Board of Directors
West Harlem Development Corporation’s Board of Directors
Honorable Milton A. Tingling
Judge Milton Tingling is the County Clerk of New York County. Previously he was a New York Supreme Court Justice. He has worked in New York County’s state courts since 2000. Before then, he was elected as Judge of Civil Court for the city’s 7th Municipal District and has also served as judge in the district’s criminal part. He has also worked as a law clerk and as a solo practitioner since 1983. His community service includes holding the position of Trustee for the Yvonne Schrouder Brown Foundation, Inc. and serving on the Board of Visitors for the Children’s Aid Society’s Milbank Center. He is also the Chair of Community League of the Heights. He is the founder and was lead counsel for the Martin Luther King Democratic Club Free Legal Clinic. Judge Tingling is a lifetime resident of West Harlem.
Armond Adams is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson with the Corcoran Group. Before the Corcoran group, he was a founding member of Skyward Real Estate, located in New York City. In his first year with the firm, he received the Transaction of the Year award. Prior to his career change into real estate, Armond worked in Digital Media Sales for over 10 years with several companies such as NBC Universal, Disney, and Facebook.
Armond graduated from Columbia College in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in American Studies. Armond is a former board member of the Columbia Alumni Association, and former Vice Chair of the Associations and Clubs Committee. Armond is also President Emeritus of the Black Alumni Council of Columbia University. Most recently, he founded and is now the Co-Chair of the Real Estate Network of the Columbia Alumni Association (RENCAA), a group of alumni with careers with a focus in real estate. Armond recently received the Columbia Alumni Medal award, Columbia’s highest award for alumni of the university. He currently resides in East Harlem, and coaches little league baseball for Harlem and East Harlem.
Darlene Grant Bruce
Darlene Grant Bruce is an attorney’s attorney, practicing law for thirty five (35) years. Attorney Bruce has the distinction of being appointed by the federal court as the first black woman to serve as a Special Master over the prisons. As a native New Yorker, Darlene has a deep and long commitment to serving the village of Harlem. Darlene is a member of the historic Abyssinian Baptist church, Jack and Jill of America and a golden life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
Attorney Bruce is no stranger to serving her community whether as counsel to Assembly Member Al Taylor, West Harlem Group Assistance or as a Director for West Harlem Development Corporation. Attorney Bruce is the founder HDFC Empowered group and Sisters in Politics (SIP). Attorney Bruce received her juris doctorate from Georgetown Law Center and her Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University with a double major in Afro and African American Studies and Political Science. Attorney Bruce has been sworn into several levels of both state and federal Courts in New York and Washington, D.C., including the US Supreme Court. Attorney Bruce is a member of various Bar associations in New York, including the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the NYC Women’s Bar Association.
Gregory O. Watson
Gregory O. Watson is the Assistant Commissioner/NYC Regional Director in the New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Office of Community Development. Mr. Watson has more than 25 years of experience of executive and managerial experience providing oversight in the day to day management of government agencies and community development corporations. Mr. Watson was the Chief Operating Officer of Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. and the Executive Director of the New York State Assembly’s Tenant Takeover Team. Mr. Watson has two master’s degrees in city and regional planning and social work.
Representing the NYC Council Member for the 7th District – Hon. Mark Levine
New York City Councilmember Mark Levine represents the 7th District in Northern Manhattan. Serving as the Chair of Council Committee on Health and as a member of the Progressive Caucus, he is a leader on many issues including housing, education, economic justice, transportation, environmentalism, and more. Councilmember Levine began his career as a bilingual math and science teacher in the South Bronx. He also went on to found the Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union. In the years before he entered the City Council, Mark served as Executive Director of Teach For America-New York, as Executive Director of the Center for After-School Excellence at TASC, and as chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee on Manhattan Community Board 12. Mark is a long time Washington Heights resident with his wife and their two sons.
Geoffrey Eric Eaton
Representing NYS Assembly Member for the 70th District- Hon. Inez Dickens
Geoffrey E. Eaton was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Rangel, overseeing the day-to-day management of the New York Office. He has also represented the Congressman on a number of important boards, including the New York Empowerment Zone, The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and the Harlem Community Development Corporation. Mr. Eaton is the president of the New York City NAACP.
