HOB Director Ellen Salpeter Joins Real New York Women on Talk Show Brooklyn Savvy on NYC Life

(22-Sep-2011 - Brooklyn, NY) Brooklyn Savvy, hosted by Toni Williams and featuring a panel of vibrant personalities, premieres on NYC life (Channel 25) on Friday, September 23 at 11am. Dealing with relevant and provocative issues, the weekly talk show gets to the heart of what it means to be from Brooklyn. NYC life is viewed by almost 1.5 million New Yorkers each week on television and online and is available in over 18 million homes across the tri-state region.

Brooklyn Savvy deals with issues that impact contemporary women, focusing on news and events important to the community. In each episode, a panel of ethnically and racially diverse women and featured guests share life experiences and insights on how to create a meaningful and successful life. The series focuses on real conversations about issues that impact the daily lives of women and the challenges women face living in an urban setting. The mission of Brooklyn Savvy is to inspire, inform and empower women through sharing commonalities and giving voice to these concerns.


Toni Williams is the creator, host and executive producer of Brooklyn Savvy, a community-produced talk show that gives voice to social issues from a woman's perspective. For four years she hosted Brooklyn Independent Television’s Brooklyn Reporter Roundtable and received a Telly Award for Raising Sons of Color, which explored the challenges of raising boys in an urban context. She is also a public relations executive for a Fortune 500 company and is heavily involved in a number of non-profit organizations and boards in Brooklyn. She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her work and her tireless commitment to Brooklyn organizations.

A Visit with Lynn Nottage (Air date: Friday, September 23, 11am)
Brooklyn Savvy visits Lynn Nottage at her home in Boerum Hill to discuss her most recent play By the Way, Meet Vera Stark and her Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined. Lynn speaks candidly about her work, research and passion and shares many stories about the women in Africa who have been the victims of sexual war crimes.

Wine-Tasting with Brooklyn Savvy (Air date: Friday, September 30, 11am)
Toni and the Brooklyn Savvy panel – Denise Arbesu, Karen Auster, Lisa Bing and Ellen Salpeter – head to the home of wine professional and chef Heather Johnston in Park Slope. Heather shares her passion for wine and teaches the panel about wine and food pairings.

I’m Biracial, Not Black (Air date: Friday, October 7, 11am)
Brooklyn Savvy takes on the complex topic of being biracial in America with Juliette Fairley, actress and playwright of Mulatto Saga. In a riveting and candid discussion, Juliette chronicles journey as she discovers and grapples with her mixed race identity. The panel also discusses the President Barack Obama’s impact on the socio-political landscape for biracial people in America.

Brooklyn: The Epicenter of Food (Air date: Friday, October 14, 11am)
Brooklyn Savvy joins Nissa Pierson, owner of Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. Joining Toni Williams and panelists Lisa Bing and Traecy Smith are Ann Lemon, a sustainable dining expert, and Sarah Shannon, a chef, for a conversation about the culinary choices available in Brooklyn.

Enhancing Your Appearance with the Right Make-up (Air date: Friday, October 21, 11am)
Kim Soane of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics joins Brooklyn Savvy at the home of Karen Auster to talk about what woman can do to enhance their appearance with cosmetics. Just the right amount of blush, lipstick and mascara can go along way in giving a woman the finished look.

Advice for Emerging Filmmakers (Air date: Friday, October 28, 11am)
Brooklyn Savvy sits down with a distinguished group of women to discuss what it takes to produce and distribute a film. Featured in the episode are: Oscar-winning executive producer of Precious Lisa Cortez, filmmaker Olu Gittens, author Donna Walker Kuhne, senior vice president at BET Depelsha McGruder and Sharon Simmons from The Brooklyn Chapter of The Links.

Secure Your Financial Future (Air date: Friday, November 4, 11am)
Brooklyn Savvy talks to Jacquette Timmons, financial coach and author of Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Your Money and Your Mate. Also featured in the episode is Lazer Avtzon from Creditservicez.com who shares what people should know about their credit scores. Viewers will also learn about the financial pyramid and how to analyze choices and values as they relate to spending habits.

Brooklyn Savvy Talks to a Psychic (Air date: Friday, November 11, 11am)
Toni Williams and Brooklyn Savvy panelists Denise Arbesu, Karen Auster and Devorah Halberstam have an in-depth conversation with Enlightment, a psychic and spiritual counselor who talks about her gift of clairvoyance and listening to spiritual guides.

Life Coaching and How It Can Work for You (Air date: Friday, November 18, 11am)
Dishan Elise of Human@ease talks to Brooklyn Savvy about the benefits of coaching and how people can achieve results through a partner-coach. Dishan shares tips for developing your intuition and following your passion as a guide to leading a successful life.

Investment in Early Childhood Education (Air date: Friday, November 25, 11am)
Brooklyn Savvy is joined by an early education policy consultant who describes the current state of early childhood in New York City and addresses what government and the private sector can do to make a positive change for New York City’s children and families. Toni Williams and the panel share their insights and weigh possible solutions to the current crisis in early childhood.

