Members of the 2024 Neighborhood Council on March 6, 2024
Members of the 2024 Neighborhood Council on March 6, 2024

Introducing Our 2024 Neighborhood Council Members

The Neighborhood Council is an advisory group convened by Trinity Church to help us understand and address the needs of our Lower Manhattan parish through targeted investments and hands-on programming. Members of the council—nonprofit leaders, community organizers, policymakers, residents, and other stakeholders—work with us and with each other to improve the well-being of children and families in our community.

Learn more about the Council's work with Neighborhood Support here.

2024 Neighborhood Council

Alejandro Epifanio

Alejandro Epifanio wears a hat that reads "Loisaida" with a grey blazer and collared shirt.

Executive Director, Loisaida, Inc.

Alejandro Epifanio’s extensive expertise as a cultural worker and organizer embodies his deep commitment to civic engagement; the preservation of Puerto Rican culture, arts, and creativity; and social justice, reflecting his work ethic over his more than a decade-long career. He oversees Loisaida, Inc.'s technology and media programs, web development, image and branding, and the annual Loisaida Festival. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Epifanio is a multifaceted artist who graduated from the School of Visual Arts and is a current resident of the Lower East Side.

Alison Overseth

Alison Overseth wears a blue wrap over a grey tee and gold chains.

CEO, Partnership for After School Education 

Alison Overseth is the Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership for After School Education (PASE), a nonprofit that works with hundreds of community-based organizations, higher education institutions, and corporate partners to improve the quality of opportunities available to young people living in poverty in New York City. Overseth has over 30 years of experience in the youth-serving profession. She directed a management initiative for the Fund for the City of New York to strengthen the nonprofit agencies that provide community support for young people, and she served as the founding president of the board of directors of PASE for 12 years. Overseth is a graduate of Smith College and Columbia Business School.

Barbara DiGangi

Barbara DiGangi wears a black and white top, wearing red lipstick.

Director of Community Wellness Initiatives, University Settlement 

Barbara DiGangi is a licensed social worker and serves as the Director of Community Wellness Initiatives at University Settlement, America’s first settlement house. DiGangi’s mission and passion lives at the intersection of community mental health and equity. She holds a master's degree in social work with a concentration in advanced social policy from New York University. DiGangi's passionate spirit has embodied several roles, from practitioner and activist to leader, writer, and social-impact strategist. She has spent 16 years working in, overseeing, and reimagining community-based mental health programming in service of at-risk communities. 

Cecilia Scott-Croff

Cecilia Scott-Croff wears a blue turtle neck and black glasses. Her braided hair is up in a bun.

Executive Director, the Early Childhood Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

Cecilia Scott-Croff, EdD, SAS, SDA, CPAC, is the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Center and an adjunct faculty member at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). She is an experienced leader with a background in early childhood, special education, administration, and advocacy. A published author and Leadership Fellow at BMCC, she is also a member of Reimagining Our Work (ROW), an early-childhood leadership group focused on equity, beloved community, and social justice for young children. She is the President-elect for the New York Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC).

Chui Man Lai

Chui Man Lai wears a seafoam blazer over a pink blouse with a ruffled collar. She wears glasses.

Manager, Community Affairs, NYP-Lower Manhattan Hospital

Chui Man Lai joined the staff of New York Downtown Hospital in 2001. Following her mother-in-law’s hospitalization, Lai brought her deep awareness of the critical importance of communication between patients and their healthcare providers to her position as a patient advocate and medical interpreter for Chinese patients with limited English proficiency. In 2009, she was named Assistant Vice President for Patient Services, Community Outreach, and Provider Relations. Following the hospital’s merger with New York Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, Lai was appointed Manager of Community Affairs for both the Chinese and American communities. In her new role, she is deeply invested in the hospital’s efforts to improve patient experience and to promote public awareness of the Hospital’s mission to provide high-quality care for each of its patients.

Darren Bloch

Darren Block wears a dark suit jacket over a white collar.

