Meet our Staff
Denny Marsh, Executive Director
Denny serves as the chief executive, operating, financial and development officer for Neighbors Together. Denny assumed the role of Executive Director of Neighbors Together in July, 2011 after serving for over three years as the Assistant Director. Denny has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish & Global Development Studies from Grinnell College, and was an Advocate at Neighbors Together in 2004 through AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.
After her year as an Advocate she worked for three years as a Case Manager at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, working with survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. Following her passion for community-based work, Denny returned to Neighbors Together in 2008 and through her role as Assistant Director gained skills and experience in program development, fundraising, financial management and strategic planning. In 2014, Denny was nominated by The Robin Hood Foundation to participate in Columbia University’s Senior Leaders Program for Non-Profit Professionals, part of the Programs in Social Enterprise at Columbia’s Business School of Executive Education.
Nathalie Smythe, MSW, Program Director
Nathalie has been the Program Director at Neighbors Together since May 2009. She holds a bachelor degree in social work from West Chester University and a Master of Social Work degree from New York University. Nathalie has previous counseling experience working with chemically dependent adolescent women, adolescents aging out of the foster care system, and families of homicide victims.
As Program Director, Nathalie supervises all direct service staff in our Community Café and Empowerment Program, bringing a strong social work perspective to her supervision and training to ensure high quality service delivery. In addition to her supervisory role, Nathalie coordinates Neighbors Together’s volunteers, provides support and mentorship to members in our Café, coordinates partnerships with other service providers, oversees program evaluation and outcome measurement, and actively participates in program development and planning.
Amy Blumsack, MSW, Community Action Program Director
Amy has been the Community Action Program Director at Neighbors Together since January 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College.
Amy previously worked in a transitional housing facility with homeless adults coping with mental illness and/or substance abuse. She also has experience organizing parents of NYC public school students to fight for a better education for their children. Amy worked at Neighbors Together as an Advocate through AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps in 2003. Amy has a strong community organizing background and in the nearly five years she has been with Neighbors Together, she has successfully expanded the Community Action Program’s reach and played an instrumental role in the success of the Three Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project (TOP).
Cynthia joined the staff of the Community Action Program in 2016 to expand our community organizing program, with a special focus on engaging low-income women in grassroots organizing and advocacy efforts. Cynthia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from SUNY Old Westbury and a Masters of Human Services from Lincoln University. She has a professional background working on the issues of affordable housing and homelessness prevention as well as within the foster care system where her work focused on strengthening families and preventing children from being removed from their homes. Cynthia believes that community strength comes directly from its members and that social change happens when community members first believe in their own power.
Michael Amory, Supportive Housing Specialist
Mike joined the staff of Neighbors Together in 2016 after moving to Brooklyn from Chicago, where he worked previously at Heartland Alliance as a mental health worker at a variety of supportive housing programs within the organization. Mike graduated in 2014 from SUNY Binghamton with a bachelors degree in English, PPL and Psychology.
After seeing the positive effects of supportive housing firsthand at Heartland Alliance, Mike is excited to serve as the Supportive Housing Specialist at Neighbors Together and looks forward to helping advocate for members looking to get into those programs.
Maddie joined the staff of Neighbors Together in September 2016 as a year-long participant of Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps. As a recent graduate of Macalester College, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Maddie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and American Studies. Through her studies and previous psychology research experience, she became passionate in addressing the various barriers and challenges that people face with regards to alleviating poverty and hunger.
As a member advocate, Maddie works as part of the Empowerment Program. She helps members gain access to public benefits, food stamps, referrals for legal and medical services, and helps with resume assistance and employment advocacy.
Café Operations Manager
Sandro joined the Neighbors Together team in 2009 after graduating from The HOPE Program, an intensive employment readiness program and partner organization. With a strong background in restaurant management, Sandro brings excellent customer service and organizational skills, ensuring the smooth day-to-day operations of our Café.
Sandro is responsible for menu planning, food preparation, maintaining inventory of food and kitchen supplies, overseeing the food budget and ordering process, unloading deliveries, and supervising member-volunteers who are critical team members in providing nutritious meals to our guests in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Café & Maintenance Coordinator
Malik Shipman joined our Community Café staff in October, 2016. Working closely with the Café Operations Manager and Chef, he ensures that members are served in a clean, orderly and welcoming environment. Malik’s responsibilities include maintenance of our facility and equipment as well as supervision of volunteers. He brings excellent customer service skills and extensive work experience in maintenance and security roles. Malik is excited to utilize his skills to support our daily emergency food program. His professionalism, strong work ethic and leadership skills make him a great addition to our organization. Malik is originally from Brooklyn, NY and looks forward to “giving back” to the community that he calls home.
As the Community Café Chef, Marcel is the newest staff member of the Neighbors Together team. He obtained a General Academic Studies Degree from France in Law, Economics and Management, but decided to pursue a career in culinary arts in 2005. He enrolled in an intensive hands-on culinary training at L’Attelier Des Chefs de Lyon from which he obtained a certificate in 2006.
Marcel has an extensive work history. He owned and operated his own business in Yaounde, Cameroon and worked in upscale restaurants in the United States like The Knick at The Knickerbocker Hotel under the direction of the renowned Chef Charlie Palmer. He also created and taught a new culinary art class curriculum for students at Magen David Yeshivah High School in 2015 while launching his own catering company “La Grange Delice.”
Now, Marcel contributes his strong culinary skills, passion for food, and creativity to the meals served in our emergency food program. He believes that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy healthy and delicious meals regardless of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. He is responsible for the menu planning, food preparations, supervising volunteers of interns, and oversight of the meals served in the Community Café.