This December, we paid tribute to the memory of former board member Andrew Kirby by dedicating the rose bush in the Riis Garden in his name. Additionally, we acknowledged the Kirby family for their decades of service and commitment to Riis by officially naming our welcome area the ‘Kirby Family Welcome Center.’
The meaningful connection between Riis and the Kirby family began with Ann Kirby, the family matriarch, who served as a board member and treasurer for many years. Ann collaborated closely with former Executive Director Bill Newlin in the 1990s, contributing significantly to the organization’s growth. Andrew Kirby, Ann’s late son, continued this legacy by working closely with the current Executive Director, Chris Hanway, to strengthen Riis’ ties with the Long Island City business, real estate, and tech communities, fostering new relationships. Following Andrew, his daughter Johanna has brought a fresh perspective to Riis’ strategic direction.
The Kirby family’s support extends beyond strategic vision, fiscal and governance guidance, and fundraising expertise over three generations of collaboration. Throughout the decades, the family has generously contributed financially and with in-kind support to Riis Settlement, offering spaces for community and fundraising events.