Star of Queens: Tyler D. Cassell
President, North Flushing Civic Homeowners Association
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: The North Flushing Civic Homeowners Association represents the needs of homeowners in a 90-block area between Union Street and Murray Street. Tyler D. Cassell said the organization was started around 15 years ago to combat overbuilding in the community.
“When a problem arises in a neighborhood, people band together to fight it,” he said.
As president, Cassell represents the needs of the North Flushing Civic Homeowners Association at meetings held by other organizations throughout the borough, including the Queens Civic Congress, where he is also the vice president, Community Board 7, of which he is a member, and the 109th Police Precinct Council, of which he is also a member.
PERSONAL: Cassell grew up in Astoria and Flushing before attending Grove City College in Pennsylvania, where he studied economics. He went on to receive a master’s degree in radio and television journalism from Syracuse University. After writing for the U.S. Military Preparatory School’s Public Information Office in Virginia, he worked in the financial services industry on Wall Street where he became interested in computers.
“I took hundreds of classes at schools around the city and beefed up my skills,” he said, speaking of his education in computers.
Cassell then became a software trainer, working for companies all over the country. He was elected president of the North Flushing Civic Homeowners Association after John Liu left the post to become city comptroller. He is married and has a son.
FAVORITE MEMORY: “One of my fondest, most rewarding experiences with the civic association was working with State Senator Tony Avella to get rezoning done in Flushing,” he said.
Cassell and the association met with Avella on several occasions, redrew lines, discussed commercial areas and testified in front of various city departments before the plan passed in April of 2009. He praised the members of the association for being able to come together to accomplish the goal.
INSPIRATION: “I just got interested in how the whole thing works and how it doesn’t work, to tell you the truth,” he said.
Cassell went on to say that he enjoys getting together with members of the community, finding out they all agree on a particular issue that needs to be solved and working together to get it done.
“It’s good to see things come to fruition.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Getting certain city agencies to change its behavior and course of action,” he said.
Cassell said bureaucracy can sometimes create obstacles for the goals of the North Flushing Civic Homeowners Association. He added that when homeowners do things to their property that aren’t permitted or are contrary to the preservation of the neighborhood, it can pose challenges as well.