Steven Rubenstein became ABNY’s Chairman on January 1, 2018. He is the President of RUBENSTEIN, the legendary New York City strategic communications agency founded by his father, Howard J. Rubenstein, in 1954.
Serving New York has been in Mr. Rubenstein’s DNA since his father co-founded ABNY with Lewis Rudin in the 1970s. Through his professional work as an advisor to a wide range of New York leaders, as well as his personal pursuits in support of City philanthropy and civic organizations, Mr. Rubenstein has been a committed champion for New York City.
At RUBENSTEIN, Mr. Rubenstein oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm, drives innovation and growth across 13 practice groups, and sets the direction for RUBENSTEIN’S continued leadership within the strategic communications field. He has helped organizations in finance, real estate, media, culture, social service, entertainment, and sports tell their stories and expand their reach in New York, as well as nationally and globally.
Outside the firm, he serves on the boards of directors of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Friends of the High Line, 92nd Street Y, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and Reboot, a national idea incubator that strives to make Jewish life meaningful to a new generation.
Prior to accepting the Chairmanship of ABNY and the ABNY Foundation, Mr. Rubenstein served on their Boards of Directors and as Vice-Chair.
Alan van Capelle is a nationally recognized leader in the field of civil rights and social justice. As President and CEO of Educational Alliance, he leads a network of community centers that brings together and partners with diverse communities in Lower Manhattan, offering individuals and families high-quality, multi-generational programs and services that enhance their wellbeing and socioeconomic opportunities.
Mr. van Capelle began his career as an organizer and contract negotiator in the labor movement, eventually running the day-to-day political operations of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ. As CEO of Bend the Arc he catapulted the organization to the forefront of the national progressive landscape. Mr. van Capelle won major legislative victories for LGBTQ rights as Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, and was the leading architect of the campaign for marriage equality in New York. Prior to joining Educational Alliance, Mr. van Capelle served as Deputy Comptroller for the City of New York, advising the agency on all matters involving public policy, media, and community relations, and was a member of the New York City Banking Commission.
City & State ranked Mr. van Capelle #33 on its 2021 Nonprofit Power 100 list, which ranks figures who have spearheaded major accomplishments, dug into political and policy issues, connected with powerful elected officials, and provided for their communities across New York State. He was also recognized on the Crain’s New York Business 2021 Notable LGBTQ Leaders and Executives list. He has also been named to The National Leadership Council’s 40 Under 40 list, and the Jewish Daily Forward’s Forward 50, and was recognized by the New York Observer as one of New York’s top “power gays.”
A lover of all things New York, Mr. van Capelle serves as treasurer of the Board for the Association of a Better New York (ABNY) and is a member of the City University of New York (CUNY) LGBTQ Council. He is also a trustee of the City University Construction Fund (CUCF), having been nominated for its Board by Governor Andrew Cuomo. He served on the transition committees for Governor Eliot Spitzer, then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and Attorney General Letitia James, was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Committee, and is a former member of Manhattan’s Community Board 3. He was also selected as an elector of the 2008 New York Electoral College. Mr. van Capelle earned his MPA from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor and teaches on organizational culture, and a Bachelor of Science from the City University of New York. Mr. van Capelle lives with his husband, Matthew Morningstar, on the Lower East Side where they are raising their two children, Ethan and Patrick.
Tonio Burgos & Associates
With five decades of business, government, civic involvement, and legislative affairs experience, Tonio Burgos brings unique insight and a comprehensive understanding of how to get results on behalf of clients. As a top-rated consulting and lobbying firm in the tri-state region as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, TBA has successfully worked on a wide range of projects in both the public and private sectors for over 32 years.
Mr. Burgos worked for Governor Mario Cuomo for 15 years, beginning with the Governor’s service as Secretary of State in Governor Hugh Carey’s administration in the mid-70s and continuing during Governor Mario Cuomo’s tenure as Lieutenant Governor of the State. In 1983, Governor Cuomo appointed Mr. Burgos as his Appointments Secretary, and in 1984, as the Director of Executive Services. Mr. Burgos served as a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and as a Director of the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation which oversees the PATH rail system. In addition, Mr. Burgos served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Lower Manhattan Economic Development Corporation Transportation Committee from 2002 to 2006 by appointment of New York Governor George Pataki.
