Sunday, April 16, 2017

RIOC Board Director Nominee Election April 17 &18 - Meet Your Roosevelt Island Neighbors Seeking To Serve Our Community And Cast Your Ballot Monday or Tuesday

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) is conducting an election on April 17 & 18 to provide NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo with nominees for selection as Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors.

RIRA Governance Committee Chairperson Joyce Short reports on the times and locations for voting in the RIOC Board nominee candidate election:
Monday- April 17th

546 Main St- 11:30-1:30

Southown- 455 Main St- for all Southtown Residents 4:30-9 PM

Rivercross- 4:30 to 9 PM

Westview- 6:30 to 9 PM (Building volunteer needed for 4:30-6:30)

Island House- 7-9 PM (Building volunteer needed for 4:30-7 PM)

Roosevelt Landings- 510 (for 510 and all back buildings) 4:30-9 PM

Roosevelt Landings- 540 (for 540, 546, and all back buildings) 4:30-9 PM

Manhattan Park- 20 River Road (For all Manhattan Park Residents) 4:30-9 PM

Octagon- 4:30-9 PM

Tuesday, April 18th

546 Main St- 11:30-1:30

Southown- 415 Main St- (for all Southtown Residents 4:30-9 PM

Rivercross- 4:30 to 9 PM

Westview- 4:30 to 5:30, and 6:30 to 9 PM (Building volunteer needed for 5:30-6:30)

Island House- 7-9 PM (Building volunteer needed for 4:30-7 PM)

Roosevelt Landings- 560 (for 560 and all back buildings) 4:30-9 PM

Roosevelt Landings- 580 (for 580, 546, and all back buildings) 4:30-9 PM

Manhattan Park- 20 River Road (for all Manhattan Park Residents) 4:30-9 PM

Octagon- 4:30-9 PM
and adds that volunteers are still needed to cover the election sites.  Please email Ms. Short if you are interested in volunteering to help with the election.

During April 12 RIRA Meet The RIOC Board Nominee Candidates Forum, Ms. Short provided:
  • background on the election, 
  • noted that 5 RIOC Board members are required by law to be Roosevelt Island residents and 
  • urged residents to vote and ask their neighbors to vote as well.

According to Ms. Short,  RIOC President Susan Rosenthal does not see need for the election because the RIOC President works for the Governor and the Governor selects the RIOC Board. Ms Short believes that the RIOC President and Directors should work for the Roosevelt Island community first and foremost.

At the RIOC Board Nominee Forum, current RIOC Director Margie Smith discussed the importance of Roosevelt Island residents serving on the RIOC Board including role the RIOC Board has in setting budget and land use priorities

Below are statements and biographies of the RIOC Board nominee candidates. Note that the candidates are not running against each other but to fill vacant or currently expired Board Director seats. You can vote for one candidate or all of them in order of preference.

Eduardo Jany, Col USMC (Ret) 

I am so proud to take part in this important opportunity to represent my fellow residents on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board. My wife and I fell in love with the Island community and have made our home here. We live here, shop here, park our car here, educate our son here (RIDN), and make ample use of the Island’s resources. We certainly enjoy the convenience, the diversity and the charm that is Roosevelt Island but firmly believe that we need a stronger voice in Albany. I am fervently passionate about education and public safety as well as ensuring that our community retains its appeal to tourists, visitors and now our Cornell Tech neighbors while addressing commercial growth and quality of life in a proactive way.

It is no secret that New York taxes are among the highest in the nation and the Island affords us great services but there are many improvements needed particularly with the anticipated population increase. The use of impact funding and allocation of resources should involve voices from those who are most affected; our Island residents. Serving commercial or political interests should not mean neglecting our at-risk populations and we should not stand idly by while increased demands on parking, sanitation and maintenance, public safety and security, recreation programs and spaces go unaddressed. 

As a Marine and a Special Operations Officer I understand the intrinsic value that such a position holds. The responsibility to represent the community without regard to labels, party affiliation or special interests is paramount to our success. I believe in proactive and collaborative leadership and in expressing the voice of our community with honesty and integrity no matter how unpopular the message may be.

I am at your service and hope that you will see fit to consider me for the RIOC Board.


Eduardo Jany is a first generation immigrant and native of São Paulo, Brazil who moved with his family to the United States in 1968, was naturalized a U.S. Citizen and speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish. He has lived in four different countries and settled in New York City after being promoted to his current position. Eduardo spent the bulk of his working life in public service and is a retired police officer and career Marine who now directs Security Operations for Bloomberg in the Americas with an area of responsibility which includes the global headquarters and more than 45 facilities with over 10,000 people in ten different countries. He is also Bloomberg’s Director for Global Health and Safety. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Eduardo provided consulting and advisory services for international security and law enforcement projects with special emphasis on Brazil for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. 

He retired as a Colonel from the Marine Corps having served 33 years of combined active and reserve duty in Special Operations, Anti-Terrorism, Reconnaissance and Infantry assignments and had prior enlisted and commissioned service in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He had over seven years of overseas deployments and Commanded the Anti-Terrorism Battalion, at the time the largest Battalion in the Marine Corps. He also retired from law enforcement as a Captain - Assistant Chief of Police after more than 20 years of active police service in Florida, Minnesota and Washington State. Eduardo was wounded in the line of duty during a high-risk SWAT operation in 2003 but made a full recovery and returned to active service and several deployments overseas.

He received a Master’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville and attended the University of Minnesota for undergraduate studies. He was a 2013 Senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government, and completed the Kennedy School National and International Security Senior Executive Program, the National Defense University Reserve Components National Security Program, and is a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College. 