Anthony Q. Fletcher
Representing Manhattan Community Board 9
Anthony Fletcher is the Founder, President & Managing Attorney of Anthony Q. Fletcher, P.C. The firm’s activities include corporate finance, corporate transactions, and commercial transactions. He was a Professor of Law at New York Law School. He has taught at The City College of The City of New York where he was a Fellow at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. He has authored several articles on voting rights. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
Theodore P. Kovaleff, PhD
Dr. Theodore Kovaleff, a former assistant dean of Columbia University’s School of Law with a Ph.D. in History, has extensive community service extending back to 1971, including six terms as chair of Community Board 9, President of the Council of the Silver Bay Association and Chair of the Manhattan Borough President’s Public Safety Committee. He has received several awards for his work in the community, including a proclamation from former Borough President Ruth Messinger, naming January 18 “Ted Kovaleff Day.” Dr. Kovaleff is an analyst with Horwitz & Associates and has worked as a financial analyst for several firms, including Sky Capital. Mr. Kovaleff has been long-time resident of West Harlem.
Ernest Lyles is the Founder and Principal of The HiGro Group, a private equity firm with over $50 million of cumulative assets under management. Prior to founding the HiGro Group in 2016, Ernest worked as an Investment Banker for a decade with UBS Investment Bank. There he provided corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions and capital structure advice to Fortune 500 corporations and privately owned firms within the technology services and software sectors. In addition to his for profit board roles at DRS Imaging and EMSAR, Ernest serves his community by acting as a Board Member of SCAN / Boys and Girls Harbor and as a Consultant Trustee of the Manhattan Country School. He is also a member of the New York Economic Club and the Abyssinian Baptist Church located in Harlem New York. Ernest is a graduate of Shepherd University and the Howard University School of Law.
Representing U.S. Congressman for the 13th District – Hon. Adriano Espaillat
Vince Morgan is a successful businessman and management professional with experience across several industry sectors. He is currently a consultant with AIRRAIL, a transportation infrastructure and construction firm based in New York. His previous career highlights include serving as Vice President/Community Development Manager for New York State with TD Bank. During this time Morgan also served as Chairman of the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID). Vincent was educated at Howard University, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbia University.
Marianne Camille Spraggins
Marianne Spraggins is an attorney and real estate broker who spent most of her career in investment banking where she developed extensive experience in municipal and mortgage finance, private equity and asset management. She began her Wall Street career at Salomon Brothers where she was part of the team that created residential mortgage securities and marketed this new product to institutional and public pension fund investors. Later, while at Smith Barney, she became the first African American female Managing Director on Wall Street. She also served as Senior Counsel to the Congressional Oversight Panel, a body created by Congress to oversee the U.S. Treasury’s implementation of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). She has been part of several entrepreneurial ventures including BondFactor, a company that developed a new approach to municipal bond insurance.
Ms. Spraggins is a former director of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (S.I.P.C.), where she was appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the agency that protects investors in the event of broker/dealer failure. A native New Yorker and Harlemite, Ms. Spraggins received an LL.M. in International Law from Harvard Law School, a J.D. from the New York Law School and a B.A. in English Literature from Boston University. She is a member of the Bar of the State of New York and is a member of the federal bar in the Southern District of New York. She currently is a board member of GrowNYC, the not-for-profit corporation that is instrumental in the “greening” of New York City, including running the city’s greenmarkets.
Patricia Watler Johnson
Representing Manhattan Community Board 9
Patricia Watler Johnson has been a resident of the West Harlem Community for over 30 years and held property management positions in the private sector before serving in NYS Government as a housing and communications professional. Ms. Watler Johnson previously served as a Division Director in the NYS OTDA Division of Shelter Oversight and Compliance. In addition to representing CB9M on the WHDC Board, she serves as Co-Chair of MCB9’s Uniform Services & Transportation Committee.
Ms. Watler Johnson’s leadership history includes board service on Manhattan’s Community School Board 6, the Harlem Community Development Corporation, NYS Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Memorial Observance Committee, Paul E. Paris Jr. Chapter of Blacks in Government, and the Public Employees Federation Region 10 Women’s Committee. She has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Real Estate from Pace University, Master of Public Administration Degree in Policy Analysis from Walden University, and is a graduate of the NYPD Citizens Police Academy.
Ms. Watler Johnson is also a published writer whose story “No More Drama” was featured in the internationally acclaimed book Chicken Soup for the African-American Woman’s Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Lisa Nichols. Her contribution was one of 73 stories selected for this book from over 5,500 entries worldwide.