Promotions, Announcements & Appointments



In order to help improve services in the district, GatewayJFK has hired Dieusita Jean to fill the newly created position of operations manager.

Jean was born and raised in Southeast Queens and has direct experience that will help her quickly adapt to the role, including a history of work in communications, event planning, and coordinating services with city agencies as a staff member for Assemblyman Clyde Vanel.

The operations manager position is the second full-time staff position for the team at GatewayJFK. Jean will perform a critical role in managing GatewayJFK’s public space initiatives. Her responsibilities will include overseeing contracted vendors, collecting and managing data and analytics related to public space, and working with businesses, residents and City agencies to improve quality of life metrics in the area.

As part of that work Jean will be monitoring and improving the responses submitted through the GatewayJFK quality of life form, a website tool that helps workers and residents report issues including flooding, downed telephone poles, abandoned vehicles, and illegal dumping.

Jean will directly help solve these problems by navigating government relationships and spending time to solve problems that our business owners and community members may not have time to deal with.


Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Gonzalo Casals as commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Casals, who has called Jackson Heights home since 2002, currently serves as director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum in Manhattan.

“I came to New York City nearly 20 years ago, drawn by the opportunity to be a part of the world’s greatest cultural community, one as diverse and vibrant as nowhere else,” said Casals. “Since then, my admiration and respect for the people who drive this incredible cultural sector has only grown.”

As commissioner, Casals will lead the Administration’s efforts to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultural sector. He’ll also be charged with stewarding the largest local funder of arts and culture in the United States.

Casals was part of the team of cultural experts who led public engagement for CreateNYC, New York City’s first comprehensive cultural plan. He was also a member of the New York City Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, which developed guidelines on how the City should address controversial monuments. Casals came to New York City from Argentina in 2002.

Before being appointed the director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum in 2017, he was vice president of Programs and Community Engagement at Friends of the High Line, where he led the team in a process that shifted the focus of the organization to equitable cultural practices to impact surrounding neighborhoods.

For over seven years, Casals held various roles at El Museo del Barrio. His tenure as director of Education and Public Programs focused on cultural production as a vehicle to foster empowerment, social capital, and civic participation.

A regular guest speaker on arts, culture, equity, and inclusion, Gonzalo teaches at the University of the City Of New York, New York University, and Yale University.

“I’ve seen firsthand how New York City’s cultural sector so profoundly shapes the lives of residents in every neighborhood,” Casals added. “Art and culture don’t just contribute to New York’s communities – it is the foundation of so many of our communities, and so central to what makes our city great.”


Dr. Beverly Sheppard, a Jamaica physician and chair of the Pediatrics Department for AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY), was awarded the 2020 Celebration of Excellence Award during the Big Apple Health News and Event’s 2020 Black History Month Reception. The award recognizes the contributions of prominent African Americans in health care.

“I feel honored to be among a group of recipients who are collectively driven by one essential purpose: helping others,” said Sheppard.

Sheppard oversees pediatricians across AdvantageCare’s medical offices in New York City and Long Island. Her 35 years of experience includes previous positions at the Harlem Hospital Center and the Queens-Long Island Medical Group.

She currently serves as an assistant professor in pediatrics at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell, teaching second-year medical students. Sheppard is a board certified pediatrician and completed her residency from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. She earned her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University.

“Dr. Sheppard not only provides exceptional care to her patients, but she also embodies AdvantageCare Physicians’ model of caring for the whole patient, starting with a healthy foundation early in life,” said Dr. Navarra Rodriguez, president and chief medical officer at ACPNY.

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