Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership Staff
Meredith Phillips Almeida, Executive Director
Email | (718) 230-1689 ext 6#
Meredith’s vision has broadened the scope and impact of the Partnership’s work over the past ten years, and the organization continues to grow under her leadership as Executive Director, and Deputy Director prior to that. During her tenure, the Partnership has deepened its reach into the community, engaging residents from all backgrounds in the programs as volunteers, advisors, advocates and leaders. Meredith secured resources to build innovative programs from the ground up, strengthening the community with Myrtle Avenue as its anchor. She developed the Partnership’s successful Food Access Initiative, expanding access to healthy food for thousands of local residents by creating pathways to affordable healthy food and nutrition education. She conceptualized the Arts & Culture Initiative, which represents a larger effort to establish Myrtle Avenue as an access point to cultural activities for community members of diverse socio-economic backgrounds, with cornerstone programs like Black Artstory Month. She spearheaded the Partnership’s planning efforts on Park Avenue/Under the BQE, a cutting edge community-driven plan aimed at improving pedestrian safety on this high traffic corridor. She led Myrtle Avenue’s toward an Age-Friendly Neighborhood designation bringing visibility to the needs of seniors in the community, and is now developing new initiatives in the areas of Community Safety.
Meredith currently serves as co-chair of the NYC BID Association, representing 75 business improvement districts across the five boroughs. She’s a long-time member of Brooklyn Community Board 2’s Youth, Education & Cultural Affairs committee. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning from NYU Wagner and a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Economics & Policy from UC Berkeley. Meredith is a kickboxing mother of two and map enthusiast.
Shaquana Boykin, MAP Engagement Coordinator
Email | (718) 230-1689 ext 5#
Shaquana Boykin has many years of experience working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. In her current role as Myrtle Avenue’s MAP Engagement Coordinator – Ingersoll, she is leading a group of residents and partners through a planning process to improve safety at Ingersoll Houses. Prior to that, she was the Program Manager for our Healthy Communities Initiatives, where she managed a monthly fresh produce pantry serving 300+ families and a CSA with Corbin Hill Food Project, supported community gardeners at Ingersoll, Whitman and Farragut, and served on the Better Bike Share Partnership in NYC. She first joined the team as a volunteer member of the Fort Greene & Clinton Hill Community Food Council in 2013, conducting “Shopping on a Budget” Supermarket Tours. Shaquana was an Urban Farm Educator and Manager at Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Cooperation (NEBHDCO). At a young age of 16, she began volunteering at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and organizing with ACORN as a Canvass Field Manager.
Shaquana is a certified Brooklyn Urban Gardener (BUG) and received the 2013 Natural Leader award through Children & Nature network. She graduated from the Public Allies New York & Center for Neighborhood Leadership Community Organizing Apprenticeship in June 2015. A native Brooklynite who has lived in Fort Greene since 2009, she has an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College, and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree In Legal Studies at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology.
Nicole J. Forté, Healthy Communities Program Coordinator
Email | (718) 230-1689
As the Healthy Communities Program Coordinator, Nicole manages the Partnership’s Farm Fresh Box, Community Corner and Benefit Kitchen programs. Prior to joining the staff, Nicole served as a Farm Fresh Box volunteer over the past two years. Nicole is a graduate of CUNY Medgar Evers College with a degree in Computer Science. As a native New Yorker she has been educated in Brooklyn, New York! In her spare time, she’s a foodie and an amateur food critic. She loves trying the new restaurants and shops that pop up along Myrtle Avenue.
Andrew Ogulnik, Program Manager, Public Space Initiatives
Email | (718) 230-1689 ext 2#
Andrew joined the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership in December 2016 as manager of the BID’s public space initiatives. In this role, Andrew works on the BID’s sanitation, street furniture, and horticultural efforts. He holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in community and economic development from Hunter College and has worked for BIDs in Sunnyside, Queens and Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In his spare time, he likes to explore new neighborhoods, play guitar, and watch documentaries.
Chad Purkey, Deputy Director, Planning + BID Services
Email | (718) 230-1689 ext 1#
As Director of Planning & Economic Development efforts, Chad Purkey supports the Partnership’s business attraction efforts, maintains relationships with local property owners and developers, and is responsible for various planning initiatives. Chad also manages the Partnership’s façade improvement program, which consists of two grant programs: the state-funded New York Main Street program and the BID Façade Improvement program. Additionally, he is charged with developing new programming that fosters historic preservation in the local Walkabout Historic District. Chad holds a M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and a B.F.A. in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
Email | (718) 230-1689 ext 3#
Jennifer Stokes has worked with MARP for over 10 years. Her work covers both the areas of business assistance and business attraction. Through business assistance, she works with existing Myrtle Avenue businesses: creating and plugging merchants into activities and events that may increase overall Avenue foot traffic and that positively affect merchant bottom lines; liaising between merchants and government and other agencies, including assistance with emergency situations on the Avenue; learning new policies and regulations and helping to disseminate this information to Avenue merchants; working closely with businesses as it relates to issues of safety and security on the Avenue and helping to promote Myrtle Avenue businesses via the annual directory, website, social media and beyond. Through business attraction, Jennifer works with prospective businesses, assisting them to find suitable commercial space on the Avenue. Jennifer completed graduate studies at Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Studies at the City College of New York.
Rebeca Ramirez, Director, Sponsorship & Communications
Email | (718) 230-1689 ext 4#
Rebeca joined the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership in July 2013. Prior to this she managed economic development efforts for Heart of Brooklyn, the award-winning non-profit cultural partnership of six central Brooklyn Institutions including Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park Alliance, & Prospect Park Zoo. Ms. Ramirez has worked with non-profits, arts, and cultural organizations for over 15 years and is a 2012 Coro New York Leadership Alumni. Her role at the Partnership includes implementing marketing and new media strategies as well as cultivating donors and sponsors for the diverse initiatives led by the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (LDC). Ms. Ramirez is an arts enthusiast, a small business super fan, and a graduate of UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television. On her time off she visits Brooklyn’s coffee shops and explores the 5 boroughs with her kids, Diego Max & Timoteo George.