Our Team

STAFF

Julia Farr, Executive Director

Julia has a background in urban open space design and holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the City College of New York. She studied environmental planning and management at the University of Chile, is certified in permaculture design and attended Binghamton University for her BA in environmental studies with a focus on sustainable development.

Committed to the working for the public good, Julia has contributed to a range of initiatives, including designing the open space plan for a marginalized neighborhood in São Paulo, collaborating with Greenstreets at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation on public orchard planning, teaching Spanish and English at community centers, and working as an organizer for New York’s ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Prior to the Kingston Land Trust, Julia worked for the Local Economies Project/Hudson Valley Farm Hub, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a more resilient and equitable food system in the Hudson Valley.

Raised in Brooklyn, Julia is now a proud and active resident of Kingston. You may see her biking around town, frequenting the Kingston Farmers Market, volunteering at the Kingston YMCA Farm Project, dancing salsa, climbing around with Innate Movement Parkour, or attending public meetings at City Hall to support the causes that make Kingston a more inclusive, accessible and healthy place for us all to share.

Ted Griese, Administrative Coordinator

A Syracuse native, Ted first became acquainted with the Hudson Valley while attending SUNY New Paltz, where he studied International Relations. After graduating in 2013, he spent a summer working on his father’s market farm in Northern Michigan, an experience that fostered a passion for community agriculture, local food systems, and sustainability. Since moving to Kingston three years ago, Ted has continued to pursue these interests as a volunteer for the South Pine Street City Farm, a land matching project of the KLT. He also tends two garden beds and volunteers at the Rondout Community Garden.

Having spent the last 4 years working remotely in the retirement savings industry, Ted is excited to transition from the corporate world to a role that allows him to be directly involved with the Kingston community. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and exploring the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains.

Greg Shaheen, Stewardship Coordinator

Greg Shaheen grew up at the foot of the Shawangunk ridge in Ulster County. He studied earth and environmental science at Wesleyan University. After college Greg helped establish a community-based environmental center in the mountains of Lebanon where he carried out educational and peace-building activities with Syrian refugees and Lebanese from all walks of life. He continued working with refugees in Philadelphia, where he taught English to newly arrived Syrian refugees and organized an exhibition fundraiser with art and stories he gathered from Lebanon. In New York City, he engaged a diverse group of refugees and other New Yorkers with urban farming as the farm intern with the International Rescue Committee.

Greg has also worked as a freelance Spanish interpreter in Philadelphia and New York City for three years and speaks Arabic. He has enjoyed a natural transition back to his beloved Ulster County and the Hudson Valley working as a contracted Spanish interpreter and translator for Scenic Hudson and engaging with land projects with inspiration from local farming, naturalist, and permaculture communities.

Greg is thrilled to work with the Kingston Land Trust to help increase access to green spaces and help foster a mutually beneficial relationship of land and people. He is particularly committed to reaching communities that have traditionally been left out of this process. He wants everyone to have the same opportunity that he has had to be positively impacted by the unique natural beauty and resources of this region and to be motivated to be stewards of land and community.

Shaniqua Bowden, Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Shaniqua is a 5 year Kingston resident who first fell in love with green space as a kid dancing under the stars in her hometown of South Boston, Virginia. She later moved to New York City where she studied communications and liberal arts at Empire State College.

As a proud mom and active entrepreneur Shaniqua is the co-founder of my Kingston kids, an organization originally created to help the parents of Kingston find children’s events and activities in a central location. Other community projects she’s worked on include Black History Month Kingston and the Nubian Cafe. Shaniqua is dedicated to ensuring Kingston is a well-rounded community and has come to KLT to assist in their mission of sharing public land access to all.


OFFICERS

Sarah Brainard, Chair

Originally from Binghamton, NY, Sarah Brainard has lived in the Hudson Valley for roughly 20 years. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, Ms. Brainard brings an expertise in Graphic Design to the Kingston Land Trust Board of Directors. Sarah currently works as Director of Client Relations for BlueMark, LLC, a New Paltz-based Software Company that specializes in healthcare technology. She has also offered her talents pro bono to a number of organizations providing design assistance and serving as a Board Member for the Catskill Ballet Theatre over a period of 7 years and is currently on the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Healthcare Finance Management Association (HFMA) Board of Directors where she serves as the Communications Co-Chair. She is serving as co-chair on the Fundraising Committee and she also hopes to, in time, play a role in helping the KLT achieve its goal of gaining accreditation through the Land Trust Alliance.