Executive Director, Greenwich House 

Darren Bloch has had a distinguished career leading organizations and teams across government, nonprofit, media, and corporate sectors. With nearly two decades in the public and private sectors, he has built a career valuing and elevating civic innovation and engagement, consensus building, and entrepreneurial problem-solving to address critical social challenges. Most recently, he was Senior Advisor to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. He has also served as the Executive Director of The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Vice President of Public Affairs for the New York Law School, the Publisher/Executive Director of Capitol Publishing–City & State–and Executive Vice President for Empire State Development Corp. He is a member of the LiveOn Executive Leadership Council and co-chair of the HSC Priority and Strategy Council.

David Garza

David Garza wears a suit and pin while smiling outdoors.

President and CEO, Henry Street Settlement 

David Garza has been President and CEO of Henry Street Settlement since July 2010. He joined Henry Street’s Workforce Development Center in 2001 and was promoted to chief administrator in 2005. Prior to Henry Street, Garza worked as a retail management executive and an independent producer for film, television, and corporate marketing projects. Garza is a graduate of Harvard College and the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at Columbia Business School. He serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for the New York City Employment and Training Coalition, on the external advisory board of the Dalio Center for Health Justice of New York-Presbyterian, and on the boards of the Betances Health Center and Citizens Committee for Children. In 2019, he was appointed to the NYC Regional Economic Development Council and was named by City & State New York to the inaugural Nonprofit Power 50 list.

David McCorkle

David McCorkle wears clear-framed glasses, a striped blue collarless shirt over a blue undershirt, topped with a navy collared jacket. He is a Caucasian man with light blue eyes, balding white hair, and a mustache.

Social Worker and Congregation Member of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

David McCorkle, LCSW, has been in private practice in New York City for 30 years. He has worked extensively in the field of loss and trauma, starting with founding a group for families and friends of people with HIV at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. He has trained individuals and organizations internationally on the Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care and is the cofounder of the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities at Crossnore and Children’s Home in western North Carolina. McCorkle is the author of many publications and has taught courses at Fordham University and the Columbia School of Public Health. He is an active member of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery.

Don Hong

Don Hong smiles wearing a button down shirt with his collar open.

President and CEO, UA3

Don Hong is a born-and-bred New Yorker who loves his city. He is a proud graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and has a BSc in chemical engineering from the University of Buffalo. He started his career as an Exxon petroleum engineer. Today, he is a successful real estate developer with 25 years of experience. Volunteering is part of Hong's lifeblood. He has been involved in community volunteer activities for more than 45 years, including a 10-year tenure as President of the Chinese American Planning Council, a 15-year tenure as President of Hong Ning Senior Citizen Housing, and serving as the New York City Districting Commissioner in 2003. His current involvement includes his 16 years as President of 384 Grand St. HDFC and the President and CEO of UA3.

Eva Wong

Eva Wong wears a blue blazer over a black blouse and gold necklace.

Director, Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health

Eva Wong currently serves as a ParentCorps Unit Supervisor at the Center for Early Childhood Health and Development at NYU Langone Health. Wong leads the clinical direction of programming that reaches more than 450 pre-K programs in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and 70,000 families in New York City alone. Previously, Wong devoted a decade to University Settlement, where she held several leadership roles. As the Director of Programs and Engagement, Wong designed and increased access to strength-based and holistic programs for specialized populations, including older adults and youth with developmental disabilities. Under her strategic leadership as Director of Project Hope in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Wong helped deliver mental illness prevention and interventions to more than 40,000 New Yorkers.

Frank Gonzalez

Frank Gonzalez smiles while wearing a black polo shirt.

Founder and Principal Broker, Loisaida Realty and Resident of Lower Manhattan

Frank Gonzalez is a New York City native and lifetime resident of the Lower East Side/East Village/Loisaida. His firm, Loisaida Realty, specializes in rentals, sales, and commercial real estate in New York City's most desirable downtown neighborhoods. Gonzalez is a New York State chaplain, community leader, activist, father, and first responder. He regularly volunteers his time in local community service, and he founded the Loisaida Community Refrigerator. Gonzalez also founded LES.sba (Lower East Side Small Business Alliance) and cofounded the Loisaida Wellness Collective and the grassroots nonprofit Lower East Side Community Concerns (LESCC19).

