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Tara is a Senior Business Analyst for a global Salesforce consulting firm. She works with public sector clients including the NYC Dept. of Sanitation, where she has brought projects such as Curbside Composting, reFashionNYC, and ecycleNYC online for millions of New Yorkers. Tara was formerly the Public Relations and Development Manager at Cornell Cooperative Extension, where her most notable accomplishment was spearheading the state-wide farm mapping project that won grant funding for a regional pilot program. Tara grew up on a small farm in Ulster County and was an avid 4-Her throughout her youth. She is passionate about supporting local agriculture and recognizes the unique advantage the Hudson Valley region holds in building a strong agricultural presence. Tara has an MBA and a B.S. in Digital Media Management from SUNY New Paltz. She is also a licensed Part 107 drone pilot and founder of HVDrone Girl.
Maren has worked in the finance industry for over 35 years--in capital markets, portfolio management, and commercial lending. She currently advises private clients as a Registered Investment Advisor. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is a longtime supporter of the RVGA, as well as farming and agriculture in the Rondout Valley, and is a member and former Chair of the Town of Rochester Planning Board and Zoning Review Committee.
Bruce is the co-owner and operator of Davenport Farms in Stone Ridge. They grow many of the same crops his grandfather and great grandfather grew, and sell to the 21st century version of the same markets they sold to. Bruce and his brother, like many other farmers in the Rondout Valley, are continuing a long-standing tradition of raising crops in the same soil our forefathers farmed. And when he finds an arrowhead in the field, he's reminded that the soils have been the cornerstone of cultures for millennia.
Tanya has a Masters in Biology and is a finance coordinator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County. She worked for more than ten years at Windfall Farms in Montgomery, NY, both in the field and in the office. It was during her time there that she learned about some of the challenges faced by small farms and how important it is to support local agriculture. She's lived in the Rondout Valley for almost twenty years, loves to grow food and flowers, and became a member of the RVGA Board of Directors in the spring of 2019.
Sam Ullman is an Ulster County native and alum of Rondout Valley High School. After several years working in restaurants throughout the East Coast, Sam returned to Ulster County in 2006 and opened the Bywater Bistro in Rosendale. After developing a program of working with local farms and producers in the area, Sam saw a need for a hub to purchase and distribute these products. In 2011 Sam became a co-founder of Hudson Valley Harvest, the first business of its kind in the Hudson Valley, bringing together local farms and producers in one place. Sam retired from HVH in 2019. Sam served on the Rondout Valley Growers Association's Board of Directors from 2014 - 2023 before transitioning into an advisory position. Sam still enjoys supporting the local food and farm scene and remains dedicated to our community’s agricultural heritage.
John was a chef/owner/restauranteur who is internationally celebrated as one of the founders of New American cuisine. Locally, the High Falls native is also known as a tireless advocate for the preservation of family farms and Hudson Valley history. His generous donations of catering services to agricultural, arts, educational, environmental, and historic group fundraisers has made him a hero to many local non-profits.
While many people know of John Novi’s meteoric path to culinary stardom, many don’t know that as early as 1966, he was on a mission to protect the D&H Canal and formed its first Board of Directors. Retired as DePuy Canal House chef, Novi was instrumental in securing a grant that helped transfer this historic building to the D&H Canal Society.
John served on the Rondout Valley Growers Association's Board of Directors for nine years before transitioning to an advisory position.
Kahlil brings a long history of passion for quality food, farmland access, and sustainable development, starting from childhood where he helped run his family’s farmers market stand. He is seasoned marketing and development executive, with an MBA/MA and 15+ years of building brands with purpose, and has successfully led projects for Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and start-ups. Kahlil is a founding member of CityState Creative, a boutique marketing and design agency. His consulting work with Northeast Farm Access helped ensure that hundreds of acres of farmland in the Rondout Valley will forever remain working farmland. An avid outdoorsman Kahlil and his family share time between High Falls and Brooklyn.
Nick is the owner and operator of Barthel's Farm and Farm Stand in Ellenville. After graduating from Ellenville High School in 1996, he decided to explore life elsewhere and spent the next decade immersed into college and then into the world of banking and finance. In 2008, Nick returned to the Hudson Valley to begin his career as a fourth-generation farmer at his family's farm. Because the farm is only part of the overall operation at Barthel’s, Nick also oversees sourcing crops from other farms or planning with his parents for their farm market in Connecticut. Nick has served as the president of RVGA's board since 2013.