Skip to content Skip to footer

Executive Officers

Jovan C. Richards

Jovan Richards

President

YDA Association of Charted Unit Presidents Chair

Jovan C. Richards is an Entertainment, Political, and Hospitality Professional. He specializes in government relations, communications, political consulting, non-profit advocacy and volunteerism, and the art of mixology.

Jovan currently serves as the Media & Government Relations Manager for the NYS Society of CPAs; the President for the NYS Young Democrats; the Executive Director for the Westchester County Democratic Committee; the Vice President of Operation Prom National Network; and the Northeast Regional Director for the Young Democrats of America.

Before becoming active in politics, Jovan spent a majority of his time dedicated to the arts. He has performed all over the world, including in Scotland and London.

Jovan also has an extensive career in the radio, film, and television industries. He has worked in front of and behind the camera for commercials, films, and sitcoms. Jovan has hosted numerous radio talk shows and podcasts throughout the New York Metro area.

Jovan has worked with or been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the New York Post, City & State New York, Spectrum News, Broadway World, the Journal News (LoHud.com), News 12 Westchester, News 12 Long Island, Fios 1 News Hudson Valley, Patch.com, WVOX-AM, WVIP-FM, Westchester Radio, Westchester Talk Radio, and Public Access Channels throughout the Hudson Valley.

Outside of Jovan’s work in politics and the arts, Jovan is a Mixology Expert and a training Sommelier. He has had the honor of working with spirit brands such as Bulliet Bourbon, Tres Agaves Tequila, Goslings Rum, Shipwreck Rum, and White Girl Rosé. He has also designed cocktail menus for places like Yankee Stadium, the Prudential Center, and Hilton Hotels.

Jovan studied Film and Video at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York.

Tyler White

Tyler White

Executive Vice President

Tyler White, is an Afro-Latina from Southeast Queens. She has lived in both Queens & the Bronx and, during her formative years, she was exposed to a variety of diverse communities through her education around New York City and Long Island. She began participating in Young Dem activities with her local chapter of QCYD & served as a delegate for Queens at the 2016 Convention. At this time, she volunteered to serve as the Treasurer for the NYSYD Caucus of Color, a position she had to leave once chosen to serve as NYSYD Chief of Staff in April 2018. As Chief of Staff, Tyler is known for her candor, analytical skills, and non-judgemental point of view. She has built trust and respect amongst her colleagues and they look to her for real answers without the threat of pretension.

Outside of NYSYD, Tyler worked as a staffer for the late State Senator Jose R. Peralta and Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman where she served as a liaison between the community and their representative. During her time with Sen. Peralta, she coordinated Immigration Forums for the 13th Senate District to help empower the community & combat fear perpetrated by the actions of the Federal Government. She is passionate about the communities she works for and the impact she can be part of.

Currently, Tyler is an entrepreneur. Utilizing her skills to bring people together and adapt to different communities, she built a company with her husband, Randall Acosta. ShenanigansNY, Inc. is a board game event service that is available for corporate events, private parties, and public board game nights. For their public events, ShenanigansNY partners with locally owned bars, restaurants & lounges to host board game nights throughout NYC & Long Island. They pride themselves on being a place where people of all backgrounds, employment, and ideologies can find a place to converse and have fun.

Tyler holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she graduated as a member of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. She loves to travel and is fluent in English & Spanish, conversational in Japanese & Korean, & dabbles in Greek & Tagalog.

Christina Cramer

Christina Cramer

Treasurer

Broome County Young Democrats President

Christina first jumped into local politics as Deputy of Operations with Tarik Abdelazim for City of Binghamton Mayor. She has since become an active committee member on the Broome County Democratic Committee. She has managed, advised, and volunteered on multiple campaigns per election cycle – from legislative and village races to Anthony Brindisi for Congress. She currently serves as President of Broome County Young Democrats, Central Region Vice President for NYSYD, and Northeast Region Director with the Young Democrats of America Rural Caucus.

Professionally, Christina is the Program Coordinator at the Broome County Department of Planning. In this role, she focuses on housing and community services, specifically advocating for racial and economic equity. This work ranges from direct casework with local service providers to grant writing to coordinating across municipalities on specific projects. Christina also serves as a representative and primary liaison to a number of local boards and strategic initiatives, such as the Broome County Safe Housing Task Force, the Broome County Land Bank, and the Ross Park Zoo Board of Directors.

Christina holds a Master of Public Administration from Binghamton University. She enjoys traveling, Harry Potter, and Korean pop music.

Brian Garcia

Secretary

Brian is a member of the Manhattan Young Democrats, and was previously a member of the Broome County Young Democrats.

Brian previously served as the NYSYD Central Region VP and as President of the Binghamton University College Democrats. His passions include healthcare access, education, and LGBTQ issues.

Lucy Merriam

Lucy Merriam

National Committee Member

Events Director

Coming soon.

Matt Barron

Matthew Barron

Capital Region Vice President

Matthew Barron has been a resident of Albany County since 1998. He has worked on multiple levels of politics in New York and New Jersey. His first experience in the world of politics was an internship with US Senator Charles E. Schumer’s office in Albany during college. Graduating from Rider University in 2012 with a Double Major in History and Political Science, he immediately started working for the New Jersey Democratic Committee. In the fall of 2013, he decided to move home to Albany County, and began to work for the New York State Assembly in the spring of 2014. Matt is an adamant Ultimate Frisbee Player, and occasional trivia champ.

