Lisa Bloodgood – Director of Advocacy & Education
Lisa has a background in community advocacy and local government, her work today has a special focus on community science-based research rooted in ecology, biodiversity, remediation and restoration. She is the NY Co-Chair for the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program’s Citizen Advisory Committee and serves on both the Steering and Technical Committees for the EPA’s Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG). She also serves as Co-Chair of North Brooklyn Neighbors Board of Directors, a North Brooklyn based environmental and social justice nonprofit and is a proud community gardener. Lisa studied Earth and Environmental Science at CUNY, Brooklyn College with plans to pursue a Masters in the coming years.
Willis Elkins – Executive Director
Willis began working at NCA in 2013, and has since developed and overseen a number of the key organizational programs relating to water quality monitoring, restoration, access and public programming. Willis is co-chair of the Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG), member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 (including the Environmental Protection, Transportation and Parks/Waterfront committees) and a founding member of the North Brooklyn Community Boathouse where he serves on the board and actively volunteers. Before joining NCA, Willis worked in administrative capacities for various non-profit organizations including the Buckminster Fuller Institute (2007-2013). Willis has a BA from New York University (2006) where he studied psychology and urban studies.
Brenda Suchilt – Horticulturist
Board of Directors
Mike Dulong is a senior attorney at Riverkeeper. His work focuses on a range of watershed and community protection issues, such as advancing sustainable animal farming practices, investigating pollution violations, and promoting strict drinking water protections for nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents while minimizing the impact of those measures on local ecosystems and municipalities. Mr. Dulong received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2011. Prior to law school, Michael received his B.A., cum laude, from The University of Massachusetts and his M.A. in British and American literature from New York University.
Michael Heimbinder is Founder and Executive Director of HabitatMap, a Brooklyn based non-profit that builds web-tools to support grassroots environmental organizing. He is also a technical advisor to the Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods where he consults on solid waste management issues in New York City. Michael is a graduate of Colorado College and received his M.A. in International Affairs from the New School for Social Research.
Annel Hernandez is the Associate Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. Annel works on city and statewide climate policy issues, focusing on local advocacy and research that further equitable investments in coastal resiliency, green infrastructure, and renewable energy. She also works on various coalition campaigns to push for more aggressive climate legislation – with equity as a central focus. She previously worked with the Urban Climate Change Research Network at the Earth Institute, collaborating with scholars, experts, and advocates on pushing forward new climate change resources for cities. Annel also worked in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity as Social Innovation Fund Advisor managing the program implementation of a multi-city initiative focused on economic opportunity programs, and was also a NYC Urban Fellow. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Earth Institute and a Research Assistant at the Institute of Latin American Studies. Annel received an MPA in Energy and Environment from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her BA in Political Science and Latino Studies from Fordham University. Annel is a lifelong New Yorker currently residing in Bushwick, Brooklyn within the Newtown Creek sewershed.
Christine Holowacz is the Community Liaison at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment plant for the Newtown Creek Monitor Committee. Christine received the Woman of the Millennium and the Carmine “Dusty” De Chair Community awards from the Seneca Club in 2001 & 2002 for her work with GWAPP and a Citation in 2002 from the Borough President for her work in the Polish Community. President of the Greenpoint Property Owners since 1989, Christine devotes much of her time to issues concerning senior citizen homeowners. She is also the Church of St. Cecilia political and housing coordinator. She holds a BA in Economics and Accounting from Brooklyn College.
Laura Hofmann is a St. Anthony’s parishioner, mother of six and grandmother of five. Laura works for St. Nicks Alliance as a housing counselor/outreach specialist. She is a lifelong Greenpoint resident whose family has been negatively impacted by environmental factors in her community. Because of this, she’s been active in parks, waterfront and environmental organizations, with a focus on her community’s health. Laura is currently a member of the Newtown Creek Monitoring Committee, Kosciusko Bridge Stakeholders Advisory Committee, Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group, Greenpoint Community Advisory Panel, Greenpoint Williamsburg Organizations United for Trash Reduction and Garbage Equity and is a co-founder of Barge Park Pals. Laura earned an Associate of Arts degree in Labor & Community Organizing at LaGuardia Community College, and is currently studying at Hunter College as an Urban Studies major. She brings with her an honorable mention for the Municipal Arts Society Yolanda Garcia Planning Award, certification in street tree pruning, and odor paneling training.
Jay Kaplan studied environmental science and marine ecology from Long Island University. He has worked for Waste Management as an environmental protection professional for 19 years in New York City. He has focused on the development of solid waste transportation infrastructure projects that have taken thousands of diesel powered trucks off the road. He sits on the Board of the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and is an active leader in environmental and community improvement projects in New York City in addition to being a passionate environmentalist.
Dewey M. Thompson (Secretary) has been active in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg community for almost two decades. Helping to found the Greenpoint Williamsburg Youth Soccer League got him involved in parks and open space issues. In addition to co-chairing GWAPP, he served on the Parks Committee of Community Board #1 for five years, is on the board of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn and, most recently, founded and helms the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Dewey lives in Greenpoint with his wife Katherine (also a chronic volunteer) and three children.
Natalie Vichnevsky (Chair) is the Manager of Entrepreneurship Services at Evergreen, a non-profit Industrial Economic Development Corporation based not far from the Newtown Creek’s English Kills tributary. Evergreen provides business services to and advocates for Brooklyn’s industrial and manufacturing community with the underlying mission of retaining and growing good quality jobs at all skill levels for the residents of North Brooklyn. Natalie has lived in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area for just shy of 20 years and was a local small business owner prior to her economic development days. Natalie has a Bachelor’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia and MS in City and Regional Planning from the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
Mitch Waxman grew up in Brooklyn and currently lives in Astoria, Queens. A commercial artist, he’s drawn comics, worked on Madison Avenue, and obsessively photographs all things NY Harbor and especially Newtown Creek. He lives, breathes, and eats the history of Newtown Creek and its surrounding communities, is a member of the Newtown Creek CAG Steering Committee and Community Board 1 in Queens. Check out Mitch’s blog The Newtown Pentacle.
Former NCA Board Members: