Insights to Impact

The Latest from Brooklyn Community Foundation


Meet Our Spark Prize Committee!

Last night we welcomed members of our inaugural Spark Prize Committee to Crown Heights to celebrate the exciting launch of this first-of-its-kind honor for Brooklyn nonprofits. The 32-member committee will be responsible for reviewing and scoring applications to narrow down the highly competitive applicant pool to 20 finalists and 5 winners, who will collectively receive up to $600,000 in Prize funds.

The Committee is a diverse mix of distinguished neighborhood, nonprofit, civic and business leaders. It includes representatives from three city agencies, 10 nonprofit organizations (including five private foundations), and six entrepreneurs who have started businesses in Brooklyn. We're proud to say that all 32 members call Brooklyn home!


Pictured, clockwise: Committee Members Aletha Maybank, Nicola Fabens, Mamie Kanfer Stewart, Diana Reyna, Tupper Thomas, Jeanne Masel, Noa Meyer, Andrew MacArthur, Lizanne Fontaine.

2016 Spark Prize Committee

Nisha Agarwal
NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

Alexa Aviles
Program Director
Scherman Foundation

Rabbi Andy Bachman
Director of Jewish Content & Community Ritual

Ingrid Benedict
Daphne Foundation

Jonathan Butler
Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg

Nina Collins   
Writer, Coach, & Narrative Medicine Consultant

Rufus Collins

Ashley Cotton
Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff
Forest City Ratner Companies

Gaia DiLoreto

Martin Dunn
Dunn Development Corporation

Sarah Durham
Big Duck

Nicola Fabens
Communications Professional

Lizanne Fontaine
Counsel & Compliance Officer
Morris Heights Health Center

Mamie Kanfer Stewart
Founder & CEO

Andrew MacArthur
Managing Director

Leslie Marshall
Cornell Marshall Team, Corcoran

Jeanne Masel
Jeanne & Dennis Masel Foundation

Aletha Maybank
Associate Commissioner
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Merle McGee
Chief Program Officer
YWCA of the City of New York

Noa Meyer
Managing Director
Goldman Sachs

C. Zawadi Morris
The Brooklyn Reader

Erika Nijenhuis
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Judilee Reed
Director of Thriving Cultures
Surdna Foundation

Diana Reyna
Deputy Borough President
Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Jennifer Rodgers
Executive Director
Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity, Columbia Law School

Shaheen Rushd
Retired Attorney & Activist

Diane Steinberg
Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Matthew Stinchcomb
Executive Director

Tupper W. Thomas
Executive Director
New Yorkers for Parks

Stephen Warnke
Ropes & Gray

Jonathan Weld
Of Counsel
Shearman & Sterling LLP

Keith White
Free Integrated Media

Committee Advisers

Amani A. Martin
Board of Directors
Brooklyn Community Foundation

Hildy J. Simmons
Board of Directors
Brooklyn Community Foundation

Liane Stegmaier

Chief of Staff (She/Her/Hers)