about / team
Staff
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JAMES RAMSEY
Co-Founder and Creator
James is the inventor of the remote skylight, which delivers sunlight below ground using a system of optics. In 2004, Ramsey opened design practice RAAD, and they have since built over a hundred projects, both in NYC and across the country.
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DAN BARASCH
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Dan leads community engagement, political outreach, fundraising, and strategic planning for the world’s first underground park. His former roles have included strategic roles at Google, PopTech, and within New York City government.
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Robyn Shapiro
Director of Community
Robyn oversees many of the Lowline’s core activities, from community engagement to strategic projects. Her prior experience includes marketing and operations roles at Ralph Lauren, Saatchi & Saatchi, and SelectNY as well as urban farming at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm.
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Caroline Saudek
Director of Development
Caroline is in charge of the Lowline’s fundraising efforts. Her past experience includes development and fundraising roles at American Ballet Theatre, Ubuntu Education Fund, and Theatre Communications Group.
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Ed Jacobs
Engineer and Industrial Designer
Ed develops and executes innovative solar technologies for the Lowline. The former head of design at a motorcycle company, Confederate Motors, Jacobs is currently focusing on DNI, a utilitarian design-based company.
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Kibum Park
Architect
Kibum is a partner at RAAD and responsible for the striking Lowline renderings. He has worked on and led a number of projects in Korea and China, ranging from single residential up to a commercial building.
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Sangyun Han
Architect
Sangyun is an award-winning architect/manager at RAAD.
 
Board of Directors

Zach Aarons is an expert in entrepreneurship, seed stage technology investing, consulting, and finance. He currently serves as the Director of Digital Media for Millennium Hollywood, a proposed real estate development project in Los Angeles, California. He has been an active angel investor in mobile technology, investing in the seed rounds of 40 companies. In 2007, he founded the company Travelgoat, which he grew into one of the most well known online/offline walking tour companies in New York City. In 2008, Aarons founded the strategic consulting firm Apostate Partners. Zach began his career at boutique investment bank Peter J. Solomon Company where he worked on M&A and restructuring transactions in the retail and apparel industry. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA from Brown University.

Serena Altschul is an Emmy Award-winning television journalist with two decades of experience in investigative journalism. She has produced for and appeared on Channel One News, MTV News, and CNN and is currently a correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning. Serena has also appeared on Conan O'Brien, Charlie Rose, and Bill O'Reilly, and has collaborated with Jay Z on the song, "Dopeman." She is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award.

Dan Barasch is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Lowline. He formerly led strategic partnerships at PopTech; held several strategy, operations, and marketing roles at Google; and worked in small business development within New York City government. Dan has also consulted for UNICEF in Nairobi and the 9/11 Survivors’ Fund in Washington DC. He began his career producing international affairs programming at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, where he co-produced the weekly NPR show “It’s Your World.” He received a BA from Cornell University and a Master degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

David Barry is President of Ironstate Development Company, which owns and manages thousands of residential, commercial, and mixed-use units throughout the New York/New Jersey region.  His firm currently oversees approximately $1 billion in development, including the first major development of Staten Island's North Shore.  He led the transformation of the Cooper Square Hotel into the Standard East Village and is launching a brand of sustainable, sleek and space efficient buildings called URL (Urban Ready Living). Barry is deeply committed to reinforcing the cultural fabric of the urban landscape with compelling public spaces like the Lowline and Staten Island waterfront. He serves on the boards of Fortress Investment Group, the Liberty Science Center, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.  A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a former All-Ivy wrestler at Columbia University, Barry served as the Greco-Roman Team Leader for USA Wrestling for the 2012 Olympics.

Jennifer Blumin is president of Skylight Group, New York’s largest event venue company, whose repeat client roster extends from Ralph Lauren to BAM, the Whitney to Samsung and Google to Facebook. With a specialty in adaptive re-use, Skylight Group’s venues include the High Line; Skylight One Hanson, home of the beloved Brooklyn Flea; and Skylight at Moynihan Station in the famous James A. Farley Post Office across from Penn Station. Jennifer is a graduate of Cornell University and co-author of the NYT business best-seller “Power Sleep: Preparing the Mind for Peak Performance.”

