BETH IRONS – Oneida County Public Market. Bio coming soon.
CHUCK MCFADDEN serves as director of operations for the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. In this role, Chuck oversees the Downtown Committee’s environmental maintenance and parking programs, serves as the director of Downtown Farmers’ Market and provides logistical support for the Downtown Committee’s other special events. A Syracuse native, he started at the Downtown Committee in 1977
SALLY BAKER – Executive Director and co-founder of Philmont Beautification, Inc, has guided community renewal collaborations since 2001. A grass roots non-profit community development organization, PBI is dedicated to improving quality of life in the Village of Philmont, NY in Columbia County through four integrated programs for Main St. Revitalization: Small Business, Special Projects, the Philmont Farmers’ Market, and Community Arts/Trades.
Ms. Baker has over 30 years of not-for-profit project development, management, and micro-business experience for small business and revitalization planning. She has a long history of activism, including several years in human services working with people with disabilities, and as a curator of social-political exhibitions of contemporary arts in NYC. She is a Visual Arts Fellowship Alumni of Syracuse University of Visual and Performing Arts, and a post-graduate from St. Martins School of Arts in London. She believes in community empowerment through hands-on experience. Sally creates collaborations across all ages, in the spirit of rural barn raisings, where each member of the community or working group contributes according to their skill level and age. She sees this naturally taking place every farming season at the Philmont Farmers’ Market where the market becomes a place for diversified human exchange.
STEVE HADCOCK – Steve long had an interest and passion for farming, particularly dairy farming. He attended SUNY Cobleskill and Cornell University earning a degree in Animal Science. Upon graduation from Cornell, he traveled to Columbia County to be an Extension Educator.
Over the years interests and educational needs of the residents have changed and Steve has done what he could to meet their needs. Currently, he is a Senior Resource Educator working in five counties in Eastern NY. He provides beginning farmer education and works on market development for farmers.
JOHN AMEROSO has been working in the fields of horticulture and agricultural production since 1964. He received a degree in Agronomy from the University of Georgia in 1968. From there he volunteered with International Voluntary Services and went on to study tropical agriculture at the University of Philippines. He then spent 4 years in South Vietnam working with agricultural projects involved in small scale vegetable and animal production, and established farmer’s buying cooperatives. In 1976 he piloted the Urban Gardening Program with Cornell University Cooperative Extension, and through his efforts successfully set the ground for Extension education in urban horticulture and food production for New York City.
Mr. Ameroso served as President of the New York State Association of County Agricultural Agents (1997) and serves on the Boards of Directors for three organizations – one concerned with environmental “greening” issues (Neighborhood Open Space Coalition), one involved with local food security issues (Just Food) and the other with youth development utilizing agriculture and food accessibility programs (Added Value). Two of his programs have received National recognition: Rikers Island Prison Farm Project and The Gericke Organic Farm Education Project at Clay Pit Pond State Park in Staten Island. He is currently working with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New Farmers New Markets Program which received the “Community and Rural Development Innovator Award” from Cornell University, and the Northeast Extension Director’s Award, Honorable Mention, for the Northeast States.
TUPACAMARI TIWONI is a native Harlemite, and HomeSchooling Mother of three. She is Market Manager of 125th Street FreshConnect Farmers’ Market; and, Founder and Executive Director of HERBan Farmers’ Market, with markets in Harlem and The Bronx. Ms. Tiwoni operates farmers’ markets from a wholistic perspective, which incorporates wellness elements for the WHOLE self into a traditional farmers’ market setting. Tupacamaru has been passionate about health, wellness, and great foods since age 16 when she became a Vegetarian and had her first self-healing experience. At 19, she became a Vegan and began her career as an Entrepreneur, embarking on various enterprises over the years, including: Selling Vegan Baked Goods; Operating a Raw and Vegan Food Catering/Delivery business; Offering Wellness Consultant services (conducting workshops and one-on-one sessions educating clients and young mothers on nutritious food purchasing and preparation, incorporating fresh and dried herbs into daily life, and creating small-scale wholistic gardens in any setting); as well as Founding Wholistic Family Expo- a wellness event for the entire family. Tupacamaru views Life as an Art, and is currently crafting her lifelong farm dream into a reality! Find her at 125thStreetFarmersMarket.com and HERBanFarmersMarket.com.
