Advisory Board Members

Grants Committee Members where indicated

Monica Byrne
Monica Byrne is a long time Red Hook resident, and Chef / Partner of Home/Made Wine Bar and Roquette Catering & Special Events, both based in Red Hook. Monica often combines her passion for civic involvement and artisanal special events by producing fundraisers for many of the non profit organizations she supports, including The Anti Violence Project, Falconworks Artists Group, Red Hook Initiative, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, and Cora Dance. Monica is devoted to finding these Red Hook nonprofits and businesses the resources they need to reopen and rebuild.

Caitlin Cassaro - Grants Committee Member
Caitlin Mia Cassaro, a Red Hook resident, is an independent business manager and bookkeeper.  She works with a variety of small businesses from not-for-profits and media corporations to entrepreneurial start-ups.  She is excited to bring her funds management skills to ReStore Red Hook in an effort to quickly assist the many small businesses that support Red Hook everyday.  

Julia Davis - Grants Committee Member
Julia Rhodes Davis is an innovative entrepreneur and social change strategist. Her roots are in social justice and community organizing, resource development and production. Julia has cultivated best practices for the strategy, development and implementation of projects ranging from crowd-sourced movement building initiatives to fundraising events that capture hearts and minds, successfully raise financial resources, and attract and retain new donor-allies. Julia provides guidance to ReStore Red Hook on matters of organizational development, fundraising, and community leadership. She lives and works in Brooklyn and loves Red Hook.

Kate Dixon  - Grants Committee Member
Katie Dixon has been a Red Hook resident since 2006. She is currently the Director of Special Projects at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). From 2007-2010, Katie was the Director of Planning and Development at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and then until 2011, the Chief of Staff at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. In all of her roles, Katie has worked at the intersection of the arts, real estate development and not-for-profit management.

St. John Frizzell
St. John Frizell is an award-winning writer, bartender, long-time Red Hook resident and owner of Fort Defiance, a critically-acclaimed restaurant in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which opened in June 2009. His writing on food, travel, and cocktails has appeared in many publications, including Bon Appétit, Saveur,,, Oxford American, Edible Brooklyn, and Edible Manhattan.

Rob Hansen  - Grants Committee Member
Rob Hansen is President of RH Development, a fundraising consulting firm that specializes in campaign-based fundraising.  He has over 12 years of fund development experience working for large-scale organizations like the Robin Hood Foundation and smaller organizations with a range of missions - local and international. At the Robin Hood Foundation, he most recently worked on the corporate team, co-managing broad portfolio of corporations and foundations.  Rob has an MBA from HEC Montréal and a BA in English Literature from McGill University.

Matt Lewis
Matt left his big, corporate advertising job to focus on following his sweet pursuits and obsessing over the history of American baked goods. With Renato Poliafito he co-owns Baked in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Baked is a nationally recognized bakery with a neighborhood feel. Matt has appeared on the Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Food Network, NPR, and Cooking Channel. He co-authored three top-selling cookbooks, and he currently spends his days indulging in Baked’s wide variety of baked goods, spreading the Baked gospel to the masses, and talking up the many virtues of Red Hook.

Tina Luongo - Grants Committee Member
Tina Luongo is a Red Hook resident since 2004.  From 2005-2010 she partnered in a few small businesses including Red Hook Pet Provisions, tini and the Red Hook Mercado. In addition to owning businesses, she has provided management and fundraising advice to nonprofit advisory boards including Cora.  Tina is the Deputy Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice at Legal Aid Society.

Gita Nandan - Grants Committee Member
Gita Nandan is an innovative architect and co-founder of thread collective, an award winning architecture studio in Brooklyn. She is former board president of GreenHome NYC and furthers her belief in sustainable design as an architectural educator, teaching with Pratt Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, and Learning by Design. Gita is also deeply rooted in the Red Hook community through her involvement with Added Value Farm and lives there with her partner Jens Veneman.

Rovika Rajkishun - Grants Committee Member
Rovika Rajkishun owns and operates Ruby Slippers Fundraising,  a consulting business that provides fundraising services including strategy, events planning, grant writing and individual donor stewardship to a variety of clients. Clients include the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, The HOPE Program, Service Women’s Action Network, The Financial Clinic, Opportunities for A Better Tomorrow, Family Focus Adoption Services, Streetwise Partners, CONNECT, Brooklyn Family Defense Project and the Wendy Hilliard Foundation.