Our Board of Directors

Paula Mahayosnand (President)

Charlene Burke (Vice-President) is a local civic leader in the West Side community that envisioned in 2007 the expansion of the small Boyd-McGuiness park and convinced the City that the community should re-design it – today’s half-acre park has a stage, a toddler play and sprayground and raised garden beds for senior citizen participation. The establishment of the West Bergen-East Lincoln Park Historic District began with Charlene writing the grant pro-bono for the City – as of July 2015, it is listed on the Jersey City Municipal Register and the NJ State Register of Historic Places. And in 2011, Charlene described to the Coalition an idea called the “BIG DIG” that with lots of support from Sponsors and the City, hard work from all the members and the public, it won a National Make a Difference Day award including a $10,000 prize its first year. She is is the 1 st Vice President of the West Side Community Alliance affiliated with Lincoln Park and is currently forming a friends group for the new Boyd-McGuiness Park.

Marc Wesson (Treasurer) is a 30-year Jersey City resident, having moved his commercial photography business from Manhattan to Communipaw Avenue in 1985. He has been involved in the transformation of Van Vorst Park (VVP) for 17 years and is the President of Friends of Van Vorst Park, Inc., a volunteer non-profit conservancy dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of this historic public park. “Friends” has raised or donated more than $350,000 to Van Vorst Park’s evolution. Marc is the current treasurer of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, which is an umbrella non-profit that encompasses 23 Jersey City parks and historic cemeteries. Marc has a degree in business, psychology, and has been formally trained as a Master Gardener. By being a past member of the Environmental Commission he hopes to help residents of Jersey City become aware of the opportunities they have to make their city healthier, safer, and sustainable.

Irina Shalaeva (Secretary)

Laura Skolar (Board member & Former President) is a lifelong resident of Jersey City and a well respected community activist. Laura became the Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 Plaza Realty in 2006 after 25 years of dedicated service to the Company. She has been recognized as a Jersey City Woman of Action for her community service and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Hudson County/Jersey City Workforce Development Board. As an advocate for the City’s parks and public spaces, Laura believes that her strong community ties are the foundation of her success.  She is also President of the Pershing Field Garden Friends, and a Board member of the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance.

Roger Heitmann (Board member) is a retired manager from a major international bank. Specialized in branch operations and compliance. Serving as Treasurer on the board of the Riverview Neighborhood Association since 2000. He is a volunteer at Riverview-Fisk Park and Janet Moore Park.
Florence Holmes is also a Board member.
Hunt Ethridge is also a Board member.
Chris Perez is also a Board member.
Michele Egar is also a Board member.
Patrick Ambrossi is also a Board member.
Previous Board members include:
Mira Prinz Arey (Former Board member) is Vice President of Flying Cranes Antiques, LTD. in Manhattan. She has over 20 years experience in sales, marketing and event planning in the fine arts & music industries. She represents the Jersey City Parks Coalition for the Jersey City Health Alliance; A Partnership for a Healthier JC, and is active in organizations on the West Side of Jersey City. She is also Vice President of Friends of Audubon Park and a Trustee of the West Side Community Alliance
Mory Thomas (Former Vice-President) has a passion for community engagement and place making. He strongly believes parks can be a catalyst to bring about change. When residents stake their claims on a park and vow to care for it a community transforms. Mory’s day job is culinary related in nature, having worked for Jean Georges Vongerichten at JOJO, publishing for Martha Stewart Living and Food and Wine Magazines and (most recently) in media for Food Network and Cooking Channel for 14 years. Mory is opening Square 1 in the Journal Square area in the fall of 2016, a farm-to-table cafe and restaurant near Mana Contemporary. He founded Washington Park Association of Hudson County, Inc. in 2007 and was president for three years, and is currently a trustee for the WPA.