BOARD MEMBERS

BOARD MEMBERS

Richard Khuzami

Richard Khuzami

President

CIVIC BIO

Mr. Khuzami has been a member of Community Board 1 in Astoria, NY for the last 18 years. He currently Chairs the Capital and Expense planning Committee, sits on the Zoning Committee and is Secretary of the Board. He was Parks and Culture chair of Community Board 1 for eleven years. He is a member of the Queens General Assembly and had been a panelist for grant submissions for the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA). Richard also is an officer of The Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA).

Because of the tremendous growth in Old Astoria, especially around Hallets Point (which could potentially have over 5,000 new housing units), Mr. Khuzami has established, along with concerned neighbors, the “Old Astoria Neighborhood Association,” a 501c3 non-profit. OANA’s boundaries are Astoria Park South to the North, 21st St to the East, 34th Ave to the South, and the East River to the West. Members include any residents, business and property owners within these borders. Our mission is to both educate and protect the interests and quality of life for all residents of this previously often neglected part of Astoria/Long Island City.

FAMILY

Born: 1952 in Bayside NY. Grew up in Rochester NY from 1957. Went to elementary and middle school in Fairport and graduated from Sperry High School in Henrietta NY in 1971.

Parents Victor and Adele were professional ballroom and Latin Dancers.

Sister Vicki is an accomplished visual artist whose work has graced major developers such as Trump and Disney, has been a part of the production team for Bloomingdale’s Christmas windows for over 10 years, and whose murals are on the ceiling of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC.

Brother Robert was a US Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan’s southern District for eleven years, and was President Barack Obama’s Head of Enforcement at the Security and Exchange Commission during the President’s first term. He is now Deputy US Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

MUSIC BIO

Mr. Richard S. Khuzami, both in his role as musician and producer, has worked to produce and promote the finest in artistic achievement in World Music, with a special emphasis on the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Mr. Khuzami, of Lebanese extraction, is an accomplished percussionist, specializing in instruments from the Balkans, Anatolia, Middle East, and North Africa. Also, with the establishment of Dahdoo Productions, Inc., he has been able to present to the American Public concerts and recordings of the great artists these regions offer. He has also personally performed at many venues, from clubs to concerts and celebrations, since 1972.

Richard has produced an instructional CD on Middle Eastern and Greek rhythms, “Rhythms of the Middle East ”, accompanied by a workbook. Mr. Khuzami has also created a CD of Mid Eastern fusion, known as FUSED.

He was also advisor to Carnegie Hall for their presentation of Eleftheria Arvanitaki on Feb. 1, 2014.

His track, “A Train to Hios” was recently released by Rough Trade in the UK, and “Faruks Funk” was released in 2013 by Lionheart Records, and distributed by Sony Dubai on a compilation called “1001 Sheesha Nights”.

Mr. Khuzami has performed at the UN as part of the Jazz for Peace series.

In 2014, Richard Khuzami consulted with and assisted on the sold out production of Eleftheria Arvanitaki at Carnegie Hall.

In 2015, Richard Khuzami performed at Carnegie Hall with the Rock Opera Porphyra, and at Lincoln Center with the Metropolitan Greek Chorale.

WORK HISTORY

Mr. Khuzami spent many years in Traffic and Transportation, especially in the International Freight Forwarding Industry. His work took him all over the world for many years. He has traveled extensively in Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Russia, getting a firsthand exposure to various cultures. He has also performed worldwide as a musician specializing in the music of the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa. (This is what has drawn him to Astoria, where many of these same cultures exist within a few miles’ radius.) He is now semi-retired.


KEVIN HERNANDEZ

First Vice President

Kevin Hernandez, president of GIL homes is an award-winning local developer and is an active participant in various community organizations throughout Astoria.



Brett Harris

Second Vice President

Brett Harris is Managing Partner at AKI Development and is responsible for the daily operations and management of the firm, strategic direction, deal sourcing through execution, managing project teams, and marketing/sales. He has over a decade of experience in real estate development including land acquisition, finance, construction, development, project management, asset management and marketing/sales. Brett previously worked at Stone Street Properties, LeFrak Organization and Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.

In addition to studying commercial real estate acquisitions and due diligence at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Brett graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Management with a concentration in Law, and from New York University with a Masters in Real Estate Development, where he was a finalist in the 2011 NYU Entrepreneurship in Real Estate Development Competition. Brett was a recipient of Boston University School of Management’s “Most Likely to Succeed” Business Plan award and was a three-time recipient of the NYU Dean’s Graduate Fellowship for Academic Excellence.


Diane Kantzoglou

Diane Kantzoglou

Treasurer

Diane is a Greek Canadian living in New York in Old Astoria since 1994.

Diane has been an entrepreneur since she was 21, owning multiple businesses in Canada, Europe and New York. She has now settled into a permanent career in Real Estate of which she loves and devotes most of her time.

Diane has been an advocate for the evolution of Old Astoria, to bring it to a premier residential and a tourist destination of New York City. She is a mother of 3, married happily for 40 years.

ADVISORY BOARD


Aki Todic

Chairman, AKI GROUP

Aki is the Chairman of AKI GROUP, a multinational holding company that manages over a dozen affiliated real estate service companies. Business lines include Construction Management, Development, General Contracting, Interior Renovation, Exterior Restoration, Electric, Plumbing, HVAC, Building Management, Custom Cabinetry and Millwork, Large-Scale Cabinet Distribution, Flooring, Countertops and Fabrication, Large-Scale Granite Distribution, Painting, and Building Maintenance. This integrated business model enables superior cost savings, increased purchasing power, faster delivery times, hands-on control, and streamlined operations.

AKI Renovations, the in-house general contracting company responsible for gut-renovating existing assets, works on behalf of NYC’s most distinguished real estate companies including Kushner Companies, Stellar Management, Stone Street Properties, Moinian Group, Jack Parker Corporation, and Trump Organization among others.

Aki is the definition of an American success story, having immigrated to the United States as a young child to escape war-torn Yugoslavia. In a short period of time, he successfully created a vertically integrated real estate conglomerate that employs hundreds of highly skilled workers. Aki has lived in Astoria for his entire adult life and is involved with numerous charitable organizations.


John Hatfield

John Hatfield is the Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park. Previous to Socrates Sculpture Park, he worked for seventeen years in various capacities at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, four years as Deputy Director. In addition to his tenure at the New Museum, Hatfield served as Assistant Vice President for Memorial, Cultural and Civic Programs at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation managing the 9/11 memorial design competition, selection process and cultural site planning. He has served on many panels, juries, curated exhibitions and lectured on art in the public realm.


Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer

Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer is the Executive Director of the Queens Council on the Arts. As a lifelong Queens resident, she is a firm believer in the power of the arts to mobilize and transform community. She is the author and illustrator of Rabbit Mooncakes, a multicultural picture book for children published by Little, Brown & Company and writes about how to create a rich life at hoongyee.com.


Matthew Troy

Matthew Troy

Executive Director, Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens

Matthew joined Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens in October, 2015. He brings over a decade of nonprofit management experience with some of this city’s most dynamic institutions. He is passionate about education and has dedicated his career to supporting organizations that serve youth. Matthew began his career in and around City Hall as an advocate for nonprofit organizations. He is a lifelong New Yorker and current Astoria resident with family roots in the neighborhood that go back more than 40 years.