Board of Directors
Ed Braun: Chairman of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair Finance Committee
Retired CEO of Veeco Instruments, a NASDAQ Semiconductor Equipment Company. Current Veeco Board Member, also advises private equity and venture capital firms in new technology. Served on numerous high tech Boards, former Chairman of (SEMI) an International Semiconductor Technology Trade Assoc., and Sematech a Collaborative US Govt. / Industry Technology Initiative BS Mechanical Engineer, graduated Clarkson University of Potsdam, NY 1961.
Resident of Montauk since 2001. Joined CCOM in 2010. Current Montauk CAC Member.
For my wife Rosanne and me spending our retirement in Montauk and NYC is “living the dream”…Let’s protect it for future generations.
Jessica James: Vice President, Co-Chair Outreach Committee
Jessica has been a part-time Montauk resident since 1964 when her parents bought a Leisurama home after seeing one on display at Macy’s. Jessica has since designed and built her own sustainable timber frame home, powered by solar and geothermal energy, and is now a full-time Montauk resident.
A graduate of U.C, Berkeley (’86 rhetoric) and a retired chef/restaurateur, Jessica currently volunteers with the Montauk Fire Department as an EMT. She is a poultry and organic gardening enthusiast and keeps bees.
Jessica helps run CCOM’s water quality assessment program and has spearheaded CCOM’s involvement with Montauk School’s gardening and greenhouse program.
Shirley Katz: Treasurer / Secretary
Shirley Katz, born in NYC, brought up in Brooklyn, graduated from Hunter College, married, raised children in Freeport, NY. She and her husband Donald had a successful insurance agency in Nassau County. The family were introduced to Montauk, camping at Hither Hills State Park in the 1950’s. They always knew it was a special place. They became second-home owners in 1980 and moved out full time in l992. Shirley became a member of CCOM in 1980 and joined the Board of Directors in l993, and was elected Treasurer in l995, a position she still holds. She works part time at the Retreat in East Hampton and volunteers at their thrift shop in Bridgehampton.
Andy Harris: Vice President, Chair Environmental Committee
Robert Stern: Co-Chair Governance, Outreach Committee
Bob is a graduate of Haverford College (BA in Philosophy, 1969) and the NYU College of Dentistry (DDS, 1979).
His non-profit board experience includes, most significantly, the presidency of the board of the Bergen Performing Arts Center – the third largest performing arts organization in New Jersey.
He and his wife Daphne are full-time Montauk residents.
Bob joined the CCOM board in 2003 after his retirement from dental practice.
When not busy doing volunteer work for CCOM, he remains an active recording and performing violinist.
Céline Keating: Co-Chair Outreach Committee
Céline is a graduate of Queens College, CUNY (BA in Political Science, 1971; MA in Urban Studies, 1974) and City University of New York (MA in Creative Writing, 1984).
She and her husband, Mark Levy, have been part-time year-round residents of Montauk since 1988. Céline joined the board in 1990, was the organization’s newsletter editor for many years, and is now co-chair of the Outreach Committee.
Céline is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, and has had a long career in publishing, most recently at BusinessWeek magazine, where she was Deputy Chief of a copyediting department. She has worked for several nonprofits and currently serves on the board of the New York chapter of the National Women’s Book Association.
Peter Lowenstein: Co-Chair Nominating
Born in Germany came to U.S. at age 6 and attended NYC public schools through graduation from high school. Attended Pratt Institute and the New School. Drafted into U.S. army for two years before founding a plastics distribution company of which he was CEO until his retirement in 2000. Peter owned a home in Montauk since 1970, and became a full time resident in 1999. Peter has been a member of CCOM since 1972 and joined the board in 1992. He is also a member of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee as well as being president of the Montauk Pilots Association. His wife Suse is a world class sculptor.
Richard Kahn: Co-Chair Legal Committee
Richard is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B. 1952) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1955). He practiced law with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City for 36 years, until he retired in 1991, and he has served on the Boards of numerous non-profit organizations.
He first came to Montauk in 1944 and has (with few exceptions) returned for visits every year since. He joined the CCOM Board in 1988 and is Chair of its Legal Committee.
Richard and his wife Elaine (who is President of the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons) spent summers at their home on West Lake Drive since 1967 and have lived there full time following his retirement. They are passionate gardeners and devoted custodians of springer spaniels.
Raymond Cortell: Outreach Committee
Raymond is a graduate of NYU (BS, 1962)
He and his wife Susan are full time Montauk residents who came to Montauk as a year-round weekenders in 1968 and settled full time in 1992.
In addition to being on the CCOM Board, Raymond also serves on the Boards of MBPOA (Montauk Beach Property Owners Association) and the Montauk CAC (Montauk Citizen’s Advisory Board). He was ARF’s (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons) 3rd President.
Raymond still works full time as President of his International Tour Company, RMC, and has just celebrated his 55th year in tourism. Thanks to the internet, RMC has its headquarters in Montauk, with additional virtual offices in the USA and Canada.
Karen Legotte, Co-Chair of Audit Committee
Karen has been a part-time, year-round resident of Montauk since 1991. An active hiker, stand up paddle boarder and occasional golfer, she spends much of her time enjoying the beauty Montauk has to offer.
In 2004 Karen was one of the founding members of fundraising group, The Friends of Montauk Downs, and was Chairperson until 2011. She is a member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation that provides scholarships for hundreds of deserving students.
Karen is a partner at Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co., an investment firm she joined in 1991. When not in Montauk, she spends most of her time on the road researching investment ideas. She also resides in New York City with her partner Steven Goericke.
Tom Creel, Co-Chair Legal Committee
Tom is a Midwesterner who came east to practice law. He started camping at Hither Hills in the summers. His wife Carol’s mother bought one of the original Leisurama houses.
Tom retired from Goodwin Procter in New York City where he was an intellectual property lawyer. He has done environmental pro bono legal work since the 1970’s as well. In addition to CCOM, Tom is a member of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee and the Montauk Lake Club.
Rich Silver, Environmental Committee
David Freudenthal, Co-Chair Governance Committee, Outreach Committee
In addition to being a CCOM Board Member for two years, David works at Carnegie Hall as Director of Government Relations. David serves as chair of nominating & governance, a member of the outreach committee and is a member of the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
Though David and his husband Ken Jockers both live and work in Manhattan, Montauk has been their second home for over 20 years. Ken’s family fell in love with Montauk’s bountiful fishing and settled here in the 1950’s – first in a tent in the Montauk Shores Condominiums until Hurricane Donna where after they upgraded to a trailer.
Honorary Board of Directors
Bill Akin, Chair Honorary Board, Co-Chair Fundraising