Queens Botanical Garden’s Board of Trustees welcomed four new members to its team who will apply their expertise, leadership, and strong ties to their communities to support the Garden’s mission of bringing people, plants, and cultures together.
The new members — Lee-Lee Chang, Anthony Lui, Rebecca Schmutter, and Jenny Zeng — will join the Garden’s team of 15 talented board members.
“I am so proud to welcome our new board members and be associated with Queens Botanical Garden,” said Raymond Jasen, newly elected QBG board chair. “The dedicated QBG team has done an amazing job to ensure that the Flushing community has a family-friendly oasis of beauty and calm to renew their spirits during these challenging times. At QBG, social distancing isn’t represented by the number of feet that separate us, but by the number of flowers that bloom between us.”
Susan Lacerte, QBG executive director, said they’re “absolutely delighted” to have Chang, Lui, Schmutter and Zheng on board to help guide the Garden’s exciting initiatives.
“As we look ahead in 2021, we recognize that the garden is more important than ever in providing our community with a place for peace, rejuvenation, and inspiration,” Lacerte said.
Chang is an attorney specializing in commercial and residential real estate transactions, serving the metropolitan New York area and the Chinese immigrant community. Prior to her own law practice, Chang was an associate attorney at the Law Firm of Wise, Lerman and Katz, P.C. specializing in business law and litigation. Chang attended Taiwan National Chung Hsing University and CUNY Law School in New York.
“QBG is a hidden treasure for people to enjoy its architectural landscaping, the natural garden, and access to refreshing air,” Chang said. “Over the years, QBG has played an important role in conserving our community’s environment, as well as providing various educational activities to make connections with the community. I am thrilled and delighted to be part of the great QBG team which consists of many talented people striving to enhance the human environment.”
Lui started his career as a marine in the Marine Corps after high school. He served three years overseas in Okinawa, Japan, and spent his fourth year training reserve marines at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. After his honorable discharge, Lui went back to college and graduated from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business.
Lui joined Bank of America in 2005 and transferred to Flushing Bank in 2010. He has managed five different branches within the 10 years he has been with Flushing Bank. He is currently the vice president branch manager of the Broadway Station Branch with $300M in deposit. Throughout his career with Flushing Bank, Liu has been very active in the various communities in Queens and Brooklyn surrounding his branches. His active involvement has helped him build strong relationships with many local organizations and professionals. Lui is fluent in English and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin).
“I am both proud and honored to serve on the Board of Trustees for QBG and passionate to work with other members in fulfilling the mission of QBG,” Liu said.
Schmutter, who is counsel at Farrell Fritz PC, was born and raised in Queens and currently lives in West Hempstead with her husband and their two children. She counsels corporate entities, family-owned businesses and individuals on a wide range of domestic and international tax matters. She helps her clients maneuver complex tax issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships, personal and business investments and financings, among others.
Schmutter also advises individual U.S. taxpayers with respect to federal voluntary disclosure programs and procedures relating to foreign financial assets. Prior to joining Farrell Fritz, Schmutter was counsel at Pryor Cashman LLP and an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. She attended Columbia College and Columbia Law School.
“I’m very excited to be joining the board,” Schmutter said. “I grew up in Queens and know how important the Garden is to the community. I’m looking forward to getting involved and supporting this great organization.”
Zeng and her husband reside in Forest Hills. She enjoys gardening, painting, and singing. She is president of East Grandview Inc. in Flushing.
Zeng graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture from Tongji University in 1986 in China. She worked in comprehensive planning and designing for multiple national parks after graduation. After coming to the United States in 1993, Zeng worked as a textile designer and contracted with many high-profile fashion companies, including Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. In 2008, Zeng started her own business to introduce traditional Chinese silk embroidery art to the United States. She also has worked as a manager in the medical field. Over the years, Zeng has kept a close relationship with the local community.
“I have been living in Queens for 30 years, and since studying landscape-architecture at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, I have pursued my dream of making our environment beautiful,” Zeng said. “I will enjoy contributing my knowledge, interest, time, and energy to Queens Botanical Garden and making the Garden feel like spring all year round.”
To view a complete list of Queens Botanical Garden’s board members, click here.