WESTBETH CORP elects NEW members from the fields of community
activism, the film industry, and housing to its Board of Directors

New Members of the Westbeth Corporation Board of Directors

George Cominskie

George Cominskie

George Cominskie is the VP of John Turner Photo, working in the photography field for the past two decades. George previously served on the Westbeth Board from 1989 to 1994 and 2002 to 2004. He was Vice-Chair of the Board from 1990 to 1994. Mr. Cominiskie served on the Westbeth Artists Residents Council for 21 years, 17 of them as President of WARC. He has been the executive producer of WARC’s WestFest Dance Festival and the PEN Literary Quest for the last 8 years. He also serves on an advisory committee of The Whitney Museum of American Art and has been a Wednesday morning volunteer at God’s Love We Deliver for the past 21 years. He lives at Westbeth with his husband John Turner.

Samantha Vincent

Samantha Vincent

Samantha Vincent, President of One Race Films, overseeing day-to-day management of this film, TV and video game company including all aspects of the films division and serving as Executive Producer of the Fast and Furious franchise. Vincent has a Masters in Education Policy from Harvard University. She grew up at Westbeth where her parents still reside.

Anisha Steephen

Anisha Steephen

Anisha Steephen is a Community Development Officer at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the nation’s largest Community Development Financial Institutions. Anisha leads originations and underwriting of economic development real estate projects driven by mission-driven organizations throughout New York City. Her career is focused in successful public-private partnerships that support investments and asset building in low-wealth communities. Previously, she was in the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs and at the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Anisha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Columbia University and a M.C.R.P. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a co-author of the book Cities and the Politics of Difference: Multiculturalism and Diversity in Urban Planning (2015).

Judd Levy

Judd Levy

Judd Levy. From 2006-2011 Mr. Levy served under three governors as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the State of New York Mortgage Agency and the New York Housing Finance Agency. For the past 15 years he has served as the pro-bono advisor to Habitat and assisted in securitizations that have provided over $200 million for more than 270 local Habitat affiliates throughout the United States. He also served as an advisor to Habitat on an international micro-lending program for small business. Mr. Levy is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Enterprise Community Investment.

Continuing Members of the Westbeth Board of Directors

Patricia Jones, Chair

Patricia Jones, Chair

Patricia C. Jones Chair has more than 30 years leadership experience in the nonprofit sector with a concentration in the arts, urban planning/preservation, economic development, and the environment. She has been a professional management and fundraising consultant since 1990 with an emphasis on policy planning, budgeting and financial oversight, fundraising, board development, strategic and long-range planning, and evaluation. Most recently she was the Executive Director of Eyebeam Atelier, a nonprofit arts organization that offers residencies and public programs at the intersection of arts and technology. She has a BA from Harvard University, an MSUP from Columbia University, and has studied at the London School of Economics.

Michael Lappin, Vice Chair

Michael Lappin, Vice Chair

Michael D. Lappin Vice Chair is the president of MLappin & Associates LLC, involved in the financing and development of affordable and market-rate housing. He is also Senior Advisor to the Sparhawk Group, an energy engineering company. For more than 30 years, he was the president and chief executive officer of The Community Preservation Corporation and CPC Resources, Inc. Under his leadership, CPC became New York State’s leading financier of affordable housing units. Its housing programs included the rehabilitation and stabilization of existing housing; the rebuilding of vacant publically owned properties; the development of new affordable and work force housing; the stabilization of distressed cooperatively owned housing, the development of senior and other special need housing, the rebuilding of deteriorated downtown areas; and financing programs to improve energy efficiency in existing multifamily housing.

Donald Sutton

Donald Sutton

Donald S. Sutton Vice Chair is a private consultant in marketing and licensing to artists in music and theater. He is formerly Assistant Dean for External Affairs of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University where he served as a personal advisor to one of the state’s most respected economic forecasters, after a year as Director of Development at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. Don has worked extensively in development and non-profit management for more than 20 years directing museum campaigns in marketing public affairs and/or chief development officer for New York’s Museum of Arts & Design, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Columbia University/Teachers College Campaign and the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. He followed posts with theNew York State Council on the Arts with assignments as Executive Producer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Foundation Managing Director of the Dance Theater of Harlem. Don spent 10 years, ultimately as Vice President for Economic Development, at New York’s Empire State Development Corp where he served as project manager for the re-development of Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater and the 125th St. National Black Theater. Don received a BA in History and Speech/Communications from Elmhurst College, IL, the Master of Fine Arts in Stage Direction from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC and the Master of Business Administration from Fordham University Graduate School of Business at Lincoln Center.

Joe Versace Treasurer is a vice president and senior advisor in the New York office of AB Bernstein, where his practice includes: not-for-profit institutions and endowments; executive, corporate and pension plans; family trusts and partnerships; as well as individual investment management advisory services. In addition, Mr. Versace is an assistant professor on the faculty of Columbia University’s Graduate School of International and Public Policy Mr. Versace currently serves as Treasurer for Eyebeam, a not-for-profit collaborative arts and technology studio, and has been active with many business, youth and social service organizations as a board member and volunteer including: ABNY, The Alliance for the Arts, Children for Children, The Gordon Parks Foundation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City Department of Education, One Laptop per Child, Pencil and The Partnership for New York City.

Adam Davidson

Adam Davidson

Adam Davidson is an economics journalist. He writes the On Money column for the NY Times Magazine and is the co-founder of NPR’s Planet Money. Davidson’s work explaining economic and financial news to the general public has won many major awards including the Peabody, Dupont-Columbia, and Polk. Davidson grew up in Westbeth, where he lived from 1972 to 1988. His father, Jack Davidson, is an actor who still lives in the building. Davidson now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Jen Banbury, and their son.