Gisele Castro

Gisele Gastro smiles while wearing a white collared top and square gold hoops.

Chief Executive Officer, exalt

“Steadfast advocate,”“visionary,” and “transformational leader” are just a few words most often used to describe Gisele Castro. With over two decades of experience and expertise in the criminal justice system, Castro has served as the Executive Director of exalt since 2016. Through sheer determination and commitment to transformational change, Castro has been laser-focused on improving young people’s lives through education, employment opportunities, and criminal justice reform. She began her journey in the organization with an operating budget of $950,000 and grew it to over $6-million. Always assessing risks and opportunities, she has carefully modeled, tested, and implemented policies and procedures that have the organization from a startup model to a highly functioning, well-established one, with our youth at the center of everything she does.

Jaime Inclán

Jaime Inclan wears a dark blazer over a brown cardigan and navy polo shirt.

Founder, Roberto Clemente Center

Jaime Inclán, PhD is the Founder and Director of the Roberto Clemente Center (RCC) in New York City and a Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry at New York University. Born and raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico, he received his BS in psychology at Georgetown University in 1971 and his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1979. RCC, founded in 1982, is a public community clinic that models integrated medical and mental health care in a community setting, largely serving immigrant and urban poor families. It was the first mental health program in New York State to propose that culture is an essential component of mental health treatment. RCC maintains a fully bilingual and bicultural staff and houses a large clinician training program in family therapy. The clinic is considered a model for training in community systems-oriented treatment and an oasis for immigrant and urban poor families.

Kelsey Louie

Kelsey Louie smiles with a suit and open collar in front of graffiti.

Chief Executive Officer, The Door

A native New Yorker and the proud son of immigrant parents, Kelsey Louie serves as the Chief Executive Officer for The Door and Broome Street Academy (BSA) Charter High School. He oversees the organizations’ combined $40 million budget, as well as the vision for strategy, operations, fundraising, policy, and programmatic initiatives. Prior to his tenure at The Door and BSA, Kelsey served as CEO of GMHC, the world’s first HIV and AIDS service organization, from 2014 to 2021. His leadership approach combines a rigorous data-driven management style, sophisticated evaluation processes, and commitment to staff development.

Mary Cannon

Mary Cannon smiles wearing a black coat and monochrome abstract top.

Resident and Community Volunteer, Jacob Riis Houses

Mary Cannon is a very active mother, grandmother, activist, and first responder to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Jacob Riis water crisis. She is a regular volunteer in her Lower East Side community. Cannon is the first Vice President of the Riis Houses Tenant Association and engages in homeless outreach and other volunteer efforts, including supporting the LES Sports youth basketball summer program. She has lived in the community for more than 21 years and has spent the last three years volunteering in the biweekly community food pantry.

Minerva Diaz

Minerva Diaz smiles wearing a black boatneck top and pin.

United Nations Representative-New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence

Minerva Diaz, a proud native of Manhattan's Lower East Side, is an internationally shown artist who uses her creative skills to raise awareness, educate, and uplift communities. In 2009, she was designated the United Nations representative for the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence, a position that continues to influence her art. From 2012 to 2022, Diaz served as the Executive Director of Harlem's Dwyer Cultural Center, preventing its closure, and she orchestrated the Harlem street-naming of Ruby Dee Place and Ossie Davis Way. In 2022, Diaz returned to her childhood neighborhood to care for her autistic brother while advancing her art career with a goal of making a positive impact on the community. Diaz’s portfolio features work signed by President Obama, Misty Copeland, the Tuskegee Airmen, and other notable individuals. Her works have been showcased globally to encourage positive social change, including at the United Nations and the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki, Japan.

Samara Karasyk

Samara Karasyk smiles wearing a blue blouse and hoop earrings.

President and CEO, Hudson Square Business Improvement District (BID)

Samara Karasyk brings her passion for New York City and energy and enthusiasm for policy and planning to her role as President and CEO of the Hudson Square BID. She is excited about streetscapes, a vibrant retail environment, pedestrian safety, and innovative traffic management. Karasyk builds upon the BID’s strong foundation through community engagement, private/public partnerships, and experimentation with new ideas and projects that elevate the neighborhood and showcase how to create dynamic, people-focused urban spaces. Karasyk has more than two decades of experience in private/public partnerships, diverse team management, communications, public affairs, intergovernmental relations, policymaking, and project management.

