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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Brook Aquilino

President

 

After a successful career in the fashion industry Brook is now devoting his time helping HRCS teach the "art” of sailing. He grew up racing on Narragansett Bay. After College he served five years as an Officer in the U.S. Army Special Forces. Since then he has owned and sailed a multitude of boats, including a wooden schooner. He spent sixteen years as an Officer, Commodore, and Trustee of the Shelter Island Yacht Club, which has an accomplished Junior Sailing Program. He recently completed a transatlantic crossing onboard a 49’ sloop. He holds a Master’s license. In addition to serving as the chairman of the board, Brook instructs in our veterans and youth programs.

Arthur Burns

Retired, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Interpol Inc. 

 

Arthur L. Bums’ background includes over 30 years of international business, administrative and legal experience, including 5 years of legal practice with a major Wall street law firm and 20 years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Interpool, Inc., a NYSE Company engaged in international transportation equipment leasing and finance. He has been an avid sailor and sailboat owner for over 25 years. His non-profit background includes the founding of the Chartres Institute, a private operating foundation in 1998. As a community based social activist center in Marblehead the Institute worked with and provided organizational, founding and fundraising support for other independent 501(c)3 non-profit groups, including HealthLink, Inc,. a Massachusetts Northshore environmental advocacy group and Sail Marblehead, a sailing school providing lessons and sponsoring youth programs for surrounding communities

Randy Medrano

Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

A native St. Louisan, Randy was drawn to sailing and began club racing when he came to New York. As a member racer, he enjoys the camaraderie and activities of the club which supports HRCS’s youth leadership and sailing programs. Randy brings nearly 30 years of corporate banking and sales perspective to broaden the awareness and commitment from organizations that can financially support HRCS’s goals and overall mission.

Craig Appleman

Managing Director, Free Country Outerwear

Craig is a life long sailor and Connecticut resident where he grew up in the Indian Harbor Yacht Club junior sailing program. He is an accomplished blue water and inshore racing sailor and graduate of Tabor Academy and the College of Charleston where he competed in sailing at the varsity level. A sailing instructor of the Edgartown Yacht Club in Massachusetts during his college summers, Craig retains his passion for sailing education and the outdoors. He’s a member of New York Yacht Club, American Yacht Club, and Edgartown Yacht Club and an active racer in many big boat and dinghy classes.

Matthew Coudert

Executive Vice President, George Comfort & Sons, Inc.

Born and raised in Greenwich, Ct and now a 25 year resident of New York City, Matt has been messing around in boats for over 40 years. He has raced every type of boat from small one-designs to 70 foot Maxis all over the globe but his current boating activity is sharing his love of the water with his family by racing and cruising his 40 footer. Matt’s two teenage children attend NYC Public Schools and he believes the HRCS mission of bringing sailing instruction to NYC youths is a win/win for the students and the sport. Matt is member of The New York Yacht Club, Fishers Island Yacht Club and The Storm Trysail Club.

Joe Standart

Founder, Red Circle Studios

After Graduating from Williams College in 1973, Joe Standart began his career as a photographer photographing the wildlife and rugged terrain of Alaska for the National Park Service. After producing work that was widely exhibited and published, he moved to New York City and opened Red Circle Studios and began creating stories and campaign for many of the country’s most renowned companies and magazines including Architectural Digest, Glamor, Sony and GE. He has received many awards for his work, created some of the most recognized images in advertising, and through his images has helped build several leading brands including Viking Range Corporation. Joe has always had a strong social conscience. When the Aids epidemic struck in the late 1980’s, he joined with several friends to found Photographers and Friends United Against Aids which raised over $2 million for aids research. In 2002, Joe initiated “Portrait of America” a series of public art initiatives designed to engage individuals and groups toward building stronger more compassionate communities. With some of the images from the initiatives measuring over 60 feet in height, they were enthusiastically received, seen by over 15 million viewers and were reviewed and praised by much of the national media outlets including The New York Times. Joe began his life-long passion for sailing at the age of 7 and has enjoyed an active cruising and racing career. Joe lives with his wife and two children in New York City and Lyme, Connecticut.

