by Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy on Apr 2, 2019
BROOKLYN, April 2, 2019 — Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy (Conservancy) announced today that Chris Coffey has been elected Chair of its Board of Directors. Coffey, who has served as Vice Chair for the last two years, succeeds Mark Baker who has chaired the Conservancy’s Board since 2016. Coffey will lead the Conservancy in its ongoing efforts as the lead nonprofit citizens group working in support of the world-class park on the Brooklyn waterfront. Focusing on public programming, community outreach, stewardship, and philanthropic support, the Conservancy works in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to ensure that Brooklyn Bridge Park reaches its full potential as a dynamic and vibrant public space for Brooklyn, New York City, and beyond.
“Chris Coffey’s enthusiasm and vision will lead the Conservancy into the future,” said Mark Baker, outgoing Chairman of the Conservancy. “His expertise, candor and wisdom will guide the organization through its next exciting phase, expanding and enhancing our programmatic work in Brooklyn Bridge Park.”
Chris Coffey leads the New York practice for Tusk Ventures and for Tusk Strategies. He has run successful political and legislative efforts in cities and states across the country. In New York City, he specializes in creating major media campaigns that impact public policy. Successful examples include the Times Square Alliance, Uber, the PBA, and NYCLASS.
In 2017, Coffey served as a senior strategist to Corey Johnson’s winning campaign for Speaker of the New York City Council. He also served on District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s transition committee and was an advisor to Governor Cuomo’s campaign in 2018.
Prior to joining Tusk, Coffey worked for Michael Bloomberg for 12 years at City Hall, on Bloomberg’s three electoral campaigns, and at Bloomberg L.P. During his time in City government, Coffey helped set up the first-ever NYC Digital Office at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. He co-authored the Roadmap for the Digital City, which Mayor Bloomberg unveiled as the first digital blueprint for City government in the nation. Before that, Coffey worked on the 2009 Bloomberg campaign as a senior communications strategist, as First Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit where he helped manage the Mayor’s community relationships, and as an assistant press secretary and director of Mayor Bloomberg’s advance team.
Coffey joined the Board of the Conservancy in 2013 and previously served as the organization’s Vice Chair and Chair of the development committee. He is on the boards of WIN Women in Need, the Trevor Project, and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). In 2018, Coffey was named number 25 on the City and State “Power Pride” list of LGBTQ influencers in New York. In 2019, City and State listed him as one of the 100 most influential New Yorkers in politics. He frequently appears on NY1 as an expert on New York politics and guest lectures at NYU on government and public policy.
Coffey was born and raised in New York City and now lives in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn with his husband and their two children.
“As a father of two small children, Brooklyn Bridge Park is central to my family’s life. I am so humbled to have a chance to lead the Conservancy as we work to reach more and more families from all over Brooklyn,” said Chris Coffey. “This organization, which started as an advocacy and community organization to advocate for the creation of this wonderful park, has successfully transformed into a premier programming, fundraising and community conservancy. I am looking forward to building on Mark Baker and Nancy Bowe’s tremendous fundraising success and working with this supremely dedicated board and staff, led by Nancy Webster, to continue to create innovative programming for families from all over New York City. I am also looking forward to working with our partners at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation led by Eric Landau. I want to thank Mark and the rest of the board for their trust and support.”
The Board also elevated longtime Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo community leader Michael Crane to be the next Vice Chair of the Conservancy. In addition, Dumbo resident Sanjay Mody was elected Treasurer, and Cobble Hill resident Sophie Ferrer was elected Secretary, rounding out the officers on the Board.
“Congratulations to Chris Coffey on being elected Chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. I want to also thank Mark Baker for his years of service and dedication,” said Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park President. “Chris will bring strong leadership, innovation, and a community-driven perspective. All of us at the Park are excited to continue to work with Chris and the Conservancy as they advance the Conservancy’s mission to provide world-class programming in this world-class Park.”
“I am thrilled to see Chris take the helm of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Board. His passion for the park and dedication to its long-term sustainability is unbeatable. From kayaking to basketball to educational courses, the Conservancy offers a range of diverse programming for the entire community. I can’t wait to see what Chris and the team will line up during the years to come,” said Alicia Glen, Former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.
“I can’t think of anyone better to serve as Chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy than Chris Coffey,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “As a lifelong New Yorker and father to two young children, Chris understands the value that vibrant public space brings to a community, as well as the need for high-quality and robust programming. I look forward to working with Chris in his new capacity and know that he will be a great asset to the Conservancy.”
“Chris Coffey has been a very active and valuable member of our community for years. His keen understanding of policy and all things New York will make him a great Board Chairman for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. I congratulate him on this new position, and look forward to working with him on great programming for the park. Thank you to outgoing Chairman Mark Baker for all his great work,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.
Spurred by the Port Authority’s plan to sell the piers along the Brooklyn Heights waterfront for commercial development, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition (now Conservancy) was born in 1985. Based in citizen activism around a desire to revitalize the Brooklyn waterfront and turn the piers area into a public park, an advocacy effort led by the Coalition encompassed more than 60 civic, community, and environmental groups that successfully advocated for the establishment of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Over the past twenty years, the Conservancy has brought imaginative and popular public programming to Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Park’s interim sites, which have been enjoyed by over 1.7 million visitors. The Conservancy has raised over $25 million, which has supported free public programming in the Park as well as advocacy and Park stewardship.
As the longest serving member of the Conservancy’s Board of Directors, Mark Baker was instrumental in the organization’s earliest advocacy efforts for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Over the past three years under his leadership, the Conservancy has expanded its reach and activities in the Park.
Working closely with Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which has built and operates the Park, the Conservancy facilitates over 500 free events and activities serving over 130,000 park visitors per year including the annual outdoor film series “Movies with a View,” kayaking programs, fitness classes, family festivals, and cultural performances. The Conservancy oversees a robust volunteer program with 660 individuals contributing over 3,050 hours of service, including park clean-up and horticultural activities as well as a park greeter and docent program. The Conservancy’s extensive education program welcomes over 10,000 schoolchildren a year for environmental education classes, and the Environmental Education Center is open to the public four days a week.
“I have had the pleasure of working with, and learning from, Mark Baker over the past several years and thank him for his leadership of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy,” said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of the Conservancy. “His visionary advocacy in the early years helped give birth to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Under his most recent leadership as Chair, he has solidified the Conservancy’s public programming, volunteer and stewardship efforts, community outreach and philanthropic contributions. Looking ahead, I am excited to work with Chris Coffey and a new generation of leadership to help create a more vibrant, thriving Brooklyn Bridge Park.”
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Contact: Katherine Gray, [email protected], 718-514-7358