David Freudenthal: Chairman of the Board, Chair Nominating & Governance, Outreach Committee
In addition to being a CCOM Board Member, 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.
Andy Harris: Vice President, Chair Environmental Committee Andy has been a full-time resident of Montauk since 2003 and CCOM member since 2010. Originally from NZ where he graduated and practiced as a veterinarian, he is a small business owner in Montauk having spent several years in the health care industry. He is also a member of the Montauk Citizen Advisory Committee.
Jessica James: Vice President, 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 also spearheaded CCOM’s involvement with Montauk School’s gardening and greenhouse program.
Karen Legotte: Treasurer, Co-Chair Finance 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 Florida with her partner Steven Goericke.
Céline Keating: Secretary, 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, were part-time year-round residents of Montauk for over thirty years. Céline joined the board in 1990, was the organization’s newsletter editor for many years, and serves on the Executive Board as Secretary. Céline had a long career in publishing, including at Harper, John Wiley, and most recently BusinessWeek magazine. She is also the author of three novels and the co-editor of the anthology On Montauk: A Literary Celebration.
Tom Creel: 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.
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 weekender 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 63rd year in tourism. Thanks to the internet, RMC has its headquarters in Montauk, with additional virtual offices in the USA and Canada.
Heather D’Agostino: Outreach Committee Heather D’Agostino is a full time Montauk resident since 1999. She and her husband John are happy to be raising their two daughters here. Heather’s formal education includes SUNY Albany (BS in Mathematics, New York University (MA in Educational Communications) and UCLA Extension-Certificate in College Counseling. Heather is a career educator having worked in corporate education and now at the Ross School since moving East. Heather has a passion for Experiential Learning and Environmental Education. In her free time, you can find Heather standup paddle boarding, practicing yoga and hiking the trails of Montauk. Heather also serves on the Montauk Citizens Advisory Council (CAC), is a former board member of the Montauk Community Playhouse and has volunteered with Montauk Youth.
Martha Krisel, Esq.: Legal Committee
Martha Krisel retired in June 2023 from her position as Executive Director of the Nassau County Civil Service Commission, a position she held for more than five years. Krisel has three decades of experience representing municipalities. She has a particular interest in employment issues, affordable housing, land use, and environmental issues. Currently, she is developing a consulting firm that will focus on effective and efficient problem solving for governments.
Krisel is an expert in public sector employment, including strategies to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. During her tenure as Executive Director, she introduced intensive outreach initiatives and served as an Executive Committee member of the New York State Association of Personnel and Civil Service Officers (NYSAPCSO).
Prior to her appointment as Executive Director, Krisel served as the Chief Deputy County Attorney for Special Projects for the Office of the Nassau County Attorney. She implemented Nassau County’s fair housing law and worked extensively with HUD CDBG-funded municipalities. She also accredited the Office of the Nassau County Attorney as a Continuing Legal Education provider and represented several Nassau County agencies, including the Planning Commission, the Office of Consumer Affairs, and the Department of Social Services. She hired, trained, and mentored dozens of college students, paralegals, and law students.
Krisel is a member of the Board of Directors of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) and serves on its environmental, governance and legal committees. CCOM is a not-for-profit environmental leader in water quality, coastal resiliency, and environmental sustainability.
Prior to joining Nassau County, Krisel served as the Village Attorney in Rockville Centre for ten years; she has also taught at Hofstra Law School and has represented indigent children and convicted criminals for New York City’s Legal Aid Society.
A Past President of the Nassau County Bar Association, Krisel currently serves as its COVID Chair. In 2022, Krisel received the Nassau County Bar Association’s Past President Award. She has served as a member of the Nassau County Police Diversity Committee and has served on the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on
Racism, Social Equity, and the Law. She now co-chairs the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on the Ethics of Public Sector Lawyering.
Krisel graduated from SUNY Buffalo (B.A. 1976; J.D. 1980). She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court (2016), the E.D.N.Y. and the S.D.N.Y (1991) and the Second Department (1981).
Richard Newman: Finance Committee, Donor Development Committee Richard and his family have had a home in Montauk since the 1990’s. Richard is an investment advisor and, in his spare time, a runner, cyclist, art enthusiast, and frustrated golfer. He is happy to devote his effort and energy on behalf of Montauk, a place that his family greatly enjoys and appreciates.
Rich Silver: Environmental Committee
In addition to being a CCOM Board Member, Rich is also a member of the East Hampton Town Energy & Sustainability Committee and Montauk Citizen Advisory Committee. Rich has been a full-time resident since 2011 and CCOM member since 2010. A photographer focused on the outdoors, Rich is also an active surfer, hiker, runner, and cyclist. Prior to making Montauk his full-time residence, Rich had a decades-long career in health-care finance in New York City.
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.
Honorary Board of Directors
Bill Akin Bill and his wife Monika have been year-round Montauk resident since 1993. Bill first came to Montauk with his family as a young boy in 1950. He is a graduate of Colgate University. Bill served as CCOM President for eleven years beginning in 1997. In addition to CCOM, Bill was a fifteen-year member of the Board of Directors of Wild Oceans, a national fishery conservation organization. He founded the Music For Montauk concert series in 1980. He is the author of two books, Montauk is, A Collection of Haiku Poems, and most recently The Golden Age of Montauk Sportfishing.