Rob Ripp is a strategic advisor and leader who focuses on helping clients build business plans that are both visionary and executable. With over 35 years in the corporate planning world, Rob brings unique capabilities to both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
Rob started his career at Chase Manhattan Bank where he conducted merger acquisition analysis for bank branch networks. In 1998 he joined EY as a management consultant. There he assisted corporate clients develop long-term real estate strategies and multifaceted expense reduction initiatives.
Rob joined Morgan Stanley in 2007 as an Executive Director and held a number of positions in strategic planning and process transformation. Rob is a action oriented leader who established and developed a digital reporting platform within Morgan Stanley’s Corporate Services business unit.
Mr. Bontempi has been active in the Huntington community for over 30 years. In January 2019, he was appointed to the Town of Huntington EOSPA (Environmental Open Space and Park Fund Review Advisory) Committee where he served for almost two years. He is a founding board member of the Huntington Township Business Council www.huntingtonbusinesscouncil.com and Huntington’s 1653 Foundation, Inc. www.1653foundation.org formed in 2017 and 2018 respectively. From 2009-2013 Mr. Bontempi was Chairman of the Board of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce where he still serves on the Executive Board. In addition, has been a member of the Huntington Chamber Committee for Better Government since 2001. Bob was appointed by The Huntington Town Board to serve as a Director on the Huntington Town Planning Board from 1997-1999. He was re-appointed to The Planning Board September 2020 and elected Vice Chairman January 2021.
Mr. Bontempi has worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for the past 25 years. He currently serves a Senior Regional Business Director with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in the Critical Care Hospital Space. Prior to that, he worked at Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Before entering the private sector, Mr. Bontempi worked as Director of Operations for the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office where he was chief spokesperson during the TWA flight 800 tragedy. From 1992 until 1995, Mr. Bontempi worked as an Aide in the Suffolk County Legislature where he served as liaison to the Health & Human Services Committee.
Barry Lites, Esq. (Harvard Law School ’86) is the owner and principal attorney of Law Offices of Barry D. Lites, LLP, a New York-based law firm with offices in Huntington, Long Island and midtown Manhattan. Barry received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
The Firm specializes in corporate law, real estate finance, real estate development and leasing, construction, asset-based lending and transactions in the health care space.
The Firm’s clients include the MTA, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and Empire State Development, along with many private sector business owners, real estate investors, not-for-profit corporations and faith-based institutions.
Barry serves on the board of commissioners of the Huntington Housing Authority, an agency of HUD whose mission is to develop and manage affordable housing in the Huntington community. Barry is also a member of the Executive Committee of the board of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board of Moonjumpers, Inc. an organization supporting veterans and children’s causes, and a member of the newly-formed African-American Museum of Huntington.
Since 2010, Barry has been an Adjunct Professor at Hofstra Law School, teaching an International Business course. He is also a frequent panelist and lecturer on issues such as business acquisition and real estate investment.
Barry has lived in Lloyd Harbor since 1999 with his wife, Leigh Ann Hutchinson, M.D., a Long Island cardiologist, their four children and two dogs.
Justice Tinari has been a Supreme Court Justice since January 2018 and presently presides over matrimonial actions and guardianship proceedings. She began her career on the bench on March 3, 2015, when the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution appointing her a District Court Judge. In that capacity she presided over a criminal part which included Penal Law misdemeanor offenses as well as violations of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law and parole violations. In January 2016 she began a six-year term upon her election as District Court Judge.
Justice Tinari, as an attorney with the Suffolk County District Administrative Judge’s office, was a member of a team which oversaw the daily administration and operation of the Suffolk County Court system comprising approximately 1,000 members including judges, attorneys, court clerks, and security personnel. Justice Tinari was involved in virtually all decisions made by the District Administrative Judge providing insight obtained by regular communication with Supervising Judges, Chief Clerks, security supervisors, and other judicial and non-judicial staff.
In her role as counsel to the District Administrative Judge, Justice Tinari was responsible for communicating with various representatives and agencies which interact with the Suffolk County courts on an ongoing basis. Justice Tinari was an integral part of virtually all administrative decisions made in connection with the court system including resource allocation, media management, personnel assignments, launching pilot programs, continuing legal education programs, and collaborations with other judicial districts statewide. Many of those programs and initiatives required communication with outside agencies and organizations and Justice Tinari was often tasked with the responsibility of preparing memoranda to those entities to ensure that the recipients were fully informed.
