Director of Operations and Facilities
Even though Robert Alemany grew up in the Bronx and is a longtime resident of Astoria, Queens, he loves country music and NASCAR: “I know, I know, I’m so southern for a city kid,” he says. He and his wife, Juliana, married after only knowing each other for two months — and after Robert attempted to teach himself Portuguese in order to impress her (she’s from Brazil). “I got so good at it that I would eventually serve as a Portuguese translator for a NYC nonprofit and the Brazilian Ministry of Education,” he says. Their son, Jason, was born in 2009 and is obsessed with sports and the cookies after the 5 p.m. worship service.
Robert has a B.A. in social sciences from the City College of New York, an M.B.A. from Texas A&M University and is completing his M.S. in Information Technology and Data Analytics at Southern New Hampshire University. He’s worked in the education sector and operations management.
As our Director of Operations and Facilities, Robert oversees the W83 Ministry Center and manages our operations staff. “The West Side congregation is the congregation that my family is a part of,” says Robert. “There is nothing better than being able to serve my home congregation and reciprocate the love that was, and is, continually shown to us.”, Robert oversees Sunday services, the W83 Ministry Center and manages our operations staff. “The West Side congregation is the congregation that my family is a part of,” says Robert. “There is nothing better than being able to serve my home congregation and reciprocate the love that was, and is, continually shown to us.”
Danielle Allan was born in Oakland, CA but spent the formative years of her life in Ashland, OH. Here is where God really grabbed a hold of her heart and where she met her husband, Jon, in high school. She earned her B.A. in Graphic Design and worked as a Leasing Consultant at an apartment complex in Columbus, OH before moving out to the city in 2015.
In her role, Danielle is responsible for overseeing all communications to the West Side congregation and encouraging everyone to participate in seeing the gospel take root on the Upper West Side. She also supports Senior Pastor David Bisgrove and Executive Pastor Drew Field as well as the West Side team.
In her spare time, Danielle enjoys reading, catching up with friends over games or food, exploring new places with her husband and doting on her nieces whenever she gets the opportunity (which is not often enough).
David Bisgrove grew up in New Jersey and moved to New York City for graduate school in 1986. He started attending Redeemer in 1989 and became a founding elder and trustee. David and his wife, Alice, met at a Community Group Sunday brunch through mutual friends. They now live on the UWS with their daughters, Mary Claire and Charlotte.
David took seven years of classical trombone and five years of classical piano lessons. He also sang a solo in the earliest days of Redeemer, long before YouTube!
David has a M.B.A. and Master's in Public Health from Columbia University and previously worked in healthcare finance and administration. He began working at Redeemer as the director of finance and operations in 1998, while also pursuing his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 2005 as an assistant pastor who oversaw worship and evangelism, counseling, stewardship and family ministries. Now as Senior Pastor of the West Side congregation, David loves standing at the door on Sundays talking to people on their way in and out of worship. He’s a big fan of golf (when he can make it out of the city) and of going on family bike rides to Pier i along the Hudson. And you might also find him at Joe’s Coffee on Columbus Ave.
Director of Care & Counseling
A native of the deep south, Ellen moved to NYC in 2014. She received her undergraduate degree in History from Mississippi College and received her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. Before moving to New York City she worked in full time ministry for 15 years in various church and ministry settings. Ellen joined the West Side staff in December 2016 as Community Group Director. Previously, she worked with Community Groups at Redeemer Downtown as well as a counselor at Redeemer Counseling Services.
In her role as Director of Care & Counseling, Ellen provides oversight, support, and pastoral care for the community groups, women's groups, and the Diaconate. She is a natural counselor, empathizer, and fun-maker and she enjoys walking with people thorough all seasons of life.
In her free time, Ellen enjoys listening to live music, traveling to far-flung places, drinking loads of coffee, going for runs and spending time with her husband in Brooklyn.
Julia Boyes became the Elementary Coordinator and Curriculum Specialist on the West Side in 2019, but has been involved at Redeemer since moving to NYC in 2012, most recently as the Preschool Coordinator. “I feel so grateful to have found community here,” she said. “My sisters in Christ and serving the children make life in NYC so wonderful!”
Originally from Kansas, Julia received her Bachelor of the Fine Arts from UNC School of the Arts. Prior to working at Redeemer, Julia worked at Gibney Dance Center and Lincoln Center Education, as well as in various NY theatres. She also has experience working with children and adults who have special needs. “Creating a flourishing special needs ministry is definitely on my bucket list,” Julia says enthusiastically. “Every person is made in God’s image, and every church should be a reflection of that!”
