Board of Directors

The Emma L. Bowen Center is guided by a dedicated board of professionals who work every day to build better quality of life for Harlem residents.

The Bowen Center Board will forever be committed to Mrs. Bowen’s lifelong mission to create an environment where people feel welcome.

-Patricia C. Jordan, Board Chair
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Patricia C. Jordan, Chair

Patricia has been a volunteer with the Emma L. Bowen Community Service for over forty-five years. She spent thirty years of her career with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), from which she recently retired as Director of Operations. Before joining HPD, positions included Assistant to the Deputy Chancellor of the Board of Education and liaison to the Partnership for New York City under BOE Chancellor Frank Macchiarola, Consultant on school-based planning and management for the New York Economic Development Council, Lecturer and Research Associate at Hunter’s College Department of Urban Planning, Conciliator and Crisis Intervention specialist U. S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, Northeastern Region II (NY, NJ, VI, PR), and Research Associate for various private and nonprofit enterprises. For over twenty-five years, she volunteered with Black Citizens for A Fair Media (BCFM) and is a board member of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media. Over the years, Patricia has been proud to contribute her skills and energy to creating systems, programs and services that have improved the quality of life of thousands of families and individuals nationwide. She has received numerous honors and plaques in recognition of her service. Patricia is committed to insuring that the Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center has a sustainable and viable future in our ever-changing communities.

Dr. Simon Nzuzi, DPM, Vice-Chairperson

Dr. Nzuzi has been a faithful volunteer member of the Board of Directors for twenty-five years. He lends his skills and expertise as Chair of the Quality Assurance Committee, meeting with Bowen’s Corporate Compliance Officer and staff regarding Bowen’s Corporate Compliance Plan. He is past President of Community Affairs and professor at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine at Harlem Hospital. Dr. Nzuzi is dedicated to the mission and future of the Bowen Center.

Earl Boyd

For more than ten years Earl has been responsible for overseeing maintenance for the MTAs bridges and tunnels. He has skills and experience in all facets of mechanical operations and has numerous licenses and certifications from the MTA. He is an avid volunteer with his church and its food pantry program, mission team and board of trustees. Earl is eager to lend his assistance with resource development for the Board of Directors and the community.

Ray von Dohren, Treasurer

A native Californian, Ray moved to New York City when he retired, and has loved being here ever since. Ray is an engineer who managed a special district in California for 16 years, served as City Engineer in South San Francisco for five years, and has many years of experience managing budgets, human resources and developing capital projects. He was also a consulting engineer for eight years, during which he developed a good sense of public/private cooperation. Ray enjoys tinkering and trying to make things more efficient and functional. He recognizes the importance of the Emma L. Bowen Community Center to the community, and hopes to help keep it viable for as long as he is a member of its Board of Directors.

Dr. Ralph K, Jackson, M.D.

Ralph is an Ophthalmologist who practices in Upper and Lower Manhattan. He has a special interest in working with low-income and elderly patients, and uses each visit as an opportunity to suggest needed follow-up with medical doctors for diabetes and hypertension screenings. Dr. Jackson was ophthalmologist to the late Emma L. Bowen. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a member of the New York State and Medical Society and Empire State Medical Society. Dr. Jackson lends his business and financial expertise to the Board as a member of the Finance Committee.

Carlos Austin, Secretary

Carlos is an Emmy-winning twenty-year veteran of the television industry with experience in affiliate relations, promotions, production and live events. He prides himself on being a team player, working effectively with sales, news and creative services departments to cultivate partnerships, public service campaigns and special productions. Giving back and empowering people has always resonated with him, something he attributes to the influence of his mentor, Emma L. Bowen. Being part of this organization, which he sees as an oasis to thousands of New Yorkers in the Harlem and Northern Manhattan, is a badge of honor that he is happy to wear.

Orisha K. Jordan

Orisha is Associate Facilities Director for the Doe Fund’s Porter Avenue Center for Opportunity. For over twenty years, she has worked as the fund’s Director of Social and Graduate Services and Executive Assistant to the Program Director. Orisha brings to the Board years of experience in quality assurance, strategic planning, analytical, hands on problem solving, communications, presentation and listening skills. At the suggestion of Emma L. Bowen, she interned at the Center while attending NYU’s graduate program. She volunteers for Bates College Alumni, and is thrilled with the opportunity to give back to the Emma L. Bowen Center, helping to plan for the future needs of the communities it serves.

Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriquez joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and serves as a member of our Finance Committee. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Office of Gas It Up. For almost twenty years he has served in various capacities in the private sector in general management operations including Vice-President for Tower West Management LLC, Long Island City, and as General Manager of Operations for TPS Parking Management, LLC, New York, New York. Mr. Rodriquez received his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Victor spent his early childhood in the neighborhood near the Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center and welcomes the opportunity to be a member of the Board of Directors to utilize his skills and experiences to advance the mission of the Bowen Center corporation.

John L. Wilford

John joined the Board of Directors over ten years ago, when he retired after 33 years of service as an Associate Real Property Manager and program for the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. During his career, he positively improved the lives of hundreds of families by providing property management, relocation and supportive services and represented his agency at community Boards throughout the City. John also served as facilities manager for a nonprofit organization in Long Island City. He received an honorable discharge for two years of service with the Army during the Vietnam War. He is always willing to lend his skills to the Emma L. Bowen Center, and led the effort to construct a playground for its preschool students in the Center’s front plaza. John is dedicated to making a difference in communities and in the lives of others in need as part of the Board and as a member of the Finance Committee.

Paul Basciani

Paul has extensive knowledge of the healthcare and medical fields. Paul worked several years for Pfizer. He is currently VP of Sales for GER Medical. He participates in fundraising and marketing efforts on behalf of the Emms L. Bowen Center.