Board and Staff

Board Members

Kent L. Barwick
Mr. Barwick served as president of the Municipal Art Society of New York, was a chairman of the New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, and an early organizer of the South Street Seaport. He is a founder of the Preservation League of New York State, the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Historic Districts Council, and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.

Hooper Brooks
Mr. Brooks has served as Director of International Programs at The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, Program Director for Environment at the Surdna Foundation, Vice-President at Regional Plan Association, and Executive Director of the Brookline, Massachusetts Conservation Commission. He is a founder of The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and has served on several boards and advisory groups which presently include: the Ocean Foundation Advisory Board; and the Quebec-Labrador Foundation Council.

Ian Danic
Mr. Danic is co-founder and Executive Director of Electra Information Systems.  He also sits on the Board of Directors of The River Project and The Helicon Foundation.  Mr. Danic grew up near Detroit and fond memories of travelling on Columbia inspire his enthusiasm for returning steam to the Hudson River.

Joan K. Davidson
Board Member Emeritus
Ms. Davidson is the President of Furthermore Grants in Publishing, and President Emerita of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. She was a former New York State Parks Commissioner, and was the Chair of the 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission.

Sarah C. Davidson
Ms. Davidson runs external affairs for NY Green Bank, NY’s $1 billion investment fund, where she provides investment, portfolio management, and operations support while focusing on communications, stakeholder engagement, and public relations. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Environmental Film Festival.

Robert W. Elliott
Co-Chairman and President
Mr. Elliott has served as Deputy Secretary of State for New York, Mayor of Croton-on-Hudson, Chairman of Historic River Towns of Westchester, Chairman of the Hudson River Foundation, President of the New York Conference of Mayors, and Executive Director of the New York Planning Federation.

Ray Fusco
Mr. Fusco is the Chief of Staff of McLaren Engineering Group. Prior to this he was the Director of Waterfront Policy and Planning at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He currently serves on the steering committee of the US Coast Guard Safety, Navigation &Operation Committee and New York City Water Trail Association. He is an avid kayaker. 

Fredrick Osborn III
Founding Co-Chairman Emeritus
Mr. Osborn has a distinguished career in philanthropy. He has served on numerous boards, including Scenic Hudson, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Boscobel, and The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.

Jon Varnedoe
Mr. Varnedoe is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Compass. He is top 3% in sales in the nation and an expert in downtown real estate.

Ty West
Mr. West is a veteran television producer, writer and executive who creates programming across multiple platforms, including television, cable and the web. His awards include six national news Emmys, for investigative and financial reporting as well as breaking news coverage.

Pennell Whitney
Ms. Whitney is a board member of the Cooperage Project based in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. An active preservationist, her work has been recognized by organizations including the Wayne County Historical Society.


Richard Anderson
The Board of Directors of the S.S. Columbia Project mourns the loss of our beloved Founder and President, Richard Anderson. Richard’s grand vision to restore the S.S. Columbia and bring her to New York for service along the Hudson River was noble, bold and daring. During his lifetime, Richard’s avid determination and passion for this dream brought us together and united all of us – from the members of the board, to the ardent supporters, to the loyal volunteers – around his vision. We feel called to honor Richard’s dream, to honor those who have contributed financially, to honor those who have given their time and talent, and to honor our own personal desire to see the SS Columbia plying the waters of the Hudson River! We will carry on this quest, using all the resources before us – and gather more resources! – to turn Richard’s dream into reality.


Ann Loeding
Executive Director
Captain Loeding came up through the hawsepipe working on tugs in New York Harbor, eventually specializing in operating older single-screw boats on inland water routes – Hudson River, Erie Canal, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. She has served as a project manager and fundraiser for many historic vessel projects over the past 25 years, including fireboat John J. Harvey, canal motor vessel Day Peckinpaugh, and covered barge Pennsylvania Railroad No. 399. Captain Loeding has served as SSCP’s Restoration Coordinator since 2013. As a professional mariner accustomed to working towards a clear goal in the midst of changing conditions, she brings to the project a straight-forward, reality-oriented management process. In the past five years, Captain Loeding and her crew have gotten the boat from Detroit to the shipyard in Toledo, managed replacement of 60% of the underwater hull and structural repairs to the upper decks, coordinated transit from Toledo to Buffalo, undertaken work to stabilize the deckhouse and engine room to retard further weather damage, and coordinated full laser and photo scans to create a permanent digital record of the vessel. Since recently taking over as Executive Director, her duties have expanded to include supporting fundraising and strategic planning efforts, communicating with partners and supporters, and general organization housekeeping – all of which she has come to regard as the winds and tides of a shore-based job.

Gary Matthews
Port Engineer
A licensed Chief Engineer on tugboats, sailing ships and steam locomotives, Gary Matthews has 30 years of experience with the repair and operation of large steam and diesel machinery.  He has been an engineer on some 14 tugs in the New York area, managing day-to-day operation of the main engines and auxiliary systems, organizing and performing major planned repairs, and executing emergency repairs while underway. He has also been involved with the restoration and operation of machinery aboard historic vessels including 1901 tugboat Urger, 1933 ex-Coast Guard buoy tender Lilac, cargo schooner Edna, and more.

Annalisa Plumb
Program Assistant
Ms. Plumb is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and a New York City native.

Board of Advisors

Nathan Adkisson

Wint Aldrich

Paul Baldes

Sam Buchanan

Patrick Ciccone

Barbara Gerson

Huntley Gill

Jane Gullong

Clay Hiles

Daisy Hook

Adrienne Katz

Jennifer Krichels

Cortney Worrall

Rick Scarano

Ron Soodalter

Brad Vogel

William M. Worden

Jean Wort