Staff

Stephen Pierson
Executive Director

Stephen moved to Brooklyn in 1998, drawn to the vibrancy of its arts community. In 2006 his passion for the arts led him to co-found Canteen, where he served as Executive Director until 2014. At Canteen, Stephen produced numerous public art shows and events, founded an arts tutoring program for at-risk youth, and published two biannual, nationally-distributed journals. As a 16-year Brooklyn resident, Stephen has fought to keep the borough artist-friendly—both as an elected County Committee member, and as a member of Community Board 2 and its Cultural Affairs committee. Stephen is a graduate of Brown University’s Modern Culture and Media program. He currently resides in Greenpoint with his wife and two young daughters.
Email:stephen@art-bridge.org

Devin Mathis
Deputy Director

Before joining ArtBridge, Devin was the programming associate at chashama, managing artists temporary installations and studio spaces in underutilized real estate in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. She also worked as the manager of marketing and external communications for the Children’s Museum of the Arts in SoHo. Devin completed her masters in arts and cultural management at the Pratt Institute with a focus on building creative capital in communities that are recovering from natural disasters.  Devin is a passionate supporter of strengthening the arts and cultural communities, and studied photography at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies under Eric Breitenbach. She also holds a BA in sociology from Xavier University.
Email: devin@art-bridge.org

Veronica Santi
Program Director

Veronica holds a Master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of Florence and in Art History from the University of Bologna. She is the co-founder of Off Site Art and Program Director for ArtBridge’s project in L’Aquila, Italy. She is a regular contributor for the Italian art magazine Artribune. As a curator, she has collaborated with Spazio 522 (New York), the Uffizi Gallery (Florence), MAMbo Museum (Bologna), the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, and the International Art Fair in Bologna. Her research focuses on the sociopolitical impact of cultural practices in unconventional and public spaces. She is also directing a documentary about the art critic Francesca Alinovi. Veronica lives in Sunnyside, Queens.
Email: veronica@art-bridge.org

Kate Ryan
Project Manager

Kate holds a BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Master’s degree in Art History from the Pratt Institute. Upon completing her BFA, she headed south to New Orleans where she made paintings while also working in visitor services and education at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 2013, she relocated to New York to attend Pratt Institute where she received her Master’s in May, 2015, writing her thesis on the artist Paul McCarthy. She currently resides in the Bronx.
Email: kate@art-bridge.org

Russell Berger
Designer

Russell is ArtBridge’s lead designer, navigating the complexities of installing art on construction scaffolding while strictly complying with Department of Buildings regulations. For the past 14 years, Russell has served as the Principal and Creative Director of badpartners—a design studio specializing in creative clarity. Russell marries sophisticated design expertise with an intensive production background to create work as diverse as the five boroughs. Russell is also an avid ice cream maker – winning and placing two years in a row in The Brooklyn Ice Cream Takedown – and has grand plans to freeze the world and cover it in butterscotch sauce.

Board of Directors

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Anna Allen

Anna is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Say Ah!, Inc, a health literacy nonprofit. She is a writer and a health care advocate who works to ensure that health information and services are easy-to-access and easy-to-use. Prior to starting Say Ah!, Anna worked as a radio journalist in Southeast Asia and as a sportswriter in New York. She is a graduate of Union College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. Originally from Baltimore, Anna lives in New York City just three blocks from ArtBridge’s offices. Nevertheless, she is still an Orioles fan.

Jim Bergesen

Jim is a Painter and Photographer who also teaches Studio Arts, Art History and Museum Studies; a duality that is reflected in his artwork. In addition to his studio practice, Jim founded and directed John 29 B:16 Gallery, an artist-run gallery space in lower Manhattan. Jim has also recently initiated and curated a number of public art programs in Westchester, NY. Jim has a particular interest in visual literacy through the arts, and is a passionate supporter of emerging artists.

Hannah Byers

Hannah recently joined Sotheby’s after fifteen years of working with museums around the globe. Ms. Byers has worked on museum development projects in more than a dozen countries and has experience on nearly seventy major exhibitions in varying capacities, ranging from curator, researcher, consultant, and manager. She is a contributing author to numerous publications, including Reinterpreting  Revolutionary Russia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Memories of Baku (Marquand, 2013). Ms. Byers received her doctorate in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Glasgow, and her MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester.

