Alex is a special educator with over a decade building history learning experiences with archival primary sources. His career in education began as a NYC Teaching Fellow for adolescent special education. While he has taught in a variety of classroom settings, the bulk of his experience is working in museums, libraries, and archives. Previously, he was Manager of Teaching & Learning at Brooklyn Historical Society (now the Center for Brooklyn History at Brooklyn Public Library), where he was the project lead for the Muslims in Brooklyn curriculum. While at BHS, Alex worked on a variety of projects and partnerships related to exhibitions, archives, and library education programs for all ages. Previously, Alex served on the board of the NYC Museum Educators Roundtable (NYCMER) and the Museum, Arts, and Culture Access Consortium (MAC). He began his museum career at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, and still has lots of cool and obscure facts he remembers from working at the NY Transit Museum and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92. Alex is a life-long New Yorker and proud graduate of NYC public schools in Staten Island, NY, where he currently resides with his wife and kids. In his free time, he likes to play Dungeons & Dragons, garden, cook, and take care of the kids.
Dr. Janet Leslie is a passionate educator and community leader. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from CUNY-Brooklyn College, an M.S. in Higher Education Administration from CUNY-Baruch College, and a Doctorate of Management from the University of Maryland University College. Her academic research and professional passion lie in mentoring non-traditional and students of color within postsecondary environments. With over three decades of experience in senior administrative roles at City University of New York, she has worked at CUNY-Kingsborough Community College and CUNY-School of Labor and Urban Studies, at which she coordinated the Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship for Diversity in Labor.
Dr. Leslie founded the Gift of Experience LLC to offer mentoring and connect students to resources, and co-founded the Leslie-Carter Group LLC with her twin sons, Omar Gyasi and Ibraham Sharif, to establish generational wealth through real property acquisition. She has and continues to hold positions in various community organizations, including New York State Women (Formerly Business and Professional Women), National Council of Negro Women, Staten Island Museum, and Sundog Theatre. A believer in the transformative power of travel, Janet has explored numerous countries, believing her periodic sojourns have enriched her understanding of the human condition.
Chris began his career on Wall Street right after high school. However, he was always interested in the technical aspect of business and so it seemed logical for him to pursue a career in that area. Continuing his education at The Chubb Institute allowed him to enhance his knowledge of the technology field. Chris became involved in IT Administration for a well-known Manhattan based “Dot-com” company in 1999. By 2011, he was at InterGlobe on Staten Island. Over time, he and his manager partnered to create the business, Comserv Consulting. Chris later formed Comserv Connect, which focuses on building, managing, and securing clients’ cyber assets. Now, he is affiliated with many organizations in the NY and NJ metro area, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Bucks Business Network group.
Lorna Harris is a communicator, fundraiser, and strategist, and provides solutions that enhance performance, operational, governance, and fiscal success for individuals, and organizations. Her commitment to creating infrastructure and systems to house ideas in socially conscious facilities earned recognition at the 2016 Architecture Venice Biennale and with the 2018 Frame Award in the category of architectural social projects designed by architect Louise Braverman.
As a visionary, she held leadership roles at the Ford Foundation, and consulted with the Alliance of NY State Arts Organizations, NY State Council on the Arts, National Endowment of the Arts, National Performance Network, and others. She worked for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights, where she was charged with creating financial opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. Through her dedication to education and the arts she helped establish a sustainable arts-based public middle school in NYC as well as the first social-emotional curriculum K-5 charter school in Richmond County, NY. She has also launched fundraising and public relations campaigns specializing in multicultural, multidisciplinary, legacy, and cause-related projects such as the Romare Bearden Homecoming Celebration and the Green Roof at Silver Cup Studios and produced many art exhibitions, convenings, and events.
Lorna is currently developing arts-based collaborative immigration and refugee projects in NYC. She holds a professional Certificate of Leadership from Cornell University School of Labor and is an alumna of Beloit College.
Mark currently holds the position of vice president of US Private Banking for IDB Bank, where he supports the expansion of the bank’s depository, lending, and investment portfolio.
A lifelong Staten Islander, Mark graduated from St. Peter’s Boys’ High School and attained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies from Paul Smith’s College. Mark maintains key roles in various organizations in addition to his role as a board member for Sundog Theatre. This includes the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, with his involvement in the organization’s Young Professionals Group along with serving as a committee member for their Police Officer of the Year Luncheon. He is also a board member and finance committee member for the Staten Island Broadway YMCA, member of the SIEDC Young Professionals Group along with being a Member of the Italian Club of Staten Island Foundation. A fun fact about Mark is that he also works part-time in the maritime industry as a longshoreman.