Allison Currier, Environmental Organizer
Allison Currier was born and raised here in New York City. She graduated from Ithaca College in 2014 with a BA in environmental studies and concentration in social justice and policy. Growing up in the Bronx, the most highly polluted borough of NY, it was important for her to be part of this city’s positive change. Throughout college she was involved in various activism including anti-hydrofracking work and jail expansion issues while working in waste management as well. She is excited to be NAG’s environmental organizer working on Reduce Reuse Recycle Greenpoint restaurant sustainability, Lead in Garden Soil Outreach and more! You can always find Allison on the other line of NAGs emails!
Michelle Rodecker, Office Manager
Michelle (along with her husband Jim) is a founding member of NAG, and has worked for the organization in varying capacities for many years. She is a resident of the Northside and has lived and worked in Williamsburg since the 1970s.
Ward Dennis has been a resident of Williamsburg since 1992. He is a partner at Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC, a New York-based historic preservation consulting firm specializing in the restoration, rehabilitation and adaptive use of historic properties. Ward is the former land use chair of Community Board #1 and has served as an adjunct assistant professor of historic preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Through his work and teaching, and his background in urban geography, Ward has extensive experience with land use and public review.
Emily has been a Greenpoint resident since 2006. She pursues environmental and social justice with a neighborhood focus, getting her start writing about the toxic legacies of industrial Northside and creating a hands-on media literacy program for St. Nick’s after school program in Williamsburg. She also worked as a research assistant on the art project Superfund365, which lead her to co-create a workshop on digitally mapping toxic communities. Currently, Gallagher researches the social justice history of New York City for her collective. The Brooklyn Diggers. She is employed as an Educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and holds a BA in Culture and Communications from Ithaca College (2006.)
Roseann Henry (Secretary)
Roseann was born and raised on the Northside and has long been concerned about environmental justice in her neighborhood. She is a Supervisor at the New York City Police Department’s Payroll Section. Roseann also serves as co-president of the Holy Family Church Ladies Guild.
Born in NYC, Felice came to work in the Northside when she was hired by the late neighborhood activist Adam Veneski to build a community organizing department of the People’s Firehouse during the years of property abandonment and arson-for-profit schemes in the late 1970’s/early 80’s. She has been involved in many local volunteer-driven efforts to protect and increase affordable housing, jobs, health service clinics, senior housing, youth after school programs, and the renovations of Metropolitan Pool and the Williamsburg Bridge. In the late 1980’s, Felice joined the Citizens’ Committee for New York City where she pioneered a New York City and, later, national, program to train police officers in building partnerships with community organizations to prevent drug and violence. Felice is the managing partner of Teddy’s Bar and Grill, a 120-year old North Brooklyn business with a history of community involvement dating back to Tammany Hall, and is raising her family in the same building.
Ryan Kuonen has been a resident of Williamsburg since 2002. Having lived in Valdez, Alaska and being an environmental justice activist, upon her arrival in North Brooklyn, she got on a bike and started exploring the Newtown Creek area. Working as an environmental educator, she developed curriculum around the history and ecosystem of the Creek, leading tours exploring this area. Ryan was NAG’s tenant organizer, working with rent regulated and loft law tenants facing illegal evictions as pressures from the 2005 rezoning ramped up the neighborhood’s gentrification. Currently, Ryan organizes the Southside CSA farm share and likes to garden on her sidewalk.
Alan Minor (Vice Chairperson)
Alan Minor is a community organizer and serial volunteer who resides in Williamsburg. For the last three years, he has worked on his own projects in North Brooklyn concerning civic engagement and solid waste management. Alan joined NAG in early 2014, and he hopes to expand on his work in these areas of interest, as well as transportation, with the organization.
Luke Ohlson is a Greenpoint resident and community organizer with the pedestrian and bicycle advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. Through his work with Transportation Alternatives he has engaged with Community Board 1 and local elected officials on safe streets infrastructure and education. He helped facilitate neighborhood street safety forums in Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint in 2014. He is currently working with El Puente and other community groups to improve Meeker Avenue and the area underneath the BQE in North Brooklyn.
Luke is also a filmmaker and has produced short films for Transportation Alternatives and the Woodhaven Bus Rapid Transit Coalition.
Rita Beth Pasarell (Chairperson)
Rita moved to Greenpoint after working in community organizing in the Bushwick and Williamsburg neighborhoods. She enjoys increasing public engagement in activism and advocacy, which she does with NAG and with Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment group.
Rita is an attorney and co-founder of the Foundation for Workplace Gender Equity.
Jim Rodecker (Treasurer)
Born in Jersey City, Jim Rodecker arrived in Williamsburg in 1974. Jim worked at the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal (BEDT) as the Accounting Manager until 1979 and continued his railroad employment with NY Dock Railway and NY Cross Harbor Railroad as the Comptroller until 1994. He along with 4 other great activists founded NAG in August of 1994. He has volunteered and worked actively with NAG since its inception. Jim is currently employed as Fiscal Officer for the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence and Real Estate Consultant for 77 South 6th LLC.
Mike Schade is the Director of the Mind the Store campaign with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (a national coalition of 450 organizations) which aims to work with the nation’s leading retailers on creating comprehensive chemicals policies. For the previous nine years, Mike was the Markets Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), a national environmental health organization where he led national campaigns to phase out PVC plastic, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA) and dioxin. Prior to CHEJ, he was the Director of the Buffalo office of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, a NY statewide environmental organization.
Mike lives in Greenpoint, is the co-chair of the Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group (CAG), is on the steering committee of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance (MPNA), and is on the Community Advisory Panel of the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF). He received a BS in Environmental Studies from the University at Buffalo.
Evan Thies is the founder and president of Brooklyn Strategies, a communications and strategic services firm serving local and national non-profit, political, and corporate clients. Evan spent years in public service as a senior adviser in the New York City Council, at the office of Sen. Hillary Clinton, and as a communications specialist for political campaigns, including Andrew Cuomo’s successful campaign for Attorney General.
As a private consultant, Evan works with some of the largest non-profit advocacy organizations in New York and in the country, fighting for the rights of blue-collar workers, wide-ranging improvements to environmental and education policy, economic and social justice, and good government.