Stuart Israel

Founding Partner, Israel, Israel & Purdy, LLP

Stuart graduated Tulane University with a BA in 1986 and Brooklyn Law School with a JD in 1990. He clerked for the United States Justice Department before becoming a founding partner of the Law Offices of Israel Purdy, LLP, one of New York’s largest firms specializing in medical collection. He often lectures to the New York State Bar Association and is a member of their Health Law section as well as the New York State Trial Lawyers Association’s Auto Reform Committee. Stuart is also past president of New Yorkers for Fair Automobile Insurance Reform (NYFAIR) and the New York Coalition of No-Fault Lawyers. Stuart was most recently a Board Member of Reach The World, which serves to use technology to bring underserved youth together with world travelers. Stuart is a life long sailor and currently sails in Manhasset Bay as a member of the North Shore Yacht Club. He can be found racing weeknight club and one-design in Long Island Sound and cruising the Caribbean.

Hollis Salzman

Attorney, Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ceresi LLP

Hollis Salzman is a lawyer with Robins Kaplan L.L.P where she is Co-Chair of the firm’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group. She prosecutes antitrust violations involving international cartels seeking civil redress for victims of those violations. In addition, Hollis provides pro bono legal services to indigent women who are victims of domestic violence. Hollis was drawn to HRCS after learning of its successful programing which provides academic support and mentoring to underserved teens in New York City enabling those students succeed academically. Hollis was raised on the water in Margate, NJ where she mastered the Sun Fish at an early age. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Michael Kurtz

Retired General Counsel, Oracle Corp. 

Born in rural Kentucky, Michael began his career as a US Justice Dept antitrust prosecutor. Later moving to Silicon Valley, he served as Oracle Corp’s general counsel and vice president in its rise from a small start-up to a mega tech company. He is an avid traveler and has meandered through over 50 countries and all 7 continents. New to sailing, he is enjoying HRCS’s member program immensely. Michael is proud to support HRCS’s mission to employ instruction in sailing and boat-building in furtherance of the high school science and math curricula for underserved NYC teens.

Jessica De Vivo

Maritime Attorney, XL Catlin

 

Jessica is a Senior Marine Claims Specialist at XL Specialty Insurance Company. Prior to joining the insurance industry, Jessica was a litigation attorney at an admiralty and maritime firm in lower Manhattan. She has conducted hearings involving The Racing Rules of Sailing before International Juries, the US Sailing Review Board and the International Sailing Federation. Prior to law practice, Jessica was an instructor at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and a schooner captain at the South Street Seaport Museum. She advocates for alternative dispute resolution, expeditionary learning, sustainable living and preservation of natural environments. Jessica is passionate about off shore sailing and point to point racing and is currently a Commodore of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May.

Lauren R. Sheridan

Senior Manager, Deloitte Forensic

Lauren R. Sheridan is a senior manager in the Forensic practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, specializing in disputes with complex economic and financial issues. With over 15 years of experience, Ms. Sheridan has led investigations involving potential accounting irregularities, accountant malpractice, and royalty and revenue recovery. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and is certified in Financial Forensics by the AICPA. Although new to the world of sailing,Lauren’s prior community service has emphasized her passion for the education of youth, and she is excited to support HRCS’ mission to develop leadership and academic success in underserved New York City youth through sailing education.

