly in San Francisco. Jake serves as a Director of several non-profit organizations, including the Global Greengrants Fund, Page 73 Productions, and the Prospect Hill Foundation. A born and bred New Yorker, Jake graduated from the Trinity School, Columbia University and New York University's School of Law, where he chaired the Law and Social Entrepreneurship Association. As a surfer and avid outdoorsman, Jake has been thrilled to watch his native city rediscover its natural environment , including especially the ocean, harbor, rivers and waterfront. He currently lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
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Adrian Benepe has worked for more than 30 years protecting and enhancing New York City's parks, gardens and historic resources, most recently as the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation. He continues this effort but now on a national level, as Senior Vice President for City Park Development for the Trust for Public Land, starting in that position in September, 2012.
After graduating from Middlebury College in Vermont, he became a member of the first corps of Parks & Recreation’s Urban Park Rangers in 1979. He then served in several positions including Director of Public Information, Operations Coordinator, Director of Natural Resources & Horticulture (overseeing scores of restoration projects in the City’s wetlands and forests), and Director of Art & Antiquities (in charge of the City's conservation and interpretation of 1,300 statues and monuments and 23 historic house museums). From 1990 to 1993, Commissioner Benepe was the Director of the Annual Fund & Major Gifts for the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, where he expanded his knowledge of plants, trees and children’s education. At the Garden, he co-founded the “Holiday Garden Railway” exhibition. From 1994 to 1996 he served as Vice President for Issues & Public Affairs for the Municipal Art Society, working on planning, historic preservation, and other civic programs, and he co-curated “Kid City,” an exhibition for children on NYC’s built environment.
After six years in the non-profit sector, he returned to NYC Parks & Recreation in January 1996 as the Manhattan Borough Commissioner, where he managed Manhattan’s green infrastructure of more than 300 parks, playgrounds, and malls, and helped found the Fort Tryon Park Trust, a public-private partnership for the historic park and its Heather Garden. He served in that position until he was appointed Commissioner of Parks & Recreation in January, 2002 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. where he oversaw the operation of over 29,000 acres of public park land, encompassing nearly 5,000 properties including over 1,000 playgrounds, 600 ball fields, 600 tennis courts, 63 swimming pools, 35 recreation centers, 14 miles of beach, and over 2.5 million street and park trees, with an annual expense and capital budget of over $800 million. During his tenure, the NYC park system grew by more than 800 acres, including major new parks such as Hudson River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Highline, and new standards for sustainable design were introduced to guide all landscape architecture and architecture projects. He also served on 76 non-profit boards and helped to manage and develop significant public-private partnerships that contributed over one million annual volunteer hours and raised more than $165 million annually in private contributions.
In addition to his B.A. in English Literature from Middlebury College, Adrian Benepe also earned a Master's Degree in Journalism from Columbia University, where he was awarded a Pulitzer Fellowship. In 1987, he participated in the Mayor's Top 40 Program, and in 1992 he was selected to participate in Leadership New York, a program of the Coro Foundation. Although born in New Rochelle, NY, he has lived in New York City since 1959. He lives with his wife and two sons on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he grew up. He likes to run, walk, bicycle, and cross–country ski in Central and Riverside Parks and throughout the City's park system.
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Helena Rose Durst is a Vice President and a fourth-generation family member of The Durst Organization. Helena started her career as an intern at the Hudson River Park Trust, where she not only fell in love with the Hudson River waterfront but also gained valuable insight into the City’s complex land-use review process. After studying real estate at Baruch College, Helena joined the leasing department of The Durst Organization in 2001. She also instituted a comprehensive greening of the company’s building management operations that has improved landfill diversion rates, green cleaning practices, and resource conservation.
In addition to her responsibilities at The Durst Organization Helena is the President of The New York Water Taxi, New York’s premier recreational and commuter ferry service.
Helena has participated in the construction and management of several projects from the ground up, including The Epic, The Helena, and One Bryant Park. When Helena’s not in the city, she can be found at her family’s McEnroe Organic Farm, one of the largest family-owned-and-operated organic farms in New York State. Helena has started an education program there that aims to reconnect neighbors and youths with agriculture to better understand where our food comes from.
Helena is a board member of the Real Estate Board of New York, Just Food, Governors Island Alliance, and the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board.
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Jeffrey Hwang was named Chief Financial Officer of IRX Therapeutics in January 2002. Between 1980 and 1999, Mr. Hwang held various positions as a Vice President with JP Morgan & Co., Inc. Mr. Hwang's background includes experience in the areas of capital markets, syndications, project finance, human resources, and internal consulting. His relevant functional experience includes capital raising, marketing, planning & analysis, and human resources management.
