BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JENNIFER SCHWARTZ BERKY — Board Secretary / Principal, Hone Strategic
MYRIAM BOUCHARD — Board Treasurer / Bottom Line Business Services
AJAX GREENE — Board Vice Chair / On Belay Business Advisors
SCOTT TILLITT — Board Chair / Founder, Antidote Collective / BEAHIVE
SUSAN SAYRE BATTON — Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, San Jose Museum of Art (former Managing Director of Dia:Beacon and Director of Administration, Dia Art Foundation)
BOB DANDREW — Director, Local Economies Project, The New World Foundation
MARIEL FIORI — Managing Editor, La Voz
GLORIA FOX — CookFox Architects, LLP
MELISSA GIBSON — President/CEO, New In Town
BABS MOLEY — Owner, River Rock Health Spa
MARIA REIDELBACH — Director, Corn Cow Inc. / Owner, Home Grown Mini-Golf at Kelder’s Farm
JASON STERN — Co-founder + Publisher, Luminary Publishing / Chronogram
GARY SCHUSTER — General Counsel / Partner, Jacobowitz & Gubits
BIOS / BOARD OF DIRECTORS
JENNIFER SCHWARTZ BERKY
Hone Strategic, LLC
Jennifer is a specialist in the adaptive reuse and development of unusual and exceptional buildings and places ranging from world heritage sites to waterfronts and commercial districts. Born and raised in New York City, Jennifer earned degrees in Planning, Preservation, and Real Estate Development from Columbia University. She began her career as a design and construction manager for projects in Battery Park City, DUMBO and for noted cultural institutions, such as Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and Carnegie Hall. She also worked for several years as a conservation and development consultant for the World Bank in Washington, DC and for government agencies and NGOs in Jerusalem (Israel), Rome (Italy) and several other cities abroad.
Since moving to the Hudson Valley in 2004, she has worked with numerous community leaders, public officials, organizations and private developers to create sustainable, community-driven development. She currently serves on the Hudson River Greenway Conservancy Board, the Kingston Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission, Temple Emanuel of Kingston and as an advisor to Kingston Sea Level Rise Task Force and Climate Smart Action Plan.
Jennifer lives on the Kingston waterfront with her family, where she spends her free time kayaking and sailing on the Hudson River or cooking for friends with food from Kingston’s incredible farmers’ market.
Bottom Line Business Services
A natural-born strategist, Myriam currently helps entrepreneurs find peace of mind by providing constructive and creative feedback to help them make knowledge-based day-to-day business decisions and increase their bottom line, while keeping an eye on the broader long-term goals. She is passionate about using her creativity in helping a business grow, whether it is reviewing a profit and loss statement to help with cash flow issues, discussing marketing and pricing strategies to increase revenues, or reviewing organizational charts to improve workflow.
She did her first break-even analysis for a business idea when she was sixteen years old. A businessman by trade, her father taught her how to research the data she needed. Her love for the business world led her to pursue a formal education and get an MBA at Syracuse University. She has helped thousands of entrepreneurs do feasibility analyses, often leading to successful endeavors and at other times, the numbers exposing the hurdles of starting or expanding a business.
An award-winning certified business advisor, Myriam has over thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur. In her free time, she is a committed outdoors enthusiast who loves to hike, climb, and do archery, and her hobbies nourish her profoundly.
Board Vice Chair
On Belay Business Advisors
Ajax is a well-known and respected serial social entrepreneur/CSR evangelist/trusted generalist business advisor and business connector. He uses his abundant creativity, talent and positive energy to building place-based organizations and a community that expresses a strong commitment to being conscious of the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity. As a former world-class rock climber and adventure athlete he understands commitment, drive and vision.
Ajax is deeply grounded in leading and advising organizations from a wide variety of industries — from fitness to pharma, from retail to manufacturing, from clean tech to e-commerce. He doubled one company’s gross revenue while more than doubling profits, personally generating 70% of a startup manufacturer’s revenue, award-winning marketing programs, and building highly regarded world class teams.
Ajax brings to Re>Think Local industry-changing strategic thinking and the process of co-creating a better Hudson Valley community of entrepreneurs, soloprenuers, artist, farmers, independent business owners and economic activist and change makers. He lives in Gardiner.
Equal parts strategist, publicist, marketer, social entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, and writer, Scott has 20+ years of experience and a broad perspective promoting ideas, products and services in various culture-shaping (and sometimes suffocating) worlds — advertising, media, interactive design, photography, technology, television and fashion.