In 2002, New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey appointed Mr. Burgos as Vice Chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and as a member of the School Construction Corporation, Treasurer of the Camden Economic Recovery Board, and a member of the Israel-NJ Trade Commission.
In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed Mr. Burgos to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, where he served until 2001. He also served as a founding board member of GMHC, the Latino Commission on HIV/AIDS, as well as the board of the Victory Fund from 1996 to 2006.
Mr. Burgos has served in many capacities and received numerous honors from charitable organizations and educational institutions. In 2017, he was honored at the Union Settlement Annual Spring Gala, and Citizens Union honored him with their Gotham Greats Award. On May 28, 2015, Herbert H. Lehman College awarded Mr. Burgos an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. He was also the 45th Anniversary Award Recipient of Hostos Community College in May 2013. The Regional Plan Association in April 2011 presented Mr. Burgos with its Lifetime Leadership Award, and in 2010, the New Jersey Alliance for Action presented him with its President’s Eagle Award.
Mr. Burgos’s present affiliations also include Chairman of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy. He also serves as a Member of the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), the Board of Directors of the Robert F. Kennedy Center and Foundation as well as a member of the NYC Police Foundation Board of Trustees.
Mr. Burgos continues to serve as a member of the New York Latin Media Entertainment Commission, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and reappointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. He has served for over three decades as a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is currently a member of its Executive Committee.
Past affiliations include:
Member of the Board of Trustees for the New York Law School
Member of the Board of Trustees of Boricua College
Member of the Governors Island Advisory Council
Member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Board of Trustees
Member of the Board of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation
Jen is Head of Government Relations, Public Policy for Lyft, leading the government relations team in working with lawmakers, city officials, and other stakeholders on policy to support Lyft riders, drivers, and communities across the country.
Prior to joining Lyft, she was President of Link, overseeing all aspects of the Link program for the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network. Previously, Ms. Hensley served as Executive Director of ABNY, the City’s preeminent civic advocacy organization, as Senior Adviser to the Chairman at Empire State Development Corporation, and Assistant Vice President at the Alliance for Downtown New York. Ms. Hensley has also held positions in finance at Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.
A graduate of Barnard College, she holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and an MPA from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She serves on the board of Pursuit, a tech training organization, and lives with her family in Astoria, Queens.
Bob Lehrman serves as Special Counsel and Senior Advisor to several organizations in the banking, real estate, and not-for-profit fields. He is a Trustee of the Community Capital Trust (including the CCM Community Impact Bond Fund) and is Governance Committee Chairman.
Mr. Lehrman was formerly President/CEO of the Community Bankers Association of New York, and of the American Forest Foundation. Previously he served as a Con Edison senior executive and government lawyer. He also had been a Board Member of Community Capital Bank and Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
He has been active in various civic and philanthropic groups, including ABNY and the ABNY Foundation (Founding Chair of the Audit/Finance Committee), Citizens Housing and Planning Council, Community Preservation Corporation, FEGS Health and Human Services (formerly President), New York Society of Association Executives (former Chair), and One Hundred Year Association/New York. He served for nearly twenty years as Chairman of the New York/National Housing Conference Annual Awards Luncheon.
Delta Air Lines
Patricia Ornst serves as managing director for Delta’s state and local government affairs efforts in New York, where her work helps Delta develop and achieve its key strategic objectives throughout the state. Ornst brings more than 15 years of experience in the aviation industry. Prior to joining Delta, she was a director of state and local government affairs for the Northeast region at American Airlines. She also served as vice president, aviation, for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she led aviation strategy for New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. Earlier in her career, she spent nearly seven years at Airports Council International-North America as director of legislative affairs.
