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Board Members

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Marvin Makofsky, Founder, Board President and Chief Vegetable Officer

After a career in the printing industry during which he was recognized with more than 100 national and international design awards and 11 patents, Marvin started his second career as the founder of Plant a Row for the Hungry armed with a lifelong passion for gardening and commitment to community service in Port Washington. He has been recognized by Newsday, Residents Forward, and the Town of North Hempstead. With his wife Ellen, he has two grown children and five grandchildren. His favorite garden vegetable is the tomato.

Ralph Katz, Board Secretary

Over a marketing career spanning 48 years, Ralph balanced sharp strategic insights with disciplined creativity to tackle some of the most complex assignments ever conceived for corporate America. Following extensive stints with both a major New York advertising firm and the world’s largest public relations agency, Ralph teamed with long-time colleague, Andy Cooper, to launch CooperKatz & Company in 1996. One of his most proud accomplishments was the CooperKatz culture of collaboration, caring and purpose, which led to CooperKatz being named to the Crain’s “100 Best Places to Work in NYC” list for the final four years of company operations (2014 through 2017). Ralph has headed several non-profit boards and travels to the most rural area of Honduras, the Agalta Valley, with a team helping to nurture and promote educational advancements in the region. 

David A. Cohen

David is President of DAC Technology Inc, a successful engineering company in the aerospace industry for the past 40 years.  He owns several engineering patents and a long list of products designed by his company.  He is a CCE Master Gardener since 2019 and is proud of his gardening accomplishments. He is the hands-on leader of Plant a Row for their irrigation systems and other physical projects.  David is a graduate of Columbia University, Bronx HS of Science, and also PS86 in the Bronx.  His favorite vegetable is black garlic! His favorite wife is Charlotte!

Bruce Frey

Bruce has lived in Port Washington for 29 years. He was the owner of a commercial printing company for 30 years, and now retired, enjoys giving back to the community as a board member with Plant A Row for the Hungry. Bruce graduated with degrees in fine arts and education, and besides gardening, his hobbies include ceramics and painting. He has been married for 46 years, has one son and two granddaughters. 

B. (“Bea”) Loerinc Helft

Bea is a certified Master Gardener with the Nassau County Cornell Cooperative Extension, giving presentations on many horticultural subjects throughout the county. She has enjoyed gardening, especially growing vegetables and other edibles, for many years, and has turned her suburban backyard into a mini farm. As a board member of Plant A Row For the Hungry, she is dedicated to educating the community about how to grow vegetables at home, and encourages everyone to donate extra produce to those in need. Bea is also a member of ReWild Long Island, focusing her efforts on spreading the word about the benefits of planting native plants. Her other area of gardening interest is experimenting with various composting techniques. A perennial student, Bea dedicates several hours a week taking courses relevant to gardening.

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