Read vol 7 number 3, 7-19B.qxp text version



Page 3 Meet Vice-Chair Emily Youssouf Serving our Vets Page 4 John DeCarlo Awards Hero Caretaker Helps Save Young boy Page 6 NYCHA Life Photos Page 7 Barboza Family Portrait Page 8 Safety First Award Winners Page 9 Brown Bag Lecture Series: Deputy Mayor Robert Steel Comm. Janette Sadik-Khan Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs Page 10 NYCHA Nuggets Page 11 HomeRuns: Michael Cox Martin Medina Keith Piaseczny Page 12 Letters And More ...

E mployee



June 2011/Volume 7/Number 3

Staff Briefed on NYCHA's Five-Year Plan

Highlights of NYCHA's draft five-year Plan to Preserve Public Housing (PPPH) were shared for comment with almost 1,100 employees in May and June. Four Brown Bag presentations were held in the Ceremonial Room at 90 Church Street, which were video First DGM Natalie Rivers addresses staff at the first Brown Bag meetconferenced live to locaing on the Plan to Preserve Public Housing. From left are ADGM Deitions in all five boroughs. dra Gilliard, General Counsel Sonya Kaloyanides, and Deputy Director In addition, three borough for Strategic Planning Jenna Lawrence, who also made presentations. briefings for Operations staff were held earlier in the month. NYCHA at a Crossroads The Brown Bag meetings began with a The main presentation emphasized Powerpoint presentation focusing on NYCHA's key roles as a provider of homes NYCHA's roles in the community, the chaland rental assistance for more than onelenges it confronts, and the extensive half million New Yorkers; anchor of commeasures taken -- through surveys, focus munities; developer; employer; and "ecogroups, roundtables and other means -- nomic engine" whose multi-billion dollar to gauge the needs and priorities of cusbudget "infuses money into the city's tomers and employees. The presentations economy." These functions, however, are were followed by small group discussions threatened by a "national assault on publed by staff facilitators, where employees lic housing" from a prolonged series of commented on the short- and long-term budget cuts. The sharp reductions in actions proposed in the Plan to move funding to operate the city's priceless pubNYCHA forward. lic housing stock come as maintenance

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Residents Briefed on Emergency Preparedness

This year, 2011, is already the most expensive year on record for damage caused nationally by weather disasters. As part of its Green Agenda, NYCHA teamed up with the City's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in May to conduct a series of forums on emergency preparedness. More than 630 residents attended the pilot program from all six developments located in Rockaway, Queens. This area is one of many locations where developments are considered especially vulnerable to flooding during heavy rain.

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Member Margarita López displays documents for a "Go Bag" that residents should prepare in case of evacuation for weather emergencies.

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Employee Bulletin

The Bulletin Board posts information about events, policies and programs.

Bulletin Board

Employee Home Ownership Opportunity

NYCHA employees now have an opportunity to purchase an affordable home on the former Markham Gardens public housing site. A total of 10 brand new energy -efficient, two-family townhouses on Broadway near Richmond Terrace in Staten Island are available for purchase by NYCHA employees with income between $50,700 and $106,000. The price is $445,000 but the actual prices of the homes may be as low as $300,000 depending on income of the purchaser. A four-person household with income under $65,000 may obtain full subsidies for down payment and closing cost assistance. Each townhouse includes a three-bedroom unit for the purchaser and a one-bedroom unit for rent to assist the purchaser with mortgage payments. Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS), a non-profit agency, will assist buyers in obtaining a mortgage and available subsidies that make home purchase more affordable. An open house is scheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2011, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., following a Homebuyer Orientation at 11 a.m. Please call (718) 442-8080 to pre-register. For more details, please visit NHS of Staten Island online at: and click on "Affordable Homes marketed by NHS" and then "Read more" for Markham Gardens. Details of the HPD HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program are available online at: Correction: In the last Bulletin, the two individuals at right in the third Leadership Academy photo on p. 8 were Richard Solivan and Sybille Louis. NYCHA Employee Bulletin

Chairman.............................................. John B. Rhea Vice-Chair.............................................. Emily Youssouf Member................................................. Margarita López Secretary.................................................. Vilma Huertas General Manager................................... Michael Kelly Chief Communications Officer...... .......... Lynn Godfrey Communications Officer......................... Sheila Stainback Editor................................................... Howard Silver Senior Photographer............................. Pete Mikoleski . Photographer ....................................... Leticia Barboza New York City Housing Authority Department of Communications 250 Broadway - 12th floor New York, NY 10007 (212) 306-4384


Sharon Myrie has been appointed Deputy General Manager for Community Programs and Development, effective July 5, 2011. This newly formed department includes offices that reported to the former Community Operations Department (with the exception of Social Services), as well as the Offices of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) and Public/Private Partnerships. The Social Services Department now reports to Property Management. Ms. Myrie brings to this new position considerable expertise in development and management of citywide programs and policy initiatives. In addition, she has an impressive record for cultivating and managing grants to support educational and community activities. Prior to joining NYCHA, Ms. Myrie was Vice President of Education and Library Services at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. An attorney with a Law Degree from the George Washington University National Law Center, she has served as General Counsel and Special Advisor in the Office of Mayor David Dinkins, and Deputy Director of the Office on Homelessness and SRO Housing, among other leadership positions. She sits on a number of non-profit Boards. Carlos Serrano, formerly Director of Budget and Financial Planning, has been appointed Assistant Deputy General Manager for Leased Housing, effective June 27, 2011. Mr. Serrano will report directly to the General Manager's Office. NYCHA's Leased Housing Department oversees the largest Section 8 program in the country.