Tim Weidemann, Vice-Chair

Tim is the Senior Economic Developer at Ulster County Executive’s Office. He is also the founder and principal of Rondout Consulting, a strategic planning and organizational design firm that builds its clients’ management capacity in order to help them achieve their missions. Tim holds a Master of Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, and a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Prior to launching Rondout Consulting, Tim worked in Deloitte Consulting’s US Public Sector practice. He also works as co-chair of KLT’s Kingston Greenline Committee.

Debra Bresnan, Secretary

Debra Bresnan is a writer, editor and communications consultant. Since establishing her business in 1995, she has worked with a broad range of US-based and international clients, from Fortune 500 companies to advocacy oriented non-profits, small businesses and feisty start-ups. Debra moved to the Hudson Valley in 1987 and relocated to Kingston’s Rondout district in 2012. Her love of nature and organic gardening, coupled with a desire to be active in the Kingston community, led to her appointment in the spring of 2014 to the KLT Board of Directors, where she serves on the Fundraising and Communications committees. Debra also contributes her communication skills to the initiatives of KingstonCitizens.org (most notably during its successful campaign to discourage Niagara Bottling Company’s bid to purchase water from Cooper Lake, the City of Kingston’s water supply) and the Kingston Midtown Arts District (MAD). She is an avid iPhone photographer, writes feature articles for regional publications, and is working on a book of vignettes and photographs. For more information, please visit debrabresnan.com.

Abe UchitelleTreasurer

Abe is the President of DragonSearch, a digital marketing agency headquartered in Uptown Kingston servicing clients throughout the United States. A Hudson Valley resident since 2006, Abe has been a member of local governing committees in the past focusing on transportation, tenant rights, and acting as a liaison between student groups and local government. Abe spent 5 years managing a local bike shop in New Paltz, and worked with a SaaS software startup prior to joining DragonSearch. Abe holds a degree in Political Science from SUNY New Paltz. As Kingston continues to evolve rapidly, the Abe hopes to help incorporate new groups into the planning process while always honoring and continuing to serve Kingston’s existing communities.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Erica Brown, Director

Erica was born in Kingston and has a true sense of loyalty for the city. Residing in Kingston with her two sons, Erica moved back to Kingston in 2011 after living in the Capital Region for a decade. With a deep passion and interest in education, Erica hopes that the knowledge she gained while attaining her two bachelors degrees, one in business and the other in psychology, will be put to use in bridging the gap between smaller Kingston communities by way of outreach and education. Currently a nutrition and activity educator for diabetics at a local health center, she holds a love, understanding and wonder for the organic relationship that exists between land/nature and people.

Renno Budziak, Director

Renno Budziak immigrated to this country in 1952, settled, and grew up in Newburgh, N.Y. He pursued an Engineering career and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Trine University. He worked on an MBA degree with a concentration on New Product Venture Management at Syracuse University. After a seventeen-year career with Ingersoll-Rand, and as Vice President of Engineering for Huck International, he now enjoys an active retirement where he aims to help his community. His highlights include: founding member and former Co-President of Rondout Rowing Club, former Chairman of the Town of Ulster Planning Board, current member of the Ulster County Planning Board’s Executive Committee, and task force member of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.

 

Kevin McEvoy, Director

Kevin is involved in historic preservation, urban planning, environmental issues, and working with non-profits, in the Hudson Valley, NYC and elsewhere. Kevin directs a family business in NYC where he was a co-founder of a community garden. In 2001, he and his wife Barbara purchased and restored one of Kingston’s pre-revolutionary stone homes. A long time member of the KLT, Kevin also volunteers for Friends of Historic Kingston, is conducting research for the Kingston African American History National Historic Register nomination, serves on the Kingston Tidal Waterfront Flooding Task Force, the Kingston Heritage Area Commission, the board of Kingston Preservation Inc. which he organized to stabilize an endangered historic bluestone house in 2016 and is presently Secretary of the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council and the Climate Smart Kingston Commission. Kevin serves as the chair of the Kingston Land Trust’s Land Use Committee and has served at various times as KLT Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.

