Queens Botanical Garden Board of Trustees Welcomes New Members

Queens Botanical Garden Board of Trustees Welcomes New Members
March 1, 2018 Anne Tan-Detchkov

Queens Botanical Garden Board of Trustees Welcomes New Members

Photo, Left to Right: Jack Eichenbaum, Toni Ceaser, Pauline Huang, Willa Brody, Edward Potter, David Cinelli

Flushing, NY- March 1, 2018Queens Botanical Garden’s (QBG) Board of Trustees welcomes five new members: Willa Brody, Director of External Affairs, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens; Toni Ceaser, Teacher of Special Education and Orton-Gillingham Approach tutoring at The Sterling School; David Cinelli, Vice President and Managing Director at Sterling National Bank (formerly Astoria Bank); Jack Eichenbaum, Queens Borough Historian; and Edward Potter, Senior Property Manager, Stillman Management, Inc.

“We are delighted to work with such passionate people to help highlight all that we offer to the Queens community and beyond,” said Pauline Huang, QBG Board Chair. “We have so much to look forward to in 2018—festivals like Arbor Fest, Taiwan: A World of Orchids, Harvest Fest—not to mention capital projects like Reimagination of Gardens on Parade, a new Education Building, and more!”

“We are thrilled to welcome new members—Willa, Toni, David, Jack, and Ed—to the QBG Board of Directors. Each of these individuals demonstrates connection and commitment to the community,” said Susan Lacerte, QBG Executive Director. “At QBG, we are all about community, learning, health, history, composting, beauty, and the environment. We look forward to working on exciting and interesting projects and programs with these new board members!”

A bit more about the new members:

Willa Brody is Director of External Affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens (NYPQ), where she has been since 2015, following New York Hospital-Queens’ acquisition by NYP. She is a member of the senior leadership team overseeing marketing, public affairs, internal/external communications, social media, community and government affairs, community health outreach, and the grants division. Ms. Brody has worked at NewYork-Presbyterian the past 18 years in various leadership capacities and at various hospital locations. In addition to her role at NYPQ, she sits on the Queens Chamber of Commerce Board and is a member of the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation.

“NewYork-Presbyterian Queens works every day to serve the local community and promote a healthier lifestyle for its residents – a mission that dovetails nicely with the fine work Queens Botanical Garden does every day,” said Willa Brody, Director of External Affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. “It is an honor to join the Board and I look forward to supporting Queens Botanical Garden in its continued work to educate the public about gardening and nature, promote environmental stewardship, and offer a natural, relaxing oasis from the everyday stresses of life.”

Toni Ceaser is a Teacher of Special Education and Orton-Gillingham Approach tutoring at The Sterling School, a private school for students with dyslexia and language-based learning disabilities, where she has worked since 2003. She was previously a Communications Technician for 30 years with AT&T, completing repairs and installations of switching equipment, high frequency carrier equipment; she also worked on overseas data links and network quality improvement, and other areas in telecommunications. Ms. Ceaser has extensive experience in gardening, tree care, and composting.

“When I marvel at how amazing Queens Botanical Garden is, it feels like being at a fabulous resort or spa,” said Toni Ceaser. “There are so many adventures to take—a smorgasbord of dynamic activities. And, best of all, it is right here in Queens! QBG is truly a treasure that gets even more magnificent each year!”

David Cinelli is a Vice President and Managing Director at Sterling National Bank (formerly Astoria Bank). He is responsible for managing a team of banking professionals that delivers a needs based sales approach to ensure an excellent client experience, along with coaching and mentoring colleagues through a customized development plan to ensure career growth. He has worked with Sterling National, as Astoria Bank, since May of 2015.

“I’m very excited to be serving on the board of an organization that has been an oasis in the Queens community for many years,” said David Cinelli. “Each time I visit the garden I experience something new that I haven’t before. I’m excited to help be a part of bringing that same experience to all visitors inside and outside of our community.”