Did You Know?

This feature helps readers catch up and keep up with NYCHA's changes, challenges and accomplishments.

· Participation in All-Staff Survey

More than 6,600 employees completed the Employee Opinion Survey that concluded on May 13. The high level of participation will add to the value of the survey as an important ongoing tool to identify NYCHA's strengths and weaknesses. Survey results will be shared when available.


Bulletin Extras

[email protected]

Three Bulletin Extras on the Plan to Preserve Public Housing were e-mailed to staff in May to provide updates on a series of special forums that introduced the draft Plan to customers and employees for comment. The Bulletin Extras may be viewed on the Employee Portal under News & Features, where the current and prior issues of the Employee Bulletin are archived.

Employee Bulletin

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A: Very busy! NYCHA always had a reputation of being well-run and it is true; I'm very impressed with the staff I have met. It was wonderful to talk with residents at the Community Conversations held for the Plan to Preserve Public Housing. Residents are so involved in their communities and it was good to hear their concerns and their proposed solutions.

Meet Vice-Chair Emily Youssouf

Affordable housing is critical, not just for New York City, but nationally, and there never is enough. Everyone deserves clean, safe and decent affordable housing.

Vice-Chair Emily Youssouf at a NYCHA Board Meeting. At left is Secretary Vilma Huertas. by Eric Deutsch, Editor, NYCHA Journal Emily Youssouf started as NYCHA's Vice-Chair on May 9, 2011. Vice-Chair Youssouf recently discussed her role as a leader who will help advance the Authority's mission.

Q: How will your experience as President of the City's Housing Development Corporation (HDC) help what you want to accomplish at NYCHA? A: At HDC I worked a lot with bonds, asset management, portfolio management and credit issues. These all are issues that NYCHA deals with.

Q: NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea said one area you will focus on is real estate development strategy. Why is this so important for NYCHA? A: The federal government has very difficult budget issues, and the City and State cannot be counted on to address our funding needs. We have to look at different financial strategies that might be helpful. If we can raise money to perform needed rehabilitation and maintenance by refinancing some properties where the mortgage is paid off, and at a conservative level, that is a good concept to explore. Q: How have your first weeks on the job been?

Question: What interested you about working for NYCHA? Answer: I always have been involved in housing and housing finance issues. Early in my career I worked at Standard and Poor's [the financial services company] in the municipal housing finance area, and helped develop their criteria for funding Section 8 programs. NYCHA has a lot of capital needs and we're trying to figure out ways to leverage our assets to raise additional funds so we can attend to all of our maintenance requirements.

Q: Since you started at NYCHA, what program has caught your attention? A: I am pleased that NYCHA ensures residents have opportunities to work here through the Section 3 program, and also that we reach out to minority and women-owned businesses to be contractors. Efforts like that usually start in government and then trickle down to the private sector. Often what people really need is a chance. I'm excited that NYCHA makes an effort to promote these opportunities to residents and minority and women-owned businesses. Q: Final thoughts? A: NYCHA faces challenges from the tough economic times, but that opens the way for creative thinking. I am very excited about the opportunity and I hope to serve the NYCHA community in a meaningful way.

Serving our Vets

When Austin Pinckney fill a vacant Caretaker position in Richmond Terrace Houses came to the Social Ser- in Staten Island. Ms. Robinson then located a Section 8 apartvices Department's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing ment for Mr. Pinckney in Staten Island's Stapleton Houses. "It's really quite overwhelming," Mr. Pinckney said with (VASH) Unit on May 3 hoping for a Section 8 apartment, "he stood out because he was so organized and goal directed," Ms. Robinson by his side, after completing the job application. "I came here for an apartment, said Community Coordinator Johnnymae almost lost it, then the next thing I know Robinson. With all his documents in hand I was filling out a job application." Turnand careful follow-up, Ms. Robinson ing to Ms. Robinson, he continued, "You thought things would soon fall in place for never backed off, just kept going forward the 50-year-old former Marine raised in doing your job with enthusiasm," he said. Marcy Houses. Then, unexpectedly, Mr. The VASH program -- a HUD, NYCHA, Pinckney lost his job. Without a source of Veteran's Affairs, and Department of modest income, he would also lose eligibility for the Section 8 Voucher to move him Austin Pinckney with Community Coor- Homeless Services partnership -- provides affordable, permanent housing to homefrom a homeless shelter into his own home. dinator Johnnymae Robinson "I knew I had to do something and find some resource," less veterans. Thanks to the efforts of NYCHA's Human Ms. Robinson said. Recalling his strong résumé and work Resources, Property Management, and Social Services experience, Ms. Robinson brought Mr. Pinckney to her super- Departments, and to Ms. Robinson, in particular, Mr. Pinckvisor, who introduced him to Social Services Director Nora ney is now also a NYCHA employee. "For Ms. Robinson, wanting to help was really personReissig, who then asked Human Resources for assistance. Within a few days, Mr. Pinckney was back at NYCHA to al," Mr. Pinckney said. "People need to know there are such complete an employment application that was expedited to wonderful things going on here at NYCHA."

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Employee Bulletin

tunity to be part of this team and to tell you that you will be seeing changes soon," he concluded. Reflecting the importance of the Authority's premier employee prize, a record 107 nominations were received for this year's award. In presenting the award winner Carlos Santiago with his check, Ms. Pinnock noted that he may seem familiar, as he had been runner-up for the prize for the prior two years. In closing, Ms. Pinnock remarked on the "importance of recognizing our staff with a simple `thank you', by a commendation letter or even a pat on the back. Acknowledgment and recognition are key," she said, "to maintaining employee morale." A Powerpoint presentation from the award ceremony is posted on the Employee Portal.

