The Friends of River Hook Board

Daphna Blatt
Daphna is committed to fostering civic assets - like River Hook - that provide natural and cultural abundance for all community members to share. In her current role as Senior Director of Strategy & Public Impact for The New York Public Library, she drives institutional strategy to articulate, deepen, and expand the Library’s value to its patrons and communities. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, her professional experience includes strategy consulting for Fortune 500 companies; helping transform a technology startup into an analytics market leader; and building The New York Public Library’s data analytics practice, synthesizing quantitative and qualitative data into coherent narratives about usage dynamics, community needs, and opportunities for growth. A longtime Rockland County resident, Daphna is honored and excited to be a part of bringing River Hook to its full potential.
Alison Crowther
Alison has been a resident of Upper Nyack for nearly 40 years, raising her family and cherishing the very special qualities of this unique community. With a lifelong passion for music, the arts and the environment, Alison embraces the vision and importance of River Hook with a forward looking perspective and deep respect for the healing serenity of this preserve. As a realtor, having served on the boards of two not-for-profit dance organizations and as Trustee of the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust, Alison has broad experience that she brings to Friends of River Hook as the space and programs are developed.
John M. Colgan
John, a retired Architect, was born and raised in Nyack and is the son of an Architect - also born and raised in the Village. He attended local schools and earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia School of Architecture. In 1964, he joined Schofield Colgan Architects and spent fifty years in practice with a long time partnership with Colgan Perry Lawler Aurell Architects. John designed many projects covering a wide variety of building types and architectural services, including; corporate headquarters, college and university work made up of libraries, athletic facilities, water treatment plants, residences and master planning. John is a member, American Institute of Architects. John was a past board member of Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, a part of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. John was a past Chairman of the Architectural Review Board and Vice Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Village of Upper Nyack. 
Paul Curley, President
Paul is an attorney and active member of the community, with a passion for nature and gardening. In March 2020, he co-founded Friends of River Hook. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the Nyack Chamber of Commerce from 2011-2018, where he was project manager for the annual “Holiday Lights” event for several years. He also served on the Village of Nyack’s Architectural Review Board and Zoning Board of Appeals from 2011-2018, and on several Village committees (Comprehensive Master Plan, Skate Park, Waterfront). And, he has volunteered with the Nyack Parks Conservancy, including the Music in the Park program. Paul graduated from Binghamton University (1991) and Columbia Law School (1994), and has been a lawyer for The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG) in NYC for over 20 years. Paul resides in Upper Nyack with his family, two cats and a small flock of backyard chickens.
Laurie Dodge
Laurie is intrigued by the intersections of intentionality and serendipity, humility and hubris. A trusted advisor to boards and executive teams, Laurie has a 25-plus year proven track record transforming global organizations into high-value, high-impact brands. Her expertise spanning brand strategy, marketing, communications, fund development and philanthropy gives her a distinctly holistic perspective on delivering results that matter for stakeholders, shareholders, humanity and the world. She currently serves on the Upper Nyack Board of Trustees and is a founding board member of Friends of River Hook. She’s also a member of the Mom Congress Steering Committee (2018-present) and 2020 Mom’s Maternal Mental Health Innovation Award Judging Panel (2016-present). From 2014-2016, she was on the Nyack Park Conservancy board of directors.
Karen Tarapata
Karen began her public service in environmental issues over 20 years ago, serving on the Clarkstown Open Space Committee and developing a matrix for evaluating the 70+ parcels being proposed for purchase. She was first elected as a Trustee in the Village of Upper Nyack in 2002. As Mayor of Upper Nyack, Karen shepherded the purchase of River Hook to completion in 2018. In her day job, she is a consultant on internal communications for the MTA.
Bill Batson
Bill serves the board of the Friends of River Hook as a communications and development advisor. Bill is an artist, writer and activist who has lived in Upper Nyack since 2017. For the past 30 years, he has worked for not-for-profits, labor unions and government in New York State as an organizer, writer and public relations specialist. He serves on the boards of the Historical Society of the Nyack and is Communications Chair of the Nyack Branch of the NAACP. As Chair of the Nyack Commemoration Committee, he led the effort to have a Toni Morrison Society Bench by the Road monument erected in Nyack's Memorial Park in 2015. From 2013-2020, Bill served as the Marketing Manager for the Nyack Chamber of Commerce.
Public Record Design

Public Record Design is a multi-disciplinary design studio working across architecture, urbanism, and the environment.

Their work engages both architecture itself (buildings, structures, masterplans) and the strategic processes that realize and sustain it (engagement, funding, phasing). By joining projects at their inception, or independently proposing them themselves, they seek to uncover latent possibilities in the built environment and bring them to life through design. They believe that this process expands the potential benefits of a project, and they work collaboratively with towns, institutions, non-profits, and community leaders who agree. 

They are based in Brooklyn, NY.