Rodney Durso
Board President

Rodney is ArtBridge’s Founder and Board President. Previously, he was Principal and Creative Director of New York-based Stormhouse Partners, an Award-Winning branding and design agency. In 2006, while teaching as an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design and working as a brand consultant, Rodney rented a studio in Chelsea and transitioned into painting and fine art. In 2008, while observing New York City’s many stalled construction projects and endless sidewalk bridges, Rodney formulated the idea for ArtBridge.
“I hope that ArtBridge exhibitions will both beautify the city landscape and give a unprecedented exposure to local and emerging artists”

Bronwyn James
Board Treasurer

Bronwyn is a senior manager of corporate finance at Equinox. Previously, she was an associate in the capital markets group at KKR and an analyst in leveraged finance and investment banking at Morgan Stanley. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce with First Class Honors in Investment Management from McGill University. Having been raised by a pair of artists, Bronwyn has always cared deeply about the arts. As an ArtBridge board member, she is excited to actively contribute to ArtBridge’s mission, combining her corporate experience with a passion for the arts.

Lindsey Schmidt
Board Secretary

Lindsey, ArtBridge’s Board Secretary, is a cross-disciplinary marketing professional with integrated media expertise. She has consulted with numerous international advertising firms, leading global branding and advertising campaigns. She has also been heavily involved in the NY Cares Children’s program, and serves as a guest critic for portfolio design development at Parsons School of Design. While a city girl at present, Lindsey originally hails from below the Mason-Dixon line, and can appreciate both the beauty of the natural world — and the beauty of the occasional bowl of biscuits and gravy.

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Robert Shapiro

Robert is an Executive Vice Chairman at Cushman & Wakefield, where he focuses on investment sales in Manhattan’s Inwood and Washington Heights neighborhoods. He has facilitated the sale of 222 New York City commercial properties for a value of $1.3 billion. Robert spent 13 years at Massey Knakal, which was acquired by Cushman & Wakefield in 2014. Robert also gives back to the community. Previously, he was the Co-Chairman of the Catalog for Giving’s annual banquet which supported 10 charities devoted to at-risk youth. Robert was also a board member of Massey Knakal’s Charitable Foundation, and he spearheaded Massey Knakal’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity, helping to construct a home in Harlem. In 2008, Robert was named to Real Estate New York’s 30 under 30 list.

Kim Schnaubert

Kim is a development professional who has enabled New York City nonprofit arts organizations to meet financial, administrative, audience, and membership goals for the past decade. Currently she is the Development Director at SculptureCenter, New York City’s only contemporary art museum solely dedicated to sculpture. Prior to SculptureCenter she was Development Director at chashama, which transforms vacant properties into creative space. Kim has also held development positions with Performa and the American Federation of Arts. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. As a native West Texan she misses dramatic sunsets, Rosa’s bean and cheese burritos and warm winters, but has fully embraced the New York Knicks, public transportation, and Seamless.

Manjari Sharma

Manjari Sharma is an internationally published photo-based artist born and raised in Mumbai, India and based in Brooklyn, New York. Manjari’s artwork is rooted in the study of relationships, personal mythology and experience. Amongst being in various private collections, Manjari’s work can be found in the permanent collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and has been showcased in group and solo shows both in the United States and worldwide. She holds a bachelors degree in Visual Communication from S.N.D.T University, Mumbai and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Still Photography from Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. She is represented by ClampArt Gallery in New York City and Richard Levy Gallery in New Mexico.

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Charlë Webb

Charlë Webb is a member of the Rubin Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. She has an extensive background in the arts as an accomplished actress, writer and producer for both film and television, and is a lifelong New Yorker.

Advisory Council

Stephanie Lynn Ackler

Stephanie is the Managing Director of Investments and at Ackler Wealth Management, which she established in 2001. Stephanie is an active member of the Financial Women’s Association of New York, and holds leadership positions by serving on the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Investment Policy Committee. Stephanie graduated Franklin and Marshall College in 1984 with a BA in Chemistry. In 1980 she graduated Northfield Mount Hermon School.

Erin Barnes

Erin is the founder and Executive Director of Ioby, a crowdfunding site for projects with socially beneficial aims. Prior to founding Ioby, Erin was an environmental editor at Men’s Journal magazine, and a contributor to Al Gore’s book Our Choice. She has conducted field research on values of water in Nicaragua and fisheries in the Amazon, and worked as a community organizer and public information officer at the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition. She holds a BA in English and American Studies from UVA, and a Master of Environmental Management from Yale. Erin also serves on the board of the Manhattan Land Trust and as an advisor to the social innovators collective Shared Squared and Charity Sub.