SUZANNE CARREKER-VOIGT has been the Market Coordinator of the Saratoga Farmer’ Market for the past seven years. She also serves as Secretary of the Regional Farm and Food Project and is a board member of Saratoga Downtown Business Association. She graduated with a degree in Animal Pathology from the University of Connecticut in 1978, completed the Upper Hudson Agricultural Leadership Forum in 2009 and has been a Master Gardener volunteer for 14 years. Suzanne has a life-long commitment towards making farming a viable occupation and to the preservation of farmland. She has become passionate about farmers’ markets and the role they play in both these interests. She loves bringing the community to the markets and to the farm, bridging the gap between consumer and farmer. Suzanne is the proud owner of her family’s ancestral Vermont farm that was placed in “Forever Agriculture” easement over 30 years ago and has been actively farmed for over 230 years. Suzanne is married, has two grown children and lives on a small horse and vegetable farm in Charlton, NY.
JO ELLEN SAUMIER, CO-PRESIDENT
JO ELLEN SAUMIER is happy to represent the very top of the state on the Federation Board of Directors. She lives with her husband, Kirby Selkirk, on a sheep farm in Chateaugay, New York. They started their farm as a vegetble farm on part of Kirby’s former dairy farm. Two years after starting the farm, they had the opportunity to add a flock of sheep. Kirby, a reformed dairy farmer, who missed working with animals jumped into the lamb business. The sheep are raised for meat. After fighting for several years to keep the sheep out of the vegetables, Jo Ellen gave in and switched her efforts into finding uses for the wool. she now needle felts the wool into holiday ornaments and decorations. She also knits hats, scarves, mittens, and purses which are sold at farmers’ markets along with cuts of USDA inspected grass-fed lamb.
Jo Ellen is one of the founding members of the Chateaugay Lakes (two lakes) Farmers Market which is sponsored by the Adirondack Farmers Market Cooperative, Inc. (AFMC). She is entering her 12th year of serving on the Board of Directors of AFMC where she is the treasurer. She is retired from Cornell Cooperative Extension and has a BS in Home Economics Education from SUNY Plattsburg and an MBA from Pace University.
PHYLLIS COUTURE, SECRETARY
PHYLLIS COUTURE is co-owner, with husband Charles (Chuck) of Fox Valley Greenhouse in West Valley, NY. We grow hanging baskets, vegetables, and bedding plants for retail and wholesale. We also grow vegetables for sale at 3 Farmers Markets. I bake breads and small pies, and make jam and jelly for the market sales. I am a retired home economics and horticulture teacher, and also owned and operated a retail florist shop for twenty years. I am active in my church, the Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau, and the WV Chamber of Commerce. I served 6 years on the NY Farm Bureau Board of Directors and currently serve as District 1 Promotion and Education Chairman. We have 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren, all of whom enjoy helping with the greenhouse and markets for short periods of time in the summer. We enjoy growing plants and consider Farmers Markets a good semi-retirement occupation.
JIM FARR has worked for the City of Rochester for 35 years, first in the Department of Parks and Recreation and now in the Department of Recreation and Youth Services. He is currently the Assistant Director of Recreation and in this role oversees the operation of 25 year-round and 18 seasonal recreation sites. He also manages the Rochester Public Market for the City.
For the past 12 years he has been the Assistant Director of Recreation and at times during this period has had the interim oversight of both the Blue Cross Arena and the Port of Rochester. He also has the lead responsibility for all the City’s environmental and horticultural programs and many major community events including Lakeside Winterfest, Habourfest, the Maplewood Rose Fest, River Romance and the Head of the Genesee Regatta, Main Game and others. He also supervises the staff that operates the Genesee Valley Arena, Manhattan Square Ice Rink and all the City’s aquatics facilities.
Jim is also past president of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County and currently co-chair of their Foundation, he has also been the Vice-Chair of the Ontario Beach Park Program Committee for almost 20 years, is founding board member if the Rochester Landscape Technicians, is a Board member of the Genesee WaterWays Center and is the secretary and also a founding board member of the Tony Jordan Youth Sports Foundation. Jim is also a former board member of the Genesee Valley Recreation and Parks Society and a member of the Monroe County Parks Advisory Committee.