Ornst, who grew up in New York and the Czech Republic, has a degree in political science from Susquehanna University. She was named to City and State’s “40 under 40” list of rising political stars in New York in 2012. She currently serves as a Mayoral appointee on both the Workforce Development Board and the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance, Queens. She also serves on the board of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island.
Hunter College - CUNY
Jennifer J. Raab is the 13th President of Hunter College, the largest college of the City University of New York.
Since her tenure began in 2001, President Raab has been responsible for raising more than $400 million in philanthropic support for Hunter College. Major accomplishments include the renovation and reopening of the historic Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt House, which is now the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, and the construction of a $131 million home in East Harlem for Hunter’s renowned School of Social Work.
The Princeton Review ranks Hunter College among the best in the nation and has hailed Hunter as the “crown jewel of the CUNY system.” The College has also risen steadily in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings, now standing at 6th among top public regional universities in the North.
As a leader in public higher education, President Raab continues her long career in public service, from lawyer to political campaign adviser to government official.
President Raab previously served as a litigator at two of the nation’s most prestigious law firms—Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.
Quickly earning a reputation as a strong but fair advocate, she was appointed Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, where she was known for her effective and innovative leadership of the agency that protects and preserves the city’s historic structures and architectural heritage.
Crain’s New York Business named her one of New York’s “100 Most Influential Women in Business” in 2007 and one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” in 2009 and 2011. In 2018, President Raab was honored as a champion of educational opportunity by the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. That same year, she was inducted into the Manhattan Jewish Hall of Fame and named by City & State to its “Women Power 100” and “Manhattan Power 50” lists. In 2019, she joined the advisory board for Women.nyc, a mayoral initiative to make New York City “the best place in the world for women to succeed.”
A graduate of Hunter College High School, President Raab received a BA with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University, an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Frances Resheske is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Con Edison. In this capacity, she oversees Con Edison’s corporate communications; community and media relations; economic development; branding; advertising; and corporate philanthropy. She also handles government relations, regulatory relations, and the energy markets policy groups.
Before joining Con Edison, Ms. Resheske was the general manager of government relations and community development at KeySpan Energy. Previously, she held several positions in community relations and economic development in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch. She is president emeritus of the board of directors for Queens Theatre, and a board member of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Lincoln Center Women’s Leadership Council, GrowNYC, the New York Building Congress, and the Association for a Better New York and its Foundation.
Ms. Resheske is a summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University with a degree in government and politics. She is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council, received her Certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from the Boston College Carroll School of Management, and a Certificate of Professional Development from The Wharton School.
Rudin Management Company
Bill Rudin joined the family real estate business in 1979, after graduating from New York University’s School of Business and Public Administration with a Bachelor of Science degree. Bill’s grandfather, Samuel Rudin, founded Rudin Management Company in 1925. In December of 1993, Mr. Rudin was appointed President of the company.
Mr. Rudin worked closely with his family – his father Lewis, uncle Jack, and his cousins and sister alongside the dedicated professionals at Rudin Management Company to manage the Rudin portfolio. The portfolio includes 17 office buildings comprising more than 10 million square feet of Class-A space and 20 luxury apartment buildings. Mr. Rudin has been intimately involved with every major development the Rudin family built since 1979, including 560 Lexington Avenue, 40 East 52nd Street, 1675 Broadway, 3 Times Square, and 32 Avenue of the Americas. Mr. Rudin puts his own personal mark on the family business, giving new life to existing properties through conversion to technology-smart buildings and helping lead the turnaround of Lower Manhattan.
In carrying on the Rudin family tradition of hands-on personal management, Mr. Rudin not only embraced his family responsibilities, but like his grandfather, father, and uncle is actively involved in New York City’s political, civic, and philanthropic life. Mr. Rudin serves on the board of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), an organization co-founded by his father over 50 years ago. ABNY is a coalition of business, labor, and political leaders created in the 1970s to help make New York City a better place to live, work, and visit.
Mr. Rudin serves as Chairman of The Battery Conservancy and former Chairman of The Real Estate Board of New York; he is also the former Chairman of The Real Estate Roundtable. He is a Board Member of the following organizations: The Partnership for New York City, The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York University, The New York Center for Autism, The Alliance for Downtown New York, and The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation.