Some years ago, catalyzed by 9/11 and an ongoing process of spiritual and social awakening, he broke the trance of an increasingly cynical consumer culture and started applying his corporate-honed skills to social impact. He has an insatiable interest in transforming failed systems, in big ideas and the behaviors that drive people, what resonates with them, and how to engage them.
In his new incarnation, he has done media for the Dalai Lama and publicity for Phil Donahue’s anti-war film Body of War, PR for healthcare “whistleblower” Wendell Potter and groups like Rainforest Action Network and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), branding for Rippel Foundation, strategic communications for the Local Economies Project of the New World Foundation, and creative naming development for American Express and global visual rebranding support for Coca-Cola with Ogilvy & Mather’s famed design and innovation division Brand Integration Group (BIG). He founded communications consultancy Antidote Collective in 2004.
In 2002 Scott spent a week in India with leading environmental and anti-globalization activist (and bona fide heroine) Vandana Shiva, fellow activist and editor Satish Kumar, Ela Gandhi (yes, that Gandhi — his granddaughter), and about a dozen others on a small research farm discussing Gandhi’s approach to nonviolence and personal and community self-sufficiency. It was a profound introduction to what we now call Localism.
In 2009 Scott opened a new kind of collaborative space for work and community in Beacon — the first and only of its kind in the Hudson Valley — followed by Kingston and Albany. BEAHIVE is closely aligned with Re>Think Local.
Scott is on the board of BeaconArts and the advisory council of Sustainable Hudson Valley. He’s also on the steering committee of Progressive PR Professionals – PR/PR/PR (a network of 1000-plus communicators). He moved to Beacon from Brooklyn in 2006.
BIOS / ADVISORY COUNCIL
Active in arts and culture nationally, Susan also serves on Hudson Valley boards including the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation and the Advisory Boards of the Dutchess County Arts Council, Mill Street Loft, and the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum.
Before joining Dia’s staff, she directed a project for the National Trust for Historic Preservation supporting the preservation of the Glass House and the Farnsworth House; served as acting deputy director at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and was the deputy director at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, focusing on strategic planning and re-focusing education efforts with local communities.
From Los Angeles, she directed preservation projects at museums, and was associate director of the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, moving the organization to Hollywood Boulevard as a catalyst for urban renewal and creating education programs for at-risk youth. Serving as a public art professional on the Hollywood Art and Design Advisory Panel of the Community Redevelopment Agency for ten years, she worked to develop the Cultural Trust Fund in support of after-school arts programs for middle school students.
Her publications include editing Modern Views, published by Assouline in 2010; and numerous contributions to museum collection publications including 19th Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, published by Yale University Press.
Susan completed a BFA in Studio Art at Denison University, and postgraduate studies in the Visual Arts Program at Princeton University, where she was a Mellon Fellow. She received IMLS and NEA Fellowships at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
A passionate nature lover, Susan hikes, snowshoes and cross-country skis all around the beautiful Hudson Valley.
Bob’s professional career has developed around his lifelong interests in environmental, economic, and cultural sustainability. As director of the Local Economies Project, a fiscally sponsored program of the New World Foundation, Bob is focused on the intersection of economics, environmentalism and culture with an eye toward locally owned business, organic agriculture and democratic participation in decision making. The Local Economies Project is building collaborations between philanthropy, local and state governments, business leaders, farmers and private investors in pursuit of model efforts that demonstrate the powerful impact that localization can have on communities.
Before joining New World, Bob was executive director of the NoVo Foundation, a billion-dollar philanthropic organization dedicated to progressive education and the empowerment of women and girls. Prior to NoVo, he was director of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation’s East Coast Office.
Mariel is a journalist, translator, educator and an entrepreneur. She co-founded the Bard-sponsored La Voz, cultura y noticias hispanas del Valle de Hudson. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the award- winning La Voz is the only Spanish language magazine serving the 120,000 Latinos living in the Mid-Hudson Valley. She co-hosts a weekly Spanish language news radio show for WGXC and WHDD, and is a bilingual business counselor and instructor with WEDC-MHV (Women Enterprise Development Center Mid-Hudson Valley).
Mariel holds an MBA from NYU, Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American and Iberian Studies from Bard College. Before coming to the United States in 2003, she lived and worked for two years in Spain, and previously in Buenos Aires, her hometown, where she earned a degree in journalism and studied legal and commercial English-Spanish translation at the Catholic University of Argentina. She has worked for different mass media groups and independent media in Argentina, Spain and the United States as a researcher, writer, translator, editor and radio and television producer.
