Meet The Board

The BHA Board is made up of local residents with a record of strong commitment to the community. Our governors have professional skills that contribute significantly to our activities. They include zoning lawyers, architects, preservationists, public advocates and people experienced in City administration. Some are also full-time mothers, retired writers, and battle-scarred “brownstone warriors,” all dedicated to serving our neighborhood.

Officers


Erika Belsey Worth

President

Erika Belsey Worth moved to Montague Street with her husband and their two sons in 2001, and joined the board of the BHA in 2012. After running the legendary BHA House Tour for three years, she co-chaired the BHA’s Inaugural Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse in 2017. Now a biennial event, the Showhouse is the BHA’s primary fundraiser, and presents the work of established and emerging interior designers in a historic Brooklyn Heights home. Erika is a registered architect practicing in New York City. She co-founded Belsey & Mahla Architects in 1994, when she left Skidmore Owens and Merrill, where she had worked since graduating from the Yale School of Architecture in 1991.


Jeremy Lechtzin

Vice President

Jeremy first moved to Brooklyn Heights in 1997 and was pleased to return to the neighborhood after a recent two-year sabbatical in Spain. He is an architectural historian and technology lawyer. Jeremy focuses his history work on early Brooklyn, currently writing a data-driven analysis of every house built in Brooklyn Heights and creating a digital map of the lost streetscape of the Village of Brooklyn as it existed in 1816. He is a member of the BHA’s Landmarks Preservation Committee. In his legal career, Jeremy was the General Counsel of XO Group (parent company of TheKnot.com) for many years, and now advises several start-ups in NYC and Madrid. Jeremy and his wife Amy Klein are proud P.S. 8 parents.


Carolyn Ziegler

Vice President

Carolyn is on the BHA’s Executive Committee and serves as the chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Committee. She joined the board of the BHA in April 2013. She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. She and her husband, Richard Ziegler, have lived primarily in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill since 1975 and have raised three children here. Carolyn was a litigation and matrimonial partner at Flemming, Zulack, and Williamson (now Flemming, Zulack, Williamson, and Zauderer) for many years.


Susan Restler

Treasurer

Susan has lived in Brooklyn Heights for 40 years. Her first career was with JP Morgan where she led strategy and marketing for the private bank. In 2003 she co-founded Knowledge in the Public Interest, a facilitator of online collaboration. The company developed a model of collaborative online professional development for teaching faculty that was acquired in 2018. Susan chaired the board of Packer Institute during the conversion of the St. Ann’s church into the Packer middle school. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College/Harvard University and the Columbia Graduate School of Business. Susan and her husband Peter have two children.


Christopher Melling

Secretary

Chris joined the Board of Governors in 2017 and became an Officer in 2018.  He and his wife Melisa moved to Brooklyn Heights in 2012, where they are currently raising their two children.  Chris graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and has been a real estate investor and operator since 2003, specializing in the acquisition and renovation of distressed properties including some select Brooklyn brownstone renovations and restorations.  He serves as the president of the condominium board at Love Lane Mews and both his children attend school at Plymouth Church.  Chris and his wife are active in educational philanthropy through PAVE Academy and AmericaShare.



Board of Governors


Kerith Aronow

Kerith has lived in the Heights for 15 years, raising two kids in the neighborhood where her husband was born and raised. She graduated from Brown University and worked in TV news production at World News Tonight, 20/20 and The News with Brian Williams. She is a full-time mother and currently the chair of the Membership Committee, which has the goal of reaching out to a new generation of Heights’ residents. She is also the chair of the Community History Project.


Cheryl Baker

Cheryl moved to Brooklyn Heights from Philadelphia and Boston in 2017, and has been busy involving herself in this community ever since. She volunteered at the BHA Show House, assists the Promenade Gardens Conservancy, and has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange. She also volunteers at the National Museum of the American Indian. Cheryl became a BHA governor in 2018.

Before retiring, Cheryl enjoyed a long career in public education as a teacher, school administrator and district leader. Subsequently, she supported educational improvements through quality review and strategic planning initiatives, nation-wide. In addition to K-12 education, Cheryl’s interests include historic preservation and protection of our green spaces. She holds degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Johns Hopkins University and the Pennsylvania State University.


Christian Bastian

Chris was born in Brooklyn Heights and moved back to the neighborhood in 1997. He works as Associate Director of Transport Systems Analysis at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which provides insight for his work as chair of the BHA’s Traffic and Transportation Committee. He has been on the BHA Board since November 2011. He is also an adjunct instructor at the NYU Wagner School and serves as a board member for St. Stephen’s School in Rome, Italy. He and his wife live on Sidney Place.


Lorraine Bonaventura

Lorraine is the principal of Lorraine Bonaventura Architect, an award-winning architecture, interior design and preservation practice established in 2004. Before starting her own practice, she was the lead designer for many years at Kohn, Pederson, Fox Architects, focusing on institutional, commercial and hospitality projects. In addition to her current practice, she also teaches architecture and design in the city’s public schools through the American Institute Of Architects’ NYC Center for Arts Foundation’s “Learning By Design” program and other nonprofits. Lorraine is a member of the AIA and a registered architect in New York State. Besides her work with the BHA, Lorraine serves on BRIC’s Contemporary Arts Advisory Council, the board of The Heights Casino and on the Community Advisory Committee of the Brooklyn Public Library. She is also a past president of Grace Chorale of Brooklyn, and served as chair of the AIA NYC Design Awards Committee. She studied architecture and design at the Vienna Institute of Technology and received her BA in Architecture from the School of Design at North Caroline State University.