Mr. Rudin is also a member of The Economic Club of New York, The Council on Foreign Relations, and The New York City Marathon Committee.
In addition to lecturing at various educational institutions and real estate industry functions, Mr. Rudin has appeared on many televised shows to discuss real estate and issues that impact New York City.
Mr. Rudin resides in Manhattan with his wife Ophelia, his grown children, Samantha and Michael, and their respective spouses, David and Sabrina. He is a grandfather of two.
Walnut Hill Advisors
Jeffrey Stewart is the founder and Managing Director of Walnut Hill Advisors and also serves as Senior Advisor to the Chairman & CEO of Loews Hotels & Co., Jonathan Tisch. Mr. Stewart’s career spans more than twenty-five years working at the intersection of business, politics, media, and civic engagement, where he has served as a trusted advisor of CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders of businesses and nonprofits. He oversees all business development and strategic direction for Walnut Hill Advisors.
Mr. Stewart joined Loews Hotels & Co. in 1999 and has held a variety of executive positions including, Chief of staff to the Chairman & CEO, Senior Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, and Director of Development. In these roles, he has been an integral part of the strategic development, planning, and execution of a wide variety of projects for the company as well as outside ventures and investments specific to the Chairman. During his tenure, Mr. Stewart managed the 125 million-dollar conversion of the landmark PSFS building into the Loews Philadelphia hotel and served on the Loews Hotels Senior Brand Strategy Committee and the Executive Leadership Team.
For more than twenty years, Mr. Stewart has played an active role in the travel and tourism industry where he served as an officer of the Travel Business Roundtable and was instrumental in the creation of its successor organization, the United States Travel Association. He has testified before the United States Congress, has been quoted in leading publications, and appeared on television in the United States and abroad on the importance of travel and tourism. Travel agent magazine recognized him as a “Rising Star” in the industry. Mr. Stewart is on the Board of Directors of NYC & Company, the Board of Advisors of the NYU Tisch Center of Hospitality, and is the Vice-Chair of the annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. He has also been involved in various civic activities where has taken on several leadership roles.
Abacus Federal Savings Bank
Jill Sung is the President & CEO of Abacus Federal Savings Bank. Abacus Bank was started in 1983 by her father, Thomas Sung, to meet the banking needs of the Asian-American community in New York City and later expanded into Edison, NJ and Philadelphia. Abacus Bank is a minority depository institution as defined under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989. Abacus Bank’s mission is to provide financial services to consumers and small businesses within its community, the majority of which are low-to-moderate income and first-generation immigrants. Abacus’ goal is to ensure that all members of its community have fair and equal access to the banking system to achieve economic success. Abacus Bank focuses on providing credit to its community for homes and small real estate properties, and also providing credit to small businesses – a need that has taken particular importance given COVID-19. Ms. Sung takes pride in Abacus Bank’s work to help its customers establish their financial “roots” here, from opening their first savings account to buying their first home, to becoming successful small business owners. Ms. Sung has been elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and has served as Chair of ICBA’s Minority Bank Council and Consumer Financial Services Subcommittee for several years. Ms. Sung has an MBA from Wharton, JD from NYU, and a BA from Wesleyan University.
Maria Torres-Springer is vice president for U.S. programs at the Ford Foundation. She oversees all of the foundation’s domestic programming for Civic Engagement and Government, Creativity and Free Expression, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice, Future of Work(ers), Just Cities and Regions, and Technology and Society.
Ms. Torres-Springer’s extensive experience includes almost 15 years in public service with the City of New York, where she led three agencies addressing some of the city’s most significant public policy challenges such as housing affordability, economic development, and workforce development. Throughout her tenure in the public sector and in previous roles in the nonprofit and private sectors, she has worked to create powerful partnerships among communities, business, and government in pursuit of expanded economic opportunity and justice for the historically marginalized.
Ms. Torres-Springer earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.