Scott McIntoshDirector

Scott was born and raised in the Glens Falls area and went on to study mechanical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. Post RIT he went on to work in the numerics department of a hydraulic research laboratory, conducting environmental computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies for various government, regulatory and commercial entities. He now designs hydraulic assembly and automation equipment for primarily aerospace, transportation and green energy industries as well as ensuring engineering compliance to ISO, CSA, UL and CE regulations. A ten year resident of Kingston, he has become a passionate supporter of the city’s revitalization and volunteer for the Greenline. Scott is also a photographer, cyclist and amateur auto race driver.

Andi Turco-Levin, Director  

A native of Kingston, Andi has proven to be an active member of the community. She has served on the City’s Planning Board, was elected to one term as the 1 st Ward Alderman and Minority Leader of the Common Council, and continues to serve on several city commissions including the Kingston Complete Streets Advisory Council and Kingston Local Development Corp. She also serves on the Board for the Kingston Uptown Business Association (KUBA). She joined the Kingston Land Trust in 2012 and became Chair in 2014. In addition, she is an active member of the Kingston Greenline Rail Trail Committee.

In addition to her community involvement, Andi is an Associate Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty, and two time past president to the Ulster County Board of Realtors. She is active with the New York State Association of Realtors serving on various committees including Professional Standards and the NYSAR Legislative Policy Forum, and completed NYSAR’s Leadership Academy in 2012. She is a trained Mediator for the National Association of Realtors.

Andi lives in Uptown Kingston with her husband, bassist Tony and their three Westies, Kirby, and Cricket, and Spencer.

Veronica Martinez, Director

Veronica has lived in the Hudson Valley for 15 years. She enjoys being part of the community and likes to meet new people, dancing salsa and going to the local farmers markets. Veronica is bilingual and volunteers as a translator at Catholic Charities.

One of her goals is to include the Spanish speaking community that live in the Hudson Valley to be part of all the positive changes that are happening in the area.

Robin Preiss, Director

Rachel Winograd, Director



COMMUNITY POINT PEOPLE
Deeply rooted members of the community who own or work at business along or near Broadway and act as a bridge between their networks and the Kingston Land Trust.

 

María Elena Herrera, Pupusería Mi Ranchito, Waitress
614 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401

Dylan JohansonInnate Movement Parkour Owner and head coach
The Shirt Factory
77 Cornell St Suite 117, Kingston, NY

Lee Patterson, Master Cuts, Owner
690 Broadway, Kingston, NY

Sammy Bartley, Top Taste, Owner
446 Hasbrouck Ave, Kingston, NY

Joyce Huang, Yasuda Japan
579 Broadway, Kingston, NY

Kingston Wine Co.

VOLUNTEER INTERPRETERS

Bilingual individuals who generously contribute their time to interpret and translate between English and Spanish for the Kingston Land Trust and partner organizations.

Jean Cowan

Kingston Resident and Ph.D. Professor of Global Studies at SUNY Orange.

Álvaro Domene

Álvaro Domene is a Madrid-born, Kingston based guitarist, composer, and music educator operating at the convergence of various styles of composed and improvised music. He leads and collaborates with multiple groups in New York City and Europe, and has released four critically acclaimed albums featuring his composed works. He also co-manages Iluso Records, an independent record label dedicated to support and disseminate genre defying music and unrestrained artistic expression.
Álvaro is also very active as an educator in the NYC metropolitan area, working as teaching artist for different music schools as well as teaching privately. He also directs the guitar program at Wingspan Arts, and holds a BA (Honours) in Jazz Guitar and Performance from Middlesex University in London.

 


CONSULTANTS

Sarah Snider, Bookkeeper



Kingston Land Trust
15 Railroad Avenue
Kingston, N.Y. 12401
Reach us at 845-877-LAND (5263)