Board of Directors

Officers

Sally Page Connolly, chair, received her B.A. from Tufts University, and an M.A. in German Literature from New York University. She has lived on City Island for the past 22 years, participating in a number of programs on behalf of children, as director of the Junior Sailing program at Stuyvesant Yacht Club and an officer of the City Island Little League. She served as the Deputy Director of Community Affairs for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for 15 years, organizing community-based events and developing curricula for young adults, and is an advisor for the Police Athletic League.

Mike Carew, vice chair, a ten-year veteran of the NYPD`s Scuba team, operates a five-star PADI Training Facility on City Island. He offers scuba diving instruction, scuba certification, and education on all related topics, from open-water scuba lessons to scuba instructor courses, including rescue and ice diving. He also offers adventures such as wreck diving and lobster and fish hunts, and hosts trips to destinations such as the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and Bonaire.

Orion Lillyreed, vice chair, a lifelong resident of western Long Island Sound and now a resident of City Island, is an oyster- and fishmonger at Fulton Street Fish Market. He received a BFA in sculpture at SUNY Purchase and from 1998 to 2013 worked in graphics applications and printing production, most recently as sale and production manager for King Displays, Inc., where he was responsible for project management from client files to finished product. Since 2013 he has owned and operated Pacific Gold Seafood, responsible for the wholesale distribution of West Coast seafood to purveyors and rental markets throughout the tristate area.

Barbara Zahm, Ph.D., treasurer, received her doctorate in anthropology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School in New York in 1980. For many years she was a documentary film and video producer/director for public television and educational distribution. From 1998 to 2017, she served as director of product development and grants for It’s About Time, Inc. (IAT), a niche publisher and global leader in research-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curricula programs for kindergarten through college whose programs were mostly funded through National Science Foundation. She has been a City Island resident for 35 years and is a co-chair of City Island Indivisible.

Barbara Burn Dolensek, secretary, has been a writer and editor for over 50 years, including 15 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as executive editor. She is the author of fourteen books, most of them on the subject of animals and gardens (her late husband was chief veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo). She has been a resident of City Island since 1976 and has served as copy editor and reporter for The Island Current since 1984, an officer of the City Island Civic Association since 1992, vice president of the City Island Historical Society and administrator of the City Island Nautical Museum since 1995. She lectures locally on City Island history and gives walking tours of the island.

Board Members

Maria Caruso, a luxury travel consultant specializing in ecotourism for the past 39 years, has been a resident of City Island for nine years. She has served as the Director of Tourism for the City Island Chamber of Commerce since 2012, and in 2016, she accepted a tourism award from Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. at the 2016 Bronx Ball. In 2017, Maria organized a group of local volunteers to form a volunteer organization called the City Island Drift, whose focus is to keep City Island nautical and beautiful. She serves on Community Board 10 and in 2018 received the Chippewa Democratic Club’s Outstanding Community Service Award.

Ann (Adjie) Henderson, Ph.D. is a long-term resident of City Island and has served as Associate Dean of Research, Planning, and Facilities in the School of Arts and Sciences at Hunter College before joining the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President at the Graduate Center as Dean for the Graduate Sciences. She was a member of the Graduate Programs in Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Henderson trained in genetics and molecular biology at the University of North Carolina; she has been affiliated with CUNY since 1984 and maintained active research laboratories at Columbia University and Hunter College until 2001. She has published over two hundred papers in diverse scientific research areas – the research range covers molecular genetics, forensics, and biologic anthropology to setting standards for environmental controls.

Heike Neumeister, Ph.D. (1963–2020) received her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen and worked with the National Resource Center for Cephalopods in Galveston, Texas. Her postdoctoral work was completed at Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University in association with the California Fish and Game Commission and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Throughout her professional and personal life, Heike’s passion was focused on conservation and environmental research and raising community awareness of these critical issues. She was a leading scientist in CIOR and engaged local residents in the mission to bring back oysters to local waters. She mentored graduate students from Hunter College’s Animal Behavior and Conservation program, developed scientific protocols, and envisioned CIOR’s initial oyster reef deployment plan. As a senior research associate and faculty member in Hunter College’s Department of Psychology, her research focused on the social behavior of marine species and modifications due to environmental changes. Heike was instrumental in the protection of the endangered chambered nautilus under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act in 2016. Her enormous impact on the environment that she worked so hard to preserve and on the mission of CIOR will be everlasting.