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Advisory Board

The BCCC Advisory Board guides the BCCC staff in designing and implementing all features of programming, from menu development to training. Composed of residents of the Brownsville neighborhood, Advisory Board members have been advising and assisting the MPF US and BCCC staff through each phase of development. The Advisory Board meets formally on a quarterly basis.

 
Brenda Duchene
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Executive Director/Founder of Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation for the past 7 year.
We provide services in the community, free computer training, Cultural Art workshops, Gardening workshops, Healthy meal workshops, Home economics workshop and mentoring young adults.
I’m committed, driven, and high-energetic personality with the ability to work with sensitive and confidential information. I am a people person and a team player, having a strong work ethic, with a propensity to take initiative with attention to details.

As an event planner I worked for the Muller Event Planning Company. I was responsible for planning various social events. I assisted the clients by offering creative ideas for their events, finding appropriate venues, and contracting various venders as requested by the client.

Working in the New York State Assembly Office as District Office Assistant, I supervised staff on daily operational support activities, and Coordinated day to day administrative functions. Having knowledge of the different State and City agencies and services, I identified community issues and provided referral services. Conducted Community Outreach, provided administrative support for various functions, managed general office duties, prepared information for Monthly Advisory Board Meetings.

Working as an Administrative Assistant at the Chase Manhattan Bank, I supervised five other assistants, managed projects, prepared expensive reports, tracked reimbursements, functioned as a gatekeeper and informational resource and acted as liaison for internal and external shareholders on activities for the office.

Education:
Albert Merrill School for Programming
LaGuardia Community College
Medgar Evers College
NYU College
 
Daniel Goodine
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A Brownsville resident for close to three decades, Daniel is a fixture of the Brownsville community. Having spent most of his career working for the Department of Education, Daniel has also served in a mentorship capacity for countless Brownsville youth, working to help them achieve stability in trying situations. Daniel is also the founder and Executive Director of Men Elevating Leadership(M.E.L.), an organization dedicated to providing mentorship and resources to at-risk young men in the Brownsville and Central-Brooklyn area. Additionally, Daniel serves as the Board Chairman for Community Board 16's Parks and Recreation committee. Daniel has been advising the Melting Pot Foundation and the BCCC for over a year, and continues to offer crucial insights as the BCCC works to achieve its goals.
 
Erica Mateo
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Erica was born and raised in Brownsville. As an organizing and social service field professional, Erica Mateo began her career in administrative and research support creating efficiency-boosting systems and identifying innovative approaches to pressing community needs. After sharpening her project planning skills, Erica began developing educational community-based projects and curriculum for court-involved youth. Currently, as Director of Community-Based Initiatives at the Brownsville Community Justice Center, Erica leads a staff in developing community-centric place-based projects that focus on the development, beautification, facade improvement, and maintenance of Brownsville, Brooklyn's business and residential districts. Staying true to her passion, Erica employs youth and community in all of her strategic planning. Erica has been advising the Melting Pot for over 2 years and continues to be a strong advocate for community needs in this capacity.
 
Johnnymae Robinson
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A long-time Brownsville resident, Johnnymae is the Program Director of "What About the Children," a faith and community-based organization committed to fighting the declining conditions surrounding inner-city youth. Through programming combating teen pregnancy, school non-attendance, and gang involvement, Johnnymae and What about the children help local youth reach their full potential. Programs include college tours, career fairs, and job-readiness workshops. Johnnymae is a crucial member of the BCCC advisory board and is diligent and committed in steering the BCCC in the right direction.
 
Albert Kakudji
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Albert Kakudji is the Chief Operating Officer of Made in Brownsville and Founder of Kakudji Fine Arts. He is recognized as a leader for his 15 year devotion to philanthropic pursuits, with organizations focused on changing the lives of underserved youth populations. He has sat on committees for Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, Children's Storefront, African Leadership Academy and the Starlight Foundation. He is dedicated to empowering underprivileged inner city youth and under-funded emerging artists that are in need of essential resources to become successful.

To have a greater impact, he launched a fine arts services company, as a vehicle to marry his many years in financial services with his patronage of the arts. His goal is to enhance the cultural competency of business professionals while providing emerging fine artists with global exposure to emerging, private and institutional art collectors, at an early stage. The inaugural event took place in Fall 2016 in collaboration with one of the world's leading investment banks.

As a long-time, enthusiast of ambitious visual projects and New York City's creative community, Mr. Kakudji maintains strong ties with seasoned art enthusiasts based in Paris, Belgium, South Africa and New York -- a paramount asset in his ability to forecast and showcase not only what's now, but what's next.

In his profession, Mr. Kakudji is an accomplished professional having worked for the likes of Merrill Lynch, Lazard, American Express and Legg Mason, as well as a few venture backed and early-stage startups.

Most importantly, Mr. Kakudji brings with him a fresh perspective, reflective of the diversity of his upbringing. Raised in Brooklyn, he is of Congolese descent and is the youngest of five siblings who have established themselves in different parts of the world. Currently, Mr. Kakudji lives in New York City with his daughter and enjoys winter sports, African dance and passive securities trading.
 
Pastor Nelvern R. Samuel
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Pastor Nelvern R. Samuel, is a bridge builder and cutting edge 21st century leader. He has a call to lead leaders, both in the ministry and the marketplace. He pastors Love City Church, Inc; a replant of his father’s church in Brooklyn, NY with his secret weapon. His wife, Renée Samuel.
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