When not at work, Julia can be found talking on the phone with her family, eating ice cream, performing, or playing with her two cats: Butter and Olive.
Visitor Services Supervisor
It has been very interesting to experience all the different shifts at the front desk on all the different days. If I am at the front desk on a weekday, a Saturday or a Sunday, the experience, the dynamic is very different. Even Sunday mornings are so different from the services in the evening: the people, the flow of traffic, and the dynamic varies.
Assistant Events Manager
I usually will come in and do some office hours where I take a look at the week ahead and make sure we have event staff to cover everything we need. Then usually the bulk of my job here is supervising the building on evenings and on weekends, making sure the clients have a friendly face if they need anything. Because I’m here on weekends, I get to really see the weekend groups, like bar and bat mitzvahs, premarital seminars, Dads’ groups, and tutoring.
Children's Ministry Director
After living in Utah, California and Texas, Laura Einhorn moved to the city with her husband, Steven, in 2007. “We thought we would only stay for about a year, but now I can’t imagine leaving the neighborhood I’ve called home for over a decade.” She may be a New York transplant but her daughters were born here on the Upper West Side.
Laura earned her Bachelor's Degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an MBA from the State University of New York at Oswego. She’s worked in many industries, including management at a large public university and a global advertising agency. Most recently she was the Director of Operations at an IT support company. “Ever since I became a Christian at 14 years old, I’ve served in various teaching and leadership positions in children’s, youth, and womens ministries.
Laura joined the Redeemer West Side staff in January 2019 as the Children’s Ministry Director. “I love being part of a team committed to the Gospel and Gospel-ministry in NYC,” she says. “I get to be a part of the amazing children’s ministry team that is responsible for the children’s classes on Sundays, KCG, Vacation Bible School, as well as various events throughout the year.” Her favorite part is getting to know the children and their families.
In her spare time, Laura loves listening to music. “One day I may may stream an opera, and the next day I may listen to 80s music, classic hymns or CCM from the 90s.” However, most days, she and her family are listening to Tobymac (her daughters favorite) and their VBS playlist at least once per day. Her family also loves to wander around NYC, especially Central Park and various smaller parks and playgrounds across the city.
Andrew Field was a founding member of Redeemer in 1989, and joined the pastoral staff in 1995. After five years, he and his family moved to California to plant a church in Silicon Valley, where he and his wife, Donna, raised four children: Timothy, Sarah, Elizabeth and James.
Drew returned to New York City in July 2016 with Donna and their youngest child, James, after serving as executive pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.
As Executive Pastor of Redeemer West Side, Drew supports and guides the West Side staff to help all of the ministries thrive, including the new sites launched over the next decade. “You should see me on Sundays and also behind the scenes,” Drew says, “as an advisor, coach and champion for our great leaders.”
Operations Team Lead
A regular work day changes, but we just do mostly room set ups and try to help out the clients: any support they need, whatever they need. And whatever maintenance problem arrives, if we can fix it, we go for it.
Care & Community Manager
Susana Gough is a true New Yorker — she was born and raised in Chinatown by first generation, working-class immigrants. She grew up non-Christian and accepted the Lord during her last semester of high school. Susana lives in Hell’s Kitchen with her husband Jonathan and their children Timmy, Emerie and Tommy. She enjoys cooking for others, grocery shopping in foreign countries, checking out free summer events in NYC, and taking long, 8-mile walks through the city.
Susana’s background is in cognitive psychology and education and she previously worked for Herald Youth Center. She’s attended Redeemer since 2003 and came on staff in 2005. Now as our Care & Community Manager, she provides administrative support for the CG Team and CG leaders, as well as help connect congregants into community groups. “I mind the nitty-gritties so that the vision and ideas of our staff and lay leaders can come to fruition and flourish,” says Susana.
Operations Team Lead
Some days it’s easy, some days it’s hectic. I set up and break down for events that are weekly, like KCG and Open Door, and then also on Sunday. And I train new people.
I like this job because you can just be yourself. And I like the people that I work with. It’s like family. We talk to each other, we laugh, we joke. Sometimes it’s serious, but most of the time it’s fun. And I appreciate that I can talk with Robert and Eva about personal things, and they give me good advice. On Sundays, before we start anything or do anything, we have a prayer. We discuss certain things from the Bible, and Robert (Alemany, W83 Operations Manager) always asks us, is there anything on our mind we want to pray about? When I was younger I always thought that you had to be perfect to become a Christian and be in the church. This job is a blessing because it brought me closer to God and the Bible.
