Val Washington is currently in part-time practice as an Environmental Attorney and consultant at the law firm of Allen & Desnoyers, having spent a career in various legal, policy and advocacy positions in government and in non-profit organizations. As an environmental attorney she held positions as Regional Attorney for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Assistant Attorney General, overseeing the upstate offices of the NY Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau for 12 years.
She left the formal practice of law for eight years to act as Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York, the state’s premier environmental advocacy organization. In 2007, Val was drafted by the Spitzer administration to serve as Deputy Commissioner at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation where she remained until her recent retirement from State service. Throughout much of her career she was engaged in shaping remediation and brownfields policies. Val has taught environmental courses at Albany Law School and in a number of undergraduate and graduate programs, and has written and spoken widely on a range of environmental topics.
Mark C. Pennington is Of Counsel to the law firm of John E. Osborn, P.C., in New York City. He practices environmental law, concentrating in hazardous waste remediation, brownfield redevelopment, compliance management, enforcement proceedings, business transactions and open space preservation. Mr. Pennington received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Yale College and his J.D. degree from New York University School of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section, the New York City Bar, and the American Bar Association’s Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law. He serves on the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Adam joined WXY Architecture + Urban Design as a Managing Principal in September 2011. He has a background in urban design and planning with several years’ experience leading large-scale strategies and master plans. Adam has a Ph.D. in planning from University College London and a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University. He is an accredited planner (AICP).
Adam worked in London for more than seven years, including roles at URS Corporation, as the UK Deputy Head of Economics and Development Planning, and as a Director at Urban Practitioners (now Allies and Morrison: Urban Practitioners). While in London, Adam led several area-wide strategies in places undergoing brownfield redevelopment. Since returning to New York City, Adam led the Sunset Park Brownfield Opportunity Area Study and the Sheridan Expressway Sustainability Assessment among several studies. He was a technical planner on the City’s team undertaking the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency following Hurricane Sandy, with a focus on the industrial Brooklyn-Queens waterfront. Adam’s work has won numerous awards, including the American Planning Association’s NY Chapter 2013 Meritorious Achievement Award for the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan, and the American Institute of Architects 2013 “Best in New York State” Award for the East River Blueway Plan.
Adam has worked with several New York City and State agencies, UK government departments, community development corporations, cultural institutions and private developers. Adam is currently teaching urban design in the Cornell University MUP program.
Joan Bartolomeo joined the Community Development Department of Signature Bank in October of 2013, after serving for 29 years with Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), the last 23 years as its president. At Signature Bank, she works to form strategic partnerships to meet the credit needs of individuals, businesses, municipalities and community-based organizations. In this capacity, she serves as the community’s link to the expertise and financial products that the Bank offers. The Community Development Department is also committed to becoming a part of the community on behalf of the Bank through involvement in community activities and by serving on the boards of community-based organizations. Through their active participation at the local level, Signature Bank has developed a first-hand understanding of the banking needs facing our neighbors and communities.
Joan Bartolomeo joined the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) in 1984, matching her personal and professional interest in community and economic empowerment with an organization equally dedicated to working in that arena. BEDC is dedicated to business development and job creation and retention in Brooklyn, with services in the areas of small business lending, commercial and retail development, entrepreneurship, commercial revitalization and numerous other activities.
Ms. Bartolomeo is also involved with a number of not-for-profit organizations in Brooklyn, and is a founding board member of New Partners for Community Revitalization, which arose from the Pocantico Roundtable on Brownfields, in which she participated. She also serves on the Brooklyn Public Library Success Council, on the board of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation, and on several boards relating to SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s biotechnology initiatives. Ms. Bartolomeo is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn. She obtained her B.S. in Biology and her M.A. in Urban Studies from Long Island University, where she received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001.
Richard Werber is an independent consultant doing business as Foresight Consulting. Foresight develops feasibility studies, business plans, and funding tools for both for-profit and non-profit entities, and accesses government services and incentives for small or mid-size businesses. In his adventurous youth, Richard cast a wide professional net as a school teacher, musician, farmer, small business manager and journeyman tool and die maker, before entering the world of economic, workforce and community development in 1986. In that world, he has accumulated extensive experience in program development and grant writing for non-profit corporations; professional exposure to training and career guidance needs; deep knowledge of incentives for small business; skill in small business planning; a working knowledge of zoning, land use, urban planning and real estate development; and was a lead executive for start-up and initial operations of two social mission manufacturing firms.
