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Greenhouse Committee

Our Officers

Board of Directors

Milijana Radonjic-Ilich

Millie is the founder of the Hudson Park Children's Greenhouse organization and project. To Milijana "Millie" Radonjic-Ilich, volunteering is a way of life. She is the current president of the Parkchester Kiwanis Club and has held the position since 2004 and is the Director Emeritus of Amy's Greenhouse, Millie coordinated monthly gardening projects for over 600 children in Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade and worked on the project (2004 to 2016.) Amy's Greenhouse is a living memorial to Amy O'Doherty who perished at the age of 23 on September 11th, 2001 at the World Trade Center. Millie has orchestrated the development of the greenhouse facility by coordinating the construction a gazebo, signage, patio and amphitheater. She enlisted many groups of volunteers for these construction projects. In November 2014 Millie was honored by New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence for her work at Amy’s Greenhouse with the Kohlberg Citizenship Award. Millie is a retired teaching assistant who worked for the New Rochelle School District for 11 years. She assisted in the teaching of Pre-Kindergarten classes and has worked extensively with special education students.

Milijana Radonjic-Ilich

Vice President
Don Ciota

Don, a former resident of New Rochelle, has a BA in History from Iona College and an MS in Education from Fordham University. He served for 6 years in the US Army Reserves. Don was the president for many years of a company that manufactured and distributed specialty materials for the microelectronics industry. In addition to being a founding member of Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse, he is a Distinguished Past Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Bronx-Westchester South Division. Currently, he is Chairman if the Commission for the Disabled in his hometown of Ridgefield, CT where is also serves as board secretary of the Ridgefield Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Don has 4 grown daughters; two sets of twins! He also has 3 grandchildren ages 17 and another set of twins age 15.

Don Ciota

Karen Hessel

Karen Hessel is an active New Rochelle volunteer. She created a photo book of New Rochelle called “The 10-10-10 Project: Photos of Life in New Rochelle” where dozens of volunteer photographers submitted thousands of photos. Profits from the book went to the Thomas Paine Cottage, New Rochelle & Huguenot Historical Society, where Karen is a former President. Karen wrote "Learn & Grow" a children's book about Amy's Greenhouse of Barnard School, which was sold in the 9-11 Museum store. Karen was one of the founding members of the Lincoln Park Community Garden and has been an active PTA member in the New Rochelle School District for 15 years. Karen and her daughter, Annie, were active for 7 years at the Humane Society of Westchester at New Rochelle and taught a monthly class to families on how to volunteer. Karen and her husband John have created and continue to maintain an interactive map and website (101010nr.com) that tracks the multi-family developments of New Rochelle. Karen, a Manager, Marketing Data/Demographics at a retail REIT, resides in southern New Rochelle with her husband and adult children.

Karen Hessel

Johanna Felix

Johanna, a former resident of The Bronx and now a resident of New Rochelle, has a BBA in Accounting, Finance and Computer Information Systems from Lehman College. She finds working with children rewarding and enjoys the challenge of helping children learn new skills and grow in confidence. While she was born and raised in The Bronx, both of her parents are from the Dominican Republic. She is the youngest of six (6) siblings and has sixteen (16) nieces and nephews who she adores. She says her large family was “her boot camp for learning how to care for children” and she looks forward to making an impact while being committed to the success of the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse project.

To learn more about her, please visit her LinkedIn page

Johanna Felix

Committee Members

Professional Council
  • Accountant: Gerry Chadwick
  • Chief Architect: Kimberly Martelli
  • Chief Attorney: David Lacher
Board of Directors
  • Johanna Felix
  • Andrew Francella
  • Linda Kelly Fauci
  • Thomas Freeman
  • Daniel Ilich
  • Theresa Kump-Leghorn
  • Anthony Paolercio
  • Kate Gordon Ronan
  • Stephanie Tomei
  • Sharon Weekes-Threash
Honorary Member
  • Steven Nakashima
  • Liz Aiello
  • Amy Bach
  • Mona Balgobin
  • Edie Barasch
  • Janet Blair
  • Kimberly Castellano
  • Dayna-Joy Chin
  • Kathleen Connolly
  • Jennifer DeFatta
  • John Felix
  • Ximena Francella
  • Nicole Forman
  • Marie Freeman
  • Naomi Gams-Towers
  • Donna Gitlitz
  • John Hessel
  • Emita Hill
  • Susanna Howe
  • Timothy Idoni
  • Zahra Jlayer
  • Carol Kelly
  • Joyce Kent
  • Geraldine Kerns
  • Emma McKee
  • David O'Neil
  • Mary Oldak
  • Carmen Paolercio
  • Gregory Pappas
  • Angela Stenroos
  • Susan Weisman
Committee Members