Richard Khuzami

Richard Khuzami



Mr. Khuzami has been a member of Community Board 1 in Astoria, NY for the last 20 years. He sits on the Zoning and parks Committees and is on the Executive Board. Previously, he served as Parks and Culture chair of Community Board 1 for eleven years and also chaired Capital and Expense priority Committee. 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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Aki Todic

Aki Todic, Chairman of 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, Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park

Previous to Socrates Sculpture Park, John Hatfield 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, Executive Director of the Queens Council on the Arts

As a lifelong Queens resident, Hoong Yee Lee 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

Frank Arcabascio

Frank Arcabascio

Frank Arcabascio, Director of 30th ave Business Association

Owner of Redken Saloon Salon on 30th ave .. we’ve served and supported the Astoria community, since 1981.

Brett Littman

Brett Littman

Brett Littman, Director of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum

Brett Littman has been the Director of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in Long Island City, New York since May 2018. He was Executive Director of The Drawing Center from 2007–2018; Deputy Director of MoMA PS1 from 2003–2007; Co-Director of Dieu Donné Papermill from 2001–2003 and Associate Director of Urban Glass from 1996–2001.

Littman’s interests are multi-disciplinary: he has overseen more than seventy-five exhibitions and personally curated more than 20 exhibitions over the last decade, dealing with visual art, outsider art, craft, design, architecture, poetry, music, science, and literature. He is also an art critic and lecturer and an active essayist for museum and gallery catalogues, in addition to writing articles for a wide range of U.S. and international art, fashion, and design magazines.

A native New Yorker, Brett Littman received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.

Katerina Duarte

Katerina I. Duarte

Katerina I. Duarte, ESQ

Katerina I. Duarte (formerly Mantzouranis) is the principal attorney and founder of the Law Office of Katerina I. Duarte. Her practice is focused in the areas of intellectual property, corporate law, business law and litigation. Over the past 12 years she has represented artists, filmmakers, musicians, galleries, retailers, photographers, designers, social media influencers, performers and other small to mid size start ups and businesses. Having been raised in New York City by an artist and designer, Katerina is passionate about supporting and counseling those in the arts and creative industries.

Prior to becoming an attorney, she gained more than ten years of work experience in the intense and competitive worlds of fashion and hospitality in New York and Miami. She is the mother of two and currently the Co-Pto President of her children’s school, Growing Up Green Charter School. She is a member of Queens Community Board 1 where she sits on the Community and Economic Development and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Committees. She is a former member of the Associate Board of Volunteer Lawyers of the Arts (also a featured lecturer and volunteer attorney) and the Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association. In her free time she enjoys cooking, dining, traveling and visiting museums, galleries and other cultural institutions.

Jaime-Faye Bean

Jaime-Faye Bean

Jaime-Faye Bean, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines

Jaime-Faye Bean is the Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines, the Business Improvement District for
Sunnyside. Sunnyside Shines represents the interests of over 300 businesses and property owners
within an area covering 36 block faces along Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue; the majority of
businesses within the BID are immigrant-owned small businesses.

Ms. Bean serves on the Board of Directors for Thalia Spanish Theatre, the LOVE, HALLIE Foundation, and the St. Pats for All Committee, and is a member of the Museum of the Moving Image’s Neighborhood Council. She is also on the Board of Directors of the New York City BID Association, where she serves as Secretary.

A Vermont native, Ms. Bean is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has lived and worked in Europe and
the Middle East.

Johannes Schmidt

Johannes Schmidt, President and Founder of Alphaporting

Johannes Schmidt is the President of Alphaporting, a consulting agency specialized in Marketing, Risk, and Business Advisory to SMEs as well as PropTech and Fintech startup companies.

He’s a former Deutsche Bank VP with over 15 years of experience in real estate, financial operations, riskmanagement, portfolio operations, project management and regulatory relations.