Gregory Boroff was appointed Executive Director of Friends of Hudson River Park in August 2013. Over his twenty year career, Gregory has raised over $200 million for hunger relief and AIDS research organizations including amfAR, Food Bank For New York City, City Harvest and GMHC. In 2012, BizBash magazine named Gregory one of the 66 most innovative people in the event industry.
Gregory oversaw the development of amfAR’s Inspiration series which celebrates men’s fashion in New York City, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro and Paris. He also spearheaded the creation of the Food Bank’s nationally recognized campaigns and events including Mario Batali: Roasted, Battered & Fried; Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival; The Lunchbox Auction; NYC Goes Orange; CANS Film Festival; Time Out For Hunger and Can-Do Awards Dinner.
Gregory serves as a Trustee of the New York Society of Association Executives and as a member of the BizBash Magazine Advisory Council. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Council of Protocol Executives, the Greater New York Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and as Program Dean of the CAE Career Enrichment Committee for the New York Society of Association Executives. He is a proud supporter of New Hope for Cambodian Children and a mentor for the Point Foundation.
Gregory graduated magna cum laude from City College of New York. He and his partner reside in Chelsea and are active users of Hudson River Park.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Ted Gorodetzky joined Friends of Hudson River Park following a variety of creative communications positions across the nonprofit sector, including the Hudson River Park Trust. His articles, photography, and various publications for the Park and Friends consistently elevate awareness, heighten donor support, and encourage communal stewardship for this premier NYC destination.
Through his diverse career with cultural organizations and freelance clients, Ted has developed an expertise in the direction of compelling and effective creative collateral with an astute strategic eye. In past work with The JCC in Manhattan, at The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and with myriad entertainment companies, he has overseen numerous, multi-channel promotional campaigns and acted as primary copywriter, editor and designer. His bold messaging and innovative audience engagement led to expanded partnerships, substantial revenue increases, and record attendance for large scale promotional events.
Additionally, Ted brings with him an extensive background in production and entertainment with many years in the theatre and film industries, and a fine arts degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is especially happy to lend his instinctively collaborative nature and creative spirit to help grow Friends of Hudson River Park.
Director of Development
Toby is a tenacious fundraising, business development and cause-marketing strategist with a nearly 9-year record of achievement and demonstrated success providing fundraising leadership and driving revenue growth. Most notably, Toby has served as the National Development Director, Northeast, at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, where he increased philanthropic support, including contributions by individual donors, major foundations and corporations. He worked closely with the leadership team to build fundraising efforts off the launch of a successful national advertising campaign designed to place at least one college education in every Hispanic American household.
Most recently, Toby offered his consulting services at Hub Culture and Techonomy Media and was responsible for handling relationships with existing and new partners in an effort to grow the company’s business. Toby holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Toby is especially excited to now lend his non-profit management expertise to help grow funds to benefit the Hudson River Park.
Director of Finance and Operations
James joined Friends of Hudson River Park in November 2012. He offers over 20 years of experience as a financial executive, business consultant, and accountant. He has experience working for Fortune 500 Corporations as well as small to mid-size organizations in diverse industries and not-for-profit businesses.
Prior to joining Friends, James had been the Lead Consultant at D&J Consulting, LLC, providing a wide range of business consulting services. Formerly at Warner Music Group, James was a Senior Director of Internal Audit and Compliance. Prior to that, he worked at Vivendi, starting as a Controller then promoted to Senior Director of Global Finance. At Sony/BMG he was Manager of Financial Reporting and Manager of Royalty Accounting. He was also the Assistant Controller for Heraeus, Inc. As Accounting Manager at New Community Corporation, James was responsible for the accounting close process.
James received his MBA from Seton Hall University and his BS from Drexel University. He is a member of the New Jersey Networking Group and New Jersey Professionals as well as the Financial Executive Networking Group. He is the Financial Officer and long standing member of a local not-for-profit organization assisting others through micro-credit loans, education and health care.
Associate Director, Business and Community Engagement
Mark joins Friends of Hudson River Park after a year and a half wearing multiple hats for Hudson River Park Trust. There he served as Environmental Educator and Volunteer Coordinator, dramatically increasing public participation by creating enriching programs and opportunities for engagement. He is a dynamic and friendly professional who understands the wide range of benefits the Park brings to New York City as a public resource for recreation, learning, and relaxation.
Since joining Friends, Mark has made a remarkable impact by improving existing corporate and community relationships while building new ones. Through his leadership, Friends has been able to engage numerous corporate groups via Volunteer Days, which create an entertaining, team-building experience for groups while aiding the Park’s staff in the upkeep of its amazing grounds. Additionally, Mark has spearheaded several large sponsorship deals, creating brand recognition for corporate groups at Friends events including the Gala, Hudson River Park Games, and Park programs. In the community, Mark has used his relationships built at the Trust for support at Friends, integrating local businesses and non-profits into the Community Partner Program and Friends events.
Mark graduated from the University of California-Berkeley in 2009 with a degree in Conservation and Resource Studies. He resides in Brooklyn and is an avid outdoorsman, gardener, cyclist, and foodie.