Justice Tinari was the Public Information Officer for the Suffolk County Courts. In that capacity she interacted daily with local, national, and international media outlets on stories and programs centered around court cases and issues. Such interaction is often time sensitive requiring prompt and comprehensive responses to reporters. It also required a complete understanding of court operations and ethical parameters for dissemination of information.
Justice Tinari served as Outreach Coordinator for the Suffolk Courts for numerous court centric events during the course of the year, many of which involved interaction with statewide counterparts including the first annual Suffolk County Court’s Law Day event in cooperation with Judge Fern Fisher and the New York State Access to Justice Program. In her present position, Justice Tinari continues her role as director of the Suffolk County Courts internship program. This program, which annually includes approximately fifty participants, involves court observation and provides students with a unique opportunity to engage with various agencies which serve the court. This position required regular communication with law school deans within New York State and across the country. This year, for the first time, the program will be conducted virtually.
In addition to her duties within the court system, Justice Tinari worked with academic institutions throughout the country to ensure that Suffolk County attracts the highest caliber entrants to the court system in a number of related fields. She was also responsible for incubating, in collaboration with institutions within and outside the court system, ideas for more efficient use of court services.
As a court-attorney referee, Justice Tinari presided over hearings on a range of topics including tax assessment review and various Surrogate issues. She also served as a hearing officer on personnel matters across New York State. (2011- 2015)
Prior to her role in the administration of the courts, Justice Tinari served as Principal Law Clerk to Suffolk County Surrogate Court Judge John M. Czygier, Jr. In that capacity she was responsible for drafting decisions and preparing presentations for a Surrogate Judge who is nationally recognized for his in-depth of knowledge in the field of Trusts and Estates law. Because there is a single Surrogate Judge in Suffolk County, Justice Tinari worked alongside the Chief Clerk of the Surrogate’s Court and the Surrogate Court Judge on all administrative tasks related to the Court including personnel and other facility related issues. The duties of Principal Law Clerk require utilization of highly developed research and writing skills as well as extensive involvement in complex negotiations to resolve disputes relating to high-value estates. While serving in the Surrogate’s Court, Justice Tinari frequently lectured on topics relevant to Trust and Estate matters to members of the Bar. (2002-2009)
After working with Judge Czygier, Justice Tinari worked in the Suffolk County Supreme Court Law Department. In that capacity she drafted memorandum decisions for several Supreme Court Justices, several of which were featured as front-page news in the New York Law Journal. (2010-2011)
Justice Tinari joined the court system as a Law Clerk to New York State Court of Claims Judge Michael F. Mullen. Judge Mullen presided over many high-profile criminal and civil cases including a landmark capital case (People v LaValle). Justice Tinari was also responsible for ongoing administrative matters while serving as Clerk to Judge Mullen during his term as Supervising Judge of the Criminal Courts. As his Law Clerk, Justice Tinari was tasked with communicating with the Judges of the Criminal Courts to ensure all administrative responsibilities were executed efficiently and collaboratively. (1987-2002)
Prior to her tenure with the courts, Justice Tinari served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. There she served in the District Court, Grand Jury, and Major Crimes Bureaus and successfully prosecuted misdemeanor and felony matters from investigation to trial. Justice Tinari was selected to head a newly formed Bias Crimes Unit. This Unit was a prototype for many others later established throughout the country. In that capacity, Justice Tinari worked with the District Attorney, members of law enforcement, and defense attorneys to create a new Bureau designed to track and prosecute hate crimes. (1984-1987)
Justice Tinari began her career at Chase Manhattan Bank where she was responsible for crafting appropriate investment strategies for high net worth clients while adhering to the legal requirements for trust accounts. While at Chase, she was promoted several times, ultimately serving as an officer and direct contact and strategist for select client groups. This position required the utilization of leadership skills particularly in connection with addressing the concerns of direct reports including Chief Officers within the Bank. (1981-1984)
Justice Tinari is currently Co-Chair of the Suffolk County Women in the Courts Committee Mental Health sub-committee, Co-Chair of the Suffolk County Courts Children’s Center Advisory Board, and member of the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Bench Bar Committee. She is a past President of the Suffolk County Brehon Society and past Co-Chair of the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Surrogate Court Committee. She served as President of the Suffolk County Brehon Society, Chair of the Suffolk County District Administrative Judge’s TASK force on the Supreme Court, and Co-Chair of the District Administrative Judge’s Women in the Courts Committee. Justice Tinari served on the New York State Court System’s Foreclosure Program and the Board of Managers of the Suffolk County Bar Association Pro Bono Foundation. She is a past member of the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. She has also served on the Lawyer Assistance Foundation of the Suffolk County Bar Association. Justice Tinari is a recipient of the Rosemary Nelson award from the Suffolk County Brehon Society. Justice Tinari and her husband have presented as Pre-Cana instructors for over 15 years.