Candice Bruder

Candice Bruder is a Vice President at MWW, a public relations firm headquartered in Manhattan. Candice brings to ArtBridge a broad range of public and media relations expertise. Her clients have included Related Companies, one of the largest private real estate developers in the country and developer of NYC’s Hudson Yards; Time Warner Center, Manhattan’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination, and Usher’s New Look, an international nonprofit youth program. As a member of ArtBridge’s Advisory Council, Candice advises and helps execute its public relations programs, elevating awareness of the organization, its partnerships, and its campaigns.

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William M. Barron

William is a Partner in the International and Litigation Practices of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. Mr. Barron concentrates his practice in the areas of business and commercial law, litigation, art law and the law of artifacts. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of International Commercial Law (since 1991). Mr. Barron is also a member of the German American Chamber of Commerce in New York and the Board of Directors of the U.S.-Austrian Chamber of Commerce, in addition to being a member of the Art Law Committee of the Bar Association of the City of New York and the Archaeological Institute of America. He was selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers.

March Chadwick

March is an awarding-winning architect and a faculty member at the Civil Engineering department of Polytechnic Institute of New York University. M.Arch has taught at Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Arts and Science, and New York City College of Technology. March has also worked as an employee of Davis Brody Bond, Frank Williams Associates, Gensler, and Hardy Holzman Pfieffer. He has contributed to the design of the New York Public Library 42nd Street’s South Court Addition, Columbia University’s Audubon Medical Research Building, NY Presbyterian Women and Babies Hospital, W Hotel 47th Street, 515 Park Avenue, and Kingsborough Academic Village.

Joe Covello

Joe is the owner of United Hoisting & Scaffolding Corp. UHSC has served the NYC construction industry with temporary vertical access for the past 50 years, building a history of iconic projects such as the original Trade Center, Grand Central Station, Yankee Stadium, and Barclays Arena. He has a philanthropic heart, with the best intentions for mankind with hopes of making positive changes in the world today and leaving behind his legacy tomorrow. He has a love for art and aims to make NY a better place for everyone. Joe’s brings to ArtBridge’s team expertise and engineering and installation solutions of the actual art projects–ensuring that ArtBridge’s installations are safe well-executed.

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Hakan Ergulec

Hakan is Vice President at Blue 9 Capital, a New York-based private equity firm. Hakan has over 20 years of experience working with small and mid-sized businesses, advising on financing, strategy and operations. Hakan has served on numerous corporate boards, successfully leading several restructuring initiatives. Hakan is a Charter Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder. He graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in 1996 with a B.S. in software engineering and received an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School in 2002. Hakan is an active member of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) and is an avid swimmer as a member of the US Masters swim team.

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Raleigh Green

Raleigh is the founder and owner of Raleigh Green Inc., a brand consultancy and marketing agency. For 20 years he has focused on strategy and creative direction, often finding inspiration from his studies in art history. His work often includes multiple brand disciplines including web, print, package design, corporate identity, audio branding, promotions, and media planning. Clients have included Merck, ConEdison, KPMG, Vornado, Unilever, Heineken, Hain Celestial, and Thyssen Krupp. He has a master’s degree from Rutgers in Cultural Anthropology specializing in contemporary culture. He currently lives in Kingston, NY enjoying the natural beauty of the Catskills and Hudson Valley.

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Robert Hammond

Robert is the Co-Founder of Friends of the High Line,. The nonprofit conservancy manages the High Line, a public park built atop an abandoned, elevated rail line on the west side of Manhattan. Friends of the High Line has raised over $170 million in public and private funding and manages the park in partnership with New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation. Before the High Line, Robert started several businesses and consulted with nonprofit organizations. In 2010, Robert was awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism. He is a self-taught artist, and served as an ex-Officio Member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees.

Patty Leitch

Patty has more than 15 years of public relations and marketing experience, providing communications counsel for healthcare and technology companies with a focus on product launches, branding and life cycle management, direct-to-consumer communications, corporate reputation and issues management. Throughout her career, she has addressed major priorities in these areas for leading organizations such as Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly Novartis and GSK. While Patty’s career has focused on PR, her passion in life has always been the healing arts and she recently opened a private wellness practice in Morristown, NJ called Connect to Source. Patty became a Reiki Master in 2010, and has worked on hundreds of cancer patients as a volunteer member of the Reiki team in the oncology department at Morristown Memorial Hospital.