Vacant

Vacant

Central Vice President

Coming soon.

Justin Westbrook-Lowery

Justin Westbrook-Lowery

Downstate Region Vice President

Justin A. Westbrook-Lowery is a sophomore at Fordham University, who is majoring in political science. He is a graduate of Xavier High School, which is a Jesuit Catholic institution located in Manhattan, where he was the first openly gay president of the student body. He has been an intern for NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx), Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx), and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Justin has participated in nearly every election cycle, since Bill Thompson’s 2009 mayoral campaign, as a proud volunteer. He currently serves on the boards of several clubs and institutions. He has been the youngest member of Bronx Community Board 9, since he was appointed in 2015, and is the Vice Chair of the Social Services and Housing Committee. He serves on the boards of the Stonewall Democrat Club of NYC, the Bronx Borough President’s LGBTQ Policy Task Force, and is the First Vice President of the Bronx Young Democrats. He is also the recipient of the 2017 NYSYD Rookie of the Year.

Harry Bittker

Harry Bittker

Hudson Valley Region Vice President

Coming Soon.

Robert Drumm

Robert Drumm

Northern Region Vice President

Herkimer County Young Democrats President

Robert Drumm is a member of the Herkimer County Young Democrats. He is an election expert and advocate for Democratic issues in rural communities.

Reed Cleland

Reed Cleland

Southern Tier Region Vice President

Reed is a graduating senior at Colgate University, where he is currently completing two honors theses for his double major in Political Science and Theater. He is a lifelong resident of Central New York and a firm believer in the American Creed of hard work, fair play, and individual liberty. He concurrently serves as the Development Director for the College Democrats of New York and intends to pursue graduate studies in public administration. He is committed to pushing the Democratic Party and its agenda down a more equitable, inclusive, and compassionate path, particularly for those who have been alienated and disillusioned from politics.

Kat Achibar

Kat Achibar

Western Vice President

Kathleen, who also goes by Kat, started her journey in politics in 2017, working on a Judicial re-election Campaign for Buffalo City Court Judge Betty Calvo-Torres, the first Latina to serve on the Buffalo City Court bench appointed by Mayor Byron W. Brown. During her time in politics, Kathleen has worked on numerous political campaigns in Western New York at the Federal, State, and Local level. As a political staffer, she has worked for New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. She is now a Senior Associate at Bolton St. Johns LLC.

Kathleen was raised in Syosset, NY, and is a graduate of the University at Buffalo. She is the WNY VP of the New York State Young Democrats and serves on the Eleanor’s Legacy Innovation Council.

Andy Buder

Andrew Buder

Legal Director

Andrew W. Buder, Esq. is a new member of the NYSYD Board but is not a newcomer to involvement in the Democratic Party. Andy, as he is commonly known, currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee, Vice-Chair of the New Rochelle Democratic Committee, Vice President of the Westchester Young Democrats, and as a Member of the New York State Democratic Committee Law Committee. He has done extensive work on voter protection issues including a decade of involvement with the New York Democratic Lawyers Council in various roles including Regional Voter Protection Director for the Lower Hudson Valley and with the 2020 Florida Coordinated Campaign as Logistics Team Lead for Palm Beach County. Andy has extensive campaign experience with candidates including George Latimer, Shelley Mayer, Noam Bramson, and Damon Maher. A graduate of the University of Maryland and Brooklyn Law School, Andy currently serves as Counsel to State Senator Shelley Mayer and maintains a small private practice. Andy is also Chair of the New Rochelle LGBTQ Advisory Board.

Zak Constantine

Zak Constantine

Council of Presidents Chair

Orange County Young Democrats President

Zak Constantine was raised in Orange County and is a proud graduate of Goshen Central High School, where he was the President of the State Championship winning Mock Trial Team, a member of the Varsity Cross Country Team, and the Student Representative to the Board of Education. Currently, he is finishing his studies in Public Policy and Management at SUNY Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs. Throughout his schooling, Zak has lived and worked full time in Orange County–focusing on community development and activism.

Zak is the President of the Young Democrats of Orange County and a Vice-Chair of the Orange County Democratic Committee. Previously Zak served as Community Outreach Coordinator to NYS Senator Jen Metzger, where he oversaw her office’s robust events and awards programs while specializing in connecting constituents, organizations, and community leaders with their representative in Albany. He served as her Deputy Campaign Manager for her 2020 re-election campaign, and he has also managed several county-wide and local campaigns throughout the Hudson Valley. Currently, Zak serves as a strategic advisor to candidates and organizations that seek to uplift and empower the working families of New York State. His true passion is helping his fellow young leaders find a passion for public service. Keeping with his commitment to our next generation of leaders, Zak served as a Project Manager for the Leadership Orange Class of 2021’s class project, where they developed the Larkin Family Young Professionals Program. He currently serves on their advisory committee.

In his free time, Zak is an avid hiker, runner, cyclist, and coffee enthusiast who frequently enjoys exploring new corners of the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions. You can follow his travels on Instagram @zakconstantine; or reach him by email at zmconstantine@gmail.com.