QBG Board of Trustees Welcomes Newly Elected Chair and Members, Says Farewall to Three Board Members

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Left to Right: Pauline Huang, Debra Lodge, Bianca Ng, Jeanmarie Schieler


QBG Board of Trustees  Welcomes Newly Elected Chair and Members,  Says Farewall to Three Board Members

Flushing, NY- January 2017Queens Botanical Garden’s (QBG) Board of Trustees, at its December meeting, unanimously elected Pauline Huang, President and Marketing Director at United Custom Service, Inc., as new Board Chair and reelected of­ficers: Suzanne Brienza, Vice Chair; Neil Fleischman, Treasurer; and Michael Bronstein, Secretary. Of­ficers serve one-year terms.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Pauline Huang as our new Board Chair. Her enthusiasm for ‘our garden’ is inspiring and we know she will share her excitement with the community during her tenure,” said Susan Lacerte, QBG Executive Director. “We are so grateful for Pauline’s work in bringing Taiwan: A World of Orchids to the Garden for three years in a row, and all that she does to celebrate Queens as our ‘international borough.’”

Rovena Schirling leaves the Board after six years of dedicated service as trustee, three of which were as Board Chair. A very generous and passionate leader, Ms. Schirling will continue to work on special projects with the Garden, including co-chairing fundraising efforts with Saul Kupferberg to support the Garden’s future capital campaign to build a new Education Center. The Garden also said goodbye to revered trustees Joanne Chao and Gary Park, who will continue to work for the growth of the Garden. Trustees may serve a maximum of six years on the Board of Directors, according to QBG’s bi-laws.

In addition, three new members were elected to the Board at the December meeting. “We are delighted to attract such passionate people to champion this garden,” said Pauline Huang, QBG Board Chair. “The work that Rovena has done as Board Chair, along with the support of Joanne and Gary, will be built upon by new, talented trustees, as we see our vision for the future materialize!”

The new members are:

Debra Lodge is Managing Director, Head of RMB Sales and Business Development

Americas for HSBC Bank NA Securities USA-New York. She has been with the HSBC Bank Global Market Division in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York since 1990. Ms. Lodge also volunteers with the ASPCA as a dog socializer and trainer.

“It is an honor and privilege to be chosen to serve and support the great work of the Queens Botanical Garden.  Their work with the local community is exemplary, and I look forward to being involved with their exciting range of programs, meeting local residents and taking advantage of being in such beautiful surroundings.  HSBC applauds the work of the Garden and will help to support its future growth,” said Debra Lodge.

Bianca Ng is CEO & Managing Director of COTS Travel, an established travel agency in operation for over 20 years in downtown Flushing. With the goal of striving for the betterment of the community, Ms. Ng is the Program Committee Chairperson and on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District (Flushing BID), a member of the Flushing Central Lions Club, and part of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

“I am honored and excited to be invited to join the Board of Trustees of Queens Botanical Garden, a wonderful organization that is an integral part of the community,” said Bianca Ng. “As QBG is located right in one of the fastest growing communities in New York, it plays an important role of providing a peaceful and tranquil environment for people to relax, rejuvenate and recharge. Our former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, ‘A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.’ I look forward to getting involved with the wonderful programs offered by QBG, and hopefully helping to create new programs that will further promote the connection between people and the environment.”

Jeanmarie Schieler is Vice President and Corporate Secretary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., and its principal subsidiary, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Ms. Schieler is a corporate mentor and graduate of CORO Leadership New York Program, a member of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, the Stockholder Relations Society of New York, and the College Point Civic Association. Ms. Schieler has over 25 years of experience at Con Edison, with expertise in employment law, labor law, and human resource management.

“Con Edison is proud to be a long-time supporter of the Queens Botanical Garden and the ‘Con Edison Curriculum’ – environmental education workshops for school children,” said Jeanmarie Schieler. “I am delighted to join the Board of Trustees and look forward to working with the board and staff to continue fostering future stewards of the environment.”


Queens Botanical Garden is looking ahead to the new year, kicking off the season with the new gallery exhibition “East of East River,” showcasing photographs by Vikram Dogra through February 26; Winter Family Programs every Saturday from now through February 4; a winter E-Waste Recycling Event on January 29; and the Great Backyard Bird Count on February 18; and more! The Garden is also gearing up for the annual celebrations: Arbor Fest (April); Taiwan: A World of Orchids (August); and Harvest Fest (October).

In addition, the Garden is launching a new drop-off nature program this spring for kids ages 2 through 6, called Forest Explorers, which is rooted in the traditions of the Forest School model of nurturing self-confidence and deepening children’s connection to the Earth. QBG is also hosting gardening programs for kids, including the popular Children’s Garden sponsored by HSBC for kids ages 4 through 10; Garden Buds for ages 2 and 3; and Junior Naturalists for ages 11 to 14.

The Garden will also focus on growing support for its future capital endeavors, a new Education Center and opportunities for the public to reserve meaningful on-site bench dedications throughout the grounds.

For more information on upcoming events, programs, and opportunities to support or enjoy the Garden, please visit queensbotanical.org.