Sunday & Events Senior Manager
Nicole Harris grew up in San Dimas, California: “Home to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Am I dating myself?” she says. While in college, Nicole took a radio internship and became hooked on the business side of the industry. She moved to NYC with a job in a management company and has been freelancing in music production ever since. Nicole has lived in New York a total of eight years, though she left the city for a while before coming back five years ago.
As our Worship and Volunteer Coordinator, Nicole supports both our Music Director and our Operations Manager. You can find Nicole helping with payroll and interoffice communications, while also organizing music forums for professional and student congregants and keeping things running smoothly for the volunteers and operation staff at our Sunday services. “I love being able to support a church that has been such a blessing to me,” says Nicole. “NYC is so amazing and full of wonderful distractions. Redeemer's teachings make it feasible for me to live in such a stimulating city while keeping my sensibilities and heart based in Christ.”
Youth Ministry Director
Shirley was born and raised in New York and, in fact, is the first person in her entire extended family to be born in the USA. She received a BA in psychology from Northwestern University, an MA in Intercultural Studies from Alliance Theological Seminary and an MBA from Yale School of Management. After many years of running a small business, Shirley returned to her roots in ministry, which includes serving as the youth pastor for two churches in Queens, NY and coordinating programs for youth and young adults with Youth With A Mission.
As the Youth Ministry Director, Shirley oversees Redeemer's youth ministry as it endeavors to build a gospel-centered, loving community where youth can grow in their faith and identity in Christ. This includes providing pastoral care, discipleship, mentoring and support to the youth, volunteers and youth ministry staff.
Besides spending time with youth, Shirley enjoys a good workout and the great outdoors, watching plays and musicals, and winning the Shakespeare in the Park lottery or any other full-view, theater tickets. She's also a big fan of NPR’s Sunday Puzzle and NYC’s public libraries. She can bake a mean cake, can’t resist a good dance beat and is unashamed to say that she loves a good pun.
A regular day at work looks like giving a walk-through of W83 and having a chance to show people the space, responding to inquiries, scheduling logistics for upcoming events, fielding questions from guests when they’re here, drafting contracts, checking in with event guests and giving out subway directions and painter’s tape on demand. What I really enjoy the most is having the opportunity to work with people directly, see what the vision is for their special event and then helping to make that vision come to life at W83. No two events are ever the same, and since we’re a multi-use space, there are often multiple events happening in the building at the same time. I like the fun and unique challenge of making everyone feel welcome while making sure everything is running smoothly. When we have a busy day at W83, with anything from weddings, to concerts, to classes, there’s this great buzz of energy that fills the space and you feel like you’re really connected to a larger community and the creativity of New York City.
Director of Community & Mission
Joel grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and met his wife, Caitlyn, while working in Dubai. They have four children, Jacqueline, Gavriel, Ezekiel and Nicholas who love playing at Fort Tryon Park. They moved to the city in 2015 to settle down long term and for Joel to join the inaugural class of Reformed Theological Seminary's NYC campus. Joel has a background in business analysis and research computing.
As Director of Community & Mission, Joel helps connect people on the West Side to community life, supports group leaders, creates curriculum and teaches classes. Joel is eager to continue nurturing pastoral skills and learning about this great city and its people. He has a special interest in how the biblical prophets communicated with those outside their faith community and looks forward to applying lessons from them to his own ministry in the city.
Early Education Coordinator
Areo Keller, named after REO Speedwagon, grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. She moved to the city in April 2018 and settled into the West Side neighborhood.
She previously taught Preschool and Kindergarten on Sundays, and she was officially hired on to the West Side team as Preschool Coordinator in September 2019. In her role, she writes lessons, coordinates volunteers, and teaches children aged 3-5 (Preschool and Pre-K). “Nothing can compare to the absolute joy I feel when I can share God’s love with kids and show them love by ‘doing,’” she says. “I love their humor, goofiness, creativity, and curiosity. Their truly child-like faith inspires me to pursue that kind of relationship with my divine and loving Creator.”
Areo has a BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. In her free time, you can find her performing, running in NYC parks, doing yoga, writing, or cooking gluten-free. She volunteers her time with the West Side Youth Ministry and also works with Pure Creative Arts (non-profit arts outreach organization) which uses arts outreach and mentorship as a vessel to inspire young people to recognize and embrace their identities in Christ.
Karen Markham started attending Redeemer West Side in 2006 and joined the West Side staff in August 2016. She coordinates logistics and executes plans for public discipleship, and oversees membership on the West Side.
