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Leadership Transition and Growth at UNA Brooklyn!

Members Elect Board Veteran Margarette Tropnas as President (pictured left); Gabriel Levitt, Term-Limited as President, Elected Treasurer

Gabriel Levitt:

“In 2009, motivated by the birth of my son, Casper, and what I believed was a major change in our country’s direction as newly elected President Barack Obama was sworn in to office, I wanted to find interesting volunteer work to do more to make the world a better place. I attended a board meeting of the Southern New York State Division of the United Nations Association (SNYSD) to volunteer. Having worked as a research assistant for the United Nations Association of the U.S.A. in 1993-1994, and studied the UN in graduate school, I felt I could really contribute.

To make a long story short, the leadership of the SNYSD had their sights on me when I walked in the door – because I lived in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Chapter had dissolved and they needed someone to restart it. By the end of that summer the Brooklyn Chapter was alive again. By Fall 2009, there was a new board of directors, officers, bylaws, and just under 30 members.

From the end of 2009 until last week, I served as president of the UNA Brooklyn Chapter. It has been an honor. Today, we have 141 names on our membership list (although some are noted as lapsed, we’ll change that!), an actively updated chapter website, many public policy and educational events under our belt, and some serious accomplishments advocating to our members of Congress both in Washington DC and in Brooklyn offices.

The UNA Brooklyn Chapter is a strong, viable, chapter, with an experienced board of directors, comprising people of varied ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc: we represent Brooklyn!

Last but not least, I’m happy and proud to announce the election of our new president, Margarette Tropnas! Margarette is blessed with strong intellect, community spirit, work ethic, and love of humanity – not to mention Herculean networking skills – to take the Brooklyn Chapter to a higher level.

I’m looking forward to a great new year.

Margarette Tropnas:

“I am eternally grateful to the board and all members of the United Nations Association (UNA) Brooklyn Chapter for electing me as Chapter president. After four years as a board member, I humbly accept this new position as we work together as a team to mobilize and inspire Brooklyn to support the work of the United Nations. As a branch of the UNA-USA with its 125 chapters and divisions of approximately 20,000 members throughout the United States, we work to advocate, educate and teach our communities about the need to support the United Nations in its global efforts, including for human rights, maternal health, ending violent conflict, combating climate change, assisting tens of millions of refugees fleeing war, famine or persecution, vaccinating 58 percent of the world's children, while saving 2.5 million lives a year, and mobilizing the U.S. to provide critical funding for humanitarian and peacekeeping aid. We ask you to join the UNA-Brooklyn Chapter on our journey to improve lives in our community and globally. As a team we can accomplish a great deal.

Many thanks to outgoing Chapter President Gabriel Levitt for the great precedent he has set and for his willingness to continue advancing our efforts now as Chapter treasurer. I also am thankful to our entire executive board, including our new board secretary, Travis Hardy, new board members - Michelle Horne-Findley, Loretta Patton-Greenidge, Cindy Similien-Johnson, Dr. Joan Tropnas, and Heidi West – and continuing board members, Peg Byron, Michelle Cuartas, Yuliya Gutkovskaya, Dr. Marceline Watler and Danny Jumpertz, as well all those who came out to our last annual meeting and have demonstrated the willingness to devote their time, energy and commitment to partake in the work for the United Nations Association. Thanks for your vote of confidence in me.

I look forward to continue to engage you and those in our community who need to become more aware of the UN. We are hoping for another productive year, as we continue the hard work that Mr. Levitt and his team have been doing for the past six years. Once again, I call on each of our members to help us make a difference in our society.”

UNA Officers and Board of Directors

Executive Board:

President: Margarette Tropnas

Vice President: Peg Byron

Treasurer: Gabriel Levitt

Secretary: Travis Hardy

Board members:

Michelle Cuartas

Yuliya Gutkovskaya

*Michelle Horne-Findley

Danny Jumpertz

*Loretta Patton-Greenidge

*Cindy Similien-Johnson

*Dr. Joan Tropnas

Dr. Marceline J. Watler

*Heidi West

(*newly elected)


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