Neal Lewis, Esq. — Executive Director
Neal Lewis is an environmental attorney with over 25 years experience in not-for-profit advocacy on Long Island. Since 2009, Neal has been the executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, which coordinates the Long Island Green Homes Consortium, the Long Island Clean Energy Leadership Task Force and the Sustainable Living Film Series, among other projects. Neal is also an adjunct faculty member at Molloy where, (along with Andrew Manitt), he teaches the class: Introduction to Sustainability. Neal is a member of the Nassau County Planning Commission (2003) and he previously served on the LIPA board of trustees for four year (2009-2013). The Sustainability Institute is active regarding policy analysis on the Clean Energy Standard (NYS) and on related energy policies involving land use, building efficiency codes, and solar energy permits.
He also served on the Charter Revision Commission, which rewrote the charter (constitution) of Nassau County, to make it consistent with the one-person, one-vote constitutional principle. Neal authored and advocated in favor of budgetary, good-government, and environmental reforms that were adopted as amendments to the new Charter of Nassau County. Regarding service on the Charter Revision Commission, the Newsday editorial board wrote: “Nobody brought a greater sense of civic responsibility to the charter-revision effort than Neal Lewis.” (“Politicians Imperil Nassau’s Reforms,” Newsday editorial, September 19, 1994)
As an environmental attorney, Neal won a case decided at the Appellate Division in New York on the question of pesticides used by golf courses (S.P.A.C.E. v. HURLEY, 739 N.Y.S.2d 164 (2d Dept 2002)). A case raising similar issues was also successful at the lower court level against Suffolk County (Lewis v. Gaffney). Filed successful lawsuit compelling the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to produce annual waste oil recycling reports.
Neal received his bachelor ‘s degree from SUNY New Paltz and Juris Doctor from CUNY Law School. He is a graduate of the first Energeia class (2006) at Molloy College, and completed the Columbia Business School Institute for Not-for-profit Management’s Leadership Development Program (2003).
- Named one of Long Island’s 50 Most Influential People by LI Business News 2009
- Named one of the Seven Greenest People on Long Island by Long Island Business News
- Environmentalist of the Year –Sierra Club of Long island
- Dr. Martin Luther King J.R., Living the Dream Award- EOC of Nassau County
- Community Leadership Award-UJA Federation.
Top priorities for Neal and his team include: energy issues, fighting to curb global warming, promoting safer alternatives to toxic pesticides, preserving open space, supporting smart growth efforts, supporting plans that advance social equity, and promoting transit expansions.
Their collective efforts have resulted in:
- Energy Star Homes Law
10 Long Island Towns have adopted stricter energy standards for new homes. This initiative seeks to establish Long Island as a region where all new homes are designed, built, and tested to be energy efficient. In the next decade, this measure will collectively save Long Islanders in reduced energy costs, tens of millions of dollars annually.
- Clean Energy Leadership Task force
For four years, the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force has been bringing together Long Island’s municipal officials to adopt clean energy action plans and implement energy efficiency building retrofits. The initiative has helped local municipalities lead-by-example.
- Nassau County $50 Million Environmental Bond Act
Working as part of a broad coalition, efforts are to protect from development the remaining open spaces in Nassau that have special environmental significance.
- 48 Hour Neighbor Notification Law
This first-in-the-nation legislation provides homeowners with a 48-hour notice or warning that chemical pesticides will be sprayed on your neighbors’ property. The law allows exceptions for non-toxic products, which has resulted in significant decreases in use of the most toxic products and a shift to the greater reliance on oils and soaps. While raising concerns over Long Island’s heavy reliance upon toxic pesticides, the programmatic efforts generally focus on providing trainings for organic landscapers, and useful “how-to” information to do-it-yourselfers.
Andrew Manitt — Research Director
Andrew Manitt began working at the Neighborhood Network in 1990. He has extensive knowledge of the Institute’s program issues and serves as the primary researcher and editor for its publications. Andrew was appointed to the Brookhaven Town Clean Energy Task Force in 2007, and serves as co-chair of the Brookhaven Town Anti-Litter Task Force.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in linguistics from the University of Buffalo, and has completed the Columbia Business School Institute for Not-for-profit Management’s Executive Level Program (2007).
Demosthenes Maratos - Communications Director
Demosthenes serves as the Communications Director at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. Demosthenes has worked in the field of environmental and public policy since 1989. He began his career with the Long Island Neighborhood Network, the New York region's largest and most active environmental advocacy organization. There, in addition to many successful efforts, he campaigned for the two most significant pieces of pesticide legislation in New York State history - the Neighbor Notification of Pesticide Spraying law and the Safe School Grounds law.
With the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Demosthenes is part of a team that provides community education and fosters informed debate on key issues related to sustainability. His work also includes integrating concepts of sustainability, environmental ethics, and veganism into the curriculum, operations and culture at Molloy College and the larger Long Island community. He hosts the Sustainability Institute's Sustainable Living Film Series that boasts an entirely vegan menu at each screening, and makes the ethics and environmental benefits of veganism a central focus of each event. He is also featured in the 2014 documentary film, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret that is currently in streaming on Netflix.
Demosthenes holds degrees in Sociology and Business Management from St. John's University.