John MacIntosh

John and his family have been connected with Brooklyn Heights since 1991. A desire to live in the Heights brought them back in 2007 after ten years abroad. John looks for ways to use his finance and business experience to have a positive, social impact. He is the Managing Partner of SeaChange Capital Partners, a nonprofit “merchant bank” that makes grants, loans, and provides consulting to help other nonprofits—from arts and culture to social services—address complex challenges. Prior to SeaChange, John worked in private equity, management consulting and software development. John has a BSE from Princeton University and did a mid-life Masters in Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics. He serves on the Board of Directors of the John Jay College Foundation and the Putney School, is an equity investment advisor to MicroVest Capital Management, and is an observer on a number of nonprofit boards in conjunction with his role at SeaChange. He is also proud to have played goal-keeper in more than 150 games for Heights FC. John and his wife Anna feel blessed to have been able to raise four daughters in the neighborhood.


Jane Platt

Jane and her husband Radey Johnson and their two daughters have lived in Brooklyn Heights since 2010. A graduate of Bennington College, she received her Ph.D. in psychology from Yale. Following graduation she joined the faculty at Harvard and eventually moved on to New York University School of Medicine where she taught, did research and also ran a private practice as a licensed psychologist. Now retired, she has volunteered with the BHA since 2012, and joined the Membership Committee in 2017 and the Board of Governors in 2018 where she will continue to work on membership issues. Jane also volunteers at the Brooklyn Women’s Exchange and is on the board of The Alex House Project, a Brooklyn-based non-profit that offers parenting classes as well as educational and vocational support to young single mothers.


Kevin Reilly

Kevin and his family have lived in Brooklyn Heights for over 30 years. He joined the BHA Board in November 2014 and is currently treasurer and a member of the Audit and Finance Committee. Kevin retired in 2014 as Ernst & Young’s Vice Chair of Professional Practice and Risk Management after 35 years with the firm.  He was responsible for all of the firm’s national office accounting, auditing, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board reporting functions.  Kevin currently works with the Ernst & Young Foundation’s Academic Resource Center, a nonprofit entity that develops college-level curricula and other resources to help students with a variety of leading-edge accounting, auditing and financial reporting topics.


Sara Sargent

Sara has lived in Brooklyn Heights for more than a decade, calling Montague Street, Monroe Place and, now, Pierrepont Street home. She has degrees from Swarthmore College and Northwestern University, and she is currently a Senior Executive Editor at Random House Children’s Books. In her leisure time, Sara is a member of The Heights Casino, volunteers with New York Cares and 826NYC, and most mornings can be found running through Brooklyn Bridge Park.


Lisa Smith-Dince

Lisa is a professor at Brooklyn Law School, where she is the director of Criminal and Judicial Externship Programs and the Prosecutors Clinic. Her family has resided in Brooklyn Heights since the 1980s. She is an appointee to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Professor Smith was formerly the Executive Assistant District Attorney for Special Victims in the Office of the Kings County District Attorney. She is currently on the board of the Montague Street BID, the Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn Street BID, and the executive board of the Fulton Mall Association. Lisa welcomes the opportunity to serve on the BHA Board to have more of a voice in community concerns. She is the co-chair of the BHA’s Police and Public Safety Committee, which works closely with the 84th Precinct on neighborhood safety concerns.


Jordan Tamagni

Jordan Tamagni is a strategic communications consultant with 25 years of experience advising public figures, elected officials, corporations and non-profit organizations. She most recently served as Chief of Editorial at UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund. She previously served at the NYC Fund for Public Schools as Chief of Staff to Caroline Kennedy, who led the citywide effort to increase private sector fundraising for public education; as Senior Director for Communications at Time Warner and AOL; and in the White House Administration of President Clinton, where she held the role of Special Assistant to the President and senior Presidential Speechwriter. A lapsed attorney and former Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow at Brooklyn Law School, she is a graduate and former trustee of Antioch College, a learning institution whose first President, Horace Mann, laid the foundation for a legacy of civic participation and the pursuit of social justice. Jordan lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Michael Schlein, and their two sons.


Koren Volk

Koren joined the Board of Governors in 2018. She and her husband moved to Brooklyn Heights in 1995. Now retired, she is the Project Manager of the Promenade Garden Conservancy, joining the group in the garden on Tuesday mornings and assisting in the Conservancy’s annual fundraising efforts. She also volunteers as an adult education tutor for Imani House of Park Slope. She has recently served as president of her Montague Terrace coop. In her free time, Koren retreats to her painting studio in Sunset Park. Before retiring, Koren worked as a research analyst for Deutsche Bank, Barclays Bank and CIBC. She holds degrees from the University of Regina and the University of Western Ontario.


Inger Staggs Yancey

Inger and her husband Richard moved to Brooklyn Heights in 2005, where they are currently raising their three boys. She joined the BHA Board of Governors in September 2010. Inger has been involved in the annual house tour and fundraising activities, contributes to the Landmarks Committee, and is the liaison to the Parks Department on tree issues. She graduated from Harvard with a master’s degree in architecture. She is a registered architect, and as a LEED Accredited Architect and a Green Roof Professional, has over 30 years experience creating sustainable architecture. Inger founded Brooklyn Greenroof LLC in 2008 to provide green roofing services for all types of buildings and lectures on sustainability topics.



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