Outstanding Caretakers Honored

such a vital role at the Authority." Recalling the tragic circumstances that cost John DeCarlo his life, Member Margarita López remarked, "This award is about a sad loss that we have fashioned into something positive for NYCHA. When we admire and celebrate our honorees, this recaptures the memory of John DeCarlo and reminds us of the need to fight senseless violence in our neighborhoods and to provide a safe working environment for employees." Describing all of the Authority's 3,000 Caretakers, DGM for Operations Carlos Laboy declared, "You are our first HR Dir. Dawn Pinnock line of defense. You have the toughest job, arriving early, dealing with equipment that is not always the best, and you do that job with love." Mr. Laboy pledged that "providing our troops with proper equipment and the tools they need for the job" is a top priority for NYCHA in its Plan to Preserve Public Housing. "I am honored to have the oppor-

DGM for Operations Carlos Laboy, First DGM Natalie Rivers, DeCarlo Award Winner Carlos Santiago, Secretary Vilma Huertas, and Member Margarita López. The 2010 John DeCarlo Memorial Award was presented on June 24 in the Ceremonial Room to two outstanding Caretakers whose job dedication perpetuates the legacy of the renowned Caretaker for whom the award is named. Carlos Santiago, Caretaker J at Highbridge Gardens, was presented with a check for $1,000 and runner-up Dale Lee, Caretaker J at Ocean Bay Apartments, received a $500 prize. In presenting the awards, Human Resources Director Dawn Pinnock remarked, "This award not only provides an opportunity for us to pay homage to John DeCarlo who lost his life while performing his job in 1997, it also celebrates the hard work and dedication of all Caretakers who play

DeCarlo Award Winner Carlos Santiago, Caretaker J at Highbridge Gardens, with runner-up Dale Lee, Caretaker J at Ocean Bay Apartments.

Hero Caretaker Helps Save Young Boy

rear of the car while another good Samaritan dragged the boy from underneath the car. "I'm a mom and when I saw what happened, I told the lady [Dr. Sabrina Martin, who also witnessed the incident] that we had to lift the car," said Ms. Johnson. "My adrenaline kicked in and I was able to lift the car while she [Dr. Martin] dragged him out." The incident occurred early in the evening on July 6 when 10-year-old Jaden Torres, a resident of Grant Houses, where Ms. Johnson also lives, ran across the street while playing near the development. "I was so happy that I was there," said Ms. Johnson, who was on her way home from work when the incident occurred. "Angels really protected him

Caretaker Sabrina Johnson at Morris Houses by Zodet Negron, DOC Staff Writer When a young boy was left pinned under a car after being hit by a taxi cab, Sabrina Johnson, a NYCHA caretaker at Morris Houses in the Bronx, did what she felt she had to do: lift the

at that moment with a strong woman and a doctor." The boy was examined by Dr. Martin, a pediatrician who was visiting her mother Sara Martin, Tenant Association president at Grant Houses, and was then taken to the hospital, where he is in stable condition. Ms. Johnson, a NYCHA resident for almost 40 years and a caretaker for the past 10 years, has three children ages 10, 19 and 23. When her youngest son Joe-El saw her on the news the next morning, he commented to her that the boy she saved was his "skelzies" playmate ( skelzies is a street game played by children using bottle caps as play pieces). "My son said to me `Mom, you're my hero. You saved my skelzies partner,'" Ms. Johnson said, beaming.

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Employee Meetings

costs increase due to aging buildings and equipment, and with the complete elimination of funding for resident services. The resulting $100 million annual budget deficits, "unacceptable" backlog of repairs, and more than 10year long waiting list for public housing place NYCHA "at a crossroads."

with the highest backlog of work tickets. In the longer range, "efforts will be directed to putting more staff on the front line by working smarter and reducing back office costs," Ms. Rivers said. Employees will have more control over their jobs by NYCHA "pushing some decision making down to the level where those who have the intimate job knowledge" can use what

In response to the public's overwhelming need for affordable housing and NYCHA's chronic unfunding, two important initiatives are planned. Better use of available units will be made by voluntarily transitioning families from underutilized to right sized apartments, and a phased-in rent increase would be applied to all families paying less than 30% of their income for rent. (See below box). Employee Discussions The formal presentation on May 18 ended when ADGM Deidra Gilliard turned to the participants and said, "Now it's your turn." After moving chairs to form eight small groups seated in circles, employees were asked to discuss three questions: What are your thoughts on what has been said? What is most important and/or missing? And what can we all do to help ensure the success of these efforts? When each group later shared their results, Anna Dao, from the Office of the GM, said her group agreed with the proposals that all families, not just some, should pay 30% of annual income for rent, and that better efforts should be made to relocate families from apartments with extra bedrooms so that larger families could make use of them. Her group also thought that clear priorities should be set in the PPPH with means to monitor progress. In concluding remarks, Deputy Director for Strategic Planning Jenna Lawrence affirmed the spirit and theme of the day's session: "We are all NYCHA... Together we can address immediate housing concerns ... improve safety and security ... assist more people in need ... and transform the organization to ensure NYCHA's and the city's future." Ms. Lawrence urged employees to stay involved in the PPPH by discussing it among themselves and in the community. "Please forward your additional ideas," she said, "and if you want to act as `Champions' of the Plan once it is launched please contact us at: [email protected]"