He was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, several US and foreign awards as well as the Police Medal of Valor and Officer of the Year-Excellence in Service Award. He is a volunteer mentor with ACP assisting with Veteran’s outreach, is on the Executive Board of the Overseas Security Advisory Council – Latin America Committee, the Domestic Security Alliance Council, and is an active member of the Citizen’s Crime Commission of New York City.

He is married to Luciana Pinheiro, a former US Embassy Staff member in Brazil and has a baby boy who attends RIDN and two daughters.
Brian Bower Statement:

Hello, my name is Brian Bower, and I'm a native New Yorker and a resident of Roosevelt Island since 2010. I have worked in data analysis and risk evaluation at Thomson Reuters for the last 2 years. I got married in 2016 and am an enthusiastic cook for my wife; you will see me every Saturday frequenting our Farmer's Market to pick up fresh produce for the upcoming week.

Having lived on the Island for the last 7 years, I have become increasingly concerned with the maintenance of the Island's public spaces, facilities, and the allocation of our resources. I believe that the Island's resources should be maintained for our community at a higher standard, and that our Public Safety department needs to be sufficiently funded and staffed, especially given the upcoming opening of Cornell's facilities. It is also essential that we fill the empty storefronts which litter Main Street.

If appointed to the board, I will work to ensure the Island Residents' interests are represented in the financial decisions of RIOC.

Thank You, and I hope to be able to represent our community.

Brian Bower
Lydia Tang Statement:

Being part of the solution and not part of the problem – that’s why I’m running for the RIOC Board of Directors.

My training and education is in Operations Research, with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. The goal of Operations Research is to apply mathematical efficiency to organizations and processes. Early in my career, I worked in multinational financial organizations: Citibank, HSBC/Marine Midland Bank and Swiss Bank Corporation. I had increasing project management responsibilities interfacing with all levels of multinational business, trading floor, IT and operations management.

The last 19 years I’ve been a college math professor, working at the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and am currently developing a pilot program for developmental math students at CUNY.

I’ve been an active member of the Roosevelt Island community: Treasurer of the Island House Tenant’s Association, President and Treasurer of the PS/IS217 PTA, and Treasurer of the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance (MSTDA). My activities at Hope Church are an important part of my life. I’m deeply committed to the objectives of the church. I’ve raised 3 children who have all attended PS/IS 217, two of them are now in college and my youngest attends Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

I urge all of you to vote in this important election. Participate by using your voice to select your community leaders. Then consider how else you can be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Marc Jonas Block Statement

Marc Block has lived on Roosevelt Island since 2005, with his wife, Fang Block, and two daughters, Hannah and Jacqueline. Marc is an active member of the Roosevelt Island Community, regularly coaching both soccer and baseball, and has served on the board of directors of several non-profits.

Marc is a litigation partner at the law firm of Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park & Kelly LLP, where he represents clients in complex commercial, intellectual property, securities and real estate litigation domestically and abroad. He also serves as a Neutral with the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization.

Marc is a former professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Foundation Center for Continuing Education, guest lecturer on legal and business issues facing fashion designers at Parsons New School of Design, and recent past President of the International Intellectual Property Society. He authored the following articles: (1) The Benefits of Alternate Dispute Resolution for International Commercial and Intellectual Property Matters, 44 Rutgers L. Rec. 1 (2016) (Publication Pending), (also to be available at (all rights reserved)); (2) Nissan Motor Co. v. Nissan Computer Corp.: Ninth Circuit Construes the Federal Trademark Dilution Act, 13 N.Y. St. B.A. Bright Ideas 3 (Winter, 2004); and (3) When are Ideas Protectible?, 18 N.Y. St. B.A. Bright Ideas I (Spring, 2009).
Michael Shinozaki (Statement provided by Main Street Wire)

Michael Shinozaki was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation from 2004 to 2009 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki. He was re-appointed to the Board by Governor Patterson in January of 2010.

He holds dual Bachelor's Degrees in history and international relations, an honors BA/MA in economics/applied mathematics and a Master's degree in financial economics from the City University of New York. He is a Senior Architect in the financial services and government sectors for the Microsoft Corporation.

His primary areas of specialization are data network communications, security, and data center design and operations. Prior to joining Microsoft he worked for Price Waterhouse, Citigroup, and JPMorgan.

He has lived in New York City since 1986 and on Roosevelt Island since 1991. He is married to Lynne Strong-Shinozaki and has 3 children.

He is an Eagle Scout, a Civil Air Patrol Spaatz Award recipient, and was cited by the American Legion and National Sojourners Society for leadership and military excellence. During the summer of 2010 he had the honor of serving with the US military as a civilian supporting operations in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Here is video of the April 12 RIOC Board Director Nominee Candidate's Forum. I went to the Forum skeptical of the election but came away very impressed with the candidates.

Take a look and decide for yourself.

(Michael Shinozaki was not able to attend due to business travel.)

Following presentations by the candidates, the Roosevelt Island residents in attendance asked questions.

Subjects included the following.

Recent RIOC vote by Director Michael Shinozaki regarding Roosevelt Island Seniors Association,

With a magic wand, what one Roosevelt Island change would the candidates like to see?

Budget priorities, pets, traffic, public safety.

Infrastructure maintenance, RIOC Accountability, independence from Governor's Office.

Is RIOC Board a Rubber Stamp for the Governor or independent? Better use of open space, ball fields and recreational space for residents.

Cornell Tech, Transportation, Youth Community Center.

Balance being an independent RIOC Director with the interests of NY State.

Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg's interest in Roosevelt Island and end of the Forum.

The candidates should be thanked for their willingness to serve the Roosevelt Island community. Take a few moments on Monday and Tuesday to cast a ballot.

More on the RIOC Board Director nominee election at this previous post.