Alison Tocci joined CPF as President in September 2011. Previously, she had been President of Time Out America, which encompasses Time Out New York, the city’s most comprehensive arts and entertainment listings source. Ms. Tocci also has been Chair of the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, Brooklyn for the past 12 years, and is a board member of the Municipal Art Society of New York. Prior to working with Time Out New York, she was launch Publisher of monthly Brooklyn Bridge magazine, General Manager of Brooklyn Paper Publications and Advertising Manager for Nashoba Publications. Alison is a graduate of Boston University, and spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gabon, Africa.
Director, Arts & Cultural Programs
James Burke joined City Parks Foundation (CPF) in 2001 and became the Director of Arts & Cultural Programs in 2008. CPF is the largest presenter of free, outdoor programming in New York City, including the renowned SummerStage and SummerStage Kids festivals, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, and youth puppet programs produced at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre and its touring component, the CityParks Puppet Mobile. Before joining CPF, James worked in sales, marketing and promotions for a variety of music industry companies including Paradigm Associated Labels, Caroline Distribution, and CMJ Music Marathon. As a musician, he recorded several albums with the post-punk band Idle (Bid Deal) and alt-rock outfits The Royal Wylds and Driver X (both on Reel to Reel Records). He is also a Coro LNY graduate and in 2009 co-founded the New York Music Presenters & Festivals forum.
Simon Chu has been CPF’s Director of Finance since 2004. Prior to working at CPF, he worked as a CPA specializing in non-profit organizations. Mr. Chu has also worked at the United Cerebral Palsy Association of NYS overseeing budgeting and financial reporting. He received his B.S. from the Stern School of Business of New York University.
Debra Sue Lorenzen
Debra Sue Lorenzen joined CPF's Education department in October 2012. She has over two decades of experience in non-profit leadership, fundraising, arts and education. She was the co-founder and Executive Director of Making Books Sing - a nonprofit that worked with NYC DOE to bring school day and after school programs to more than 40,000 children in all five boroughs. Debra Sue was also Development Director for Dance Theater Workshop. She holds a Master's of Science in Education from Bank Street College and an M.F.A. from Brooklyn College in Performing Arts Management.
Alissa Desmarais has served as CPF’s Director of Development since January 2010. Managing a team of 9, Ms. Desmarais is responsible for generating revenue through corporate sponsorship, foundation, government, events and individual giving sources in support of all CPF programming across New York City. She brings 20 years of professional experience in non-profit and human resources management. Prior to joining CPF, Ms. Desmarais managed an expanding scope of responsibilities at the Synergos Institute and WNYC Radio. In both organizations, she led teams to operationalize processes and procedures and built new management systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the group.
Director, Marketing & Communications
Nora Lanning has been with CPF since early 2007. She has helped develop and implement the marketing strategies that have led to all-time highs for attendance and visibility for CPF’s programs, including the rebranding of the SummerStage festival in 2010 and the re-launch of both CityParksFoundation.org and SummerStage.org. Before coming to CPF, Ms. Lanning worked for The Princeton Review, managing a team of NYC public school teachers and private education consultants, and served in the Americorps program, where she managed an after-school youth center creating and implementing arts, sports and education programs. She received her B.A. from Kent State University.
Director, Partnerships For Parks
Director, Partnerships For Parks
Sabina joined CPF in 2005 as an Outreach Coordinator for Queens and Manhattan. In this capacity, she managed several projects, including the Greening Western Queens initiative, a $2mllion dollar tree planting and stewardship program in coordination with NYC Parks and Recreation. In 2007, Ms. Saragoussi became the Director of Outreach for Queens and Manhattan, where she supervised a staff of 8 across multiple offices and was responsible for evaluating programs and identifying new opportunities for community organizations and stakeholders. Before joining City Parks Foundation, she was a field organizer for EnviroCitizen in Seattle, WA. Ms. Saragoussi earned her Bachelor’s Degree in political science from SUNY Freedonia.
Mike Silverman is the Director of Sports for City Parks Foundation, and over the past 25 years he has created numerous innovative sports programs in parks for children and seniors that now reach over 15,000 New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs. A widely-respected national expert in youth sports programs, Mr. Silverman has authored articles that have appeared in publications such as Parks & Recreation and Tennis Industry is a certified Level 1 USPTR tennis teaching professional. He began his career in 1986 as the Tennis Director for the NYC Parks Department, developing citywide tennis initiatives that continue to make the sport more accessible for urban youth, including the Reebok Junior Tennis Academy, CityParks Junior Tournament Series, and the JPMorgan Chase Aces Tournament. Building on this success, Silverman launched CityParks Golf in 1999 and devised the creation of CPF’s CityParks Junior Golf Center, CityParks Track & Field, and most recently, CityParks Fitness in 2010, all designed to encourage city youth to stay active and provide support for dedicated participants who wish to further their skills.