The Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the park’s nonprofit partner, announced that Anthony Sama, a Queens native and graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, is its new executive director.
Sama previously served as NYC Parks director of citywide special events since 2009 and joined the alliance as part of his recent appointment as the park’s administrator. He replaces longtime Flushing Meadows Corona Park administrator Janice Melnick who retired last year. Melnick had also served as the executive director of the alliance since its inception in 2015.
“We are excited that Anthony will bring his expertise and care for public service to his new role as executive director of our alliance and administrator for Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” FMCP Alliance Chair Daniel Zausner said. “We look forward to working with him.”
As director of citywide special events, Sama oversaw the growth and execution of many of New York City’s premier special events on parkland, including the New York City Marathon and the Global Citizen Festival.
“Throughout his career at NYC Parks, Anthony has played an integral role in connecting and representing partners, stakeholders and the public we serve,” NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said. “Over the past two years in particular, Anthony has shown great leadership by coordinating the distribution of over a half-million masks to New Yorkers in parks, overseeing the build-out of a hospital on Central Park’s East Meadow, and working with more than 350 city schools to bring the City’s Outdoor Learning Initiative to life in city parks. I am confident his vast experience and ‘can-do’ attitude will benefit him in his new position.”
For more than a decade, Sama has worked closely with communities, elected officials and large organizations to standardize event processes and policies and help create meaningful and fun public programs in compliance with complex policies and needs. Its 898 acres serve more than 12 million visitors a year pre-pandemic and it is home to cultural institutions such as Queens Theatre, New York Hall of Science, Queens Zoo and Queens Museum as well as sports venues like Citi Field, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,
“I’m proud to be part of the flagship park of Queens and the fourth-largest park in New York City,” Sama said. “I’m honored to have been selected to help represent some of the most fascinating and diverse neighborhoods in the country. It will be my privilege to continue the great work of those who stewarded Flushing Meadows Corona Park before me, from keeping the park clean and safe to celebrating our cultural heritage and environmental legacy.”
Sama is a married father of two young children. He is a graduate of New York University’s Stern School for Business.