CitizensNYC ’22 New Yorkers For New York Campaign

March 22, 2022

Citizens Committee for New York City (CitizensNYC) announced today the launch of its 2022 fundraising campaign, New Yorkers for New York.

The announcement highlights extraordinary New Yorkers who are leading in their space to rethink, rebuild, and reimagine New York City. The organization’s in-person gala will take place on Monday, June 6 at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.

The New Yorkers for New York fundraising campaign will lift up the contributions these leaders continue to make to strengthen the city’s future.

Each month the campaign will highlight the honorees who have committed to rolling up their sleeves to help the city rebuild from the pandemic with inspiring and insightful interviews and forward-thinking ideas.  

This year, CitizensNYC is proud to honor leadership in philanthropy – Yin Kong, Peter H. Kostmayer & Doug Hirn, Andrea Markezin & Joel Press, Brandee McHale & Citi, Kelly Vilar, and Nitiya Walker, – honorees that represent the breadth of culture, neighborhoods, and pivotal industries in New York City.

The in-person gala event on Monday, June 6, 2022 at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers is the first time the event will take place in person since 2020. Co-chairs for the event include Art Chang, Susan R. Cullman, Davis Gise, and Tom Israel.

“Our distinguished honorees are reflective of the vast diversity of New York City, in a way that is reminiscent of the culture that we all know, love, and hold dear. Each honoree plays a key role in helping to shine a light and strengthen NYC communities and businesses, modeling for the leaders of today and tomorrow to move ideas into action towards a stronger NYC,” said Dr. Rahsaan Harris, CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City.

This year’s honorees include:

Doug Hirn

Doug Hirn is a counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP and a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group. His practice focuses on providing ERISA advice to private equity fund sponsors and other clients of the firm’s Investment Management Group, and advising clients on executive compensation and public company reporting practices. 

He has also advised clients on a pro bono basis on matters including asylum, immigration, and not-for-profit formation and registration.  Doug received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, his M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business and his B.A. from The Ohio State University.

Yin Kong 

Yin Kong 邝海音 is a community-based designer and curator living and working in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Think!Chinatown, a CitizensNYC grantee, is the culmination of her work in urban design, museum, culinary & cultural instruction, and community engagement. 

Peter Kostmayer

Peter H. Kostmayer was born and raised in Manhattan. When Peter was fifteen his family moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. At 29 he was elected to Congress becoming the first Democrat to represent his suburban Philadelphia district since 1932.

After seven terms in Congress, Peter was appointed by Bill Clinton as the EPA Regional Administrator in the six Middle Atlantic states. In 2005 Peter returned to the city of his birth when he was named CEO of Citizens Committee for New York City. 

Andrea Markezin-Press 

Andrea Markezin-Press has been a game-changer in family-controlled businesses as a trusted advisor and as a financial planner. Markezin-Press leads Table Management LP, a NY-based private family office, overseeing all the financial and operational issues of the family, their investments, and philanthropic efforts. She was previously the President of Marujupu LLC, a single-family office.

Andrea began her career as a public accountant and left Ernst & Young as a tax partner in the New York City office and leader of the family office practice. She has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a B.S. (Accounting) from Lehigh University.

Brandee McHale 

Brandee McHale is Head of Community Investing and Development at Citi and President of the Citi Foundation. She leads Citi’s efforts to drive economic opportunity and invest in the equitable and inclusive growth of communities through impact investing, inclusive finance, community relations and the philanthropy of the Citi Foundation.

Joel Press 

Founder of Press Management LLC in 2010, Joel Press brings over 30 years of experience in the hedge fund and finance arenas. As an enthusiastic lecturer and speaker at conferences around the world, Press promotes his expertise in financial services by discussing securities, investment partnerships, and issues pertaining to the financial industry. In addition, he writes a quarterly column for HFMWeek on current topics affecting the hedge fund industry. 

Kelly Vilar

Kelly Vilar is the founder and CEO of the Staten Island Urban Center–a youth & community development through youth & community involvement nonprofit organization in pursuit of thrivability, cultural equity, self-determination and independence of our most marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Kelly was appointed to the NYC Council to the NYC Waterfront Management Advisory Board. She has served as the vice-chair of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in East Harlem, a multidisciplinary center for global afro descendent culture integrating arts, education and activism.  Staten Island Urban Center is a CitizensNYC grantee partner. 

Nitiya Walker

Nitiya Walker believes it is her duty to help ease the financial burdens of those in her generation. Walker acted on her passion for women’s economic empowerment, and became the Executive Director and Founder of Seeds of Fortune Inc. a scholarship non-profit and EdTech platform that strategically helps young women of color find and apply to scholarships for college, teach career and financial skillsets to promote financial empowerment.

The nonprofit has acquired 500+ members, offered $15M in scholarships & grants, and grown significantly in SEO and website presence. She has been featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, and writes a blog, Walker Finance and Media.

Additional honorees and special tributes will be announced later.

Partner with CitizensNYC

Donate today to get New Yorkers the funds they need to rebuild the greatest city in the world.
With your help, CitizensNYC is providing over $1 million in grants to New Yorkers in need.

Each grantee awarded will receive up to $5,000 and will also have access to our vast network of like-minded community leaders to help implement and support their projects. 

Citizens Committee for New York City

Citizens Committee for New York City’s mission is to help New Yorkers – especially those in low-income areas – come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

We empower residents to solve problems they identify in their neighborhoods, such as the need for economic opportunity and public safety, or local beautification and environmental sustainability.

CitizensNYC provides microgrants averaging $3,000 to hundreds of New Yorkers each year who are addressing these issues and more.

In 2021, we awarded more than $1 million in funding through 278 grants to local community groups working to respond to the effects of the pandemic on their neighborhoods. Since 1975, we have promoted the spirit of volunteerism, local engagement, and equity that drives our work.

CitizensNYC is supported by donors including Mollie Parnis Livingston Foundation, Wells Fargo, Booth Ferris Foundation, TD Bank, National Grid Foundation, and more.,

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