Tracey Williams in Operations (left) discusses the PPPH with other employees at the May 25 Brown Bag presentation. At right is group facilitator Bernel Hall, in the Department of Development. Priorities Based on information from outreach to customers, employees and the community, a clear sense of priorities and goals has emerged, along with a fresh vision of NYCHA's future. Residents' concerns for better maintenance and repair, enhanced security, and programs that lead to educational and economic advancement were strongly acknowledged. Employees' comments on the need for improved job processes that increase productivity and satisfaction were also recognized. At the first Brown Bag presentation on May 18, First DGM Natalie Rivers told staff, "We have listened to your and residents' needs and we are developing a plan to address them and to rebuild trust through open communication and engagement." Recently formed Crisis Repair Teams are focusing on developments they know. Enhanced partnering efforts will focus on generating more revenue and resources for the Authority. Recalling NYCHA's historic two-part mission to provide safe and secure housing as well as services and programs, ADGM for Community Operations Deidra Gilliard noted that the $60 million required annually to provide social and community programs "is taken from our operating budget [to maintain buildings.] We must raise outside funding for those programs that have proven most valuable and successful," she said. General Counsel Sonya Kaloyanides expressed NYCHA's "legal and moral obligation to safeguard public housing" by finding creative ways to gain revenue such as more mixed finance transactions, exploiting development rights, and raising funds from those wanting to invest in public housing.

Meeting the Challenge (excerpt from PPPH Powerpoint Presentation)

For more information on the PPPH, please visit:

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Employee Bulletin

Jewish Heritage Month Celebration


On-the-Job Feature Photo

photo by Paul Lepre, Training Manager, HR At left, HR trainer Lisa De Sheers conducts a Fire Safety Refresher course in the Sheepshead Training Center on June 10. Employees from Caretakers to borough management department Deputy Directors are mandated to take the refresher course annually "to ensure Send photos of co-workers that staff are aware of their responsibilities for on-the-job to the standpipe system that provides water and [email protected] water pressure for FDNY hose line," Ms. De by Aug. 22 for the next Issue. Sheers said. In addition, "it's very important that staff become aware of new rules and regulations that are always updating our standards." The refresher class now also includes a training video that shows the FDNY's sequence of operation when they arrive at a fire, Ms. De Sheers noted. According to HR Training Manager Paul Lepre, almost 850 employees receive the refresher training at the Sheepshead Center each year. Government Finance Officers Association Award

Rabbi Etan Tokayer, Chairman John B. Rhea, and Batei Tsibur branch president Alan Pelikow (center) with lottery winners at the celebration. NYCHA and its branch of Batei Tsibur, the citywide organization of Jewish employees in civil service, celebrated Jewish Heritage Month on May 26 in the Executive Board Room. Guest speaker Rabbi Etan Tokayer discussed the importance of respecting Jewish history and traditions, not only to preserve the past but also to ensure a future. "The people of Israel must be committed to its Jewish heritage because a people stripped of their heritage will eventually assimilate to the culture that surrounds them," said Rabbi Tokayer. Chairman John B. Rhea remarked that "the richness of the Jewish heritage is important not only to Jews but to all of us." Leadership Academy Graduation Class of May 2011

Deputy Director of the Gen. Ledger Division Daniel Frydberg, Member Margarita López, Controller Jeffrey Pagelson, Chairman John B. Rhea, Vice-Chair Emily Youssouf, GFOA Board Member Lewis Kirschner and DGM for Finance Felix Lam. The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) presented NYCHA with its seventh consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting at the conclusion of the NYCHA Board Meeting on June 22. Nationally recognized as the premier accomplishment in government financial reporting, the Certificate demonstrates that the Authority's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report provides a clear and thorough presentation of its finances for the public. Chairman John B. Rhea thanked DGM for Finance Felix Lam and his team for providing transparency to the public regarding NYCHA financial operations.

GM Mike Kelly (left), Chairman John B. Rhea (center) and Member Margarita López (right) with the Leadership Academy graduating class of May 2011. Standing from left are: Terence B. Schwartz, Kevin E. McNerney, Renato F. Jedreicich, Howard Korman, Miguel A. Molina, Calcedonio Bruno, David K. Chan, Thomas Mugno, Kenneth Buny, and Richard Solivan. Seated from left are: Juliet Montes, Brenda Allen, Sabrina M.A. Steverson, Claudette Morris, Sybille Louis, and Sheila Diane Pinckney. A graduation ceremony was held at Baruch College on May 3 for 16 top middle managers in the first Leadership Academy class of 2011. Serving in functions throughout the Authority, the individuals met for 14 sessions and covered best practices in housing policy, management and leadership, communications, departmental budgeting, performance measurement and productivity tracking, strategic planning, intergovernmental relations, and customer service.

Campy Gives Baseball Tips Sept. 1967 Bulletin "Roy Campenella, former Brooklyn baseball great, gives baseball tips to a youngster from Smith Houses at one of the 30 popular baseball clinics held during the summer. Listening attentively are, left to right, Baseball Commissioner William D. Eckert, Chairman Walter E. Washington and a promising slugger (kneeling)." If you have an old photo of a NYCHA employee at work, please tell the Bulletin.

NYCHA Archives

This historic photograph is from the Employee Bulletin collection donated by retiree William Russo.

