CUP’s core staff supports the organization from day to day, but CUP projects are designed and implemented by teams of artists, designers, educators, activists, and researchers.
is a partner at the nationally-recognized design firm H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture. As a design leader specializing in architecture for the arts, culture and public space, Ariel is interested in design that connects people to the arts, their community and each other. From Lincoln Center Theater’s new LCT3 to a new maritime museum in Biloxi Mississippi, Ariel spearheads some of the firm’s most ambitious projects. He studied Environmental Design as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, and went on to receive a Masters of Architecture from MIT.close
Laura Hansen is the Executive Director of Neighborhood Plaza Partnership, a new initiative of the Horticultural Society of New York, providing resources and assistance to neighborhood plaza managers across New York City. From 2003 to 2013, Ms. Hansen served as Director of the City Life Program for The J. M. Kaplan Fund where she was responsible for awarding grants to non-profit organizations working to improve the common infrastructure of public life: the parks, waterfronts, plazas, and streets of New York City. As a co-founder of Place Matters (a project of the Municipal Art Society and City Lore), Ms. Hansen helped pioneer a multi-disciplinary approach to documenting and preserving the city’s cultural landscape.close
Julie Hertzog is Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Investors Council, an association of companies that invest in the US housing tax credit. Prior to joining AHIC, she was Chief Operating Officer for Seedco; Amnesty International of the USA; and The After-School Corporation. She also served as Program Director for the New York City office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, overseeing $100 million in annual investments in community development projects and the asset management of over $850 million in investments in affordable housing. Julie joined the Board of CUP in 2010 and became Treasurer in 2011.close
is an independent consultant providing financial advisory and business strategy to a variety of firms in the financial services, technology and non-profit sectors. In this capacity, she advises on fund raising, market-entry strategy, and implementation. Prior to that, Anisa worked as the COO and head of business development at an architecture and design firm where she launched the firm’s international business. She received a BSBA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.close
is Director of Affordable Housing at The Hudson Companies, Inc. and has over 12 years of experience in real estate development, finance and public policy. He has helped Hudson develop almost 600,000 SF of mixed-use real estate and over 500,000 watts of solar photo-voltaics – including the largest solar panel system on a residential building in New York State (Dumont Green). Aaron has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and as a guest on the CUNY-based TV show, The Michael Stoler Report. In July 2012, Dumont Green received the National Grid Energy Efficiency Award from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to serving as a Trustee of Achievement First schools, on the Board of NYSAFAH and on the Board of Enterprise Foundation’s Gotham Society, Aaron is an Adjunct Professor of Affordable Housing Finance at NYU. Aaron is a diehard Lakers fan who received a Masters of City Planning degree from MIT and a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley.close
Sam Marks was born and raised in New York City. After graduating from Brown University, Sam founded Summerbridge at The Town School, an educational enrichment program for motivated NYC public school students (now called Breakthrough New York). He received a Masters in Public Policy & Urban Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School and then worked at WHEDCo in the South Bronx as their housing development guy. He currently works at the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, where he deploys community development grants, loans, and investments, and gets to dabble in some arts & culture and education stuff as well. He joined CUP’s board in 2011.close
Damon Rich is a designer, artist, and the founder of CUP. In his exhibitions, graphic works, and events, sometimes produced in collaboration with young people and community-based organizations, Rich creates fantastical spaces for imagining the physical and social transformation of the world. His work represented the United States at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has been exhibited at PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. In 1997, he founded CUP, and was Executive Director for 10 years. Damon currently serves as the Urban Designer for the City of Newark, New Jersey, where he leads design efforts with public and private actors to improve the city’s public spaces.close
Victoria provides national leadership of Enterprise’s Vulnerable Populations initiative. As Vice President, she sets strategic direction for all of Enterprise’s activities in ending homelessness, supporting the needs of our veterans and providing quality housing and services solutions for low-income seniors across the country. In her nine years at Enterprise, she has also served as Deputy Director for the New York program, contributing to the successful development of nearly 3,000 affordable homes each year. In that role she ensured development and implementation of all programmatic initiatives, including Green Communities, and oversaw External Affairs, Operations and Public Policy. Before joining Enterprise, Victoria served as business analyst for Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a $29 million social services agency, where she was responsible for the analysis of revenue-generating and social enterprise opportunities. Prior to her work in New York City she managed $10 million in child care contracts and developed an outcome evaluation system for a California community-based organization providing child care services to over 1,000 families. Victoria holds an MPA from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a BA in philosophy from Wittenberg University. She lives in Harlem with her husband, daughter, and son, and is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.close
David Smiley teaches architecture and urban studies at Barnard and Columbia Colleges. His research and writing focus on the ways the discipline of architecture overlaps with planning, policy, preservation and community-based initiatives. He has written on malls, urban design and suburban houses. His history of the mid-century relations between American architecture and shopping, Pedestrian Modern: Architecture, Shopping and the City, will be published in 2013. At Barnard, he has organized symposia including “Rights of Way” in 2009 and “Moving Toward Utopia” in 2010, at which invited planners, architects, community advocates and public officials examined bikeways and other changes to public space in the NYC. Previous publications include Redressing the Mall: Sprawl and Public Space in Suburbia (2002) and Hell’s Kitchen South: Developing Strategies (2001). David is a member and the Chair of CUP’s Board.close
Dan Wiley is a Community Coordinator for a Congressperson in southwest Brooklyn and teaches part time at Columbia University GSAPP fall urban design studio. Working in the Congressional office since 2000, he has coordinated planning projects and initiatives spanning communities from downtown Brooklyn southwest to Red Hook, Gowanus and Sunset Park. Prior to that, he served as Education Coordinator at Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (1993-1999). He holds an MA in Urban Geography from Hunter College, CUNY (2007), a BFA from Cooper Union (1987) and was a fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (1988). Before joining the board of CUP in 2006, he participated in the Building Codes exhibition (2001) and The Programmable City. He also leads numerous interactive public neighborhood and waterborne tours. His work can be found in If You Lived Here: The City in Art, Theory, and Social Activism, Seattle: Bay Press, 1991.close