In 2020, Karen’s role expanded to include church-wide direction of many aspects of ministry and internal operations of team culture, HR, and finance.
Karen earned her B.A. in Theatre, specializing in theatre management, at Vanderbilt University, and has worked in hospitality and as the operations manager at a tech company. When she first moved to the city, she worked at The Gin Mill — right around the corner from W83 — where she met her husband, Michael. “Great story of God’s will at work,” she says. “And the rest is history.” Karen and Michael live at the top of Central Park with their three children, Claire, Henry and John.
Senior Director of Discipleship/Faith & Work
Originally from Finland, and after living in ten different countries, Milla Nieminen joined the West Side staff in August 2018. She received her Master of Science in Economic and Business Administration from Aalto University School of Business and ESCP-Europe, and spent 12 years in global sales and marketing and strategy roles in the technology industry. Milla also received a Master in Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary and was in ministry work in a church setting in Los Angeles for six years before moving to New York City. Hebrews 11:8, where it talks about Abraham and how by faith he “obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going,” has become her slogan for life. “Following Jesus is the biggest adventure ever,” she says. “I’m excited to see what He has for me here in New York.”
In her role, Milla focuses on pastoral care, discipleships and raising new leaders. She is also Faith & Work lead for the West Side. Her passion is for people. “I spend my days loving and guiding people through ups and downs of life’s journey and helping them see how unique they are and how important their contribution is to the world around them.”
Milla enjoys fitness classes such as pilates and barre, loves hiking and walks on the beach. Irving Farm and Joe Coffee are quickly become favorite coffee spots on the Upper West Side. Her favorite way to spend an evening is “around delicious food, great wine and good conversation.”
I can honestly say each day starts with prayer, and my prayer each day as I prepare to come to work is that I would be an example of Jesus Christ, that I would be a real example of God’s love because of my contact with people. So that’s very important for me. The job is overseeing the activity that is going on, knowing what’s going on in the building, being able to communicate that to people coming in looking for events, and people walking in who have questions about religion or the church.
I think my background helps me to understand people and where they’re coming from. I worked night clubs, banks, basically hotel security for about 17 years. The last was the Mandarin Oriental.
It’s important to keep this lobby clean and presentable. As well as myself, because I am the first person that represents this building, this church, and our God. And it’s important to me to constantly be aware of that.
Director of Events and Programming
My main responsibility is to facilitate fulfilling Redeemer West Side’s vision for the building, by working with the West Side ministries, other Redeemer churches and ministries, and partners and institutions in the greater NYC community." This involves thinking about the various needs and priorities of different groups, and also creating policies and protocols to welcome and keep safe all those who use the building. A typical day involves lots of emails, phone calls, and meetings with W83 staff, Redeemer West Side staff, staff from other Redeemer churches and ministries, community partners and agencies, and nonprofit organizations to figure out how different opportunities and needs can work together to maximize use of the building and serve our neighborhood!
I used to work Saturdays all day, and it was fun because you meet a lot of different people, and there are a lot of different events going on, somebody shooting a movie scene, to a wedding, to a bar mitzvah, to a fashion show. You just meet all types of people.
Pastor of Mercy & Justice
Paul Yoo started working at Redeemer West Side in September 2019 as our Pastoral Resident. In his role, he’ll be leading our church’s efforts to better engage and serve our neighborhood through mercy and justice. He sees this initial stage as a season of listening and building relationships. “I’m meeting with lots of different people, both in the church and in the community, to listen for the burdens, pains, passions and dreams of our community,” he explains. “Our hope is to see our church members actively pouring their lives out for the good of the city.”
Paul went to undergrad at Columbia University and received his M.Div at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. “Jesus radically invaded and upended my life in college, and I sensed a strong calling to ministry,” he says. Following God’s call took him to plant a church in Sydney, Australia. “It was probably the hardest thing we’ve ever done - immigrating to a new country while planting a church with no money. But it was marked with an unmistakable sense of the Lord’s sweetness and grace, and a beautiful church was birthed.” Now in New York City, he senses that God is doing something here. “I’m both terrified and thrilled to be a part of it at such a time as this.”
He and his wife, Jamie, enjoy regular long walks in beautiful spaces, which has been a long ritual in their marriage. “I love walking, jogging, or biking through Central Park with my wife. It’s nice to watch the seasons change as you visit the park week after week.” He also enjoys reading, discovering new wines and cafes, and trying to be a fan of the New York Knicks.