James Lima

James is President of James Lima Planning + Development, an advisory firm focused on investments in the public realm and structuring public-private partnerships in real estate development. James has expertise in affordable housing and economic development initiatives, focusing on revitalizing urban centers and post-industrial waterfronts. Over the past two decades, he has successfully aligned the interests of private and public entities to build close to $1 billion worth of mixed-income housing, retail and new public amenities throughout North America. James was NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s appointee as the founding President of the Governors Island Preservation and Education. Mr. Lima is Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, and has lectured at Princeton, Yale, Syracuse, Penn, and in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Sao Paulo. He is a member of the Board of Directors and officer of the Syracuse University School of Architecture, the New York Harbor Foundation, and Places–a journal of contemporary architecture, landscape and urbanism.

Zoe Malliaros

Zoe is an NYC-based designer and academic. She is currently an associate at LOM Property Consultants, working as an owner’s representative and project manager for non-profit organizations in NYC. She is the co-founder of Post-Reservation, a research project visualizing the complex state of housing, infrastructure and economy on the Lakota-Sioux reservations in South Dakota with mapping, photography and video. Previously, she worked as an architectural designer and project manager at the offices of Jendretzki LLC, Sawyer/Berson Architecture & Landscape Architecture, and Siris/Coombs Architects, for whom she now does project by project consulting. Zoe holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, where she was recipient of the Percival and Naomi Goodman Fellowship and a William Kinne Fellow for Post-Reservation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Harvard University. Her philosophy is that everyone has their own distinctive path to wellness, and the answers lie within us in a channel we call “instinct.” The challenge is to clear our bodies and our minds so we can better tune in and listen.

James Nelson

James is a partner at Massey Knakal, one of New York City’s premier real estate brokerage firms. At Massey Knakal since 1998 and a partner since 2004, James has been involved in the sale of more than 260 properties and loans with an aggregate value of over $1.9 billion. He is also a partner in MKRO I, Massey Knakal’s private equity real estate fund. In April 2011 he was included by The Real Deal in its list of the Top 35 and Under NYC Real Estate Players, and was recently ranked as the #1 Top NYC Deal Maker by LoopNet.
The need to give back to the community was an early call for James. He is Vice President of the board for The Catalog for Giving—an NYC nonprofit that funds programs that serve at-risk youth. James has also been honored by the Varardi Ovarian Initiative for Cancer Education (VOICE) as their corporate honoree. In addition, James has been an adjunct professor at NYU since 2005, and is currently a board member at JournalDoc, which provides mechanisms for the medical community to access up-to-date research. James is excited to join ArtBridge’s Advisory Council to foster synergies between New York City’s arts and real estate communities.

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David Obuchowski

David is the founder and Principal of David Obuchowski Architects. He grew up in several cities in the American South, and practiced architecture in Charleston, South Carolina before moving to New York City in 2006. He has always been committed to maintaining a diverse architectural practice with an eye toward contemporary relevance which simultaneously maintains the importance of sustainability and of physical, individualized place-making. He seeks to maintain awareness of the ongoing lived experience of a building’s inhabitants and to engage them in dynamic public participation. For David, the primary question of engagement and participation remains at the heart of both public and private works, and every project, on every scale, aspires to operate as a living institution.

Dan Wapner

Dan is an engineer practicing primarily in New York City. He specializes in technically difficult projects, facade work, and special inspections. Dan is heavily involved in New York City arts, supporting theater performances and young artists. He recently assisted in staging an exhibit supporting Hurricane Sandy relief efforts including approximately 90,000 sq. ft. of exhibits at Industry City in Brooklyn. Wapner assists ArtBridge in all technical matters involving special approvals.

Gregg Waxman

Gregg Waxman is an attorney and partner in the Waxman Law Firm with offices in Uniondale, New York, with an active practice in Long Island and NYC in the areas of labor and employment law, general business law, litigation, audits, debtor creditor/bankruptcy law and real estate. Additionally, he has developed high-end residential and multi-family real estate and has been involved in numerous start-ups and entrepreneurial enterprises, both on a consulting and equity basis.