Board of Directors

Rebecca Symes

President

Rebecca is General Counsel for Dixon Advisory USA, which manages the acquisition, renovation, leasing, and property management for a portfolio of 1-to-4 family homes in the New York area. When she’s not at work, Rebecca volunteers with organizations focused on keeping Jersey City affordable, diverse, and a place where all people have equal access to opportunity.

To that end, Rebecca is especially proud of her work with The Waterfront Project—where a team of lawyers and housing counselors provide free help to residents facing eviction, an interruption in their public benefits, or consumer debt problems. Rebecca is also on the board of the Jersey City Free Public Library, the Liberty Science Center, and New Leaders Council New Jersey.

A self-professed theater geek, Rebecca loves all things Broadway and knows the lyrics to most jazz standards. She spends Sunday nights singing with North River Sing, a community choir devoted to the Great American Songbook.

Rebecca is thrilled to partner with HCA’s membership to ensure our community has a say in the future of Jersey City. She looks forward to a busy year of engaging our neighbors, local business owners, and government partners to make our great neighborhood even better. This place matters!

Mike Francisco

Vice President of Communications

Mike has lived in Jersey City since 1983 and in Harsimus Cove since 2001. He is a senior editor for a scientific journal in New York. Previously, he served as HCA Secretary from 2008 to 2009, as President from 2010 to 2011, and as a Board Member at Large in 2014. He has been Vice President of Communications since 2015. Under his previous tenure as President, the Association revamped its website, joined Facebook and Twitter, and started its highly successful Halloween block party, the Afternoon of Fright on 4th Street.

Dustin Ng

Vice President of Membership

Bio to come

Rachael D'Silva

Secretary

Rachael is originally from Toronto, Canada. She has lived in Jersey City since 2008 and in Harsimus Cove since 2013. She is also a core member of the Downtown Harvest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, an organization that supports a local New Jersey farmer who supplies organic, seasonal vegetables through the 24-week summer growing season. She loves to sing and is a member of North River Sing, a local choral group. For her day job, she is a business analyst and technical project manager who works for a financial firm in New York. Rachael is excited about joining the HCA board and getting to know a few more neighbors.

Eric Fleming

Treasurer

Eric currently serves as Treasurer. He is also a board member of the Jersey City Economic Development Corp., with focus as a liaison with small businesses. Eric is a financial planner, helping individuals, families and business owners with insurance, investment and estate planning. He has served four terms as President of the HCA, and has also served as Secretary and Board Member at Large. Eric has been serving as HCDO Committee Person for the 13th District in Ward E since 2010. Eric is President of Jersey City Lacrosse, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization that is Jersey City Department of Recreation's youth lacrosse program for boys and girls from kindergarten through 8th grade. Eric is married to pastry chef Jessica Isaacs, owner of Cocoa Bakery in Downtown Jersey City.

Austin Sakong

Board Member at Large

Austin has lived in Jersey City since 2005, and on Erie Street since 2012. He is a licensed architect and urban designer, with experience designing educational, commercial, residential, and cultural projects. He is an Associate at FXFOWLE Architects, has taught at Columbia University, and has served as a regular guest critic at CCNY, NYIT, NJIT, and Parsons New School. In addition to his role as Board Member at Large, Austin also chairs the HCA's Construction & Development Committee.

Deacon Cesar Sarmiento

Board Member at Large

Cesar, a retired accountant, has been a resident of downtown Jersey City for the past 40 years. He is a deacon of the Catholic Church and serves at St. Mary’s Church. He is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and is also a member of the Knights of Rizal. He was a recipient of the Jubilee Medal Pro Meritis for distinguished service in the Archdiocese of Newark. 

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