Tareake Dorill

Tareake Dorill smiles widely, wearing a buttoned up blue jacket and light-framed glasses.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dorill Initiative

Tareake Dorill is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dorill Initiative, a grassroots arts education nonprofit committed to helping at-promise youth tap into their limitless potential and creative power to galvanize communities and ignite social change. With the help of his team, he has successfully launched and managed multiple programs, events, and partnerships that serve over 300 young citizen artists annually in the Lower East Side where he was born and raised.

Dorill is also a passionate artist, educator, and artpreneur, with a BFA in dance and choreography from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he served as the Student Body President and a voting member of the Board of Trustees. He is a proud alumnus of Rosie's Theater Kids and Dancing Classrooms and served as former Chair of Manhattan Community Board 3. His life's purpose is to use his diverse experiences and expertise to create positive social change through arts and education.

Thomas Armstrong

Thomas Armstrong, an older white man, smiles into the camera. He has white hair and is clean-shaven, and is wearing a black tee under a grey half-zip sweater with striped accents on the collar.

Resident, Lower Manhattan, and Congregation Member of Trinity Church Wall Street

Thomas Armstrong is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Samford University in 1973 with a BA and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1976 with a master’s degree in Education. Additionally, he holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Business, Manderson Graduate School of Business. Armstrong served for 15 years in counseling, social service, and healthcare administration settings. He joined Merrill Lynch in March 1989 and serves as Assistant Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager. He is part of the Woodke, Donnell, Wilder, Buchan & Armstrong team for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Bank of America.

Tiffany Winbush

Tiffany Winbush wears an oatmeal cardigan, periwinkle blouse and gold chain as she smiles. She has rounded square glasses on and pink lipstick.

Community Advocate, Digital Marketing Exec, and Resident of Lower Manhattan 

Tiffany Winbush, a digital marketing executive and community volunteer, has called Lower Manhattan home for 18 years. Winbush previously served three terms on Manhattan Community Board 1 (CB1), has led parent-teacher-student groups that built up the local Peck Slip School, mentored Black girls and young women on leadership and empowerment, cohosted fundraisers for Democratic candidates, and supported local farmers through the Financial District’s local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Fulton Stall Market. Most recently, she partnered with a group of local downtown moms to launch Friends of FiDi, an organization that focuses on ensuring our community is inclusive of a diverse group of people. Winbush has also volunteered with Friend of a Friend NYC to deliver weekly meals to those who are unhoused and food-insecure in Lower Manhattan. Winbush previously ran to represent Lower Manhattan on the New York City Council, fueled by her commitment to serve the diverse communities that comprise District 1. She believes people should “be the change you want to see.”

Wellington Chen

Wellington Chen smiles broadly at the camera, wearing glasses, a Patagonia jacket over a navy suit with no tie.

President and CEO, Chinatown BID/Chinatown Partnership LDC

Wellington Chen is the Executive Director of the Chinatown Partnership. The Partnership is currently working with the NYC Department of Transportation to design a wayfinding pilot project, expected to have its first trial prototype installed in the ground within 12 months. As the Executive Director, he aims to create transformative projects while creating a thriving infrastructure that can sustain meaningful results for the Partnership. Chen has a long record of community service and civic engagement. As a young volunteer and student studying architecture and environmental studies, he began to see his neighborhood worsening—inspiring a lifelong interest and pursuit of community resuscitation and rejuvenation. In the process, Chen became the first Chinese American to serve on a community board and local development corporation in Queens and was eventually recruited to serve on the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals. He has led numerous initiatives and cofounded a number of organizations, including a firm to offer strategic advice and insights to help shape and guide public/private policies. His work as Landmark Committee Chair helped to preserve and restore Flushing Town Hall. Chen also designed the structure that now houses the Tonga Mission to the United Nations. 

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