Jim is also past President and current treasurer of the Farmers Market Federation of New York and the Past President and board and current board member of the National Association of Produce Market Managers.
He has a BS from SUNY Brockport in Business Administration and Economics.
MARGARET O’NEILL, VICE PRESIDENT
MARGARET O’NEILL has 40 years of experience in education, youth development and organizational leadership. After several years as a teacher, she became an Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Monroe County, serving in 4-H, Nutrition and leadership roles. She has developed and presented Logic Model and Program Evaluation trainings to many nonprofits and professional organizations throughout New York. Since 2008 Margaret has served as Progam Manager with the Friends of the Rochester Public Market, managed the EBT Token program, educational tours and Healthy Eating programs at the Market. Margaret has a B.S. degree in Home Economics Education from SUNY Plattsburgh, and an MPA from SUNY Brockport.
LAURA BIASILLO, CO-PRESIDENT
LAURA BIASILLO is an Agricultural Economic Development Speciailst with CCE-Broome County, in Binghamton NY. Laura has been in this position for 5 years, and in this position she focuses on increasing marketing channels for producers, creating education programs focuses on new skills and technologies and facilitation farmland protection and development initiatives with the county. She and her husband own ~5 acres, have a 9 month old son and raise chickens and a garden (when the chickens don’t treat it like their personal buffet).
STEVE FEENEY, TREASURER
STEPHEN J. FEENEY is a professional planner with over 25 years of experience providing technical assistance to many communities on a variety of zoning and planning matters, environmental impact review, economic development, land preservation and development issues. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 1993, Steve currently works for the Schenectady County Department of Economic Development and Planning and serves as the Town of Guilderland Planning Board Chairman. He received a Bachelor of Science degree (forest biology) from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, N.Y. and a Master of Public Administration (public finance) from the University at Albany, State University of New York, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. He has been involved with farmers markets in Schenectady County for the past 10 years, helping to establish and expand the Schenectady Farmers Market in downtown Schenectady.
JONATHAN THOMSON, BOARD ADVISOR
JONATHAN THOMSON has spent the past twenty years managing state and federal nutrition programs at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Currently, he directs the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs, the New York State WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check Program, and the New York State Farmers Market Wireless Electronic Benefits Transfer Program. Over 975 farmers participate in these programs at 450 community farmers markets and farm stands across New York State.
Mr. Thomson has a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from CornellUniversity along with an MPA from SyracuseUniversity and an MBA from the College of St. Rose. He lives in Albany New York along with his wife Lisa and their daughter Grace. Outside of work he enjoys sailing, restoring antique radios and recreating with the family retriever, Faith.
LINDSAY OTT WILCOX, BOARD ADVISOR
LINDSAY OTT WILCOX brings over fifteen years of communications experience to the Farmers Market Federation of New York in her role as Marketing Advisor. Lindsay is currently the Creative Director at iHeartMedia in Syracuse and the owner of Centermost Marketing. Her first interaction with the Federation was in 2007 when she helped develop and launch the brand for the statewide EBT/Food Stamp token program. Other Federation-related projects include the creation of the website http://www.snaptomarket.com, public relations for initiatives such as winter markets, and consultation on various grant programs including Crisis Communications Guide for Farmers Markets and the Marketing for Profit webinar series. Lindsay is an award-winning marketer and writer, with recent honors from the New York State Broadcasters Association.
GAIL GOEBRICHER, BOARD ADVISOR
GAIL GOEBRICHER is a community-involved resident of Oswego, NY. She chairs such events as the Annual Children’s Holiday Tree Lighting, Salvation Army/ABATE Motorcycle Run, past Chair of the Oswego Pumpkin Fest, Linear Park Concerts, Independence Craft Show, Taste of Oswego Craft Show, Oswego Mural Committee, and Zonta International Committee. She is the Vendor Coordinator for the Friends of the Fort Ontario Fests and is involved with YMCA Warmup Oswego, HarborFest, Save the Oswego Lighthouse and the Neighborhood Watch Committee. Prior to retirement for the Greater Oswego/Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Gail was the long-time manager of the Oswego Farmers Market and coordinator for the Fulton Farmers Market.