Joan Bartolomeo, Chairperson
Joan Bartolomeo joined the Community Development Department of Signature Bank in October of 2013, after serving for 29 years with Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), the last 23 years as its president.
At Signature Bank, she works to form strategic partnerships to meet the credit needs of individuals, businesses, municipalities and community-based organizations. In this capacity, she serves as the community’s link to the expertise and financial products that the Bank offers. The Community Development Department is also committed to becoming a part of the community on behalf of the Bank through involvement in community activities and by serving on the boards of community-based organizations. Through their active participation at the local level, Signature Bank has developed a first-hand understanding of the banking needs facing our neighbors and communities.
Joan Bartolomeo joined the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) in 1984, matching her personal and professional interest in community and economic empowerment with an organization equally dedicated to working in that arena. BEDC is dedicated to business development and job creation and retention in Brooklyn, with services in the areas of small business lending, commercial and retail development, entrepreneurship, commercial revitalization and numerous other activities.
Ms. Bartolomeo is also involved with a number of not-for-profit organizations in Brooklyn, and is a founding board member of New Partners for Community Revitalization, which arose from the Pocantico Roundtable on Brownfields, in which she participated. She also serves on the Brooklyn Public Library Success Council, on the board of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation, and on several boards relating to SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s biotechnology initiatives. Ms. Bartolomeo is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn. She obtained her B.S. in Biology and her M.A. in Urban Studies from Long Island University, where she received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001.
Dr. Stuart Suss, President
Dr. Suss is a graduate of City College and received a doctorate in History from New York University. He has been a member of the Department of History at Kingsborough Community College since 1970. He has served as the Director of Evening Studies and Director of Collaborative Programs where he helped start the first College Now Program at the University. In 1997, he was named Associate Dean of Academic Programs. He was named Dean of Academic Programs and Provost in 1999. Currently, he is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, where he is responsible for all academic activities at the college.
Suzanne M. Murphy, Vice President
Suzanne M. Murphy became Vice President for Development and External Affairs at Teachers College in February 2008. Prior to working at Teachers College, Ms. Murphy served as Vice President of College Resources at Sarah Lawrence College, and as Vice President of External Affairs and Enrollment Services at Marymount Manhattan College. She also taught intensive summer courses in reading and writing to students in Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP); created a similar program for economically disadvantaged children who did not meet HEOP poverty requirements; and coordinated Marymount’s program in alcoholism and counseling. Ms. Murphy holds a B.A. degree from Marymount Manhattan College and both Ed.M. and M.A. degrees from Teachers College.
William Correnti, Secretary/Treasurer
Mr. Correnti currently holds the position of Executive Director of Finance for Kingsborough Community College. In his capacity as a Board Member for the Kingsborough Community College Foundation, he serves as the Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. Correnti received his B.S. from St. John’s University and his A.A.S. in Accounting from Kingsborough Community College.
Dr. Elizabeth Basile, Executive Director
Dr. Basile is the current Assistant Vice President of the Office for College Advancement at Kingsborough Community College and also serves as the Executive Director of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation. During her 24-year tenure at Kingsborough, she has held a number of positions including: Counseling Coordinator for the COPE Program; Director of the Liberty Partnerships Program; Assistant Director of the Admissions Information Center; and Director of Career Development including Transfer, New Start and Scholarship Opportunities programs. Dr. Basile is a Member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Council for Resource Development, and Women in Development. She received her Doctoral Degree in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, her M.S in Education from Saint John’s University, a second M.S. in Education from the College of Staten Island, her B.A. from the College of Staten Island and her A.A from Staten Island Community College.
Michael Correra, Trustee
For the past 15 years, Michael Correra has been the owner of Michael Towne Wine Liquors located in Brooklyn Heights. He received an M.B.A. in Business from Wagner College and is also an alumnus of Kingsborough Community College. For the last two years, Mr. Correra has also been the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Package Association, a 400-store trade conglomerate and advocacy group representing wine and liquor retailers in eight New York State counties. The association has existed for 76 years and remains the largest throughout the state.
James A. Cross, Trustee
Jim has been an active member of the energy industry for over 20 years and has held diverse positions at National Grid and its legacy companies (starting with Brooklyn Union as a management trainee) in the fields of engineering, marketing, finance, risk management, business development, and energy supply. His professional expertise includes the Northeast energy markets and associated deal structuring, asset optimization, risk management, and forecasting.
