379 DeKalb Ave.
2nd Floor Stuben Hall
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Phone 636-3486
Fax 636-3709


PICCED's Technical Expertise and Lead Staff

PICCED is staffed by over twenty-five professional community development specialists, trainers, planners, architects, and project managers. Broad areas of staff expertise include strategic planning and organizational development; housing finance and development; real estate financial analysis and packaging; architectural design and construction management services for new construction and rehabilitation; planning and design of housing for homeless and special needs populations; community planning and impact analysis; and analysis of federal and local housing policy.

PICCED's Senior Staff

Ron Shiffman, AICP, Director

Ron Shiffman is a planner and architect with over thirty years of experience in providing general program and organizational development assistance to community-based groups in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. He is expert in the areas of financial packaging; innovative community-based financing; real estate development; partnership agreements, especially as they apply to low-income ownership opportunities; and comprehensive community-based planning. He has extensive experience in bringing together potential private and public sector sponsors of housing. He helped conceptualize and develop PICCED's Community Economic Development Internship, which has trained over 250 leaders of nonprofit community-based organizations in housing and economic development skills. He has taught both planning studios and courses on the history and philosophy of community development. Since 1965, when he first assisted in the formation of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, one of the first community development corporations in the country, he has made contributions to the national community-based development movement in the United States and abroad. In recent years, he has written extensively and advocated widely for the need to revitalize low- and moderate-income neighborhoods through comprehensive and integrative planning strategies. He has served as a consultant to HUD, the USAID and the Ford Foundation on national and global community-based and housing development initiatives. An active member of several international community development and urban planning associations, Mr. Shiffman serves as an executive committee member of the International Research and Exchange for Development (IRED) and is president elect of the Salzburg Congress on Planning. Mr. Shiffman's advise is often sought by community and government leaders from abroad when exploring U.S. community development models. Some of the countries with which he has recently worked with include South Africa, Russia, Chile, Germany, France, and Japan.

Rudy Bryant, Associate Director

Rudy Bryant has over twenty-five years of experience in training and community development. At PICCED, he is responsible for the design, development and management of PICCED's training programs, including the Pratt Community Economic Development Internship, a one-year certificate program for the staff of nonprofit, community-based organizations and public agencies currently engaged in planning and implementing housing and economic development initiatives; a contract with the New York State Department of Social Services to provide training and technical assistance to community-based organizations in developing and managing housing for homeless persons; and various seminars and workshops on housing and community development. Mr. Bryant's previous experience includes coordinating training programs under contracts to ACTION's National Center for Service Learning, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the New York State Department of Community Services, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Budget and Credit Counseling Services of New York. He has provided technical assistance to a variety of smaller, community-based organizations (including those that specialize in day care and housing) on board development and organizational effectiveness. He has taught at Pratt Institute, Medgar Evers College, and St. Francis College.

Rex Curry, Associate Director

As associate director at PICCED, Rex Curry shares the responsibility for the management and direction of an architectural and urban planning staff of 20. He provides planning assistance to community-based groups, with a special emphasis on issues of organizational development, training, historic preservation, and the development of parks and recreational facilities. He frequently raises funds for neighborhood preservation projects through such sources as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. He is an instructor at Pratt Institute on community design, social action, and urban planning. He has researched, written and designed a number of Pratt Center publications.

Brian T. Sullivan, Associate Director

Brian Sullivan has over 20 years of experience in neighborhood planning, community development, public policy analysis and advocacy. He specializes in housing, development finance, land use controls, and neighborhood needs analysis. In addition to the day-to-day management and administration of PICCED, his responsibilities as associate director include providing technical assistance to community groups in housing and neighborhood planning, with emphasis on programmatic design and development financing; contributions to seminars and conferences focusing upon federal, state and city policies and programs as they apply to nonprofit neighborhood development organizations; and the direction of planning studies under a variety of fee-for-service contracts. He has led local advocacy planning efforts to create Inclusionary Zoning, a dedicated Housing Trust Fund for New York State, several Mutual Housing Associations, and more equitable development and land use control policies in New York City. He has managed a variety of research planning and technical assistance projects for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of New York, and numerous nonprofit organizations. In addition to his technical assistance, public policy, and research activities, he is responsible for the day to day operation of PICCED.

Joan Byron, RA, Architectural Director

Joan Byron has over fifteen years of experience in helping grassroots organizations to plan and build community development projects. As a licensed architect and head of the Pratt Planning and Architectural Collaborative, she provides a full range of technical services to nonprofit, community-based clients, including programming and budgeting, design, contract documents and bidding, and field supervision. Her projects include housing for low-income, special needs and homeless populations; day care centers; schools; youth centers; and other community facilities. She is thoroughly familiar with New York City and State regulatory agencies, codes and procedures, and has extensive experience in public and private development finance processes. She has taught various aspects of the housing development process in PICCED's Internship and Homeless Housing and Assistance Program training seminars. Before coming to PICCED, Ms. Byron was the housing program manager of the New York State Facilities Development Corporation, supervising architects and engineers responsible for technical oversight of the State's $20 million/year Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. She established design review and construction inspection guidelines, and project monitoring systems. She manages a diverse and highly qualified professional staff well versed in participatory design processes.