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Barboza Family Portrait

At left are Leticia Barboza with her father, Anthony Barboza. Mr. Barboza's photo of jazz musician Lionel Hampton, right, is in the Museum of Modern Art. A profile of the acclaimed photographer Anthony Barboza was featured in the "Lenz" section of the New York Times Blog on May 31. Astute readers of the Employee Bulletin and the NYCHA Journal will recognize the name Barboza as also belonging to one of NYCHA's own talented photographers, Leticia Barboza, Anthony Barboza's proud daughter. Moving to New York from Massachusetts in 1963 at the age of 19 to study photography, Mr. Barboza soon joined the Kamoinge Workshop, a group of pioneering African American artists whose prominent members still meet today. During the 1970s, Mr. Barboza became a highly sought after fashion and advertising photographer, whose work was featured in major magazines and other commercial outlets. At the same time, Mr. Barboza began his active agenda of national and international exhibitions of his artistic work at premier museums in New York, nationally and internationally. His photographs are now part of permanent collections in the Museum of Modern Art and many other venues. An artist and author of wide interests and pursuits that include painting, travel to Africa, and teaching at major universities, Mr. Barboza has received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and other prestigious awards. Speaking to the Bulletin, Mr. Barboza emphasized that nothing has made him more proud than his daughter.

Emergency Preparedness

(continued )

The meetings -- conducted by NYCHA's Environmental Coordinator, Member Margarita López; Emergency Services Department (ESD) Director Conrad Vazquez, and staff from the Queens Property Management Department -- informed residents how to safeguard their families, neighbors, apartments and property. Families were advised to identify a place where they could reunite and someone they could call, in the event that they become separated. They were also told keep a "go bag" with water, food, cash, and copies of important documents that could be easily carried with other essentials. Queens-S.I. Property Management "Climate change [which Dept. Dep. Dir. Develle Cave holds increases the frequency and display of items to keep on hand. severity of extreme weather] affects you more than anybody else in NYCHA. We need to be ready and we need to do this together," Member López told 175 residents at Ocean Bay Bayside Community Center on May 17. At the conclusion of the six emergency preparedness sessions, Mr. Vazquez remarked, "There has never been a focus on preparedness just for public housing, so we decided to take this on ourselves. There was a huge interest at the meetings, with 16 percent of Rockaway's public housing residents present. Forty-five percent of NYCHA's developments are in low-lying Hurricane Evacuation Zones, so it is great to know that residents are receptive to this message." "We plan to build on this success," Member López later said, "with more events planned in Rockaway and other vulnerable NYCHA communities." A large and enthusiastic NYCHA team participated in the 35th Corporate Challenge run in Central Park on June 15. Led by veteran team captain Bob Nordman, 25 staunch employees participated in the race, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase. The annual event raises funds for the Central Park Conservancy for preservation and maintenance of Central Park. NYCHA's bold band of runners were among 30,000 participants from almost 940 public and private sector companies who walked, jogged or ran in the 3.5 mile race over two consecutive evenings, celebrating fitness, camaraderie and a healthy measure of competition. "This is the largest group from NYCHA that I can remember," said Bob. "The weather was just a little warm, close to perfect. Everyone on the team was motivated to do their best." Less than 90 seconds separated NYCHA's fastest man, David Downs (at 22 minutes, 32 seconds) and fastest woman, Jenna Lawrence (at 23 minutes, 44 seconds). Ms. Lawrence placed 56 among the 14,698 women who completed the race. Only four seconds separated third place runner, Chairman John B. Rhea (at 27 minutes, 12 seconds), from fourth place runner Bob Nordman, who wouldn't slow down for anybody.

NYCHA Running Team Meets 2011 Corporate Challenge

At rear from left are: Juan Laporte, Nora Reissig, Gregory Perez, Man Fung Wong, Eric Ugalde, Marisa Dadap, Robert Nordman (Captain), Ferdinand Rios, Daniel Frydberg, Patrick Young, Thomas Basic, Jenna Lawrence, Jose Silva, David Fantozzi, Michael Hudick, and Benjamin Abelman. Front row from left are: Zahra Mollaahmad, Jenny Roman, Debbie Pitts, John Rhea, Catherine Zinnel, Jeffrey Pagelson, David Downs, and Bernel Hall Jr. kneeling is Co-Captain Rico Velez who, though unable to run due to injury, provided invaluable assistance.

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Cooper Park Houses -- First Place, Injury Free

Employee Bulletin

Highbridge Gardens -- First Place, Injury Free

photo by Michael Santarpia

Property Manager (PM) Valerie Atkins (with plaque), First DGM Natalie Rivers (to her left), Property Maintenance Supervisor (PMS) Brenda Perez (to Ms. Atkins' right), and Brooklyn Management Department Director Marguerite Mann (to Ms. Perez's right), with development and borough staff. Supervisor of Caretakers (SOC) Lewis Ashley is 5th from left and Supervisor of Grounds (SOG) Alex Lugo is 6th from right.

PM Ricardo Rodriguez (with plaque), with Bronx Property Management Department Director Melania Allen to his left rear, SOC Felix Vazquez kneeling to his right, and SOG Ruben Rosado at far right, and development and borough staff. Chief Information Officer Atefeh Riazi is standing second from left, front, and to her right is PMS Dwarka Rupnarian.