Mr. Hwang was Chief Financial Officer of a small public sports education company and subsequently was a consultant to small business enterprises seeking his financial and management expertise. Mr. Hwang was a staff accountant with Price Waterhouse & Co.
Mr. Hwang earned his MBA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and his BS in Economics with a major in Accounting from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Captain Andrew McGovern is President of the New Jersey Sandyhook Pilots Association. He is a member of the Area Maritime Security Committee and Chair of the Infrastructure Protection Sub-Committee; a member and chairman of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee; and is on the Board of Directors of the Surface Navy Association of Greater NY, The Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler, and Nation’s Port, in addition to the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. He has been awarded the U.S.C.G. Civil Service Commendation (1993), the U.S.C.G. Distinguished Public Service Award (2001), and the National Harbor Safety Committee of the Year (2001).
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Rich Miller directs Con Edison's Energy Markets Policy Group. As such he is responsible for developing Company policy on a wide range of important federal, state, and municipal energy policy issues, including climate change and renewable power. Prior to that position, he served as Con Ed's assistant general counsel, where he was the company's principal regulatory attorney for its steam system and renewable power and energy efficiency matters. Rich came to Con Ed after five years of working in the city as Senior Vice President of Energy at the Economic Development Corporation, where he was the City's chief advisor on energy policy issues. He has a long history of public service, having also worked as a community organizer, housing advocate, and Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. He is also an avid cyclist who has bicycled most of the City's 580 miles of coastline and who swims whenever he can after he gets to the water.
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Michael (Buzzy) O'Keeffe was born and raised in New York City on the Long Island Sound and built a dock in front of his house when he was 16. Soon after graduating college and serving in the United States Army, he began his efforts to build a restaurant on the waterfront, which would combine three of his avocations; building, restaurants, and being by the water. After twelve years of lengthy negotiations with the City of New York, he was given approval to create the city's first waterfront restaurant. The River Cafe, located on the Brooklyn side of the East River, immediately by the Brooklyn Bridge, opened in June 1977. During his twelve year waiting period, he build and operated eight additional restaurants.
The River Cafe received the Parks Council Award in 1978, The Municipal Arts Society Award in 1979, and was selected by Gault Millau, the French culinary guide as one of the five best restaurants in New York. In 1980 - admitted to the Restaurant Hall of Fame. The restaurant was also awarded with the prestigious "Ivy Award of distinction" from Restaurants & Institutions magazine ans was awarded a star in the 2009 and 2010 Michelin guide.
The success of The River Cafe inspired the city to propose a similar development on the Manhattan waterfront. The Water Club, located on the East River at 30th Street, opened in 1982.
Mr. O'Keeffe designed, built, and operated, for eighteen years, the first cafe in the 'Main Concourse' - The Cafe at Grand Central on the Vanderbilt Avenue Balcony of Grand Central. With the renovation of Grand Central Terminal, the cafe had to close and Mr. O'Keeffe chose to move and instead build a restaurant at Pershing Square at 42nd Street and Park Avenue rather than return to the terminal.
It was yet another extreme challenge to build in this vast New York City Landmark, which is located under a roadway, over a railway, surrounded by major thoroughfares. The restaurant, Pershing Square Cafe received The Municipal Arts Society's 1999 Award for outstanding preservation of a city landmark. The award was established to recognize outstanding examples of landmark restoration in the five boroughs. There is only one award given out each year.
In addition to creating numerous establishments over the past 40 years, he has served as a consultant and has been invited to speak about his innovative waterfront architectural designs for the 23rd Street Development Project at the International Symposium on Ocean Space Utilization held at Nihon University in Japan.
Mr. O'Keeffe has served on the Board of Directors of the Fire Safety Foundation, the Harbor Foundation of New York and New Jersey, Fordham Preparatory School, the New York State Restaurant Association, and the Manhattan Waterfront Alliance. Currently, Mr. O'Keeffe serves on the Board of Directors of Audubon New York, The University of Limerick in Ireland, and Futures in Education, which was established to ensure the continuance of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens by providing scholarships and program support to the neediest of students and schools.
In addition, Mr. O'Keeffe has been honored by: The NYC Parks Council, Fordham College Alumni Association, Lincoln Hall Academy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Gate Theater - Dublin, Ireland, and St. Francis College - with an Honorary Doctorate.
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Dr. Julie Pullen is Director of the DHS National Center of Excellence for Maritime Security at Stevens Institute of Technology, and Research Associate Professor in the ocean engineering department. She uses high-resolution coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling in order to understand and forecast the dynamics of coastal urban regions throughout the world. Her research experience encompasses study of the Mediterranean, U.S. east and west coasts and Pacific island regions, with a particular emphasis on predicting chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) dispersion in coastal cities.