In 2003, Richard joined the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) as its Director of Business Services. At GJDC, Richard assumed overall responsibility for developing a Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Nomination Study for GJDC, funded by the New York State Department of State. Richard managed a team of consultants and GJDC staff that completed the Nomination Study in January, 2010. Based on the successful Study, the organization was awarded a BOA Implementation Strategy grant in 2012. Prior to Richard’s departure from GJDC in 2013, he organized the community outreach, overall project design, and consultant teams necessary to complete the BOA Implementation Strategy.
Richard also serves on the Board of Directors of King Manor Museum in Jamaica, Queens, recognized and supported by the Historic House Trust of New York City, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Katherine Robertson has over 30 years of experience in grant writing, governmental relations, communications, and community affairs. She is active in the non-profit, environmental and education sectors, where she helps build community and political consensus for programs and projects, and works to sustain these programs and projects by identifying and securing grant and public funding. Robertson applies her background as a reporter, political consultant, and public affairs director to developing communication strategies and action plans for clients that enable them to anticipate challenges and overcome them. She also works to position clients for federal and philanthropic funding opportunities and helps them develop competitive proposals. Robertson is an expert is crisis communication, and has worked on teams assembled to address crisis situations in educational, political and state correctional system contexts. She has applied her knowledge of the legislative process to assisting clients with policy and regulatory agencies, and has written legislation, policy and testimony.
Jody co-founded and co-directed NPCR with Mathy Stanislaus until 2009, when Mathy was tapped by President Obama to become Assistant Administrator of the USEPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. Upon Mathy’s confirmation by the US Senate, Jody was appointed Executive Director and ran NPCR, until September 2014. Under Jody’s leadership, NPCR’s work re-shaped the brownfields and community development framework in New York City and New York State; and is reflected in the numerous laws, regulations, programs and budgets, and the myriad government agencies involved in toxic land reclamation. Most notably, Jody’s impact can be seen in the 125 communities participating in the NYS Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program, where NPCR’s pioneering work has resulted in a shift in the way people think about brownfields cleanup – from a site-by-site approach to an area-wide approach, in order to create value in decaying communities. Jody’s impact can also be seen at the NYC level where NPCR’s work resulted in the creation of the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation and a robust NYC financial and regulatory program for brownfields.
Prior to NPCR, Jody was Vice President of the nonprofit NYC Housing Partnership. During her 12 years at the Partnership, Jody helped coordinate the construction of over 16,000 affordable housing units, representing over $1.5 billion in private investment in 50 NYC low-income communities. Her expertise covers coordinating the intersection of regulatory, financing and marketing issues, including hazardous materials issues, sewer, highway and building permits, landmarks, archaeology, historic rehabilitation tax credits, lead-based paint, zoning, and other land use and environmental approvals. Jody served on Gov. Pataki’s Superfund Working Group from 1998-99;and she created and coordinated the Pocantico Roundtable for Consensus on Brownfields and co-led the Brownfields Coalition, an association of over 100 diverse organizations who came together in support of the legislative proposal that emerged from the Pocantico Roundtable and was ultimately instrumental in securing passage of the 2003 NYS Brownfield Law.
Darryl H. Cabbagestalk, American International Group, Inc.
Darryl is an Assistant Vice President for American International Group, Inc. His prior experience includes serving as Project Director and City Planner for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Darryl has also served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute‘s School Of Architecture, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment. He is the Co-Author of “Remediating Contaminated Sites in New York City Under the E-Designation Program,” Environmental Law in New York, Volume 16, No. 11, November 2005. Darryl has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College (CUNY) and a Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law, Bar Admission: State of New Jersey.
Ryan Chavez, United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park
Since May, 2013, Ryan Chavez has served as Infrastructure Coordinator for UPROSE, a Sunset Park, Brooklyn-based intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally-recognized community organization that promotes the sustainability and resiliency of the Sunset Park community in Brooklyn through community organizing, education, leadership development and cultural/artistic expression. Chavez oversees conceptualization, coordination and implementation of large-scale community-driven infrastructure, research and planning initiatives in Sunset Park, with the goal of promoting environmental justice, climate resilience, economic development, social equity and public participation. Prior to joining UPROSE, he assisted Groundwork Hudson Valley in a feasibility study of a bicycle corridor between downtown Younkers and the 242nd Street subway station in the Bronx, resulting in a grant award from the NYS Regional Economic Development Council. He holds a B.A. in English from SUNY Purchase and an M.A in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.