In his current role as Vice President in the Customer Organization at National Grid, Jim leads an organization of over 70 business professionals responsible for conducting market research; managing customer-related data and systems; performing advanced analytics, modeling, and forecasting; developing metrics and reporting performance; and administrating all utility retail access programs whereby customers purchase their electric and/or gas commodity from non-utility suppliers.
He graduated with a Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering in 1991 from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University in 1998. Jim has served on the Edison Electric Institute’s Economic Policy Advisory Group and on the National Energy Marketers Association’s Executive Committee. His personal interests include exercise, medieval weapons, mythology, physical sciences, game theory (and associated games of strategy and skill) and ancient history. Jim also enjoys home repair projects and cooking. Jim was raised in Brooklyn’s Marine Park neighborhood where he still resides.
Michael Farmer, Trustee
Michael Farmer is Chairman of Farmer & Company, a strategy consulting firm for advertising agencies and their clients. Farmer & Company seeks to bring improved management disciplines and metrics to advertising agencies to deal with the dramatic strategic changes in their industry – particularly the introduction of new media and the 20-year history of declining fees, driven by client procurement departments.
Previously, Mr. Farmer was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group and subsequently a Director of Bain & Company. He was with Bain & Company in Boston and Europe, and he headed (in turn) the Munich, Paris and London offices during Bain’s period of European expansion.
Michael Farmer has served as Associate Dean for Policy and Resources at the Harvard School of Public Health. He spent 5 years in the U.S. Navy as a Weapons Officer on destroyers and as Professor of Naval Science, Iowa State University.
He has lived and worked in the USA, Brazil, Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, France and the UK.
Michael Farmer was an honors graduate of Princeton University and of Harvard Business School, where he graduated with highest honors as a Baker Scholar.
John Manbeck, Trustee
John Manbeck, professor emeritus, taught English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College for 32 years and founded the Kingsborough Historical Society in 1972. Prior to that, he taught English philology for two years at Helsinki University (Finland) on a Fulbright teaching grant. He served as Brooklyn Borough Historian from 1993-2002, appointed by Borough President Howard Golden, as chairman of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee to the Municipal Archives from 1997-2002, and on the board of the New York State Local History Advisory Council, 2002-2005. He has held several other city and state appointed positions and still serves on advisory and foundation boards including the board of Friends of Thirteen (PBS). He has written/edited nine books about Brooklyn, wrote a weekly column for The Brooklyn Daily Eagle for eight years and has appeared on television, radio and podcast documentaries about Brooklyn on PBS, A&E, Discovery and History channels. For over 20 years, he has given talks on Brooklyn for The New York Council for the Humanities. He is past president of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation board. His website is , registered with The Authors’ Guild.
M. Michel Orban, Trustee
Ms. Orban is an independent business and communications consultant. Until recently, she was a partner of RRE Ventures, an information technology venture capital firm. She was a senior advisor to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and held executive positions at American Express Company. Ms. Orban’s career began in Washington, D.C. as a legislative assistant to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who served on the Ways and Means Committee, and as an assistant to the first Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States. She is a member of the Economics Club of New York and the Women’s Forum. She served as the Acting Executive Director of the Council of Chief Executives. She continues to advise the Counsel on a wide range of issues. Ms. Orban was member of the Board of Overseers of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center and the New York Coro Leadership Center.
James Slattery, Trustee
Mr. Slattery currently serves as the President of the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, representing the poor in Brooklyn in a pro bono capacity. Until his retirement in March 2011, he was a Senior Partner at Cullen and Dykman, LLP, located in downtown Brooklyn, and had been with the law firm since 1969. With 35 years of experience in the higher education field, Mr. Slattery headed Cullen and Dykman’s higher education and non-for-profit practice group. While he was with the law firm, he was a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and previously served on the Editorial Board of NACUA’s official publication, The Journal of College and University Law.
Kelly Sullivan, Trustee
Ms. Sullivan is the Senior Managing Director for Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, a communications firm based in New York City. She works closely with SIRUS XM Satellite Radio and assisted with their 18-month merger review. Ms. Sullivan’s clients include MGM Mirage, TIAA-CREF, CenturyLink, FedEx, Bertelsmann, EDF and North General Hospital in Harlem. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in American Government.