Jonathan Drapkin is President and CEO of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress. At Pattern he has developed a portfolio of projects and assistance to the region in community and economic development.
Under Jonathan’s leadership Pattern has been recognized on numerous occasions including Orange County Association of Realtors Excellence in Innovation Award (2008), President’s Award for analysis and leadership on the MTA Payroll Tax from the Orange County Chamber of Commerce (2009), President’s Award for Service to the Rockland Business Association for analysis of the County’s finances (2013) and Hudson River Housing’s Community Builder Award (2014).
As executive director of the Gerry Foundation in Sullivan County from 2000 to 2006, Drapkin guided the creation of Bethel Woods performing arts center at the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Prior to that, he was county manager of Sullivan County. Jonathan has been awarded the Sullivan County Partnership’s Distinguished Service Award (2006), the Walter Rhulen Award as Businessman of the Year (2001), the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award (2000), and the American Society for Public Administration’s Award for Outstanding Administrator for the New York Metropolitan Chapter (1996).
Jonathan spent his earlier years in New York City where he worked in the administration of Mayor Ed Koch and as Director of the New York City Council’s Office of Oversight and Investigation.
Jonathan has served as a member of two Governors’ Commissions focusing on the restructuring of local government and currently serves on the executive committee of the Mid Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. Drapkin has also taught government efficiency and effectiveness in Baruch College’s Masters Degree in Public Administration for 7 years.
Jonathan graduated from Washington University, after completing a year abroad at Durham University in Northern England; he then earned a Master’s degree in economics from Long Island University, and a law degree from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.
Joe Czajka (CHI-Ka) is Senior Vice President for Research, Development & Community Planning at Pattern and is also Executive Director of the Center for Housing Solutions and Urban Initiatives. Joe is recognized throughout the Hudson Valley for his expertise on housing policy and trends and has been asked to serve on numerous community development and housing commissions, boards and task forces. Joe is well versed in demographics and their impact on population change. Joe has more than 25 years of experience in the field of community and economic development and neighborhood revitalization.
At Pattern, he oversees the annual housing report for the Hudson Valley and in recent years has authored reports such as the Putnam County Housing Corporation’s Housing Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan as well as the Town of Crawford Community Development Plan. In 2014, Joe was honored with the Community Builder Award from the nonprofit Hudson River Housing.
Prior to joining Pattern, Joe served as Director of Special Projects for the Regional Economic Community Action Program from 2009 to 2011. Joe had a nine-year tenure with Sullivan County and during his final year as the Director of Grants Administration procured over $4 million in housing and community and economic development grant funds. In addition to his five years at Pattern, Joe served as executive director of the anti-poverty agency RECAP (Regional Economic Community Action Program) based in Middletown.
Robin DeGroat is Vice President of Operations and Executive Assistant to Jonathan. She has served in that role since 2007 managing business relations and special projects and oversees all aspects of the organization including membership, sponsorship, event planning, support management, presentation of research and financial administration. Prior to joining Pattern, Robin served as an executive assistant at Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts and IBEW Local 1968. Her undergraduate work was done at State University of New York at Buffalo.
Michelle Pfeffer joined Pattern for Progress in February 2020 as Vice President for Marketing and Communication.
Michelle was founding partner for an International Importing & Distribution firm based in Southeast Georgia. Over ten years, she served as National Sales Manager, Chief of Operations, and Chief Financial Officer, growing the company into an 80,000 square foot warehouse and employing more than 40 employees.
After selling her shares in the company, Michelle worked in multimedia advertising and marketing consulting, before accepting the position of Director for Economic Development of a Joint Development Authority in Southeast Georgia. Through this role, she worked on developing community assets – including healthcare, housing, transportation, and education; incubating local business, and nurturing partnerships on both the local and state level to attract new business opportunities to the community she served.
Michelle moved back to the Hudson Valley in August of 2016, where she joined Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, working as an Associate Broker and Team Leader for Home in the Hudson Valley Team at Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, before joining Pattern for Progress.
Eric Pierson joined Pattern For Progress as a junior research planner in March, 2017.
Prior to joining Pattern, Eric worked for a year and a half as an assistant planner for the Monmouth County Division of Planning in New Jersey. With the county, he assisted in the administration of the farmland-preservation program and served as staff for the Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board, conducting site visits and preparing reports regarding the New Jersey Right to Farm Act.
Eric earned a bachelor’s degree in natural-resource management from the University of Delaware in 2012 and a master’s degree in city & regional planning from the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers University in 2015. Eric works on a range of planning and economic development projects at Pattern.
Kate received a Master of Urban Planning degree from Hunter College in 2019, with a focus on environmental and community sustainability. As a graduate student, she interned with the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Newburgh and with Scenic Hudson. In 2018, in a collaboration between CUNY and the Kőszeg Institute of Advanced Studies, she received a scholarship and was part of a small team that traveled to Hungary and created a report highlighting opportunities for developing a circular economy in the Pannonian Region. Additionally, Kate was awarded a fellowship to work with the New York City Community Board that represents the Hudson Yards area of Manhattan on a project to inventory and map district health services, and develop policy recommendations based on her findings. For her graduate studio project, Kate collaborated with other students on a 100-year vision for the Village of Hastings-On-Hudson’s waterfront. Kate also holds a Master’s Degree in Science Education from NYU Steinhardt, and she previously taught high school biology in Bronx, NY. Kate moved to the Hudson Valley in 2015.
Edda Eller, October 6, 2010