Jack Eichenbaum, Ph.D., is the Queens Borough Historian since 2010. He is an internationally regarded expert in urban geography, real estate research, and computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA). Since retirement, he has greatly expanded his public and custom walking tour schedule, which is based mostly in Queens, through his website, “The Geography of New York City with Jack Eichenbaum.” As a City Assessor for the NYC Department of Finance/Property Appraisal Research, he made contributions in all phases of the computerization of New York City’s property valuation system, including data collection, basic research, software implementation, programming, training, and statistics.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of QBG’s Board and the growth of Queens Botanical Garden, a tremendous resource for historical, geographical, and horticultural education,” said Jack Eichenbaum.

Edward “Ed” Potter is a Senior Property Manager with Stillman Management, Inc. in Westchester County. He manages two coops, three condominiums, and one homeowner association with a total of over 900 units and operating budgets totaling $10 million. He previously managed five NYC coop buildings with over 150 units. Ed was born and raised in Brooklyn and has lived in Queens since 1974. He and his wife, Reva, recently celebrated their birthdays together with a party at QBG and the adoption of two benches!

“I have been a friend and supporter of QBG for many years. It is a wonderful and progressive institution,” said Edward Potter. “My wife and I had a party for our seventieth birthdays at the Garden and, despite torrential rains on the evening of the planned outdoor party, it was a great success. As a tribute and thank you to the Garden we adopted two benches. A certified arborist and professional property manager, I hope I can contribute to the missions of QBG.”

In addition, four new members join QBG’s Advisory Council: Angie Awadalla, Asylum Officer at the Department of Homeland Security; Frank Buddingh’, arborist and founder of Buddinghtree Consultancy LLC.; Tara Pinkham, Training Officer in the Asylum Office at the Department of Homeland Security; Katrin Scholz-Barth, Principal at Katrin Scholz-Barth Consulting.

“I am delighted to have been asked to become a member of the QBG Advisory Council. A botanic garden that educates some 35,000 students per year in the appreciation and application of horticulture with a very small team of expert staff, that deserves every help they can get,” said Frank Buddingh’. “It motivates me to make my skills available where needed and be part of this dynamic group.”


Queens Botanical Garden is looking ahead to the new year, kicking off the season with the new gallery exhibition Hope, showcasing Laura Fantini’s intricately detailed pencil drawings of seeds the artist has collected throughout NYC and Italy through April 29; workshops presented by NYC Compost Project hosted by Queens Botanical Garden such as Compost Mania on March 3 and Compost Giveback on March 24; Evening Cocktail & Craft events; Tulip Time! taking place the weekend of April 21 and 22; TWIST & SPROUT!, a family-friendly event all about healthy living, brought to the community for free courtesy of NewYork-Presbyterian Queens; 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).

The Garden continues to grow its capital endeavors, a new Education Center and the Gardens on Parade display from the original exhibition at the New York’s World’s Fairs.

The Gardens on Parade capital project will bring new life into this part of the Garden, including a pavilion and a Taiwan Garden that will have plants that are also native to Taiwan and have a cultural significance, such as persimmon, plum, and bamboo. The pavilion is adorned by art world-renowned Taiwanese artist Erh Ping Tsai. It will incorporate a beautiful nature motif and recycled materials to complement the Garden’s eco-friendly mission. The Taiwan Garden will pay tribute to Flushing’s history and the first wave of Taiwanese immigrants who came to this area decades ago. The project will also feature one circle, six benches, and eight columns, representing the numbers “one, six, eight,” which, in Chinese, phonetically resembles the phrase “fortune all the way”!

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

About Queens Botanical Garden

Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and real-world applications of environmental stewardship. QBG is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Queens Borough President, the New York City Council, State elected officials, the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, along with corporate, foundation, and individual supporters. For more information, visit www.queensbotanical.org or call (718) 886-3800.



Anne Tan-Detchkov

Marketing Manager

Queens Botanical Garden

[email protected]

718-886-3800 ext. 213