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.


Koren Volk

First Vice President

Koren joined the Board of Governors in 2018, and was elected First VP in 2021. 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.


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.


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 three 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. His children attend school at Plymouth Church and PS8. Chris and his wife are active in educational philanthropy through PAVE Academy and AmericaShare.



Board of Governors


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.


Andrew Kalish

Andrew has lived in Brooklyn Heights for nearly a decade and is a third-generation New Yorker whose mother and grandmother were both born and raised in the County of Kings. Andrew has worked at a variety of New York institutions including Rubenstein and Edelman where he managed clients ranging from the Tribeca Film Festival to Hudson Yards; Lincoln Center where he ran strategy and business development overseeing numerous business units and initiatives, and a director at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership where he spearheaded the development of the Brooklyn Cultural District, led the organization’s restaurant attraction efforts and launched a networking program for the startups. More recently he was at Localize.city a real estate technology start-up and is currently a strategy and innovation consultant supporting start-ups and accelerating their growth. He also served as the Treasure on a City Council campaign and is very civically active. Andrew lives with his wife Stephanie and their two children who attend the International Charter School and Building Bridges Pre School.


Carolyn Kramer

Carolyn Kramer is a longtime Brooklynite who grew up in Cobble Hill and moved to Brooklyn Heights in 2012. Carolyn currently lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband, two children and their dog. Carolyn is a corporate lawyer who served as director and in-house counsel for the investment banking department of Credit Suisse focusing on mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Carolyn worked as a corporate associate at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel. Carolyn holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law. Carolyn also served on the Advisory Board of Grace Church School.


Jennifer LaRusso-Leung

Jennifer has lived in Brooklyn Heights since 2010 and been an active member of the BHA through the Playground Committee since 2015 where she runs annual family events. She cares deeply for the neighborhood and feels passionate about bringing people together through community programming. Jennifer works as a coach for a disability non-profit and as an MBA admissions consultant. She holds an undergraduate degree from Holy Cross and a masters from Teachers College, Columbia. She is also currently pursuing a degree in mental health counseling from Teachers College. She lives in the neighborhood with her husband and children and is a proud parent of both PS 8 and Plymouth Church School, where she is an active volunteer.


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.


Cindy McLaughlin

Cindy, her husband Andrew, and their two boys have lived in Brooklyn Heights since 2018. Cindy is CEO of Envelope, a real estate acquisitions analysis company that uses zoning-based spatial software to search for, visualize, and run scenarios on real estate development potential. Prior to Envelope, Cindy held CEO and President roles in a range of technology companies. Cindy has an MBA from MIT/Sloan, a BA from Mount Holyoke College, and spent 2 years in Congo as a Water/Sanitation volunteer for the US Peace Corps. She also serves on the Tech and Innovation Committee at the Urban Land Institute, on the Board of Trustees at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and on the multi-stakeholder Coalition for the BQE Transformation.


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.


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 lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband, Michael Schlein, and their two sons, who represent the 6th generation of their family to spend some part of their lives in Brooklyn. A communications consultant currently advising non-profit organizations and other public sector clients, she formerly served at UNICEF as Chief of Editorial and Senior Communications Advisor; at the NYC Department of Education/Fund for Public Schools as Chief of Staff to Caroline Kennedy; at AOL Time Warner as Senior Director of Communications and chief speechwriter to the CEO; and in the White House as a senior Presidential Speechwriter and Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton. She is also a trustee of the Brooklyn Music School, on the President’s Advisory Board of the New York Academy of Art, and is a member of the Parent Association Board at Packer Collegiate. An alumna of Brooklyn Law School and lapsed attorney, she is also a graduate of Antioch College, whose first President, Horace Mann, famously charged its students to “be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”



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