Myrtle Avenue Staff

Meredith Phillips Almeida, Executive Director
Meredith’s vision has broadened the scope and impact of Myrtle Avenue’s footprint over the past seven years, and the organization continues to grow under her leadership as the newly appointed Executive Director. Meredith has raised funds and built partnerships that have brought innovation and meaningful change to our neighborhood. She developed the renowned Food Access Initiative which has expanded access to healthy food for 1,000’s of local low-income residents of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill by creating a pathway 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 and Temporary Public Installations. She plays a key role in the Partnership’s planning efforts on Park Avenue/Under the BQE, a cutting edge program aimed at improving pedestrian safety on this high traffic corridor. She is also developing new initiatives in the areas of Community Safety, as well as Age-Friendly Neighborhoods, which will improve Myrtle Avenue for older adult stakeholders. As Deputy Director, Meredith oversaw strategic planning, resource development, community engagement and program evaluation for the organization. During her tenure, the organization has deepened its reach into the community, engaging residents from all backgrounds in the Partnership’s programs as volunteers, advisors, advocates and leaders.

Prior to working at Myrtle Avenue, Meredith authored a curriculum that integrated urban planning and policy issues into all classes at a unique public high school in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where she also managed a broad range of community partnerships to support the unique coursework. A natural organizer and youth advocate, she is a founding member of the Young Planners Network, a national collaborative of youth and adults who work to ‘create a place at the table’ for youth engagement in planning and policy-making.

Meredith currently serves on 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.

Shaquana Boykin, Program Manager, Healthy Community Initiative
Before becoming the Program Manager for our Healthy Communities Initiatives, Shaquana Boykin first joined MARP as a volunteer member of the Fort Greene & Clinton Hill Community Food Council in 2013, conducting Shopping on a Budget Supermarket Tours. In summer 2014, she managed MARP’s Myrtle Eats Fresh Community Corner, conducting outreach about how to use SNAP benefits at local farmers markets. She recently completed the Public Allies Center for Neighborhood Leadership Community Organizer apprenticeship, where she spent a service year organizing around tenant rights. With the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, she helped to win a new Brooklyn Housing Court location that will better serve the entire community. Prior to working with MARP, Shaquana was an Urban Farm Educator and Manager at Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Cooperation (NEBHDCO). She volunteers at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where she completed the Brooklyn Urban Gardener (BUG) Certificate Program. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College and is now working on a bachelor’s degree at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology, where she studies pre-law. She is a native Brooklynite, living in Fort Greene since 2009.

Andrew Ogulnik, Program Manager, Public Space Initiatives

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
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).

Rebeca Ramirez, Director, Sponsorship & Communications
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.

 

Jennifer Stokes, Deputy Director, Partnerships & Programs
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.

Part-Time Staff:
Ryan Cagle, Marketing Associate
Simone Colbert, Healthy Communities Assistant
Raome Quinones, Streetscape Inspector