Individual Giving Manager
Shannon Guttridge joined Friends of Hudson River Park in July 2015, with nearly a decade of experience within the nonprofit sector. She is excited to increase awareness of Hudson River Park’s many endeavors and progress, as well as expand the individual giving program, as part of the Friends team.
Prior to her time at Friends, Shannon launched the membership program and managed the direct mail campaign at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. She has also worked on major event planning and project management with CBlaney Group, where she raised funds for various organizations including ONE Foundation, Council on Competitiveness, and Meridian International Center. Ironically, she now finds herself back at Hudson River Park, home of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum where she first began her New York journey assisting the external affairs team.
Shannon holds a B.A. in Global Affairs from George Mason University.
Development and Special Events Manager
Kathy Holding joined Friends of Hudson River Park in January 2015 and is delighted to be a part of the team. With years of experience in development and events, Kathy is looking forward to working toward the advancement of the Park’s mission by creating stellar events to engage new audiences and bring awareness to all that the Park has to offer.
Prior to her arrival at Friends, Kathy successfully managed a wide variety of fundraising events at Right To Play and worked for the Obama for America campaign throughout the 2008 presidential election process. During her tenure at Right To Play, Kathy’s events generated over five million dollars for the organization in cities throughout the United States.
Kathy graduated from The University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and currently resides in lower Manhattan where she enjoys biking and running along Hudson River Park.
Manager, Executive Office & Special Projects
Patrick Yacco arrives at Friends of Hudson River Park with over a decade of administrative and communications experience in the civil rights, entertainment, and non-profit worlds. Originally from Utica, New York, Patrick has lived in New York City for over fifteen years and has thoroughly enjoyed all of the green spaces that the five boroughs have to offer.
Patrick recently received his Masters of Public Administration from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, with coursework focusing on management, quantitative analysis, and the LGBT non-profit sector. His Capstone team received the school's Howard Newman Award for their work with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, helping the Chamber to create "Brooklyn Made," the first quantitative urban manufacturing certification program.
In addition to his passion for parks, Patrick is an ardent advocate of the LGBT community, having volunteered for such organizations at Marriage Equality USA and the Stonewall Democrats of New York. For two years he served as a board member of Geeks OUT, an organization dedicated to uniting queer geeks everywhere. He succeeded in gaining 501(c)3 recognition for the group, as well as spearheading its "Skip Ender's Game" campaign, for which he was named a "Leading Man of 2013" by Instinct Magazine. Finally, his articles regarding LGBT geek entertainment have appeared in Next Magazine, Out.com, and Advocate.com.
Business and Community Engagement Coordinator
Erika Freund joins Friends of Hudson River Park after serving the non-profit world for almost a decade through community and program development. She has developed state-recognized programs for at-risk female youth, recidivism reduction, and spent the past five years lending her expertise to many grassroot NGOs throughout East Africa, focusing on design driven, ethical supply chain development and artisan stewardship. She has received extensive recognition for her efforts in this area, working in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. Her work has been featured on channels ranging from Voice of America, Museum of African Design in Johannesburg, SA, and various fashion runways shows from London, Ethiopia, and New York Fashion Week, along with many respected art editorials.
Erika believes Hudson River Park is an incredible shared backyard for all community members and businesses. She is looking forward to growing the Community Partnership Program at Friends, while building strong relationships and opportunities throughout the different neighborhoods.
Erika holds a Masters in Social Work with an advanced focus on programs and policy from New York University. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, visiting art galleries, and volunteering for a variety of women-related issues.
Finance and Operations Assistant
Supporting the Director of Finance in her position, Brenda Palencia joined Friends of Hudson River Park in December 2014. Previously, she was Co-owner and Vice President of a home furnishings company in Queens, New York.
While working at a CPA firm in New York City, Brenda managed the personal bookkeeping for Ronald Lauder during the time he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Austria. She has worked at HSBC Bank (formerly Republic National Bank of New York) as an Executive Assistant and in the executive offices of Merrill Lynch International until September 2001. Since, then she has dedicated her time working as an accounting technician for small companies organizing and managing the companies’ books and records.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Christie Rotondo joined Friends of Hudson River Park in June 2015, after working as a journalist in the southern New Jersey area with a focus on local, community press, as well as social media. Her writing and reporting has appeared in The Press of Atlantic City, The Wildwood Leader, New York Daily News, and Backstage, among other publications and websites.
As Marketing and Communications Assistant at Friends of Hudson River Park, she takes a reporter’s eye to social media and communications strategies so that the Park can be sustained as an invaluable public resource for New York City. In 2013, she won a first place New Jersey Press Association Robert P. Kelly award, which is given to an outstanding journalist with less than one-year professional experience. Christie graduated from S.U.N.Y Purchase College in 2013 with a degree in journalism.
Atticus, the newest member to our team (and the world), joins Friends just 10 short weeks after his arrival to New York City and only days after being adopted by our Executive Director and his partner. Although completely inexperienced in the ways of the workplace, Atticus brings with him a deeply instinctive love for parks and all things green. Various responsibilities in his new role with the organization include welcoming guests at the Friends of Hudson River Park office in Chelsea, accompanying golf cart tours, and of course, advocating for our Park’s ever-popular offerings for the four-legged Friends community on behalf of all his canine companions.