Thanks to her passionate work with La Voz, Mariel has been the recipient of the Dutchess County Executive Arts Award in 2010, and La Voz has received four Ippies awards from the New York Community Media Alliance. In 2012, she was one of the recipients of the award “40 Under 40 Rising Latino Stars” by the Hispanic Coalition of NY.
Since 2006 she has co-produced and co-host a weekly radio show in Spanish, ¿Qué cocinaré hoy? (What is cooking today?) that airs three times a week on WGXC 90.7FM and WHDD 88.1FM, 91.7FM, 91.9FM and 1020AM, and online on wgxc.org and robinhoodradio.com.
Mariel is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, NAHJ, the Ulster County Hispanic Advisory Board, the American Association of University Women, AAUW, and the American Translators Association, ATA. From 2007 to 2013 she was a board member of Somos la Llave del Futuro, SLF, Inc., a Dutchess county based non-profit organization which seeks to build leadership in immigrant communities, and since August 2010 she has been a board member of Family of Woodstock, Inc., an Ulster County-based 40 year-old service agency.
CookFox Architects, LLP
Bio coming soon…
Melissa is a seasoned marketing and business development professional with over 20 years of experience. With degrees in Agriculture Economics and Management from Cornell University and a Masters of Brand Management from the University of Georgia, Melissa began her career with a pioneering database marketing company and then went on to found her own business development consulting firm, New In Town Inc. Here, she continues to work with individuals, businesses and organizations seeking to acquire new customers and successfully nurture and build brand equity, with a special emphasis on grassroots growth platforms, small business collaborative marketing and innovative idea generation.
With extensive experience in sports and fitness program development, Melissa is also currently a partner in Dance Xross Fitness, an emerging community-based group fitness enterprise.
She is active in the Hudson Valley community, having served as the Chairperson for the Partners in Public Health Youth Council for Ulster County and Director of Outreach and Business Development for Re>Think Local; she is currently serving as Development Director for the Center for Creative Education in Kingston, NY.
Melissa lives in West Hurley and competes as a top United States of America Snowboarding Association slalom racer. She is married to Bill, a high school science teacher, and they have two sons.
River Rock Health Spa
In 2004, following her passion for educating others about natural wellness alternatives, Babs purchased River Rock Health Spa in Woodstock, NY, and for the last seven years her spa has been honored with “Best of Hudson Valley” awards from Hudson Valley Magazine readers.
From 2006 to 2011, Babs served on the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Arts Executive Board helping to revitalize the organization through board development, policy changes and website redesign. She has been active in the Ulster County Women’s Network and is a member of the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce.
Since graduating with her MBA in 1982, her focus has been business management in both for profit and not-for-profit businesses working in the US and abroad. She specializes in bringing order and solutions into complex situations; bringing individuals together toward common goals; and in designing and executing marketing programs. Babs has been an Ulster County resident since 1999.
Maria Reidelbach is an applied artist and author focusing on local food and popular culture. She is the director of Corn Cow, Inc., a NYS B Corporation, creator and owner of Homegrown Mini-Golf (an award-winning agritourist attraction promoting farming), vice president of the Rondout Valley Growers, and a founding board member of Re>Think Local. For over 15 years she had a successful New York City-based consulting business enabling foundations, collectors, artists and historians in managing large, complex art collections. She has written several books, one a best-seller (Completely MAD: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine).
Luminary Publishing, based in Kingston, publishes Chronogram, Upstate House, their respective websites, and custom publications for clients throughout the Hudson Valley. Jason is author of Learning to Be Human, and pens the monthly “Esteemed Reader” column in the Chronogram. He makes his home in New Paltz, where he has lived for 30 years, with his wife and business partner Amara Projansky and their two young children.
BIOS / OTHERS
Jacobowitz & Gubits, LLP
Gary’s varied law practice includes formation, transactions and counseling for corporations, LLCs, partnerships and nonprofits; purchases and sales of businesses; commercial and residential real estate transactions and leasing; franchising; estate planning, administration and litigation; guardianship proceedings; and media, copyright and trademark. He has been a leader in educating the public about New York’s new benefit corporation.
He also has extensive experience in music and art, which includes past employment with ASCAP, The Songwriters Guild of America, Dunvagen Music Publishers (owned by the composer, Philip Glass) and Knoedler Publishing (publishers of the artist, LeRoy Neiman). He has represented clients in art, music, film, video, dance, theater, photography, fashion modeling, publishing, the internet, museums and arts centers.
Gary was a founding board member of Re>Think Local.