Dr. Lawrence Feldman, GZA GeoEnvironmental
Larry Feldman is a senior principal at the environmental and geotechnical consulting firm of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., working primarily out of the firm’s Norwood and Boston offices. For the past 30 years, Dr. Feldman’s work has focused primarily on the assessment, remediation, and redevelopment of brownfield sites contaminated by oil and/or hazardous material, and on providing litigation support in cases involving such sites. Having served as an appointed member of the legislative study committee that developed the recommendations that served as the foundation for the creation of Massachusetts’ award-winning privatized cleanup program in 1992, he has consulted with other states interested in privatizing their cleanup programs. He served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals (“Licensed Site Professionals”) from its creation in 1992 until 2004, and still serves as an appointee to MassDEP’s Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee. A founding director of the LSP Association in 1992, he served as its President in 2007-2008. Dr. Feldman has lectured at programs presented by a number of legal and other professional organizations.
GZA provides a wide range of environmental and geotechnical services to its clients from two dozen offices across the northeastern quadrant of the United States.
J. Kevin Healy is a member of the Environmental Client Service Group of Bryan Cave LLP. Mr. Healy has practiced environmental and land use law for almost 40 years. He represents parties in regulatory and permitting matters under the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Clean Water Act and numerous other federal, state and local environmental programs; provides counsel on the environmental aspects of real estate developments, particularly those involving brownfields; and participates in environmental audits of industrial operations. He represents a wide range of clients, including industrial and commercial corporations, major New York utilities, railroads, public authorities and municipalities. Mr. Healy has served as Special Master in federal environmental litigation and has mediated the resolution of multi-party CERCLA actions. He has represented a variety of clients in environmental impact reviews for major projects in and around New York City. Mr. Healy is co-chair of the Committee on Global Climate Change of the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, and is a member of the Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation organized by the New York City Bar Association.
Barry F. Hersh is a Clinical Associate Professor at the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate and Chair of the Masters in Real Estate Development Program. He teaches, works with faculty, students and curriculum, and recently was honored for his service. Mr. Hersh also conducts research on environmentally responsible real estate development, is a core faculty member of the NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment, and participates in international joint university and executive programs.
Mr. Hersh’s national study of Waterfront Brownfield Redevelopment was published by the NAIOP Foundation and he has also written series of international studies on Brownfields; “Brownfields on Three Continents” published in Brownfields Renewal in 2013. His New York City Brownfields study was recognized in 2006 for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement and was utilized in PlaNYC 2020. Hersh has consulted on community brownfield efforts; in Jamaica, Eastchester, and Newtown Creek, New York City, projects in Ohio, California and Sandy recovery efforts. He also teaches, as a partner in Vita Nuova LLC, the “What Regulators Need to Know about Redevelopment” course for US EPA. He holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from New York University's Wagner School and a Bachelor’s in Urban and Environmental Studies from CUNY. Mr. Hersh recently was among the first to become a Certified Environmental Planner, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Urban Land Institute.
NPCR is exited and honored to welcome Vernice Miller-Travis to our Board of Directors. Vernice is a Senior Associate in the Community Planning and Design Group of Skeo Solutions. She provides technical expertise for collaborative planning and design services in area-wide brownfields revitalization, community sustainability and environmental justice. Vernice brings years of experience in brownfields and Superfund site redevelopment, community revitalization and collaborative problem solving to her work. Although Vernice now lives in Maryland, she has a long history with environmental and community revitalization issues in New York. In 1988, she was one of the founders of West Harlem-based WeAct for Environmental Justice. She is also one of the authors of Toxic Waste and Race, a founding document of the Environmental Justice Movement, published in the 1987 by the Commission for Racial Justice of the United Church of Christ.
With her close ties to the Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfields programs nationwide, Vernice will provide NPCR with critical guidance and expertise as we work together to strengthen and improve New York’s Brownfield Opportunity Areas program.
Kevin McCarty has been involved in all facets of environmental remediation and redevelopment over 25 years and has devoted much of the last 20 years working all around New York City. He is a Principal at Integral Consulting and is continually involved in the evolution of work invoking the term “environmental consulting”. Outspoken in the area of sustainable beneficial reuse, he continually adapts programs into new opportunities. He has been involved in numerous organizations including; an advisor to the Pocantico Roundtable, original steering member of the Mid-Hudson Land Revitalization Partnership, and Board member of NPCR and the NYCBP. He continues to help expand the understanding of how matching needs and goals of redevelopment can mix with the challenge of contaminated site cleanup.
