Seamus Carroll, Board Chair, has over twenty years of experience in the design, production and marketing and strategic planning of industrial electronic equipment and software. He graduated from Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. He has worked in leadership positions with companies including Agfa Gevaert NV, Bayer AG, and AFP Imaging. He founded PointMedia Corporation, through which he holds several U.S. patents.
Kyoko Gelber has a Masters in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University and studied social work at Hunter College. For many years she worked with children and families in the foster care system in New York city at a contract agency of the Administration for Children's Services. She also has years of experience in the non-profit sector as a program officer at the Open Society Institute, founded by George Soros, where she managed grants for documentary filmmakers focusing on human rights and social justice issues. She lives with her family in the lower Hudson Valley, where her children are active participants of Hudson Valley Seed.
Melissa Ptacek has worked in the field of education for over 25 years.With a Masters degree from Bank Street College of Education, Melissa has experience as an early childhood teacher, school administrator, and adjunct professor. She currently works with early childhood centers and cultural institutions to assist in the development of a program to help increase literacy and family engagement in schools and museums. She is passionate about healthy living and thrilled to be working with Hudson Valley Seed!
Zanne Early Stewart worked at Gourmet Magazine from 1972 until 2008, the majority of that time spent in the test kitchens as food editor. She has been privileged to work alongside some of the world's finest cooks and chefs, Marcella Hazan and Jacques Pepin among them. The importance of quality ingredients has underscored her work as a chef and she has long been an enthusiastic shopper at local growers markets. A passionate teacher, Zanne believes that a good meal is made from the ground up and she believes in sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with Hudson Valley children.
Anthony Davidowitz, Director of Legal Affairs and Operations, Storm King Art Center, brings legal expertise to Hudson Valley Seed. Anthony is passionate about wilderness and the natural world, and is a strong advocate for Hudson Valley Seed.
Carl Jack, is Program Director at NHS Newburgh, farm manager at the Downing Park urban farm in Newburgh and a owner of an organic farm in South Carolina. Carl brings expertise with project management and farming to Hudson Valley Seed, as well as many years of experience working with young people on farms. Carl is also deeply connected in the Newburgh community, where the majority of Hudson Valley Seed’s students reside.
Ari Bauer, is a legal partner at Catania, Mahon, Milligram & Rider, PLLC. He brings legal expertise to Hudson Valley Seed. Ari has valuable experience working with the Newburgh City School District and Orange County businesses, and loves gardening and fresh food. Ari and Catania, Mahon, Milligram & Rider are committed to serving in their communities.
Bill Gehris is a patent attorney with Davidson, Davidson & Kappel, working primarily out of New Paltz. He also holds a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton, and helps design products in green technology such as fuel efficient jet engines, solar panel technology, electric vehicle batteries and fuel cells, often dealing with patent issues that arise during the design process. A parent of two and long-time volunteer with children's programming, Bill has an enduring interest in public elementary education.
Jess Conway has worked for 12 years alongside high school-age youth, English teachers, and teacher candidates in New Mexico, New York, and Arkansas. She is a doctoral student and part-time instructor in English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and her research focuses on understanding youth literacies beyond traditional paradigms of reading achievement. Jess believes in the mission of Hudson Valley Seed and the value of ecological literacy! She and her husband live in Beacon with their little one Louise, who loves collecting rocks and sticks on adventures in the Hudson Valley.