Staff

Laura Colacurcio, Acting Executive Director

Laura Colacurcio is the Acting Executive Director 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.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 212-370-5802


 

Melva M. Miller, Executive Vice President

Melva M. Miller is the Executive Vice President at the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) where she leads the organization’s Census 2020 initiative for an accurate count. She works with the Chairman and the Executive Director to ensure the census push is a success.

Most recently Melva has served as the Deputy Borough President of Queens, working with the Borough Presidents on moving Queens forward. Melva has been a passionate and dedicated community organizer since 1993. Her achievements include the creation of the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, a stakeholder-driven strategy to increase quality employment, economic diversity and financial security in downtown Jamaica, and she was also the lead organizer of the Western Queens Tech Strategic Plan, an initiative that produced a five-year blueprint for equitable growth of the Long Island City and Astoria tech ecosystem.
 
Melva has held several senior economic development roles throughout her career, including Director of Economic Development for her hometown borough and Executive Director for the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District. Melva 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. 

Email: Mmiller (@) abny (dot) org

Phone: 646.381.3960


 

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.

 

Email: ssamuels (@) abny (dot) org

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: MmcCormack (@) abny (dot) org

Phone: 212.370.5803


 

Aliya Bhatia, Census Manager

Aliya Bhatia is the Census Manager at the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) where supports the organization’s Census 2020 initiative for an accurate count. She works at the intersection of technology access, communication and digital strategy, and community outreach. Prior to working on the census, Aliya was a Technology Fellow at Columbia University’s Entrepreneurship & Policy Initiative where she supported a three year grant to promote scholarship around technology and policy. She also served as a research assistant at Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program and conducted a graduate research project with New York Immigration Coalition on the state of sanctuary policy across the State. She comes to this work with four years of working as a political strategist in Toronto, Canada. Aliya received her B.A. in International Relations and Art History at the University of Toronto and her M.P.A. in Urban Policy and Technology at Columbia University.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 212-843-8335