Board of Trustees

Martin Vergara, Chair

Managing Director, COO of Corporate Services & Global In-House Centers, Morgan Stanley. He has remained involved Paterson, where his grandparents had settled after leaving Puerto Rico and where his parents now live. Drafted by the Cleveland Indians out of high school, he chose to go to college instead. Martin received his B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and MBA from Columbia University.

Arlene Petronzi Sarappo, Vice Chair

Trustee, Ridgewood Public Library/ Pease Memorial Library. Arlene has worked as an educator and education consultant. She is a graduate of Eastside High School.

Nancy Lieblich Garson, Treasurer

Co-Principal, Lovable Products International. Nancy has worked in national and New Jersey politics, international business and finance, and historic preservation. She grew up in Paterson and now lives in Washington, D.C. Her family, long active in Paterson business, civic, and philanthropic affairs, owned the Rosen Silk Mill across Market Street from the Paterson Museum.

Jeff Abrams, Secretary

Managing Member of Pike Construction, LLC, a general contracting and real estate development company based in Paterson. He and his company have completed a number of adaptive reuse projects within the Great Falls Historic district.

Suresh Sani

President, First Pioneer Properties, a real estate company with properties in the New York metropolitan area and elsewhere in the country. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU Law School, he served as a trustee of NYU and is a member of the board of directors of Valley National Bank.

Mohamed el-Filali

Executive Director, New Jersey Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ).

John Lawrence

Visiting Professor, University of California Washington DC Center. A native of Paterson and a graduate of Eastside High, John retired as chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi following an outstanding career on Capitol Hill that began after he received a PhD in American history from University of California, Berkeley. House Speaker John Boehner presented John with the McCormack Award for distinguished service and bipartisanship as a staff member for the House of Representatives.

Professor Jerold S. Kayden

Professor of Urban Planning and Urban Design, Harvard University. Professor Kayden is co-author of Landmark Justice, an analysis of the historic preservation and land-use opinions of U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., who began his judicial career as a New Jersey Superior Court judge in Paterson.

Nancy Kontos

CFO of Kontos Foods, Inc. located in the Bunker Hill area of Paterson, a manufacturer of Mediterranean flatbreads with multinational distribution. Advocate and community supporter for Paterson.

B. Danforth Ely, Emeritus

President, The 1772 Foundation. The foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic buildings to future generation. Dan is a retired, long-time Citibank executive, and a descendant of three Paterson industrialists: John Ryle, William Strange, and Charles Danforth. He is a lifelong New Jersey resident.

Lawrence F. Kramer, Emeritus

Executive Vice President, V. Paulius & Associates. Former mayor who, along with his late wife Mary Ellen, began efforts to preserve the Great Falls Historic District. Former N.J. Commissioner of Community Affairs. He is a lifelong resident of Paterson. (deceased)

Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Emeritus

President Emerith American Academy in Rome. A resident of New York City, she studied Paterson while a student in the historic preservation program at Columbia University where she worked with local civic leaders in early planning for what would become the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Landmark District.

Leonard A. Zax, Founder/President Emeritus

Leonard is a lawyer and a city planner with more than thirty years of experience in community development and historic preservation projects throughout the United States. A former partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins, he has taught a course on Historic Preservation and Urban Revitalization at Harvard University. He is a graduate of Eastside High School, the University of Chicago, the city planning program at Harvard Design School, and Harvard Law School. William Paterson University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his work leading the effort to create the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.