Board of Directors

Sarah Adams (2013)
Committee(s): Promotions

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.

Teresa Alger (2014)
Role: Vendor Representative
Committee(s): Harvest Dinner, Vendor Relations

Teresa is the creator and owner of Saratoga Crackers.

My desire is to be a bridge between the vendors and the Board of the Schenectady Greenmarket and a voice for them. I take this responsibility very seriously and am honored to be a part of such a wonderful market. I love being a part of the Schenectady Greenmarket!

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.

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.

Erik Dollman (2014)
Committee(s): Development

Erik has a degree in political science. Throughout his career, Erik has been a builder, putting together organizational plans and motivating people behind a common cause. Currently Government and Education Specialist with Toshiba Business Solutions, he has served as Finance Director for a nationally targeted congressional campaign in 2012, was director of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady and was the founding Vice President of his college’s Chi Phi Fraternity chapter and founding President of the Albany Bootleggers Rugby Football Club.

The Schenectady Greenmarket is an integral part of the downtown Schenectady landscape. We improve the quality of life in this city for all of our fellow residents by supporting local business, and providing a place to buy great food and crafts in a fun, festive atmosphere. I’m excited and proud to be a part of this organization and look forward to helping it grow.

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.

Emily Martyn Garvilla
Meghan Haley-Quigley (2012)
Roles: Community Outreach chair, Cashier
Committee(s): Community Outreach, Vendor Relations, Development

Meghan Haley-Quigley holds the position of Sustainability Coordinator at Union College, where she engages the campus community to reduce the college’s collective carbon footprint. In her capacity as a Schenectady Greenmarket volunteer, she has been a member of the Vendor Relations Committee as well as the Development Committee. She currently holds the position of Community Outreach Committee chair and volunteers as cashier frequently at the Sunday
market.

As a loyal customer of Schenectady Greenmarket before becoming a volunteer, I am very thankful for the group of people who created our Sunday market and brought fresh local produce to downtown Schenectady. I am grateful for the vendors from whom I purchase produce, prepared foods and crafts and feel the need to give back to the organization that has made me so proud to be call Schenectady my home.

Betsy Henry (2008)
Roles: Founding member, Cashier
Committees: Community Outreach, Finance, Nominating

Betsy Henry has worked for over twenty years as an environmental scientist on mercury-contaminated sites. Her volunteer work has centered on developing community and fostering appreciation of the environment (whether it be urban forest or local farmland). She co-founded the Schenectady Greenmarket in 2008 and continues to serve on the board and as occasional cashier. She has also volunteered with and led ReTree Schenectady for 20 years, helping plant more than 3,000 trees along the way. In addition, She has served on the ECOS board of directors and the NYS Urban and Community Forestry Council.

My 20+ years of volunteering have kept me sane and fed my soul while raising kids and working. Volunteering makes the market run, helps the market grow, and is a ton of fun. I am proud of the market for bringing thousands of shoppers to downtown Schenectady weekly and supporting our local farmers and vendors.

Maureen Kopach (2010)
Roles: Treasurer
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.

Amy Mahl
Role: Vice Chair
Committee(s): Development

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)
Role: Cashier
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.

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 Wilkerson (2008)
Roles: Promotions chair, Volunteer Service Award chair, Cashier
Committee(s): Promotions, Development, Finance

An award-winning graphic designer, Jennifer lives and works in Niskayuna. In 22 years of business, she has volunteered extensively in the community and donated her marketing and design expertise to many local projects and organizations. A passionate lover of local foods, she is committed to building a strong city and connecting growers and makers with customers to create opportunities for true communications.

Pre-2008 I yearned for a way to help build something positive in our community. I found the perfect project when a friend pulled me into an organizing meeting for Schenectady Greenmarket. Working with an incredibly diverse, passionate and talented group of citizens who envisioned great things–a vibrant downtown, connections with local farmers, a festive weekly event, food in a food desert. Their energy, drive and determination was then, and continues to be, an inspiration. To quote Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.


Development Committee Chair

Rahde Franke (2014)
Rahde moved to Schenectady in 2006 to attend Union College. From a young age he has been interested in how people organize around food and started culinary themed organizations both in high school and in college. After graduating from Union, Rahde spent a year exploring open fire cooking traditions in various countries as part of a Watson Fellowship. Since his return to the Capital Region he has worked in College Relations at Union College and as part of the Mexican Radio Restaurant Group. He lives in Schenectady’s Stockade, where he cultivates a small urban garden and experiments in the kitchen.

I think the Schenectady Greenmarket embodies the city’s significant improvement over the past several years. I believe that it is one of the major contributors to a stronger community. That being the case, I find volunteering for the Schenectady Greenmarket important. I cannot think of a better way to engage all members of the local community weekly and with such a positive purpose.

Market Manager

Jennifer Jennings (2013)
Role: Market Manager
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.

Executive Board

Austin Fisher, Chair
Amy Mahl, Vice Chair
Maureen Kopach, Treasurer
Sara Bonacquist, Secretary
John Mishanec, At-Large

Standing Committee Chairs

Meghan Haley-Quigley, Community Outreach
Jennifer Wilkerson, Promotions
Jennifer Jennings, Vendor Relations
Rahde Franke, Development
Maureen Kopach, Finance

Vendor Representatives

Teresa Alger
Mike DiCrescenzo

Market Manager

Jennifer Jennings, schenectadygreenmarket@gmail.com