Alex Valcic

Chief Operating Officer, HipSilver

As a Croatian-American from the Dalmatian Coast, Alex appreciates anything nautical: his family has been “on the water” for over 300 years. Alex is a graduate of Columbia University and has been working in business services for over 30 years. He specializes in human resources, talent acquisition, management, and sales. Not ready to retire, Alex started working as a consultant helping established companies reinvent themselves. He has worked with companies across the United States, Europe, and India such as Bic, Bitly, Children’s Place, Citigroup, and more. He has volunteered with the Oratorio Society of NY, the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and the Blue Hill Troupe. He is proud of his involvement with HRCS. Currently COO of HipSilver, he loves a challenge and enjoys helping to create business discipline to support great ideas. These days, Alex enjoys boating and can be found racing with HRCS in New York, as well as up in MA for Nantucket RaceWeek.

Andrea Minkow

Owner, Andrea Minkow Consulting & Seeing Eye Pony Productions

Andrea Minkow is a passionate sailor and experiential educator, who has skippered for Sail Caribbean, and Sunsail and taught at the Bitter End Yacht Club and Outward Bound. When she is not on the water she helps companies see though the chaos to find the unique lines that fully express a brands story. Andrea is an accomplished executive, builder, and explorer. Her career has been built on the belief that anything is possible. Andrea's passion for entrepreneurship is matched only by her love of people and collaborating with diverse networks to make connections, clarify thoughts, and incubate ideas. She is the CEO of Andrea Minkow Consulting (AMC) and Seeing Eye Pony Productions (SEPP). AMC helps to focus the vision of second career entrepreneurs to propel their business through a first round of capital raising. And Seeing Eye Pony Productions (SEPP) creates innovative live brand experiences and events that create meaningful impact and convey compelling value propositions for technology driven companies. Andrea cut her teeth in politics and public policy – the bedrock of entrepreneurship and meaningful impact. She has served as the Deputy Director of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, in the United States Senate for Senators Harry Reid and Hillary Rodham Clinton and as a Senior Advisor to the Speaker of the New York City Council. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work and Public Policy from Columbia University.

Jon Stamell

CEO, Futureshift, Inc.

Jon Stamell is the founder of Oomiji (oomiji.com), a customer engagement software platform. He formerly was CEO of the largest advertising and PR firm in Northern New England. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan, did graduate work at Harvard University’s Yenching Institute and received an M.B.A. from the University of Maine. He grew up racing all types of small and large boats on the Great Lakes, has raced in several North American class championships and taught for Steve Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School after college. Upon moving to NY, he taught at the Manhattan Sailing School. He currently sails a Laser in the balmy waters on the Maine coast. On the side, Jon is a published cartoonist and his cartoons, taking a satirical look at business and technology, can be found at GigundoIndustries.com.

Daniel Goldberg

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP

Ben Dyett

Founder, Grind LLC

Throughout his career, Benjamin has founded, funded, operated and advised successful start-ups. He has deep experience in real estate and corporate law, has represented financial institutions and prominent businesspeople, run his own consulting firm, and has always been at the epicenter of where business and imagination meet.

Karen Polsonetti

Principal, Manhattan Business Academy HS

Karen Polsonetti studied at Stonehill College in Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in communications. After graduating, she realized that she wanted to work in the education field. For four years, Karen worked in a residential treatment program for young adolescents girls. It is here where she developed her passion for working with high school age students. Karen then traveled to Arizona State University to obtain her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Karen then returned to Acton, Massachusetts to teach in a middle school but shortly moved to NYC to work with inner-city youth. She found this work to be her passion. Karen started as a U.S. History and Global History teacher in a large comprehensive high school. She became a dean of discipline and then a Director of one of the small learning communities. Karen was asked to start her own school when the large school was broken down into small schools. This is when Karen founded the Manhattan Business Academy with a small group of very dedicated and amazing teachers. In the last 8 years, MBA has won awards in their Virtual Enterprise Program and has maintained a graduation rate of at least 85%. It is hard work but we love doing it. Personally, Karen enjoys camping and the Red Sox. Karen and her husband have one five year old daughter, Alexandra, who also loves camping but we are still working on her love of the Red Sox and Patriots.