E. Perry Winston, RA, Senior Architect

As one of PICCED's two senior architects, Mr. Winston has managed a project team responsible for the rehabilitation of some 361 units in 119 buildings in a multi-year program which has transformed many blocks in East New York, Crown Heights, Bushwick, and Brownsville, Brooklyn. The design team supervised by Mr. Winston enabled our clients to convert small tenement and rowhouse buildings into floor-through and duplex apartments serving their members' large families while preserving historic facades and supporting participation by local contractors. Mr. Winston oversaw PICCED's development of a master plan for East New York, Brooklyn, elements of which are now being considered by Community Board 5 in the development of its 197-a plan. Prior to joining PPAC, he worked for a private architect on the design and field supervision of transitional shelters and special needs housing in the Bronx and Manhattan. He has also worked as a Rehabilitation Director for Mission Housing, Incorporated, in San Francisco where he participated in a city-wide coalition promoting the combining of energy conservation measures with building rehabilitation. He has experience as an organizer of food co-ops in San Francisco and as technical assistance provider with the Peace Corps in Venezuela. He has also studied, traveled, and worked in South America, Turkey, and Cuba.

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Other experienced PICCED staff

Dean Zias, AICP, Associate Planner

As associate planner, Dean Zias provides technical assistance and training to nonprofit community-based organizations involved in the preservation and rehabilitation of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. He is responsible for producing customized computer-generated planning materials; assembling statistical and narrative materials relating to proposed housing, community services, land use, site development, and economic development projects; performing needs assessments for groups seeking assistance from PICCED; and assisting in the delivery of housing rehabilitation and economic development to community-based groups. Mr. Zias has worked on numerous financial feasibility studies and analyses in the areas of housing for homeless and other special needs populations. He has designed several housing studies for community-based development organizations.

Nancy Haycock, Development Director/Director of Program Operations

Nancy works with other staff to raise the Center's budget, and coordinates and manages PICCED's program development. In addition, she reviews and edits Center publications and studies. nancy tires to get staff to work more as a team and less like independent consultants, with varying degrees of success.

Mo Ramsarup, Director of Fiscal Affairs

Mo is responsible for preparing PICCED's operating budget, reviewing proposals and contracts for compliance with funder requirements, authorizing expenses and reviewing all expense reports. He also prepares financial reports for foundations and outside agencies, auditors, as well as for internal use. In addition, Mo meets with staff to monitor project expenses to keep budget estimates on target.

Bill Riley, Senior Construction Projects Manager

Bill oversees housing construction projects ranging from $250,000 single-building projects to $20 million multi-site rehabilitations. He supervises staff performing construction monitoring; reviewing scopes of work, specifications, construction drawings and cost estimates; conducts building evaluations; and performs engineering related tasks on various projects. Bill is also teaching classes on the construction phase of the housing development process in PICCED's training programs.

Naomi Johnson, Director of Operations

As the director of operations at PICCED, Naomi Johnson is responsible for overseeing all general office operations and supervising secretarial, clerical and student staff. Working closely with the director of fiscal affairs, she administers financial and staff reporting systems, including budgeting, purchasing, requisition payment, and maintenance of financial records and files. She also serves as the liaison with other institutional departments. In addition to over fifteen years of administrative experience at Pratt Institute, Ms. Johnson has served as a staff member and board member at numerous community-based organizations.

Mannix Gordon, Geographic Information Systems Specialist/Planner

Mannix Gordon is the GIS team leader. He works on community-based planning projects including CED affordable housing development and transportation issues. Mannix is the house expert on FIS, and he has trained everyone else at PICCED. Mannix also develops new databases for GIS applications, as well as new survey instruments. He also provides technical assistance and training on GIS to a number of our clients.

Mercedes Narcisco, Project Manager

Mercedes is a registered architect who is currently working as a project manager, responsible for providing planning assistance to community-based groups who are preparing Section 197a plans throughout New York City. She helps clients gather data and analyze it, and then present the results. Mercedes' expertise is land use and zoning, but she can also assist staff with architectural design and production problems. She is very familiar with MS Publisher, Photoshop, and Quark Xpress.

Katie Taylor, Senior Planner

Katie manages PICCED's HUD CHDO (Community Housing Development Organization) contract, where she works with CHDOs or potential CHDO's in New York City and surrounding areas developing technical assistance plans and coordinating the provision of services to subcontractors. She coordinates the training series we provide several times a year, which includes classes on all elements of the development process. Katie also works on other projects, as needed, including Section 202, LISC, and Fannie Mae.

Jennifer Van Bruinisse, Architectural Job Captain

Jennifer drafts and coordinates construction documents, develops scopes of work and cost estimates for building rehabilitation and files applications and drawings with the NYC Department of Buildings.

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This page copyright February, 1997, Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development (PICCED).

Questions, comments, or suggestions should be sent to Mannix Gordon


This page copyright June 2001 - 2017,

Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development (PICCED)

Questions, comments, or suggestions should be sent to Mannix Gordon