Board of Directors

Argus Community Board of Directors

We’ve been fortunate to have some of New York’s most dedicated people serving on our Board over the the past 50 years, and our current board is no exception.

When interviewing potential board members, we pride ourselves on a rigorous selection process. We look for those that have either worked for a similar cause in the past or that genuinely feel emotionally engaged with the Argus Community mission. Since our board members govern our entire organization, including top executives, it is important that they have enough experience to make wise choices, but also to be seen by others as credible. They also need to lead by example through respect and inspirational collaboration.

William S. Friedman

Board Chair, Director and Acting Treasurer

William is the founder and former General Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Beachwold Partners, LP, which is an investment partnership that owns and operates apartment properties in the US. William is also a graduate of Brandeis University and Columbia School of Law, and is a former Member of the Peace Corps.


Leslie A. Ross

Vice Chair, Director and Secretary

Former educator at the Barnard Center for Toddler Development at Columbia University. From 1972-1975, assistant to Elizabeth L. Sturz, Founder of Argus Community. Wife, mother, grandmother and lifelong resident of New York City.

Tom Javits


In addition to serving on the Argus Board of Directors for over 10 years, Tom A. Javits is the Vice President of Construction and Facilities with The Metropolitan Museum of Arts. Prior to joining The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, he served as Senior Vice President – Development for AvalonBay Communities, where he was responsible for various development projects within New York City. Mr. Javits has over 23 years of high-rise residential and commercial development experience including senior officer positions at Zeckendorf Realty, Boston Properties and Vornado Realty Trust.

Erik Charlson, M.D.

(Robert William Erik Charlson)

Erik is currently employed as a neurologist at the NYU Multiple Sclerosis Center. Erik did his psychiatry residency at NYU and his neurology residency and medical training at Montefiore in the Bronx. In the past, Erik has volunteered in medical school at the Mayo Clinic at Rochester Better Chance and the Schwartz Center.

Peter G. Samuels


Peter is a partner at Proskauer and served for six years as co-head of the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group. He advises on corporate governance and issues relating to strategic considerations, and related matters. He plays a leading role with respect to Proskauer’s pro bono initiatives and serves on the Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform.

Ayanna Y. Thomas


Ayanna serves as an Associate at Bond Schoeneck & King, and is affiliated with the NYC Bar Association & the New York State Bar Association.

Fred Harris


Fred serves as a Special Advisor for Real Estate Development of Jonathan Rose Companies. He is responsible for directing the expansion and diversification of the Companies’ development portfolio. Fred was a Governor of the Real Estate Board of NY, a Trustee of Brooklyn Hospital, and an adjunct Professor at Columbia University.

Diane Pollard


Diane is a native New Yorker and currently resides on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. She has served on numerous boards of directors as a trustee as well as not-for-profit organizations related to the Episcopal church. Her professional career has been in pensions, financial services, employee benefits, and human resources as well as an in-depth involvement in the healthcare and medical community.

Father Larry Ford


Father Larry serves as a Director of the Office Revitalization and Restructuring for US Franciscans. He is responsible for creating a new, coast-to-coast Franciscan Province from the six current provinces, bringing together the different cultures, ministries, and professional operational systems. Father Larry is also a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of New York and formerly the Board Chair of CREATE, Inc.