2019 Planter Awards
Join The Campaign Against Hunger four our 10th Annual Planter Awards as we honor outstanding local anti-poverty leaders and celebrate the Campaign’s service to clients across the New York area. The gala will be held on May 2, 2019 at Upper Story by Charlie Palmer, a premier private event destination in Manhattan’s iconic D&D Building.
Josh Cohen began his restaurant career three decades ago in New York City, where he was born and raised. He spent his 20s living and working in Chicago, Santa Fe and San Francisco, eventually returning to New York to helm Relish, one of the pioneer Williamsburg restaurants. Josh impressed diners (and Sam Sifton) at Relish with his skilled interpretation of American cuisine. He went on to open his own restaurant, Biscuit, on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, which quickly became a neighborhood favorite and critical success.
In 2008 Josh moved back to Williamsburg, where he currently lives with his wife and three children. Over the past decade he has had a hand in opening 15 different restaurants and is an owner-operator of six establishments currently: Anella, Jimmy’s Diner, Lilia, Extra Fancy, Chez Ma Tante and Saint Vitus.
Josh’s strengths lie in his vast experience in the restaurant industry, understanding all aspects of the business, and in the invaluable relationships he’s built with landlords in North Brooklyn. In recent years Josh’s passion for the business has been directed to helping those less fortunate than him by his work in setting up the kitchen at Mt. Carmel, a church in Williamsburg that is the home to North Brooklyn Angels, a non-profit that feeds over 1,000 people a week with it’s mobile soup kitchen. He also provides meals on a weekly basis for NYC Together, an
organization that provides volunteer mentors from the NYPD to teens who are at risk to not graduate.
Working in and running restaurants in New York City is something that Josh feels fortunate to be able to do. It is a business he loves and a city he is endlessly passionate about.
Honoroable Alicka Ampry-Samuels
Alicka has always been a visionary dreamer and a fervent believer in the better angels of our nature. Behind her signature glasses and smile rests her grit and empathy that has been forged from her upbringing in Brownsville. She’s carried this with her throughout her experiences which have guided her to North Carolina A&T State University, culminating with a Psychology degree and subsequently, on an almost yearly basis, a return to the Greatest Homecoming on Earth. She went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree from CUNY School of Law, and has continued to model the school’s motto – “Law in the Service of Human Need.”
Alicka has worked in various capacities with City and State legislators and has spent years sharpening her servant leadership and perspective concerning marginalized individuals and their plights; locally and internationally. She worked as a community organizer in Brooklyn, and as a Child Protective Specialist with the NYC Administration for Children Services, prior to bringing her influences to Accra, Ghana – managing a Human Rights and Community Development portfolio under the auspices of US Embassy Accra. Upon returning to the US, she served as Chief of Staff to her State Assemblywoman and later served as a Senior Advisor for the New York City Housing Authority – Community Engagement & Partnerships Division.
Despite her close and intimate understanding of the intersectionality of obstacles facing the many, she is among the few that remain actively hopeful and vocal about the much needed change that is imminent. Alicka is married to a United States Diplomat whom she met in college and they have one son who is an aspiring artist. She is an active member of Wayside Baptist Church and continues to volunteer through her sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
Noah Lukeman is President of Lukeman Literary Management Ltd, which he founded in 1996. His clients include winners of the Pulitzer Prize, American Book Award, Pushcart Prize and O. Henry Award, finalists for the National Book Award, Edgar Award, and Pacific Rim prize, multiple New York Times bestsellers, national journalists, major celebrities, and faculty of universities ranging from Harvard to Stanford. He has also worked in the New York office of a multi-talent management company, where he represented many New York Times Bestsellers, and, prior to founding his agency, he also worked for another New York literary agency. Prior to becoming an agent he worked in the editorial departments of several publishers, including William Morrow, Delphinium Books and Farrar, Straus, Giroux, and as editor of a literary magazine. He was creator of PrePub.com, one of the first publishing rights websites, which eventually became the “Booktracker” division of Inside.com. As a literary agent, he has been written up in media ranging from The New York Times to Variety (Page 1).
Noah Lukeman is also an accomplished author. His best-selling The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying out of the Rejection Pile (Simon & Schuster, 1999), was a selection of many of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers and is now part of the curriculum in many universities. His The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life (St. Martins Press, 2002) was a National Bestseller, a BookSense 76 Selection, a Publishers Weekly Daily pick, a selection of the Writers Digest Book Club, and a selection of many of Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. His A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation (W.W. Norton, 2006 and Oxford University Press in the UK, 2007) was critically-acclaimed, a selection of the Writers Digest Book Club and the Forbes Book Club, was profiled on NPR, and is now part of the curriculum in over 50 universities and writing programs. As a way of giving back to the writing community, Mr. Lukeman gives away for free two of his books: How to Write a Great Query Letter, which was the #1 Bestselling title on Amazon Shorts for many months, and How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent. He has also made available over 100 pages of free advice for authors from all his books, which you can read by clicking here. He also maintains a blog, Ask a Literary Agent, where he gives away 200 pages of free information.
Noah has also worked as a collaborator, and is co-author, with Lieutenant General Michael “Rifle” Delong, USMC, Ret., of Inside Centcom (Regnery, 2005), a selection of the Military Book Club. His Op-Eds co-authored with General Delong appeared in the Sunday New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Dallas Morning News. He has contributed articles about the publishing industry and the craft of writing to several magazines, including Poets & Writers, Writers Digest, The Writer, the AWP Chronicle and the Writers Market, and has been anthologized in The Practical Writer (Viking, 2004).
Creatively, Noah is author of The Tragedy of Macbeth, Part II, (Pegasus Books, 2008) an original play written in blank verse, which aspires to pick up where Shakespeare’s Macbeth left off. Macbeth II was critically-acclaimed, and featured as recommended reading in New York Magazine’s 2008 “Fall Preview.” He has also written several screenplays, one of which, Brothers in Arms, was chosen as one of Hollywood’s 100 Best Scripts of the Year on the 2007 Black List and is currently in development at a major studio.
Noah Lukeman has been a guest speaker on the subjects of writing and publishing in numerous forums, including Harvard University, the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, the graduate writing program at Stanford University, the graduate playwrighting division of the Juilliard School, The Hotchkiss School, the Writers Digest Panel at Book Expo America, the MFA at Northern Michigan University, the National Society of Newspaper Columnist’s annual Boston conference, George Mason’s Fall for the Book Festival in Washington, D.C., writing conferences in New York City, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, San Diego, North Carolina, Columbus, Ohio, and in Riker’s Island Penitentiary. He earned his B.A. with High Honors in English and Creative Writing from Brandeis University, cum laude. Noah also serves on the board of the BedStuy Campaign Against Hunger.