Thanks to the efforts of NYCHA's Safety Committee and The Safety Committee investigates major accidents to careful employees, the overall injury frequency rate for recommend corrective measures; distributes safety litera2010 continued the consistent decline that began with the ture; and hosts numerous safety presentations citywide to inception of the safety program's measures in 1995 to encourage safe work practices. reduce and monitor job-related injuries. "These eight safety award winners Safety First Award Ceremonies held CONGRATULATIONS show what NYCHA staff can accomplish during June recognized six injury-free when they work as a team," Safety ComSAFETY FIRST developments that tied for First Place, the mittee Chairman Robert Burke said. "As AWARD WINNERS most in the Safety Management Program's the demands on field staff continue to history--Cooper Park, Highbridge Gardens, increase, we realize more than ever that Marcus Garvey (2nd year in a row), Ocean Hill (2nd year in employees who miss time from work due to injuries affect a row), Straus and Mariner's Harbor. service to our customers," he said. "Just as important, fewer Also for the first time, two borough departments -- the employees hurt on the job also means fewer families facing Brooklyn as well as the Queens/S.I. Property Management hardships from loss of work, as well as savings at NYCHA Departments -- were tied for the lowest borough injury for more resources in the field." rate, and were also honored in June.

Marcus Garvey Houses -- First Place, Injury Free Ocean Hill Houses -- First Place, Injury Free

PMS Donald Deabreo (with plaque), with Member Margarita López to his left, Bklyn. Property Management Dept. Director Marguerite Mann at far left, PM Regina Chu third from left (front), and SOC Angel Pabon, second from right (rear), with development and borough staff.

Straus -- First Place, Injury Free

PM Miriam Ramos (with plaque), with Secretary Vilma Huertas and, at front right, PMS Edgar Oquendo, with borough and development staff. Brooklyn Property Management Dept. Director Marguerite Mann is at front left and to her right in the second row is SOC Rodney Braithwaite.

Mariner's Harbor -- First Place, Injury Free

photo by Michael Santarpia

PM Dean Robinson (with plaque) with, to his left, PMS James Stout. To Mr. Robinson's right are: DGM for Operations Carlos Laboy, Man. Property Management Dept. Dep. Director Sheila Pinckney, SOC Scott Hryscko, and Safety Committee Chairman Robert Burke, with development staff.

PMS Michael Iezza (with plaque) with PM Eapen Malicakal at left, and Queens - S.I. Property Management Department Deputy Director Derek Powell, at right, with development staff. SOC Catherine Hier is at left in third row from front, and SOG Robert Gerrish is center rear in blue cap.

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Deputy Mayor for Economic Development first issue that confronts the Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, who assumed management every day is the unemployment rate. authority at City Hall for NYCHA last April, provided a "Jobs are issue one, two and three in terms of what welcome opportunity for staff who filled the Ceremothis administration is thinking about," he said. nial Room at 250 Broadway to get acquainted, at the Also recession related and of concern, he indicated, Chairman's Brown Bag Lecture on May 20. are foreclosure pressures on multi-family buildings The Deputy Mayor is charged with ensuring that that may result in underspending on safety and other the City remains economically vibrant and continues areas. While buildings must be well-maintained, "jobs to attract businesses and investments. In addition, he are what keep people in their homes," he stressed. oversees "many of our existing and new partners, "Being customer oriented is a mission critical theme." including Housing Preservation and Development This includes making licensing and certificates for and the Housing Development Corporation, as well Robert Steel new businesses and services electronically available as the Departments of Transportation and Planning," for customers' convenience. "Government should not Chairman John B. Rhea said by way of introduction. be an `8:00 - 4:00 except 12:00 -1:00' service," he said. Approaching his first full year in Mayor Bloomberg's adminisFinally, government needs to be more involved in investing for tration, Deputy Mayor Steel said that having NYCHA added to his the future, he said. One half of the City's class `A' office space is portfolio will provide a single point of contact for the three com- 50 or more years old. The City must build "the economy of the plimentary agencies most involved with housing issues. future" by making the right investments to create jobs as well as In an informal but structured presentation that kept count of a clean, safe environment with an educated workforce. key points, Deputy Mayor Steel chose to focus on the City's "We can take comfort, as we address our challenges, from the needs rather than its positive aspects, he said. While the City has fact that people want to visit, live and start their businesses here," recovered from the recession more than most of the country, the Deputy Mayor Steel concluded. The Brown Bag tradition of hosting some of the City's most innovative and respected leaders continued on June 16 with a visit by Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Ms. Sadik-Kahn was recognized in 2010 by Esquire as one of the magazine's "16 Geniuses Who give Us Hope." She is responsible at DOT for the operation and maintenance of 6,300 miles of Janette Sadik-Khan streets and highways and nearly 800 bridges, in addition to the City's street signs, streetlights, signalized intersections, and the Staten Island Ferry. Identifying some of the initiatives begun during her four-year tenure at DOT, Ms. Sadik-Khan cited a major remapping of the City's streets away from the car-oriented culture of the the 195060s; improvements in the bus system, with measures to reduce traffic congestion; creation of pedestrian plazas for better quality of life and commerce; safer streets and crosswalks; and the transformation of Times Square. "The mark of a great city is places for people to gather," Ms. Sadik-Khan said regarding the importance of pedestrian plazas, community art and other quality of life enhancers. "People like the changes they are seeing today on the [City's] streets," which are used in equal amounts by pedestrians, public transit and cars. Bklyn. Prop. Management Dept. -- Lowest Borough Injury Rate Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs was greeted by a full house on June 23 in the Ceremonial Room, where she spoke about the importance of collaboration among City and other agencies. Through reforms in the contracting and procurement process, Ms. Gibbs has made it easier for nonprofit organizations to work with the City, and by development of a data integraLinda Gibbs tion system called HHS-Connect, she has enabled 12 City agencies to exchange information on clients. "Collaboration is hard because leaders' and managers' instinct is to trust themselves and do things on their own," she said. This can be overcome by creating, through consensus, a shared governance model that includes a signed charter and contract, and that ensures accountability. Opportunities for collaboration can be identified by looking for what agencies have in common, such as "back office" and IT functions. The impulse to be "protective of turf" can lead an agency to stray from its core mission and also lets other agencies "off the hook" from contributing their more specialized expertise to an agency's internalized secondary functions. "Unless we figure out how to make organizations work together, we are doing a disservice to the people we serve," she said. Queens/S.I. Prop. Mgt. Department -- Lowest Borough Injury Rate

