Member Spotlight – Gareth Hughes

Individual Member
Global Head USD Interest Rate Swaps, Societe Generale

Joined: 2015
Born: Bangor, Wales
Lives: Greenwich Village, Manhattan

What brought you to New York?
I was able to transfer with my company at the time, back in 2004. The last 13 years have flown by and despite a brief stint in San Francisco and Boston, I have called New York City home for that period. 

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society?
St George’s offers a fantastic opportunity to assimilate into a new environment whilst meeting like-minded individuals from all corners of the globe that have an interest in helping those less fortunate than ourselves. The society’s social events are second to none and always a great time to attend. From curries to quizzes and meeting sporting heroes along the way.

What is your favorite New York place or pastime?
There are far too many to name just one! As someone who likes to keep active I love the ability to drive a couple of hours north to be skiing in the winter or east / south to be on a beach in the summer; riding over the GW bridge or running races in central park. I’m not a stranger to the many bars and restaurants that NYC has to offer either. Current favourites are the Musket Room in NOLITA and Roberta’s in Bushwick.

Gareth ran the New York City Marathon in 2015 and raised $8,621 for the Society’s charitable programs. He completed the marathon in a personal best of 3 hours 27 minutes.

If you are interested in taking on a challenge and raising vital funds for St. George’s Society this year, please contact Eliane Abou-Assi for more information.

Member Spotlight – Paula Nance


Paula Nance
Individual Member
The Beekman School

Joined: 2014
Born: Greensboro, NC
Lives: Upper West Side

What brought you to New York?
I moved to NYC eighteen years ago to be the Associate Pastor of Metro Baptist Church, a progressive social ministry church in Hell’s Kitchen. Both the church and I knew that after the two-year internship ended, I would pursue a career as an actor. Today I work as an actor and educator, while continuing to be active in the ministries at Metro.

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society?
I love the gatherings throughout the year that allow me to meet new folks and enjoy fun activities, all the while knowing that the money raised is helping people in need.

What is your favorite New York place or pastime?
Obviously, theatre is one of New York’s most impressive offerings. I enjoy Broadway, but especially enjoy the more intimate venues like the Irish Rep and 59E59.

Member Spotlight – Joanna Dingle



Joanna Dingle
VP, Marketing Manager
Junior Member 

Joined: 2016
Born: Cambridge, U.K.
Lives: West Village

What brought you to New York? After a few years in Miami, I went back to the U.K. to spend time with family. When thinking about my next move, New York (having always felt like a second home) was the standout contender! For me, this city has always been somewhere to meet new people, discover hidden gems, and to find inspiration to take on new challenges…exactly what I was after!

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society? Like many members, my introduction to George was through the pub quiz, and over the course of a year I have morphed into quite the quiz superfan. And of course, a special mention must go to the people of George! A complete cliché, but undoubtedly the best part, I just adore everyone I have met so far through George and embrace all the excuses you give us to get together.

What is your favorite New York place or pastime? (1-2 sentences) So much to choose from! But sometimes there is nothing better than spending a cosy afternoon at my local, Hudson Clearwater, after a day of outdoorsy adventuring around the city. Last summer I also discovered how easy it was to rent sailing boats to take friends, family, and out-of-town visitors out on a little sunset sail (complete with a Whole Foods picnic)—highly recommended!


Member Spotlight Melissa Gibbs

234Melissa M. Gibbs
Chair, Beneficiary Committee
Life Member

Joined: 2002
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Upper West Side

What brought you to New York? I have lived for over fifty years on West 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. I came to NYC when my family’s business decided to open a sales office for one of their divisions here.

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society? It has been amazing to see the growth of St George’s Society from the days when the office was at General Seminary. I love being a part of the Beneficiaries Committee. The Committee and the Society’s social workers, Mary and Julie, are all so amazing in the care and concern that they take with the people that we serve to help make their lives as full and full-filled as possible.

What is your favourite New York place or pastime? I do not own a television as my passion is for live performing arts, especially theater, opera, ballet and classical music – we are out most nights of the week doing one or another. I love to volunteer and among other things, I volunteer several days a week at Roosevelt Hospital. I adore travel and read voraciously. A wonderfully talented Romanian classical pianist, Matei Varga, has lived with me and our three rescue cats (Poopster, Sister Susie and Preston) for ten years.


Member Spotlight Maria-Cristina Necula

mariacristina-necula_sept2016Maria-Cristina Necula
Director of Alumni Relations
Lehman College, CUNY
Individual Member

Joined: 2012
Bucharest, Romania
White Plains, NY

What brought you to New York? My father escaped from Romania, which, at the time, was under a totalitarian regime behind the Iron Curtain, and after tremendous efforts, he succeeded in bringing my mother and me to New York, one of the greatest cities in the world. I was 12 when I arrived here, and despite, in later years, having lived in Vienna and briefly in Paris, the Big Apple remains my absolute favorite city.

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society?  I enjoy the wonderful variety of events, and the opportunities to meet fascinating and interesting people. As the Director of Alumni Relations at Lehman College, I also love collaborating with the St. George’s Society team, especially Anna Titley, in organizing joint events for Lehman students: the St. George’s Society Scholarship recipients who benefit from the generosity of the Society.

What is your favorite New York place or pastime?  The Metropolitan Opera is my top favorite, but I am definitely predisposed towards it, because I was trained as a classical singer and have been immersed in the opera world since I was 10, performing and writing about opera. I also love the New York City museums: one of my favorites is the Neue Galerie for early 20th century German and Austrian Art; it is one of the many special jewels in the multicultural crown of Manhattan.