She was a principal investigator on a Department of Homeland Security grant to improve prediction of CBR dispersion in New York City by integrating multi-scale modeling of air, sea, and buildings. Additionally, Dr. Pullen was a member of the management team for the midtown Manhattan 2005 Urban Dispersion Program tracer release study, the largest of its kind in the U. S. While a civilian scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory, Dr. Pullen pioneered the two-way coupling of a high-resolution mesoscale atmosphere and ocean model for realistic applications in the coastal zone and published several award-winning research articles detailing the superior forecasts of both realms that resulted from coupling the models. This work formed the foundation and motivation for the transition of a state-of-the-art, high-resolution, globally relocatable coupled ocean, atmosphere, and wave model into operational use for diverse applications such as mission planning by the Navy SEALs.
Dr. Pullen is an adjunct research scientist and past Marie Tharp visiting fellow at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. She was previously a science fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation where she was a member of the external evaluation committee for the national Top Officials 2 Full Scale Exercise (TOPOFF-2). She received a B.A. from Macalester College, majoring in physics and math, and was the first undergraduate intern at the Santa Fe Institute. She then completed a master’s degree in applied mathematics at the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in physical oceanography at Oregon State University.
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Peggy Shepard is executive director and co-founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Founded in 1988, WE ACT was New York’s first environmental justice organization created to improve environmental health and quality of life in communities of color. A recipient of the 10th Annual Heinz Award For the Environment and the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Achievement, she is a former Democratic District Leader, who represented West Harlem from 1985 to April 1993, and served as President of the National Women’s Political Caucus-Manhattan from 1993-1997.
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Kate Sinding, Esq. is a Senior Attorney and Deputy Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) New York program. Her primary focus involves ensuring the proposed natural gas drilling in the northeast is subject to the most stringent environmental and health protections. Ms. Sinding also works on advancing recycling programs involving the producer responsibility model, as well as other waste and land use matters. Prior to joining NRDC in November 2006, she was a partner in the specialty environmental law firm of Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C. Ms. Sinding has taught Environmental Law at Columbia University and Fordham University Schools of Law. Ms. Sinding is a graduate of New York University Law School, the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and Barnard College.
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John Watts is Chair, Sequel Energy Solutions, inc, and Chairman Emeritus, Fischer Francis Trees & Watts, a $40B AUM global fixed income firm specializing in institutional and sovereign fund clients. He served from 2005 to 2007 as Vice Chair of BNP Paribas Asset Management Group.
Before founding FFTW, Mr. Watts was Deputy Manager; responsible for banking, foreign exchange and global bond advisory services at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., and later deputy to the Managing Partner. Before BBH, he was for two years a consultant in the business and applied mathematics group at Arthur D Little Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. and in Mexico City. Prior to ADL, Mr. Watts was the missile division officer on the US 7th Fleet Flagship, and later served as a missile test officer at the US Naval Weapons Lab.
A member of the boards of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp., eChalk, inc., World Policy Institute (chair), Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (chair), and Sparkman and Stephens, Inc.( chair), Watts also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-founded its European Program.
Mr. Watts served on the boards of Hampshire College (as Chair), National Park Foundation (as Treasurer), League of Conservation Voters (as Treasurer), Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy (now Chair Emeritus and Advisory Board), Salzburg Seminar, Synergos Institute, Florence V Burden Foundation, Packer Collegiate Institute and Governors Island Alliance (Founding Board Member), and Robert College of Istanbul.
He also served as a member of the Visiting Committee to Harvard's Economics Department and has lectured at the graduate business schools of the University of Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and Texas.
Mr. Watts received an MBA with high distinction from Harvard, where he was a Baker Scholar and completed the course work for a PhD in business economics. He holds BS and MS degrees in engineering from the University of Texas, where he served on the faculty. He is an avid sailor, environmentalist, and park advocate.
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Steve Wilson is an Executive Vice President with FilmRise, a digital film and television distribution company. He has had his own strategic communications firm for over a decade working with financial services, media/interactive, and non-profit organizations. As a managing director at JP Morgan, Wilson led a national financial sponsor team covering venture capital and private equity firms.
Wilson’s media experiences include launching new business initiatives for Organic Online, CNBC, ABC/ESPN, Electronic Arts, and Crest Films. Wilson guided National Geographic Television's entry into giant screen (IMAX) films. In the non-profit sector, he was executive vice president of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and served as board chairman of The Naked Angels Theater Company. He has taught film, television, and advertising production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and political science at The Harvard School in Los Angeles.
Wilson earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an AB in Politics from Princeton University. He has finished five New York City Marathons and enjoys chess and international investing. He lives in New York, and has lived or traveled extensively in Russia, Norway, UK, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
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