Brown Bag Lecture Series

Brooklyn Property Management Department Director Marguerite Mann (with plaque) and, to her right, Vice-Chair Emily Youssouf, with borough management deputy directors, administrators and staff.

At International Houses, Queens/S.I. Property Management Department Director Carolyn Jasper (with plaque), DGM for Finance Felix Lam (to her right), with borough management staff.

Page 10

Employee Bulletin

To thank or congratulate staff for their accomplishments, please e-mail the Bulletin at: [email protected] .

NYCHA Nuggets

Dorothy Berman, Christine Bourdeau, Tracie Braxton, Saul Cudjoe, Iesha Drew, Lisa Everett, Maquasha Jones, Jamella Johnson, Chanel McDonald, Shaquala Mosley, Lisa Watkins, and Andrea Williams Thank you to the Phone Bank volunteers who made more than 20,000 calls inviting NYCHA customers to attend one of the ten Community Conversations to discuss the Plan to Preserve Public Housing. Without your key assistance these meetings could not have been the resounding success that they were.

All Staff, Todt Hill Consolidated and Maintenance and Caretakers from Borough Office This is to acknowledge and pay tribute to the men and women who make up the staff of Berry-Todt Hill Consolidated, who continue to make miracles happen with their extraordinary efforts in preparing both developments for PHAS inspections. Thanks also to borough Maintenance Workers and Caretakers who assisted us. It is truly my distinct pleasure to work side by side with each one of you.

Joseph P. Falzarano Superintendent, Berry-Todt Hill Consolidated

Brian Honan, Dir., State and City Legislative Affairs Andres Berry, State and City Legislative Affairs

Larry Wilensky, Sr. Assistant Director Thank you for all your work on creating the FY 2012 Draft Annual PHA Plan. All Johnson Houses Field Staff Gay Chestnut, Property Manager Kevin Cropley, Property Maint. Supv. (PMS) Marc Buckner, Asst. PMS Terrell Alderman, SOC; Alexander Mallory, SOG Job well done to the staff at Johnson Houses, which scored a 78 in the recent HUD Public Housing Assessment Survey (PHAS) inspection compared to a 49 last year. Keep up the good work.

Ann-Marie Flatley, Director, Research and Management Analysis Department

All Staff, Marcy/Greene Houses Congratulations on your Public Housing Assessment Survey (PHAS) score of 84. In addition, we wish to commend the entire staff for all your hard work, cooperation, and continued diligence in your daily service to residents.

Robert Knapp, Manhattan Property Management Department Director Carlos Laboy, DGM for Operations Lauren Gray, Special Asst. to the DGM

Angela Gadson ­ Floyd, Deputy Director Gerard Middleton, Administrator Brooklyn Property Management Department

Keziah Gomez, Secretary Leased Housing Inspection Unit, 1200 Waters Place I would like to express my appreciation for my co-worker Keziah Gomez, who has been a team player for the lengthy time we have been together and who still helps me now even though we work at different locations. Ms. Gomez always steps up to assist anyone and follows through on every request leaving nothing undone. In any situation she shows team leadership and lends her hand. She is very deserving of recognition in all aspects of being a Housing Authority Employee. Tawana Jennings, Secretary, CCC Inspection Unit, Leased Housing Long Island City

Gladys Epps Assistant to the Chief Communications Officer, Department of Communications Congratulations on the occasion of your retirement after 38 years of distinguished service to the staff and customers of public housing. Your incredible work ethic and the generosity with which you provide assistance to all who seek your expertise will stand as a high water mark in this agency, where you will be remembered for years to come. May you have a wonderful and rewarding retirement.

Lynn Godfrey, CCO Sheila Stainback, Communications Officer Entire DOC Staff and countless friends throughout NYCHA

Employee Bulletin

Page 11

HomeRuns is dedicated to the noteworthy accomplishments of employees and retirees. If you have items to share, please contact the Bulletin as indicated on page 2. In a community center named for a slain Housing Police Officer, a leadership award that memorializes a former resident leader was presented to an outstanding NYCHA employee. Michael Cox, S.I. Borough Administrator for Community Operations, was honored with the Elizabeth Stanton Community Leadership Award at the Gerald Michael Cox Carter Center in S.I. on June 17. "The real honor is getting an award named after Elizabeth Stanton," Mr. Cox said a few days before the event. "Knowing her has influenced my life forever. She taught me that even if you disagree about 99 percent of the time with someone, you can still work together on the one percent that you agree on." Mr. Cox has been using that principle of "finding a common denominator" as he builds cooperation between the nine Resident Associations in S.I. that now support each others' events, and as he forges new partnerships with neighborhood associations and local police councils. "Since my election to the State Senate, Michael has been invaluable to my office when responding to residents' concerns," said State Senator Diane Savino, who hosted the Juneteenth celebration at which Mr. Cox was honored. "Mrs. Stanton would have been proud to see that her great work and love for the community was not lost on Michael, who continues her legacy."


