Board of Directors
Sarah Adams (2013)
Depending on what day you ask her, Sarah is a writer, a librarian, and a web designer. She lives with her husband in Glenville, and drags him to the market every week for dates. He’s come to love it as much as she does.
Sustainable and healthy living are a huge part of my life, and the main reason for my involvement in the market. At this point, I wouldn’t know what to do without it! The market brings so much good to Schenectady. Not only good food and unique artisan products, but life and vibrance as well. I think it’s important to support an organization that exerts such positive energy.
Sara Bonacquist (2014)
Roles: Secretary, Cashier, Volunteer Coordinator
Committee(s): Promotions, Vendor Relations, Event Planning
Sara is a native of Schenectady and has watched with excitement and enthusiasm as the city has undergone its transformation into a vibrant cultural center once again. She currently works as a project designer at the architecture and urban planning firm, PLACE Alliance, located in downtown Schenectady. Her interests lie in urban design and planning, downtown revitalization, and graphic design, as well as cooking, the local food movement, and food equity.
The Schenectady Greenmarket plays an important part in Schenectady’s revitalization, bringing hundreds of people downtown every Sunday, in addition to providing fresh produce and quality goods to the surrounding neighborhoods.
Talia Cass (2016)
Brian Coville (2016)
Michael DiCrescenzo (2013)
Role: Vendor Representative
Committee(s): Vendor Relations
Michael is co-owner of The Altamont Vineyard & Winery Est. 2008 and strongly believes in bringing locally produced product to the community, working hard to make sure that these ideals are met in the Schenectady Greenmarket. With 13 acres of estate grown grapes, he is committed to growing the local economy and has a passion for food and farming.
I love fostering strong relationships with other vendors as a vendor representative, and I’m thankful to be able to be a voice for the community and vendors.
Beth Doris (2016)
Austin Fisher (2008)
Roles: Chair, Founding Member, Cashier
Committee(s): Vendor Relations, Finance
Austin works in the geospatial technology industry and is an executive with Fountains Spatial, a GIS (Geographic Information System) consulting company located on Jay Street in Schenectady. He also director of a girls volleyball club (Northeast Thunder), and sits on the board of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC).
It’s all about community. Having been actively involved in downtown since 2000, I’m convinced that dollar-for-dollar, the Schenectady Greenmarket is one of the best things to happen to our downtown in the last 15 years, both for its economic development benefits and the key role it plays in strengthening our local community.
Ben Hillis (2016)
Phil Kaufman (2016)
Maureen Kopach (2010)
Committee(s): Finance, Community Outreach, Development, Special Events
Maureen works in the library at Union College. She and her husband, Andy, have lived in Rotterdam since 1984 and have two grown children who are graduates of city schools. Favorite activities include gardening, hiking, kayaking, and quilting.
I volunteer with Schenectady Greenmarket because I believe in the mission of the Market. Building community as well as supporting local farmers, artisans and businesses is important to me. I love connecting with friends and neighbors at the weekly Market, and I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and working with other volunteers who contribute their time and talent to Schenectady Greenmarket.
Margaret Lazzeri (2008)
Committee(s): Community Outreach, Special Events, Event Planning, Development, Vendor Inspections
Margaret Lazzeri is a recently retired GE Global Research nano and electronics developer. She spent forty years developing multiple facets of electronic prototypes for public and commercial use. She is past board member of the Schenectady Rose Garden Restoration Committee and continues to volunteer for the Schenectady Rose Garden. As a Master Gardener for the Schenectady chapter of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, she teaches gardening classes and handles inquiries from the public. Her gardens have been on the Soroptimist garden tours and she has potted many of her plants to donate to fund raisers.
Volunteering for Schenectady Greenmarket gives you hands-on interaction with the community, which bolsters self confidence. It’s also a great way to expand your job or volunteer network. Volunteering for a not-for-profit organization, you become the hands that run the market, where ultimately you feel the rewards in being a citizen contributor in society.
Role: Vice Chair
Amy moved to the area ten years ago, lives in Alplaus (where she is usually found in the garden or kitchen), and works for an international environmental consulting firm as a health scientist. She grew up on a beef and dairy goat farm in Washington County along the Hudson River that is also the location of a school. It was a perfect setting for instilling an appreciation of what it takes to grow healthy food and the drive to share the products and knowledge with others.
To me Schenectady Greenmarket is not an event or simply an organization, it’s part of our community in many ways that people may not know. The market on Sunday provides a venue open to all and offers options to purchase from a wide range of vendors, listen to free music, learn something about what other organizations in our community are doing, participate in a free children’s activity, or just relax and chat with your neighbors. Vendors with excess product donate weekly to the Regional Food Bank which helps our neighbors in need. The Schenectady Greenmarket also has a huge impact on our community’s economy, not just for the vendors, but for businesses nearby. And, through sponsorships and donations, there are a vast number of community partnerships and supporters in the background. Aside from a paid market manager, it is run fully by enthusiastic volunteer community members, ranging from high school students to retirees, which is quite inspiring!
