The DUMBO Action Committee (DAC) got its start in November 2016 as a Facebook group where DUMBO residents could share information about local issues. Since then, we have hosted several standing-room only community meetings; successfully advocated for traffic and safety improvements and a moratorium on film shoots; increased funding for our local schools; and improved communications with local developers.
And we're just getting started!
We look forward to working collaboratively with our neighbors, local businesses, government officials, and other community organizations to continue to affect positive change in DUMBO.
Mallory and Melissa met the New York way -- on the subway taking their children to preschool. During those rides, they discussed their concerns about their neighborhood, the country and the world. A year or so later, in November 2016, Melissa started a Facebook group for DUMBO residents and soon thereafter Mallory organized a standing-room only "Community Meeting" for the neighborhood. In August 2018, they sat around Mallory's kitchen table and the DUMBO Action Committee, as we now know it, was born.
Mallory Kasdan is a writer, voice actor and podcast host. She’s the author of ELLA, a book for kids, essays about parenting and culture, and records the MILK Podcast: Moms I’d Like to Know from her home studio in DUMBO.
Mallory is married to Evan Benjamin, and their kids are Zoe and Miles. Mallory loves DUMBO, though it can drive her crazy.
Melissa is an attorney at an academic research organization. Previously, she was a lawyer at the Clinton Foundation and a litigator at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Melissa got her start working in the West Wing of the Clinton White House from 1997 through 2000 as a Special Assistant to the Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President. She was part of the team that defended President Clinton during Impeachment and the subsequent Senate trial.
Melissa lives in DUMBO with her husband, J. Dana Hughes, and her children, Nora and Finn.
Callie is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of TACK Ventures, an early stage venture fund focused on consumer facing companies in the sports, media, and lifestyle industries.
Callie lives in DUMBO with her husband, Tim, and their children.
ELIZABETH (BETSY) JOHNSON
Elizabeth (Betsy) Lind Johnson is a fifth generation New Yorker who grew up in Manhattan in the 1980s and ‘90s.
Betsy has been a residential real estate agent since 2011. She is currently an agent with Compass, which she joined in 2017, after six years at Brown Harris Stevens. Prior to her career in real estate, Betsy spent a decade working in the art world at several Manhattan fine art galleries, as well as in fundraising and event planning for non-profit arts organizations.
Betsy has been a resident of DUMBO since 2009, where she lives with her husband Jason and son Nicholas.
Sonali Mody is an entrepreneur, asset manager and investor in the real estate and hospitality industries. She is a principal in two closely-held companies, that acquire and reposition distressed hotel properties in multiple states, as well as an owner of residential properties in the New York City metropolitan area.
Over the past seven years, Sonali has overseen the complete renovation and management of two distressed hotel properties, each with more than 100 rooms. Her role has been comprehensive, touching on all aspects of substantial capital improvement programs, day-to-day management of the hotels, marketing efforts and launching a banquet business. Sonali is also actively involved in various charities, including Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment.
Sonali lives with her husband and two children in DUMBO.
With a background in marketing and general management, Suzanne is currently EVP Digital for the US division of Bauer Media.
Suzanne's belief in the power of positive activism was rekindled as the founder of Love Our Pool: Families United for a Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park. She has a seat on Community Board 2 and actively serves on its Parks Committee.
Suzanne, and her twins, Sabrina and Leo, took this photo as a joke gift for her husband Joe, who finds Washington Street photo ops maddening.
Geoffrey is an Architect and Senior Associate at the design firm, Gensler, where he focuses on corporate workplace projects for the Consumer Goods industry.
Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Geoffrey holds an BA from Washington University in Saint Louis and Masters in Architecture from the University of Michigan.
You may see Geoffrey in DUMBO with his partner, Dan Meek, and their French Bulldog, Charlie.
Jamel is an assistant vice president of strategy & change at a global investment bank. Additionally, he volunteers as a mentor to students of the Brooklyn International High School and as a classroom instructor at the High School of Economics & Finance in lower Manhattan.
Jamel has lived in DUMBO since 2011 and currently resides in 70 Washington with his wife and daughter.
Matt Warren is a Managing Director in the Equity Capital Markets group at BofA Merrill Lynch and head of the Real Estate, Gaming and Lodging sector.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Matt moved to New York City after receiving a B.A., magna cum laude, from Colgate University.
Matt moved to Brooklyn Heights in 2013 and currently resides in DUMBO with his wife, Collette, and their children, Grant and Pierce.