Christina Maile

Christina Maile

Christina Maile is a printmaker and painter. Licensed as a landscape architect, she was the Deputy Director for Construction for the NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation. As a playwright, she co-founded the Westbeth Playwrights Feminist Collective – one of the first feminist theater groups in the USA. Their work has been included in the archives of the New York Historical Society and the Lincoln Center Library for Performing Arts . Her landscape architectural design work has appeared in Garden Design Magazine, and Landscape Architecture Magazine. In 2013 she received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and a Joan Mitchell Studio Grant for painting and printmaking. Her work has been featured in the International Print Center in New York City, has been included in the Feminist Artists Collection at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY, and is represented in many private collections. In 2017 she co-won the Miriam Chaikin Foundation Writing Award. www.christinamaile.com.

Roger Braimon,/b> President of WARC

Roger Braimon

Roger Braimon is a mixed-media visual artist using watercolor, collage and photography. He is currently president of WARC (since 12/2017) and formerly the Admissions Committee Chair (since 4/2011) and an active Westbeth Resident (since 8/2009). He owns and operates EmmettNYC, a creative consultancy for fine art and graphic design/mixed-media. Currently, he is overseeing season-inspired watercolor designs for the Tokyo launch of Red Hook’s own Baked, and is a consulting design director at La Mer.

Susan Binet

Susan Binet

Susan Binet Secretary is a registered nurse and a trained first responder in the New York City Medical Reserve Corps. In that capacity, she assists some of the elderly residents at Westbeth. Prior to 1970, when Susan moved to Westbeth, she had a background in theatre and dance in Ohio. She appeared in productions at the Kettering Oakwood Theatre and the Dayton Theatre Guild and on local television in dance performances. Early on at Westbeth, she served on the board under the leadership of Joan Kaplan. She participated in the “Women’s Collective,” a literary and performing arts venue and performed in “Global Groove,” a creation of video pioneer and artist Nam June Paik. She executed costumes for a dance company and fabrications for a visual artist’s presentation. Currently the corporation’s secretary, she has devoted many years of service to Westbeth, including a stint as president of the Westbeth Artists-Residents Council.

Barbara Prete

Barbara Prete

Barbara Prete is a painter and writer who has lived in Westbeth since 1977. She raised three children here, one of whom, Allison, is now an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Barbara also has a background in finance; she attended the Harvard Business School and was director of Program Finance at the Empire State Development Corporation. She served as director of the National Book Awards for 10 years and as a development officer for several arts-related nonprofit organizations. Barbara was president of WARC for six years. She is also an award-winning journalist and an NEA fellowship winner.

Esther Robinson

Esther Robinson

Esther Robinson has worked on behalf of America’s artists for over 20 years as a: foundation program officer, television and film producer/director, technology entrepreneur and arts activist. From 1999-2006, she was Director of Film/Video/Performing Arts at the Creative Capital Foundation and one of the principal architects of their innovative grant-making system. Since 2006, her non-profit ArtHome has provided financial-training and asset-building programming to artists and organizations nationally, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity/Ford Foundation, ArtPlace, and the NEA. Since 2015 she has been Co-Executive Director of NYC nonprofit ArtBuilt (www.artbuilt.org), where ArtHome’s asset building programs continue alongside space-based initiatives including a 56,000 sq. ft. affordable arts and arts-business studio complex in South Brooklyn and an innovative mobile studio residency program in NYC parks/public plazas. Robinson is also an award-winning filmmaker/producer. Her critically acclaimed directorial debut A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory took top prizes at the Berlin, Tribeca and Chicago film festivals. It is currently scheduled to be re-released theatrically in 2019. As a producer and executive producer her recent titles include (among others): the Academy Award Nominated film Strong Island by Yance Ford, and Memories of a Penitent Heart by Cecilia Aldarondo which premiered in the 2017 season of the PBS series. Additionally, She is an active board member of Women Make Movies, a recipient of Fractured Atlas’ 2014 Arts Entrepreneurship Award and a mom to Otis age 5.

Glenn Erickson

Glenn Erickson

Glenn Erikson is an architect and developer. He designed and developed Venice ArtBlock, a 20-unit live/work project in Venice, CA, and developed Main Street Mews, a 16-unit live/work project in Freeport, N.Y., with Time Equities, Inc. Current work includes managing projects in New York; Trenton, N.J.; Annapolis, Md.; Bristol, Tenn.; Seattle, Wash.; and Berlin, Germany. He is also principal of EF Capital, which owns and manages 240 apartments in upstate New York. Glenn has a bachelor’s degree in architecture, a master’s in real estate and finance, and a doctorate in urban affairs, and has been on architectural teams that have won design awards on six projects. An active fly fisher, he is the conservation director of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, and is a board member of Architecture/Omi and Open Space Alliance of North Brooklyn.

Matthew Rutenberg is a private consultant to dealers, collectors and foundations, advising on the acquisition and dispersal of Old Master, 19th- and 20th-century art, and assisting on cataloguing, conservation and display matters. Mr. Rutenberg is particularly involved in aiding collectors in placing their works of art in public museums and has worked with many institutions including the National Gallery, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Gallery at Vassar College, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, the Harvard Art Museums, the Norton Art Gallery, the Ringling Museum, the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford University, the Fitzwilliam Museum of Cambridge University and the National Gallery of Scotland. He is a graduate of Harvard College, and attended post-graduate classes in historical studies at the Warburg Institute, University of London. In addition to being published in scholarly publications in his field he has also written for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books.

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