Member Spotlight Jo Harvey

Jo HarveyJo Harvey
Director, Corporate & Alumni Relations
Mountbatten Institute

Patron Member
Joined: 2011
Born: Oxford, UK
Lives: Chinatown, Manhattan

What brought you to New York? In 1994 I was lucky to be offered a job in New York at the Mountbatten Institute. Since then I have had the privilege of working with host organizations (including St George’s Society of NY!)  keen to develop young global talent, and with amazing young graduates who have the drive, ambition and desire to develop themselves as young globally minded professionals. It is an honor to be part of an organization that furthers the vision of Senator Fulbright through the J-1 visa program, who believed that ‘Educational Exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations’. That and the age old reason of chasing a boy!  My love of NY has lasted – the boy not!!

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society?  What I really enjoy about being a member of the St George’s Society are all the amazing people that I have met through the GEORGE and St George’s events. Not least the wonderful people at the St George’s Society who work tirelessly to put on events to bring people together, and help the beneficiaries of the charity.  To be able to contribute to helping those less fortunate while attending fun events make it the perfect combination!

What is your favourite New York place or pastime? Change is a constant and NY is the perfect example of that!  What I love most about NY is the constant discovery of new places, ideas and people.  I love music and in my early years here in NY Summerstage in Central Park was a frequent haunt, then Prospect Park and other smaller parks in the city that often put on amazing artists as part of the summer programs.  Meeting friends (who become equivalent of family when you are overseas) is my favorite past time, exploring different neighborhoods with them and seeing what you discover, have led to some of the best experiences of my time here in NY.


Member Spotlight Ele Timson



Ele Timson
Account Director
Freedman International

Individual Member
Joined: 2012
Born: Worcestershire, England
Lives: Upper East Side, NYC

What brought you to New York? I transferred from Freedman’s London office to manage our East Coast clients. It had always been a dream of mine to live here so, when the opportunity came up, I jumped at it.

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society? The networking and social calendar is great. I’m lucky to have met such a great bunch of people at the regular GEORGE events. And meeting Jonny Wilkinson at the British Bash wasn’t bad either!

What is your favourite New York place or pastime? I’m a huge music fan and New York has so much to offer in that regard. One of my favourite spots for live music is Rockwood Music Hall on Allen Street.


Member Spotlight Sital Patel

Sital_member_spotligh (2)


Sital Patel
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
& Social Media
S&P Global

Individual Member
Joined: 2012
Born: Vallabah, India
Lives: Upper East Side, NY

What brought you to New York? Career move. I was working for CNN in Washington, D.C. and was given a fantastic opportunity to work for Bloomberg in New York.

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society? I love meeting and socializing with members that understand my roots. It’s nice to relate to others that have had similar experiences of growing up in England and living in New York as expats.  Everyone I have met so far through St. George has been lovely!

What is your favourite New York place or pastime? We love Central Park. My husband and I, with our 14 month old twins, like to spend as much time as possible in the park. There’s lots to see and do and it’s also very relaxing.

Sital is working with the St. George’s team to organize a family-friendly summer picnic in Central Park on Saturday 30th July. All are welcome and for more information click here. 

Member Spotlight – Jason Hicks

Jason HicksJason Hicks

Chef and restauranteur

Jones Wood Foundry
The Shakespeare
Raines Law Room
The Peacock Events

Patron Member

Joined: 2013
Born: Stratford upon Avon, England
Lives: Larchmont, NY

What brought you to New York?

I was traveling for a couple of years through New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia. My flight home came through New York. Upon reaching JFK on a short layover from Taipei I decided to visit a couple of friends I knew from my industry that were living in NYC. This was in 1996 and I am still here with a wife and three children!

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society?

I enjoy being a member of St. Georges Society as it’s a great way to meet people and stay connected with the British culture that I left, whilst at the same time doing good for people in need through the various things St. George’s supports. This can leave you with a feel good factor which is always nice.

What is your favorite New York place or pastime?

Although I love the city and am still in awe of its magnitude and pace after 20 years, I most enjoy exploring and discovering some of the towns and the history in upstate New York.

Member Spotlight – Jennie McCahey

Jennie McCahey

Program Director, The Royal Oak Foundation

Individual Member

Joined: 2011

Born: Winnetka, Illinois

Lives: 20% of the time East Village—the rest of the time in various airports and on planes!

What brought you to New York?

I came to NYC to attend the Master’s Degree Program in Decorative Art History and Design at Parsons School of Design and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Who wouldn’t like going behind the ropes in great NYC museum period rooms and turning over furniture and handling the objects with curators? (a lot of secret drawers in the Met’s French furniture) I stayed to work at a shelter magazine and then worked at a museum. Now I am at The Royal Oak Foundation and with my team invite British authors or historians to speak about the National Trust of England, Wales, and N. Ireland and their new scholarship/books about English country houses, art and architecture, and history. I am lucky that St. George’s Society likes to co-sponsor some of our fun lectures…it’s a chance to bring even more Anglophiles together!

What do you enjoy about being a member of St. George’s Society?

Obviously the social aspect; the staff at St. George’s and GEORGE plan really fun events for their members which I often sadly miss since I travel a great deal. Beyond the programs, I truly admire that St. George’s works diligently to help people in need in the NY area that may not have access to aid, or more importantly, caring people who will look out for them and follow up. From helping with utility bills or groceries, to climbing 10 stories to visit elderly trapped during hurricane Sandy, the social workers are amazing and kudos to the organization for helping people for over 246 years! I also was impressed by the Lehman College scholarship students I met at The English Ball—losing access to education because of funding is a hurdle no student should face.

What is your favorite New York place or pastime?

In the summertime, the Conservatory Garden in Central Park or on a walking tour to hidden parts of NYC. In the winter, any place with a roaring fire.

What is your favorite British thing to do in NYC?

Early English breakfast at Tea and Sympathy when I am jetlagged.