Vin Cipolla is the current President of the Municipal Art Society. He is a six-­time corporate CEO, a three-time company founder, and has served on more than 25 nonprofit boards and 9 corporate boards. He is former CEO of the National Park Foundation, and served as Executive Vice President at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Past trustee appointments have included Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Clark University, the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, the Orton Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Fidelity Charitable Services. He currently serves on the boards of the National Park Foundation, the Municipal Art Society, National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, Ballet Hispanico, the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial, and The Christie’s Charity, the charitable foundation of Christie’s.

Boykin Curry is a Partner at Eagle Capital, an investment firm based in New York. Previously, he invested in Asia for hedge fund Kingdon Capital and for Morgan Stanley Asset Management. Mr. Curry is also a co-founder of Public Prep, a group of charter schools in New York City. He is a board member of the American Federation for Children and a co-founder of Democrats for Education Reform, both of which fight for better primary education. He received a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard University.

Jolie Hunt is former Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at AOL, where she oversaw AOL’s global communications strategy, corporate social responsibility and cause related initiatives, and brand development. Prior to joining AOL, Jolie served as SVP and Global Head of Brand and Public Relations at Thomson Reuters. Previously, Jolie was the Global Director of Corporate and Business Affairs at IBM, and was Director of Public Relations for the Financial Times. In 2011, Hunt was named ‘In-House Professional of the Year’ by the Public Relations Consultants Association, and in 2012, was awarded an honorable mention for the PR Week award ‘PR Professional of the Year’.

James Ramsey is Creator and Co-Founder of the Lowline, and is the principal of RAAD, a high-end design firm based in New York City. James’ experience in design began as an undergraduate at Yale University, where he won a Bates Fellowship to study cathedral design in Europe. He then went to work as a satellite engineer for NASA, where he was a part of the team that created the Pluto Fast Flyby and the Cassini satellites. After his time at NASA, James worked as an architect at DMSAS in Washington, DC and at Penny Yates Architects in New York. He has taught design at the Parsons School of Design, and is engaged in active research on the Lowline’s “remote skylight” technology.

Peter Shapiro is an Independent music and film entrepreneur. His has founded or reinvigorated major venues like Wetlands, The Slipper Room, Brooklyn Bowl, and the Capitol Theatre. He is also the publisher of Relix magazine. Shapiro has produced many ground-breaking projects, including the IMAX concert films U23D and All Access; the annual Jammys awards show; the Green Apple Festival; the Great GoogaMooga, and Central Park Jazz & Colors Festival. He is a member of the Arts Committee of the City Parks Foundation’s Board of Directors, is a co-founder of the environmental consulting firm, GreenOrder, and is a board member of Headcount, Central Park SummerStage, The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and New York Public Radio.

Josh Sirefman is currently the President of Sirefman Ventures, and is leading the development of the Cornell Technion Campus on Roosevelt Island. Josh was previously Senior Vice President for US Properties at Brookfield Properties. He is the former President of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, and previously served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, as well as serving as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Rebuilding. He holds a BA from Wesleyan and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Marquise Stillwell is a partner at social impact investment and design consultancy Openbox. As an entrepreneur, Stillwell started Concept Management Group, a design shop that managed and invested in innovative projects, and Blue Macaroni ventures, which focused primarily on real estate development. Corporate experience includes BMW North America, Wells Fargo, Fiserv, and Qwest. He also serves on the board of the Andrew Goodman Foundation. Stillwell holds an MA in Economics from the University of Denver, an MBA from Grand Canyon University and a BA from The Ohio State University.

 

Advisory Board

Sunny Bates, Sunny Bates Associates
Dave Bolotsky, Gulick Park
James Capalino, Capalino+Company
Joshua David, The Highline
Lena Dunham, Writer/Actor/Director
Megan Ellison, Annapurna Pictures
Robert Hammond, The Highline
Jan Hanvik, Clemente Soto Vélez
Jeremy Heimans, Purpose
Mo Koyfman, Spark Capital
Marc Kushner, Architizer
Steven Lau, Kinetic Records
Scot Medbury, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Bentley Meeker, Bentley Meeker Lighting and Staging, Inc.
Mark Miller, Mark Miller Gallery
Craig Newmark, Craigslist
Benjamin Palmer, Barbarian Group
Miriam Parker, Lower East Side Artist
Carlina Rivera, GOLES
Kenny Scharf, Artist
Jamie Springer, HR&A Advisors
Louisa St. Pierre, Bernstein and Andriulli
Michael Tumminia, Karen Rand Associates, LLC
Morris Vogel, Tenement Museum
Lorne Whitehead, Professor, University of British Columbia