Steve Schram

Senior Vice President, Gowrie Group

Prior to joining Gowrie Group, Steve was Chairman and Managing Partner for DPS Development, a luxury real estate company. Steve also spent many years as President of the Boston Celtics Limited Partnership a New York Stock Exchange Company (BOS), Vice Chairman of the Boston Celtics Basketball Team and served on the NBA Board of Governors. Steve also spent time in senior positions at Brookwood Investments, Morgan Stanley & Co., and the US Senate.

Steve has severed on more than 20 corporate boards from a diverse universe of companies and nonprofits, including serving on the board of the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and the advisory board of Boston Private Bank. He is a trustee and former Commodore of Shelter Island Yacht Club. Steve graduated from University of Wyoming and has an MBA and MAAP from Duke University.

Tom Williams

JP Morgan Chase

Mark Horowitz

Managing Partner of Washington Square Dental Group

Mark was born in NYC and has practiced dentistry for 38 years. He is the managing partner of Washington Square Dental Group. Mark learned to sail as a teen on lakes in northern Connecticut and upstate New York. Over the years he’s owned a number of dinghies and day sailers, and continued sailing on the NJ shore. He says that his greatest satisfaction has been volunteering with Sail Academy and interacting with the students, teaching sailing and boatbuilding and assisting with many field trip sails. He is also a member of the Brant Beach Yacht Club and race with a team on an A-cat in Barnegat Bay. He holds a US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor Certification and a USCG Captain’s License.

BOARD OF ADVISORS

Bill Bahen

HRCS Founder

Bill has worked in a few different capacities throughout his career to date but his work on this endeavor has been the most rewarding. Hailing from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, sailing out of Oxford as a child and continuing this sport throughout the world had enabled Bill to identify a need in New York City. He is incredibly proud of the work the HRCS Crew is doing to further a mission that inspired him. Bill continued his work developing maritime schools in Norfolk, Virginia, with SailNauticus, very similar to HRCS. He has since moved on to Santa Monica, California and looks forward to contributing to HRCS’ success.

Sandy Vietor

President: Global Specialties, Marsh, Inc.

Sandy Vietor is president, Global Specialties of Marsh Inc., the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor. Mr. Vietor has more than 37 years experience in insurance brokerage. He joined Marsh in 2007, after serving as executive vice president of Aon Risk Services. In addition, Sandy is a life long sailor owning numerous sail boats. Over the last 10 years Sandy has built a number of small wooden boats with a friend in his spare time. Mr. Vietor is a graduate of Tufts University and earned an M.B.A. degree from New York University.

Robert Constable

Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

A 30-year resident of New York City, Bob is a also a lifelong competitive sailor and enthusiast for all things nautical. He has had extensive involvement with numerous non-profit, including serving as a trustee of the East Side House, a community service center in the South Bronx, and co-founding Nantucket Race Week, one of New England’s premier racing events, which benfits Nantucket Community Sailing. Bob is the former Commodore of the Nantucket Yacht Club, and is Executive Director at Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., a global leader in commercial real estate.

Steve Benjamin

North East Regional Manager, North Sails

 

Serves as the Chairman of the Yale Sailing Associates, the alumni funding and supervisory board for the Yale Sailing Teams and Yale Corinthian Yacht Club. Experienced in every aspect of making sailing boats go fast including hull preparation, rig tuning, sail design, sail setting, crew training, and steering. Member of Larchmont YC, New York YC, Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, Yale Corinthian YC, Storm Trysail Club, and the Imperial Poona Yacht Club. Certified Marine Surveyor. Instructor for North University Racing Seminars and frequent lecturer to yacht clubs, sailing organizations, and corporations. Olympic silver medalist, three time world champion, collegiate sailor of the year, and multiple class national champion.

