John Paul Farmer believes in the combined power of technology and cross-sector collaboration to drive positive change throughout society. As the Director of Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Innovation team in New York City, John leads hands-on engagement with governments, non-profits, for-profits, academic institutions, startups, and civic hackers so that they can do more good together than they could apart. Previously, John served as the Senior Advisor for Innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he spearheaded the President’s innovation agenda. Under President Barack Obama, he co-founded and led the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which attracts top innovators and entrepreneurs from the private sector for focused tours of duty in government, in order to make game-changing progress on projects of national importance.
Ellen Murphy is the Vice President of Communications for New York City's YMCA, where she brings her unique skill set and extensive experience in public relations, marketing and social media to one of the city's oldest nonprofits. Prior to joining the YMCA, Ellen was employed as a Director with Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery where she developed and executed media outreach programs for various clients. In addition, Ellen has been employed with the Chamberlain Communications Group as an Account Executive, Barnes & Noble College Bookstores as Project Manager of Communications and with Sapient Corporation as an Associate Project Manager at their offices in NY and Germany. Ellen has been recognized as a communications leader in her field, earning both the PR News Public Relations Pro of the Year Award for her work with a nonprofit organization in 2012 and the designation of a New York Nonprofit 40 Under 40 Rising Star. She earned her Masters in Strategic Communications at Columbia University in the City of New York.
Aaron Meyerson is the Director of Business Operations at WiredScore, an international platform for rating internet connectivity in buildings. He leads WiredScore’s product development into new verticals and geographic expansion into new markets. He also oversees the operations of building connectivity evaluations nationwide. Prior to joining WiredScore, Aaron served as Assistant Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), co-leading the Strategic Planning team in developing policies and programs to strengthen the NYC economy. His focus was on efforts to expand internet access and supporting entrepreneurs in the design industry. Aaron also served on Mayor Bloomberg’s Special Initiative for Resiliency and Rebuilding (SIRR) task force, drafting the $20 billion plan to rebuild NYC after Hurricane Sandy. He has also worked as a management consultant in Philadelphia, PA and Cambridge, MA and holds a Masters of Urban Planning from New York University.
Bret is a Principal at HR&A Advisors, Inc., where he advises governments, nonprofits, and private property owners on transformative urban development strategies and supporting the growth of local tech and creative economies. He served as project manager of NYC BigApps, a public competition that challenges tech entrepreneurs to solve civic challenges, and Take the H.E.L.M., a $4 million contest to attract tech and creative firms to Lower Manhattan, both on behalf of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He also works extensively in New York City real estate, advising The New York Public Library on a portfolio strategy and helping develop investment strategies for the Lower Concourse and Hunts Point neighborhoods of the Bronx. Prior to HR&A, Bret was deputy chief of staff to New York City Council Member James Vacca, where he oversaw policy and communications, and was managing editor of the Bronx Times Reporter, the Bronx’s largest-circulating newspaper. He holds an M.B.A. from Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in Journalism from New York University. He is a proud native of the Bronx.
Jonathon Furlong is the Director of Organizing at Housing Conservation Coordinators, a non-profit organization that seeks to preserve affordable housing on the west side of Manhattan. HCC provides legal services, tenant and community organizing, and weatherization assistance to thousands of neighborhood residences each year. A long-time advocate and organizer for affordable housing in New York, Jonathon brings years of nonprofit and campaign experience, and relationships to other community based groups across the city. His work has included tenant organizing work with the Pratt Area Community Council in Brooklyn as well as providing technical assistance on the issues of zoning and land use while at the Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development. He earned his Masters degree in Urban Studies at the City University of New York’s Hunter College.
Daniel Kronovet is a software engineer and data scientist, currently at Columbia University, finishing up an MA in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences. His focus there is on statistical methods and algorithms for machine learning and data analysis; supporting his general interest in information, automation and the future of work. His team was awarded the top prize at a Columbia hackathon for their work analyzing NYC heat complaints for Heat Seek. He’s worked previously with a variety of startups and companies, including Foursquare, Knozen Inc, and ParagonMeasure. Originally from California, Daniel’s previous education encompassed cognitive science and political economy at UC Berkeley. In past lives, he has worked on a kibbutz in Israel, lived in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, and taught science in Mumbai.
Tom Hunter has an eclectic background ranging from hedge fund analyst to parade mascot. He joins Heat Seek NYC to help further our mission of keeping the heat on in NYC and to help pioneer the algorithmic advocacy movement.
Alan Lightfeldt has a passion for working at the intersection of housing and data science. Since 2013, he has served as senior data analyst at Zillow Group where he manages consumer-facing data products and visualization. His studies at graduate school and as a research assistant at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy focused heavily on affordable housing programs in New York City.
Alex Thinath is an entrepreneur at heart and engineer by training that brings a diverse background across financial services and social impact work. He joins Heat Seek to help build out our long-term business and fund raising strategies.