Howard Tollin, Sterling and Sterling
Howard Tollin is the Executive Vice President of SterlingRisk and President of Sterling Environmental Services. Mr. Tollin and his team work with corporate clients and their lawyers on evaluating and negotiating legal, contractual and insurance responsibilities often associated with a real estate transaction, merger or acquisition, or construction project. He has over 25 years of expertise with environmental law and general insurance risk management. Mr. Tollin has worked with NPCR for over a decade. When NPCR's founding co-director Mathy Stanislaus was tapped in 2009 to run the country's highest office for brownfields as Assistant Administrator of USEPA, Mr. Tollin was added to the Board.
Mr. Tollin has current leadership roles in several professional associations, and is a frequent speaker on a variety of insurance and environmental topics. For the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), he is the co-chair of Young Lawyers and Law Students Subcommittee on the Membership Committee. He is also the Environmental Section Delegate to NYSBA House of Delegates (HOD) for the 2011 to 2015 term. Mr. Tollin has served on the Advisory Board for the Stony Brook University WISE Program for more than 12 years, and was a past chair of the American Bar Association Agent Broker and Products Liability Subcommittee. He is the Editor-in Chief of the prestigious 25 year old Environmental Claims Journal, and coordinates quarterly publications with its 30 member Editorial Advisory Board. Mr. Tollin is licensed and admitted to practice law in the states of New York and Connecticut, and holds an insurance brokerage license in New York, New Jersey, and many other jurisdictions. He has a B.S. Degree with Honors in Economics from Binghamton University, and a J.D. Degree from Hofstra University School of Law.
Lynn Wright, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP
Lynn Wright has practiced environmental law for over 30 years, having started her government career as an Assistant Attorney General with the environmental regulatory agency in Pennsylvania. She followed her state service with federal government service as an Assistant Regional Counsel with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Region II. Lynn joined Edwards & Angell (n/k/a Edwards, Wildman & Palmer) in the private practice of environmental law and was a partner at the firm for over 20 years and headed the the Environmental Practice Group for over 10 years. She is now retired from the firm.
Alan Zerkin, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University/Noazark Associates, Inc.
Allen J. Zerkin is a graduate of Yale Law School, a member of the New York Bar and since 1988 an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service teaching very popular courses on negotiation, conflict resolution and public involvement. He has conducted day-long workshops on negotiation at the American Planning Association’s annual National Planning Conference since 1999 and frequently conducts trainings and workshops for national non-profit organizations. He serves on the board of director of New Partners for Community Revitalization.
As a practitioner, Mr. Zerkin specializes in:
The design and facilitation of public and stakeholder involvement processes, including public meetings that provide meaningful opportunities for learning, deliberating and providing useful input;
Collaborative stakeholder research initiatives and policy roundtables; and
Agreement-seeking processes on state, regional and local issues.
Among his high profile projects was the design and facilitation of the Pocantico Roundtable for Consensus on Brownfields in New York State in 1998-1999, the process that generated model legislation that a broad-based coalition subsequently used to secure the passage of state brownfields legislation. He also facilitated the 1999 New York State Roundtable for Consensus on Tire Management, the consensus recommendations from which became law in 2002-03, and conceived and facilitated what came to be called the Upstate-Downstate Water Quality Partnership, an unofficial channel for communication between organizations and citizens from New York City and from the Catskills region, which laid the groundwork for Gov. Pataki's decision to convene the mediation that resolved the New York City watershed controversy in 1995.
He has been accepted onto the roster of the U.S. Institute of Environmental Conflict Resolution’s National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals.
Jeff Jones, Consultant in Political & Media Strategies
Jeff Jones is an Albany-based consultant in political and media strategies. Formerly on the staff of Environmental Advocates of New York, Jeff was part of the team that successfully worked for passage of the state Brownfields Law in 2003. Jeff first joined NPCR as a founding board member. Now, as a staff consultant, he represents the organization in Albany and to the media. Jeff has worked to strengthen the Brownfield Opportunity Areas program and to fix the Brownfield Cleanup Program. In addition to his work with NPCR, Jeff consults for numerous environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Land Trust Alliance and the Healthy Schools Network. Jeff serves on the boards of several organizations, including WeAct for Environmental Justice and the League of Conservation Voters Capital Region Chapter.