Graphic artist Martin Medina is no longer a NYCHA employee but his work is still very much with us (see photo). His contributions to NYCHA are so widespread that, before he left to pursue a private career, his grateful Community Operations department alerted the Bulletin to his newsworthyness. Mr. Medina joined NYCHA as a Martin Medina with some of mailroom clerk in General Serhis many posters. vices. But when his artwork in a catalogue of resident art was noticed by then- DGM for Community Operations Hugh Spence, Mr. Medina soon found himself publicizing that department's many events and programs. His flyers, posters, banners, and brochures became familiar to staff and customers and even earned him a following. His recent poster for the Fatherhood initiative has been adopted by HUD for use nationally. "Growing up in a development, I was grateful to provide information to a community like the one where I was raised," he said. Not content with that, Mr. Medina also taught art, poetry and graphics to community children in the Lower East Side through a non profit agency. "I worked for NYCHA all through my 20s. I grew as an artist, designer and individual in my time here, and now I want to share that professionally," Mr. Medina said. "There's a new world out there, and I want to inspire others."

That man in mid-air is graphic artist Keith Piaseczny, in the General Services Department. Mr. Piaseczny recently returned from a trip to Rimini, Italy, where he competed in Paganello, the World Beach Ultimate (frisbee) Championship. More than 100 teams from around the Keith Piaseczny in Rimini, Italy, world with the highest level of at Paganello World Beach players participated in the annual tournament. Mr. Piaseczny was championship. invited to play with the team from St. Petersburg, Russia, which finished 17th. "What makes this highly active and competitive game unique is something called `Spirit of the Game' that puts mutual respect among players as the very highest priority," Mr. Piaseczny said. "The sport was developed in the U.S. in the 1960s as an alternate to traditional contact sports that were violent and pitted player against player."

While it's not uncommon for a team to fill one of its 15 spots with a member from another country, Mr. Piaseczny was his team's only non-Russian member. "What was most amazing was how the team welcomed me with great honor. I was greeted at the airport by the team captain who brought me into his home for the week that I stayed in St. Petersburg to train. This was my chance to get familiar with the team's strategy, and show them my stuff," Mr. Piaseczny said. "I play position as `handler' like a point guard in basketball, moving the frisbee from player to player to find openings in the defense and hopefully throw a score." Mr. Piaseczny's preparation for the competition was extensive, bringing him to the best physical condition of his life. "I thought at my age the opportunity to play an international championship in this highly rigorous sport would be diminishing, so I trained hard to be in top physical form. The Russian team members were younger but less experienced, and having my veteran's skills was an asset," he said. For information about the competition and Mr. Piaseczny's team, visit and

New York City Housing Authority

Department of Communications 250 Broadway - 12th Floor New York, NY 10007

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PAID New York, NY Permit No. 4119

Page 12

Employee Bulletin

To the Editor: I was pleased to learn that the Housing Authority Journal is still publishing. I take a certain paternal pride in this because I was its founding Editor back in 1970, 40 years ago. Irving Wise, the Renaissance man who was Director of Management, had long wanted a city-wide publication that would bring necessary information to residents - and so I was brought over from the City Commission on Human Rights by Simeon Golar and Val Coleman to get it off the ground. Those were the days of paste-up layouts and linotype machines and I loved going to the printer and working "on the stone." Reminded me of my newspaper days. Now, with photo-offset and computers, I guess you can do it all without leaving your desk. I wonder if there is anyone who can read type upside down anymore? One of my proudest moments was when Val received a memo from Irving Wise saying that we had achieved a "literate, accessible" newspaper for tenants. I had the privilege of working under two truly great Chairmen, Simeon Golar and Joseph J. Christian They were supported by a brilliant group of housing executives many of whom were "Depression Babies," who graduated from the City's universities, went to work for the Authority at minuscule salaries, went off to fight the fascists, and returned to build and manage the nation's largest and most successful public housing program. I am proud of having played a small role in making it work, and I trust that, despite the current climate, the Authority is still carrying on toward the goal of a "decent home and suitable living environment" for every New York family, and that a greatly improved Journal is still fighting that good fight. Roy Metcalf

Letters Letters

Dear NYCHA Readers, Our dear friend and colleague Leanne R. Ambrose passed away on June 14, 2011. A member of NYCHA's Catholic Guild, Leanne retired in 1995 after 37 years of dedicated service. Leanne worked in several departments including Human Re-sources, Applications, Design and in the field. Leanne and her husband of 47 years, Ronald, resided in Palm Coast, Florida. She will forever be remembered for her loving kindness and positive attitude by a host of family and friends. Sincerely, Nola Armstrong ­ Olukanni, Capital Projects Dear Editor: It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of Robert Bradshaw, former Deputy Director of the Payroll Division on Feb. 12, 2011. Bob started with NYCHA as an Assistant Accountant in 1963, was later promoted to Chief of Payroll on 1985 and to Deputy Director of Payroll in 1992. His retirement was celebrated in March 1993. Bob was a kind, happy, sweet, knowledgeable and gentle person. His motto was "see no evil, speak no evil." We will always cherish the memories that we had with him. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; his daughter, Christine; his son, Robert Jr., and four grandchildren. Sincerely, Herb Gecht, Mirtha Cuevas, Brunilda Tise, James G. Steinmann, Maria Guzman, Dominick Galani & Yuen Yee Lam.


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