Justice Tinari is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Capital University Law School where she was an editor on the Law Review. While working in the Trust and Estate Management Division at Chase Manhattan Bank’s New York headquarters, she was awarded a certification in Trust and Estate Law from the National Bankers Association’s program at Northwestern University.
Justice Tinari has lived in Huntington, New York for many years and has three adult children. She has been married to her husband, Frank, an attorney, for over 33 years.
John is a long time resident of Huntington with over 30 years of construction management and expertise on Long Island and New York. John is active in many civic and commercial Town projects. He is currently involved with both private and municipal projects in Huntington, including the reimagining of Crab Meadow Beach infrastructure.
John, along with his partner, have perfected the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of any JGM project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality, and participating objectives. His insider knowledge of completing a project in Huntington is second to none.
Gail was raised in Muttontown, attended Jericho Schools and received an Associates Degree from Katherine Gibbs School in 1976, and subsequently worked at Hearst Corporation and Cosmopolitan Magazine while living in Manhattan. In 1983, she moved to Huntington, along with her husband, where she raised her three children, Christopher, Andrew, and Tara.
Upon moving to Lloyd Harbor, she began an 18 year relationship with the Village of Lloyd Harbor. She assisted the Planning Board with the review of large parcels of land that were proposed to be subdivided. Worked with the Environmental Review Board addressing docks, bulkheads, and waterfront projects, and worked with the Board of Zoning Appeals on variance applications. She is currently the Village Administrator for the Village of Huntington Bay.
Gail worked for the Huntington YMCA for eight years and began teaching strength classes after receiving her certification for the Les Mills program. It has been a privilege for her to meet many of the residents, business owners, and politicians in the Town of Huntington.
Gail believes that investing in people is what makes the Town of Huntington so unique. She is focused on maintaining the quality of life that one can expect from such a special place. She looks forward to continuing with this work through the 1653 Foundation.
Erik Larson is a Senior Vice President with Morgan Stanley and a Founding Member of HQ Advisors LLC. With over 28 years of experience servicing wealthy families, foundations, and institutions in all aspects of capital markets, Erik has worked at several large Wall Street firms in Chicago, London and NYC.
Erik is a lifelong Huntington resident and a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist, raising money and supporting causes, especially, military veterans and their families. Erik is extremely proud to serve the community he went to school in, played sports in, and was raised in. He is grateful for the opportunity to work with the 1653 Foundation and help advance their mission of Restoring, Maintaining and Enhancing Huntington’s Parklands and Public Spaces.
Erik has a BA in Finance from Misericordia University. Erik and his wife Meredith were both raised in Huntington and it’s where they are raising their three children
Brian J. Yudewitz is an attorney who has been involved in life in Huntington for over twenty years. His law firm concentrates in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, small business creation and development, regulatory compliance, consumer protection and non-profit corporation law.
He currently serves as General Counsel for The Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society Inc., the Community Credit Counseling Corp., The SYFF Group LLC and The Quay Group Inc.
He is President of Frontline Strategies, LTD. a business development company that works in the U.S. and Haiti,
as well as President of Custom Education Foundation, a charity that assists special needs children and their families.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of Angels for Warriors, a charity that provides support and resources to Military Veterans, PBA Counsel for the Centre Island, the New York Police Benevolent Association, as well as counsel to the Huntington Historical Society.
He received his law degree from Hofstra University in January 1992, and his undergraduate degree from Colgate University in May 1989.