Paul McLoughlin

President, The McLoughlin Company

Paul McLoughlin was born in Brooklyn, Jesuit-educated at Xavier and Georgetown, served in Vietnam, returned to receive an MBA from Columbia and became a senior manager at Columbia, Cornell, and Salomon Brothers. He sailed out of Cohasset Yacht Club as boy, where he was Jr. Commodore, Sailing Instructor and a national champion. His first big boat race was on Ondine, Miami-Montego Bay in 1966. He has since competed in the SORC, raced at Cowes and in the Med, done the Fastnet and BA-Rio, crossed the Atlantic twice, first on Salty Tiger in 1971 and on Whisper in the 2005 Rolex Transatlantic Challenge. He has lived on the Upper West Side for 40 years and, with his wife, has raised two remarkable children, each of whom has taken them places in academe, the arts and politics never imagined. HRCS offers an opportunity to give back for a full and fortunate life.

Emory O’Mealia

Ad Sales Account Executive, AMC Networks

Emory has been involved with HRCS since 2011, specifically helping to coordinate the annual Dark ’N’ Stormy fundraiser. She was an Event Chair in 2013, 2014 & 2015, as well as a benefit and host committee member in prior years. Emory has worked in media for 10+ years, and is currently an Advertising Sales Account Executive at AMC Networks, responsible for selling TV advertising on AMC and SundanceTV. She holds a degree from Boston College (BA), is a member of Mantoloking Yacht Club in New Jersey, and grew up sailing duckboats and optimists on the Barnegat Bay.

Peter Y. Gevalt

Founder/Managing Partner, Wells Hill Partners, Ltd.

As a principal, Mr. Gevalt has acted as general partner and limited partner in the development and acquisition of over five hundred million dollars of real estate projects during the last thirty years. Mr. Gevalt was Chief Warden of Trinity Church in New York City, where he continues to serve on the Vestry, and he is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Hotchkiss School. Mr. Gevalt has sailed since he was a child, when his family summered on the Connecticut shore of the Long Island Sound. He is a former Commodore of the Nantucket Yacht Club, and races actively in several one-design classes. His sailing credentials include winning the North American Championship in the International One Design Class, and having competed in a number of major offshore events, including the Bermuda Race. Mr. Gevalt received a BA degree from the University of North Carolina. He resides in New York City with his wife Lori.

Alex Baum

Graduate Student

Alex is currently working on his Masters in City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2008-2017, he was the Youth Program Director at HRCS, where he helped develop many of the programs that still exist today.  Alex first met Bill Bahen, HRCS' founder, through a friend on the Fordham University Sailing Team.  Prior to working at HRCS, Alex was the Sailing Master at YMCA Camp Cory in Penn Yan, NY.  Alex is originally from Rochester, NY.

Kristen Berry

Owner-Operator, Gale Force Sailing

Arie Toporovsky

Vice President, Investments, iStar Financial

Arie is a long-time supporter of HRCS and can be found many weekends skippering one of its J24s around New York Harbor as part of its adult sailing club. Having learned to sail on the Hudson as an adult, Arie is an enthusiastic advocate of HRCS’s core mission of community sailing and youth development. Professionally, Arie is a member of an investment team at a publicly traded company that finances, invests in, and develops real estate related projects. Arie has degrees from the University of Chicago (BA) and Columbia University (MS, MBA), and enjoys working with HRCS to build awareness and achieve its goals.

Quemuel Arroyo

Policy Analyst for Accessibility and ADA Coordinator for the New York City Department of Transportation

Quemuel (Q) Arroyo is the first Policy Analyst for Accessibility and ADA Coordinator for the New York City Department of Transportation. He joined DOT in 2014 from Investment Management Human Resource at Morgan Stanley. Q graduated from NYU in 2012 with a Bachelors of Arts in Urban Design and History of Architecture. As a member of the executive staff team, Q represents DOT and advises the Commissioner on all matters relating to accessibility. He works closely with division heads throughout the agency to ensure that their programs and operations follow current policies for accessibility and that they are made accessible to all New Yorkers. Q lives in Greenwich Village and is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at NYU Wagner.