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Hudson River Park Fundraising Group Recruits Top Wall Street Execs

By Mathew Katz | July 30, 2013 1:06pm
 Hudson River Park needs millions to fix the crumbling Pier 40.
Hudson River Park needs millions to fix the crumbling Pier 40.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

CHELSEA — Cha-ching!

The main fundraising organization for the cash-strapped Hudson River Park has appointed eight new members to its board of directors — each with impressive money-raising chops.

Most of the new board members of the Friends of Hudson River Park have deep ties to multi-billion-dollar Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs.

The appointments came after the organization replaced longtime executive director A.J. Pietrantone with Gregory Boroff, a development expert who previously raised cash for the Foundation for AIDS Research.

In a statement, the Friends said the appointments were specifically meant to help raise private sector cash. The park needs more than $100 million to fix the crumbling Pier 40 and is facing an $8.5 million deficit for the 2014 fiscal year.

“We are honored to welcome a strong group of new members to our board,” said Michael Novogratz, chairman of the Friends' board of directors.

“Their collective experience brings substantial capacity to FoHRP’s work as the development partner for Hudson River Park, and with their added counsel, the board is well positioned to support one of New York’s most prized green spaces.”

The board's new heavy hitters include Gaurav Kapadia, the co-founder and co-managing partner at Soroban Capital, a $3 billion investment firm; Sam Martini, a partner at investment advisory firm Omega Advisors; and Trevor Price, the CEO and managing partner of Oxeon Partners, another investment firm.

The board also recruited Peter Seccia, who manages North American derivative sales for the securities division at Goldman Sachs, and Marla Smith, who worked for 30 years as an investment banker.

For some added fundraising expertise, the board picked up Cathy Blaney, who's fundraised for former President George W. Bush, former Gov. George Pataki, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Two other appointees round out the group: Mark Hass, who leads the United States operations of public relations firm Edelman; and Stacey Goergen, an art curator and socialite who previously worked at Allen & Company, focusing on media and entertainment investing.

The park recently scored a victory after Albany passed a bill in June that would allow it to sell off air rights to nearby properties in the hopes of raising cash. A proposal to generate funds by levying a tax on nearby properties is also in the works.