Greg is currently Vice President for University Collaboration and Director of Admissions for Sierra Nevada University in Incline Village, Nevada. He continues to reside in Huntington, where until September he was Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Huntington for close to three years. While Parks’ Director, he managed to allocate millions of dollars for new playgrounds, reimagined parks, and critical infrastructure.
Prior to life in government, he worked in higher education at Long Island University as student advisor, recruiter and Director of Development for the College of Management. He worked for six and half years at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) as a Regional Recruiter, International Recruiter and Director of Alumni for the Honors College.
He was honored for his service in 2018 to terminally ill children by the Marty Lyons Foundation, where he is a board member. An avid long distance runner, he has completed the NYC marathon, four half marathons, and the Run Around The Block, on Block Island, in blazing heat; that was a doozy. He has degrees from Catholic University of America, Long Island University and completed the Public Leadership Credential at Harvard.
A lifelong Huntington resident, Mr. Chelius was born, raised, and continues to live and raise his children in the Town he loves. After spending many years in the private sector in the banking and staffing industries Mr. Chelius wanted to give back and serve the people of the Town that has meant so much to him. Mr. Chelius now serves his fellow Huntingtonians in the Planning and Environment Department at Town Hall where he serves as FOIL Officer, Telecommunications liaison, and is active on the Zoning Board of Appeals, The Planning Board as well as the EOSPA (Environmental Open Space and Park Fund) Committee.
Garrett is a founding member of the Suffolk County Coindre Hall Revitalization Committee, is an active member of the Huntington Elks, The Ancient Order of Hibernians and is the longest serving Board member of the Cold Spring Harbor Huntington Soccer Club.
He currently resides in Lloyd Harbor where he and his three teenage children take full advantage of all the wonderful natural amenities that Huntington has to offer. he is very proud of his oldest daughter who just received an appointment from Congressman Tom Suozzi to attend the US Naval Academy.
Founder and CEO
As the founder and President of The Laurel Group, Mark McAteer has led the company from a two-person boutique design group to become Long Island’s premier landscape design-build firm and outdoor living, luxury retailer. With more than 30 years of experience, Mark directs the company in all aspects of the business, as well as maintains his role as one of the team’s lead landscape designers for the company’s most prestigious clients.
Mark relocated to Long Island after graduating from the University of Delaware with a degree in Horticulture when he accepted a job at Ireland Gannon Associates, a landscape design firm in East Norwich, NY. After Ireland Gannon, he became the General Manager of the landscaping department of Kean Development Company of Cold Spring Harbor. In 1992, Mark founded a new landscape design and build firm, The Laurel Group.
Today, The Laurel Group has grown to more than 250 employees at 7 locations and has expanded it’s services to support the entire outdoor living environment including landscape maintenance, construction of swimming pools, driveways, entry gates, irrigation, lighting, and tennis courts. The Laurel Group clients include some of the most notable and prestigious residents on Long Island.
In addition to the landscape offerings, the company operates an award winning, luxury, outdoor-living retail store at their landmark location in Water Mill, NY, the gateway to the Hamptons. The store has been called the finest of its type in the country by trade organizations and has been highlighted by Casual Living as a Spotlight Retailer. Mark’s wife, Tina, travels the world sourcing the unique merchandise that has become the store’s signature.
In 2018 Mark purchased Gold Coast Tennis, a specialty tennis & sport court construction and maintenance firm. In a short time, Gold Coast has doubled in size and now services clients island-wide providing annual reconditioning of clay courts, resurfacing of all-weather courts, regularly scheduled service, and new construction.
Mark, his wife, and two children reside in Lloyd Harbor. In his free time, Mark is an avid outdoorsman and wanna-be ski bum. He has also successfully summited 47 of the tallest peaks in each of America’s 50 states and is working to finish the list.
Mark is an active member of the community contributing as a founding board member of 1653 Foundation, as well as serving as chairman on the Environmental Open Space & Park Fund Review Advisory Committee. In 2017, Mark was honored as Man of The Year by the Huntington Historical Society for his many design contributions to local landmark sites. He is Past President of the Board of Education for Cold Spring Harbor where he served as trustee for many years. He is currently a trustee of the Cold Spring Harbor Educational Foundation, and board member of the Huntington Rural Cemetery and chairperson to the Town of Huntington’s Public Art Advisory Committee.