All of Turnstile’s staff are licensed New York City Sightseeing Guides and have a diverse range of experience and expertise, from historical research to museum studies, sustainable architecture to street food. All of our team members also participates in ongoing research and tour development. Click the names below or scroll down to see team bios:
Cindy VandenBosch founded Turnstile Tours to create interactive and content-based experiences that foster engagement and interaction within and across communities in partnership with non-profit organizations in the neighborhoods of New York City. Cindy is passionate about offering experiences that are welcoming and accessible to people of all ages and abilities, and she has long been interested in socially-responsible business models, which led her to found Turnstile as a Benefit Corporation in 2012. Originally from Flushing, Michigan (a suburb of Flint), Cindy studied anthropology at the University of Michigan and conducted her thesis research in Siberia and the Russian Far East, studying traditional culture of local ethnic groups.
With over 15 years of experience in the museum, tourism, and disability fields, Cindy serves on the emeritus advisory board of the Museum Arts & Culture Access Consortium, the Tenement Museum’s access advisory committee, and has consulted with institutions in the U.S., Russia, and Singapore to foster more inclusive and engaging visitor experiences for people of all abilities. Cindy is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. In her spare time, Cindy is learning American Sign Language, serves as a member of Brooklyn Community Board 7 as the Chairperson of the Ability and Access Committee, and is a board member of Travel Unity, a new nonprofit dedicated to inclusivity in the travel and tourism industry.
Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Andrew studied early American history as an undergraduate at Middlebury College and political geography and criminology at the University of Colorado-Boulder graduate school. He is trained as an historical researcher, geographer, and cartographer, and in additional to his duties as a tour guide, he oversees knowledge management for Turnstile Tours, maintaining our archive, library, and blog, and designing our tour maps and brochures. Prior to working at Turnstile, Andrew lived in Moscow and Irkutsk, Russia, where he studied geography and worked as a reporter, editor, and translator for a number of media outlets.
After moving to New York in 2009, he worked at the International Coalition of Historic Sites of Conscience, a worldwide network of museums and historic sites that use difficult histories to promote positive social change, coordinating their programming in the former Soviet Union. Andrew is fascinated by military and maritime history and the contemporary workings of New York Harbor, both manmade and natural, and he is an avid shipspotter, birdwatcher, and paddler. He has led the research and development of the World War II tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which launched on Veterans Day 2012, and our tour programs at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Andrew and Cindy were married in April 2014 at Williamsburg’s Most Holy Trinity-St. Mary Church, with food provided by street vendor Veronica’s Kitchen, and they are the proud parents of Salty. Andrew is a member of the US Naval Institute.
Head of Sustainability Programming
Doug’s diverse talents include being a working actor and an ecological design consultant, experience he gets to blend together at Turnstile Tours. Doug is a LEED-accredited professional with the US Green Building Council and for five years worked as the director of research for internationally-renowned ecological architecture firm William McDonough + Partners. Doug also worked with Bruce Mau and the Institute without Boundaries to produce Massive Change, a multi-media installation exhibit focusing on the capacity of design to shape our world for the welfare of humanity exhibited across North America, and he worked on a project to bring sustainable building technology to Haiti. Doug is also an accomplished actor working regularly on stage, in film and commercials and possesses a Masters in Fine Arts from the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. Recently, he has appeared in productions at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and in the Solutions Grassroots Tour, a stage show about the impacts of climate change and hydraulic fracturing.
Doug led development of both the Urban Ecology and Sustainable Architecture and Industry tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and he helps Turnstile to incorporate sustainability- and environmentally-focused content into all of our programs and operations, including our annual benefit reporting.
Lead Guide, Food Cart Tour
Brian Hoffman is a food blogger, actor, waiter, and lover of New York. Originally from South Florida, but born to a family of New York expats, he always dreamed of being a starving artist in the big city. After studying theater at Carnegie Mellon and moving to New York City in 2001, he realized the starving part wouldn’t cut it. So in order to never go hungry again, he founded Eat This NY, a food blog where he searches for the best of New York’s most iconic foods, and a web series of the same name that documents those searches alongside a comedic storyline. He loves showing visitors and residents alike where to get the most delicious and surprising food, and as a tour guide, he gets to do just that every day.
As the leader of our Food Cart Tours, he has fallen deeply in love with the mobile food vending scene across the country and the resourceful entrepreneurs behind these businesses. Tour attendees are always amazed at the quality of the food and the fascinating stories. He also leads tours for Urban Oyster, and he covers the street food beat for the website Midtown Lunch.
Tours: Food Cart Tours
Visitor Experience Associate and Tour Guide
Brooklyn Waterfront Educator and Research Associate
Stefan Dreisbach-Williams is a native of Staten Island who researches and writes about New York Harbor, its estuary, and its maritime network. He recently joined our team to lead our tours of the Brooklyn waterfront and to support our archival and research efforts. He is the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Associate Archivist, Museum Associate at the Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, Brooklyn, member of the volunteer crew restoring New York Harbor’s Robbins Reef lighthouse, and is training to paddle sale the Erie Canal for its bicentennial.
Food Tour Educator
A native New Yorker, Amanda has always had a deep seated love for the culture, people and history of New York City, and is delighted to bring her passion for history, immigrant cultures, and storytelling to visitors through Turnstile’s food-themed tours. When Amanda isn’t leading tours for us, she is the host of How to Be American, The Tenement Museum’s podcast that explores multiculturalism and American identity through people’s stories. Amanda formerly managed the Group Services Department at the Tenement Museum and led tours there as a museum educator. She has also gained experience in the art world and in tourism. She previously worked at The Museum of Modern Art and moved to Miami, Florida for a short while, where she worked for an eco-tourism company and was able to combine her fondness for the outdoors with educating groups about local history and ecology. Amanda has a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of New Hampshire. When not sharing her love of New York City with visitors from around the world, Amanda enjoys making pottery, traveling and relaxing at home with her husband, son, dog and cat.