2017 RIOC Board Candidates

April 9, 2017

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) is hosting an election to nominate residents for the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC). 


RIOC is tasked with the planning, design, development, operation, maintenance, and management of Roosevelt Island. Board members are involved in the corporation’s decision-making and must attend committee meetings and board meetings. No director may receive any salary or other compensation for his or her services. Directors are also responsible for hiring and firing the RIOC President and other RIOC staff.  


The election will be held on April 17 and April 18.  There will be a Candidates’ night on Wednesday, April 12. For more information go to riraonline.com/roc-election.


The following statements were submitted by the candidates and were not edited by The WIRE


Marc Jonas Block



Marc Block has lived on Roosevelt Island since 2005, with his wife, Fang Block, and two daughters, Hannah and Jacqueline. Marc is an active member of the Roosevelt Island Community, regularly coaching both soccer and baseball, and has served on the board of directors of several non-profits.  


Marc is a litigation partner at the law firm of Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park & Kelly LLP, where he represents clients in complex commercial, intellectual property, securities and real estate litigation domestically and abroad. He also serves as a Neutral with the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization.


Marc is a former professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Foundation Center for Continuing Education, guest lecturer on legal and business issues facing fashion designers at Parsons New School of Design, and recent past President of the International Intellectual Property Society.  He authored the following articles: (1) The Benefits of Alternate Dispute Resolution for International Commercial and Intellectual Property Matters, 44 Rutgers L. Rec. 1 (2016) (Publication Pending), (also to be available at http://www.lawrecord.com (all rights reserved)); (2) Nissan Motor Co. v. Nissan Computer Corp.: Ninth Circuit Construes the Federal Trademark Dilution Act, 13 N.Y. St. B.A. Bright Ideas 3 (Winter, 2004); and (3) When are Ideas Protecible?, 18 N.Y. St. B.A. Bright Ideas I (Spring, 2009). 


Brian Bower 


Hello, my name is Brian Bower. I’m a native New Yorker and a resident of Roosevelt Island since 2010. I have worked in data analysis and risk evaluation at Thomson Reuters for the last 2 years. I got married in 2016 and I am an enthusiastic cook for my wife; you will see me every Saturday frequenting our Farmer’s Market to pick up fresh produce for the upcoming week.


Having lived on the Island for the last 7 years, I have become increasingly concerned with the maintenance of the Island’s public spaces, facilities, and the allocation of our resources. I believe that the Island’s resources should be maintained for our community at a higher standard, and that our Public Safety department needs to be sufficiently funded and staffed, especially given the upcoming opening of Cornell’s facilities. It is also essential that we fill the empty storefronts which litter Main Street.


If appointed to the board, I will work to ensure the Island Residents’ interests are represented in the financial decisions of RIOC.


Thank You, and I hope to be able to represent our community. 


Eduardo Jany 



I am so proud to take part in this important opportunity to represent my fellow residents on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board.  My wife and I fell in love with the Island community and have made our home here.  We live here, shop here, park our car here, educate our son here (Roosevelt Island Day Nursery), and make ample use of the Island’s resources.  We certainly enjoy the convenience, the diversity, and the charm that is Roosevelt Island. Yet we firmly believe that we need a stronger voice in Albany.  I am fervently passionate about education and public safety as well as ensuring that our community retains its appeal to tourists, visitors, and now our Cornell Tech neighbors while addressing commercial growth and quality of life in a proactive way.   


It is no secret that New York taxes are among the highest in the nation and the Island affords us great services but there are many improvements needed, particularly with the anticipated population increase.  The use of impact funding and allocation of resources should involve voices from those who are most affected; Island residents.  Serving commercial or political interests should not mean neglecting our at-risk populations and we should not stand idly by while increased demands on parking, sanitation and maintenance, public safety and security, recreation programs and spaces go unaddressed.  


As a Marine and a Special Operations Officer I understand the intrinsic value that such a position holds.  The responsibility to represent the community without regard to labels, party affiliation or special interests is paramount to our success.  I believe in proactive and collaborative leadership and in expressing the voice of our community with honesty and integrity no matter how unpopular the message may be.  


I am at your service and hope that you will see fit to consider me for the RIOC Board. www.eduardojany.com


Michael Shinozaki 


 Michael Shinozaki was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation from 2004 to 2009 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki. He was re-appointed to the Board by Governor Patterson in January of 2010. 


He holds dual Bachelor’s Degrees in history and international relations, an honors BA/MA in economics/applied mathematics and a Master’s degree in financial economics from the City University of New York. He is a Senior Architect in the financial services and government sectors for the Microsoft Corporation. 


His primary areas of specialization are data network communications, security, and data center design and operations. Prior to joining Microsoft he worked for Price Waterhouse, Citigroup, and JPMorgan. 


He has lived in New York City since 1986 and on Roosevelt Island since 1991. He is married to Lynne Strong-Shinozaki and has 3 children.


He is an Eagle Scout, a Civil Air Patrol Spaatz Award recipient, and was cited by the American Legion and National Sojourners Society for leadership and military excellence. During the summer of 2010 he had the honor of serving with the US military as a civilian supporting operations in Kabul, Afghanistan.


Lydia Tang



Being part of the solution and not part of the problem – that’s why I’m running for the RIOC Board of Directors.  


My training and education is in Operations Research, with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.  The goal of Operations Research is to apply mathematical efficiency to organizations and processes.  Early in my career, I worked in multinational financial organizations:  Citibank, HSBC/Marine Midland Bank and Swiss Bank Corporation.  I had increasing project management responsibilities interfacing with all levels of multinational business, trading floor, IT and operations management.  


For the past 19 years I’ve been a college math professor, working at the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and I am currently developing a pilot program for developmental math students at City University of New York.  


I’ve been an active member of the Roosevelt Island community: Treasurer of the Island House Tenants Association, President and Treasurer of the PS/IS 217 PTA, and Treasurer of the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance (MSTDA).   My activities at Hope Church are an important part of my life.  I’m deeply committed to the objectives of the church.  I’ve raised three children who have all attended PS/IS 217, two of them are now in college and my youngest attends Eleanor Roosevelt High School.


I urge all of you to vote in this important election.  Participate by using your voice to select your community leaders. Then consider how else you can be part of the solution and not part of the problem.


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