Staff

Melva M. Miller, Chief Executive Officer

Melva M. Miller is the Association for a Better New York’s first Chief Executive Officer. Working with the Board of Directors, she is responsible for the overall success of the organization through economic development, long-term planning, stakeholder engagement, strategic partnerships, and the expansion and evolution of ABNY's membership.

Prior to this role, Ms. Miller led the organization’s Census 2020 initiative for an accurate count of New York. In addition to her new role, Ms. Miller continues to support census efforts underway by the US Census Bureau, State and City of New York, and in coordination with community-based organizations in an effort to help New York City and State achieve the most fair and complete census count possible.

Ms. Miller has also served as the Deputy Borough President of Queens, working with the Borough Presidents on moving Queens forward. Ms. Miller's achievements include the creation of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, a $153 million stakeholder-driven strategy to increase quality employment, economic diversity and financial security in downtown Jamaica. She was also the lead organizer of the Western Queens Tech Strategic Plan, an initiative that produced a five-year, $300,000 planning initiative that produced a blueprint for equitable growth of the Long Island City and Astoria tech ecosystem. Ms. Miller has held several senior economic development roles throughout her career, including Director of Economic Development for the Borough of Queens and Executive Director for the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District. She serves on the Boards of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.

Ms. Miller holds a Bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, and recently received a second Master’s Degree in Philosophy from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Welfare program at CUNY's Graduate Center.

Phone: 212-370-5801

 

Laura Colacurcio, Vice President

Laura Colacurcio is the Vice President of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY).  Laura is responsible for developing and executing ABNY's strategic direction, priorities, programming and agenda, overseeing ABNY's Young Professionals Network, and working with 300 member organizations on issue specific advocacy campaigns and policy proposals. Prior to ABNY, Laura worked as Director of Operations for fellow New York civic organization, Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), and was responsible for administration, oversight, board development and retention, and event planning for the organization.  She previously served as CBC’s Development Associate.  Before joining CBC, she worked as Senior Account Manager for the online auction firm Charity Folks.  Laura graduated magna cum laude from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and a minor in economics.

Phone: 212-370-5802

 

Sarah Samuels, Communications and Programs Manager

Sarah Samuels is the Communications and Programs Manager at Association for a Better New York. She creates and executes programming for ABNY’s Young Professional Network, a group of civically engaged professionals. She also manages ABNY’s social media and outreach efforts. Sarah previously worked as an Account Manager at Voray, a startup focused on creating events and networking opportunities for the business community in New York City. Sarah received her B.A in American History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Phone: 212-370-5805

 

Madeline McCormack, Membership and Events Manager

As the Membership and Events Manager, for the Association for a Better New York, Madeline manages all of ABNY’s memberships. She closely monitors membership dues for the 300 members. She is responsible for processing new member applications and adding new members to the ABNY website. Prior to working at ABNY, Madeline interned in the Alumni Relations department of Fordham University where she worked on the Reunion Events team. Additionally, she interned for Cancer Support Community where she served as a Program Intern, assisting with the Transportation Assistance Grant program. Madeline graduated with a degree in Communications concentrating in New Media, and Media, Culture, and Society from Fordham University.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 212-370-5803

 

Ayofemi Kirby, Director of Communications, ABNY Census 2020

Ayofemi Kirby is the Director of Communications, ABNY Census 2020, where she leads the pop-up communications agency providing pro bono support to New York City community-based organizations working to get out the count in underserved communities. Ayofemi has led strategic communications campaigns and public engagement efforts across the public, private, and cultural sectors, including the NYC Office of the Mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative, the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill where she served as communications director, NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Sony Pictures.

Ayofemi earned her M.A. in Public Communication from American University, certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University, and her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC Chapel Hill. She is currently enrolled in the Harvard Extension School’s Museum Studies graduate program, focusing her studies on the intersection of culture, commerce, and social change.

Phone: 212-843-8332

 

John Napisa, Special Events Coordinator

John Napisa is the Special Events Coordinator at the Association for a Better New York. His responsibilities include volunteer coordination for all ABNYevents, as well as background activities ensuring the smooth operation of events. John is currently attending Hunter College pursuing a dual-degree in BA Chemistry and BA German Language and Literature.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 212-370-5800