John Mishanec (2008)
Role: At Large
Committee(s): Vendor Relations, Development, Vendor Inspections, Event Planning
John Mishanec has an educational background in plant pathology and agricultural education. He is retired from his 30 year career with the Cooperative Extension where he was an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Vegetable Specialist. In that role, he covered half the state, helping commercial vegetable growers reduce or eliminate pesticides and increase profitability. Now he works part time for the Dept. of Plant Breeding at Cornell, where he develops relationships between culinary schools and plant breeders so chefs can have impact on the development of new vegetable varieties.
I am proud to live in Schenectady and to have educated my children in the public schools. I feel it’s important to try and make the world a better place, so I’m happy to see the Schenectady Greenmarket, together with its volunteer organizers and farmers, is bringing vitality and economic development to the city.
Leesa Perazzo (2010)
Committee(s): Promotions, Community Outreach, Development
Leesa L. Perazzo currently serves as the Group Sales and Special Events Manager at Proctors and a Councilwoman for the City of Schenectady. Prior to working for Proctors, she was the Director of Member Services and Business Resources for the Chamber of Schenectady County. She continues to feed her passion for the hospitality industry through her part-time business, Eat My Words, which specializes in menu and graphic design. Ms. Perazzo serves on the board of the Heritage Home for Women. She is a member of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties, the Schenectady Rotary Club and the League of Women Voters. In 2013, she created Give Graffiti the Brush, a program that engages youth on probation to cover graffiti around the City of Schenectady at no cost to the taxpayers. In 2009, Ms. Perazzo received a Community Service award from the NAACP Schenectady Chapter. In 2013, the Schenectady Business and Professional Women named her Woman of the Year.
I believe that giving back to your community is crucial for its success. Sustaining the work of those who created the Schenectady Greenmarket is an important volunteer priority for me because the market provides wholesome, locally grown food and fellowship. The market has become a centerpiece of downtown Schenectady and I can’t imagine the City without it. I give my time in an effort to maintain its vibrancy.
MaryJane Shave (2015)
Megan Vining (2015)
Mary Moore Wallinger (2008)
Roles: Founding Member, Cashier
Commitee(s): Vendor Relations
Principal and founder of LAndArt Studio, Mary Moore Wallinger is a registered Landscape Architect with nearly fifteen years of experience in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. She is a staunch advocate of smart growth, low impact development and celebrating the landscape in ways that shape the human experience. Her work is informed by studies of gardens throughout Europe and years of working in gardens including her own and those of Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson. In addition to her professional practice, she currently serves as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Schenectady and sits on the Project Overview Committee for Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority. She serves as the Landscape Architect for the Schenectady Central Park Rose Garden and acts as a volunteer consultant for ReTree Schenectady, a 501c3 organization that helps to raise money and plant trees throughout the city of Schenectady.
I became involved in the Greenmarket to give back to the community and make our city healthier and stronger. The market stimulates the downtown economy and provides crucial income to local farmers, which allows their farms to continue farming. The market provides a variety of healthy foods in a downtown that lacks a grocery store — despite having a population with limited transportation options. And on a weekly basis, the market brings community members from all walks of life together around a common cause that is enjoyable to all.
Jennifer Jennings (2013)
Committee(s): Executive, Community Outreach, Development, Promotions, Vendor Relations, Finance
Jennifer Jennings joined the market in 2013 as its first full time market manager. She has worked for several local and national non-profits throughout the area including the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and the Agricultural Stewardship Association. Jennifer didn’t grow up on a farm but has dedicated the last ten years of her life to learning, living, loving and advocating for area farms. She has served on county and state committees for New York Farm Bureau and presented on land use, communication and rural development issues across the country. Jennifer has her masters in human geography from London School of Economics and helps with her family’s farm in Montgomery County.
Schenectady Greenmarket is truly a community effort. Our volunteers are dedicated not only to delicious local food, but also to the families that call Schenectady home. I truly enjoy working with each and every volunteer we have at the market, from the Schenectady High School students who help us every single Sunday to our committee members. Our successes are due to hundreds of hours of volunteers hours every year. If it wasn’t for the volunteers we would not be recognized as one of the best farmers markets in the country again and again.
Austin Fisher, Chair
Amy Mahl, Vice Chair
Maureen Kopach, Treasurer
Sara Bonacquist, Secretary
John Mishanec, At-Large
Standing Committee Chairs
MaryJane Shave, Community Outreach
Sarah Adams, Promotions
Jennifer Jennings, Vendor Relations
Maureen Kopach, Finance