Beauty Is Inside Out (Air date: Friday, December 2, 11am)
The Brooklyn Savvy panel discusses coming to terms with our physical beauty. They explore what it means to be outside of the typical beauty standards and how you can begin to define your own concept of beauty and enhance your self confidence and esteem. Authors Donna Grant and Gloria DeBerry talk about their lives as former plus-size models and how they were able to re-define beauty by embracing who they are to the “fullest.”

The Vibrant Brooklyn Arts Scene with Danny Simmons (Air date: Friday, December 9, 11am)
Artist and philanthropist Danny Simmons talks about the vibrant and bourgeoning art scene in Brooklyn, the importance of art and its relationship to economic development and quality of life in the borough. Also featured in the episode is Audrey Anastasi, an artist, activist and gallery owner, who talks about the business of art.


Born in Cuba and raised in Montreal, Canada, Denise Arbesu migrated to New York City 30 years ago. Her desire to serve the public in concrete meaningful ways inspired Denise to pursue a career in financial services. As a financial executive, she is responsible for developing new business in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. Denise has developed an expertise in lending to not-for-profit and healthcare organizations as well as middle market/commercial lending and serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations and on various fund raising committees.

Karen Auster was born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island and after living abroad in Italy, returned to Brooklyn 22 years ago. While starting a family here, she launched a home-based events business. As her children grew so did her small business and in 2009 founded, Auster Agency, a vibrant strategic marketing agency specializing in being architects of unique experiences for a diverse client list. In Brooklyn, Karen is responsible for producing and marketing Brooklyn's largest festival, the Atlantic Antic, as well as creating the vision and producing BKLYN DESIGNS, Brooklyn’s curated furnishing design show, recognized by the NYC Department of Small Business Services in the outstanding marketing/promotions category. Karen has served on numerous local not-for-profit boards and held leadership position on the PTA of her children’s lower, middle and high schools.

A native Brooklynite, Lisa A. Bing is president and founder of Bing Consulting Group, Inc. Lisa works with successful executives transitioning into new leadership roles and smart managers who want to get better. She culls best practices from her work in varied industries and professions to help leaders locally and from around the world to extend their influence, develop collaborative environments and implement profitable leadership strategies.

On March 1st, 1994, a Lebanese gunman murdered 16-year old Ari Halberstam, in a terrorist attack on the Brooklyn Bridge. Grief and fury transformed his mother, Devorah Halberstam, into an activist and crusader against terrorism. Devorah currently instructs local, state and federal law enforcement agencies around the country, including, the FBI, both locally and in Langley, Virginia, the NYPD, State Troopers, Chiefs of Police, Military and District Attorneys on the threat of terrorism. Her talks educate the public about the threat of terrorism in New York, the United States, and around the globe. Presently, she is the Director of Foundation and Government Services for the Jewish Children's Museum, which is dedicated to Ari's memory.

A native New Yorker and Brooklynite, Ellen Salpeter is the founding director of Heart of Brooklyn. With almost two decades of not-for-profit experience in arts and culture, Ellen is frequently asked to share strategies with other cultural clusters that recognize the power of partnership. She has served as an adjunct professor at New York University in Arts Administration and as a vice president of Arttable, a national organization for professional women in the arts and was a founding board member of Sadie Nash Leadership Project, a young women’s mentoring program based in Brooklyn. She also currently serves on many boards.

Traecy Smith began her career in advertising and public relations developing campaigns for Bruno Magli, Zegna, NY Waterways, Ralph Lauren and others. She went on to manage broadcast advertising campaigns and music videos for a division of Screen Gems and Edge Films. These experiences led to her working with NBC News and The Today Show for many years. Traecy worked on award-winning stories for Ann Curry that ranged from 9/11, the war in Iraq, the crisis in the Sudan to covering the Oscars.


Brooklyn Savvy airs Fridays at 11am on NYC life (channel 25), beginning on September 23. NYC life is available in the New York tri-state area on broadcast, cable and satellite channels, Channel 25 on most systems and Channel 22 on Cablevision. The series will also be available to watch online on the NYC Media Video on Demand player – nyc.gov/vod and through the NYC Media app, available to download for free from iTunes. New episodes will be added each week.


Part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NYC Media is the official TV, radio and online network of the City of New York, informing, educating and entertaining New Yorkers about the City’s diverse people and neighborhoods, government, services, attractions and activities. NYC Media oversees several television channels, a radio station and other online assets. NYC life – Channel 25 on most systems and Channel 22 on Cablevision – explores arts and culture, entertainment and lifestyle, and history and education, and features the people and places that make our City unique. Visit nyc.gov/media for local cable and satellite listings. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nyc_media or become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/nycmedia.

Press Contacts
NYC Media
Marybeth Ihle, 212-669-7742, mihle@media.nyc.gov
Chris Coffey, 212-669-7322, ccoffey@media.nyc.gov