Our Team


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.


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.


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

Supports staff with, translation, outreach and communications

Keyla Coronel

Keyla is from Ecuador. She moved to the United States in 2013. She lived in Florida for 2 years and then moved to New York where she currently lives. Her goal after high school is to go to college where she hopes to major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Sight-seeing is her favorite outdoor activity. What she is hoping to get out of this internship is more knowledge about Kingston.

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.
65 Broadway, Kingston, NY


Helps maintain the Kingston Land Trust’s KUBA planter.

Karen Miller
Karen is a resident of Kingston, living on Crown Street, in one of the Historic Landmark stone houses, located in the Uptown Stockade District. Her home is across the street from the KLT planter, which she has been making sure that the lovely planting is cared for. She is also a trail monitor for a segment of the O&W Rail Trail.
Karen is currently the Garden Steward for the Rondout Community Garden and the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church Community Garden. Her new mission is to redirect any waste generated by the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church Caring Hands Soup Kitchen, from going to a landfill, by recycling, composting and donating to animal sanctuaries.


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.


Individuals who were part of the formation of the Kingston Land Trust or served on the board of directors and therefor provide institutional knowledge and perspective to our work.

Barbara Epstein, Advisor

Barbara is a Registered Dietitian and nutritionist with a Masters Degree from Hunter College School of Health Sciences in New York City in private practice with many years of experience in clinical nutrition, nutrition education including the WIC program and individual nutrition counseling specializing in diabetes, cardiovascular, weight loss and obstetrics. Barbara is an active member in the nutrition community and belongs to the American Dietetic Association, New York Dietetic Association, and The Greater New York Dietetic Association. She works with her husband Kevin McEvoy operating their family real estate portfolio in Manhattan, is a co-founder of the First St. Garden in Manhattan, the long time secretary and board member of a housing co- operative in NYC and serves as an advisor to Kingston Land Trust with respect to finance and use matters. She is also available as an advisor to the KLT agriculture program as a nutritionist and registered dietitian.

Julie L. NobleAdvisor

Julie Noble is an Environmental Educator for the City of Kingston. Julie attended Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY and has a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies. Julie works with youth and adults in the Kingston community to teach about the natural world. Julie also serves as the Secretary of the Kingston Land Trust. In this role, Julie documents many land trust events, including the monthly board meeting. Julie is also chair of the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council. Julie was born and raised in Kingston, NY and is married to former KLT board member, Mayor Steve Noble.

Jennifer Schwartz-BerkyAdvisor

Berky is the Deputy Director at the Ulster County Planning Department. Her 25 years of experience is reflected in her past ventures: managing major rehab of museum facilities for NYC, facilitating the reuse of office and living space in the Manhatten Fire District and the Brooklyn waterfront, and working for the World Bank and the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. through their cultural heritage protection programs worldwide. She has been crucial to Ulster County’s long-range policy development, including the first Ulster County Charter, Main Streets program, Open Space Plan, Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and Greenway Compact. Outside of her B.A. in Art History from SUNY Stony Brook and two Masters degrees from Columbia University in Real Estate Development and Urban Planning, she continues to teach internationally for the University of Rome, in NYC’s Parsons the New School, and locally for Bard College.

Arthur ZaczkiewiczAdvisor

Arthur Zaczkiewicz is a founding member of the Kingston Land Trust. He currently serves as Executive Editor at WWD and WWD.com, which covers the $1.2 trillion fashion apparel market. Previously, Arthur worked as a business services administrator for the Ulster County Office of Economic Development, and as a Community Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County. Prior to these roles, Arthur served at Conde Nast as a senior editor of WWD and Fairchild Fashion Group. Earlier in his career, Arthur worked as a freelance commercial photographer and daily newspaper journalist. Arthur also served in the U.S. Army in Germany and in combat during the Persian Gulf War. He earned an MSW at Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work in 2013, and continues to research nature therapy and the application of the principles of Inline image 1eco-psychology with social work perspectives such as object relations theory.

Sean Brix

Sean Brix is Certified Professional in Human Resources with over eight years of human resources experience. He is currently the Manager of Talent Acquisition and Diversity for Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union. Previously Sean worked as Senior Recruiter for Time Warner Cable, Senior Recruiter at Bongiorno Search Group, and Human Resource Manager for Partsearch Technologies Inc. Sean has been a board member of Ulster County Job Service Employers Committee and former president of the Mid Hudson Human Resources Association, a chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. He holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and a bachelor’s degree from LIU Post.

Ashley KnoxAdvisor

Ashley Knox, a Kingston native is the Founder/Director of Go Beyond Greatness Inc., a college and career readiness program designed to support students in developing the skills and “greatness mindset” needed to suceed in the 21st century. Ashley facilitates educational programs in advanced youth development with an emphasis in leadership, effective communication, and positive behavior. Ashley holds an Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz in Humanistic and Multicultural Education and a Bachelor’s in Sociology with a focus in Spain/Latin America and Africana Studies. She is the Director of International Programs at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY and PDSO (Principal Designated School Offical) for international students. In addition to her active involvement in the community, she serves on the Leadership Council of United Way Raising Hope of Ulster County and is a board member for Freedom Solar Alliances LLC, a renewable energy company with a mission to create clean energy consumption in New York.  Ashley’s professional commitment to education and youth development gives her the high capacity to successfully carry out programs that inspire young people go beyond their greatness in academic achievement and life success.


Community members who are engaged with the Kingston Land Trust on a regular basis and contribute their time and expertise to specific relevant issues.

Rebecca MartinThought Partner

A native of Maine, Rebecca Martin lived in New York City for a decade and worked at MTV Networks before starting her own production company and moving upstate to the city of Kingston. In 2006, she co-founded KingstonCitizens.org with Arthur Zackiewicz to understand the inner workings of her new hometown’s local government and to create a platform for citizen engagement. Since then, Martin has organized more than 100 different initiatives and projects, including serving as ‘ground zero’ for information and civic engagement during the Niagara Bottling Company’s attempt to purchase a significant share of Kingston’s municipal water supply. Through KingstonCitizens.org’s unique partnerships, strategic planning, and community organizing, the company withdrew its proposal after five months of public scrutiny. KingstonCitizens.org advocated for a Water Powers Referendum, which amended Kingston’s City Charter and passed by a landslide. This amendment gives the public a layer of protection for how its water is sold outside of Kingston city limits.

Martin previously served as Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust. Under her leadership, the trust was touted as a ‘National Model’ by the Land Trust Alliance for the organization’s work to develop programming that could bring the community closer to its open spaces. Martin was instrumental in starting the non-profit group’s Urban Agriculture initiatives, Kingston’s Rail Trail Committee and programming, and an effort to protect African-American history and burial grounds in the City of Kingston.
She was recognized as “Community Activist of the Year” by the Ulster County YWCA and in 2015 was named “Best Activist in the Hudson Valley” in Hudson Valley Magazine’s annual readers’ poll for “Best People of the Year”.

As a musician, Martin tours the world performing her original music in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. She has nine critically acclaimed recordings, many of which have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and dozens of other influential publications.
Martin has been a resident of the City of Kingston since 2002 and lives with her husband, jazz bassist Larry Grenadier and their son, Charlie James.

Andrea BestThought Partner

Andrea Best is Managing Director of People Solutions at Stock & Option Solutions where she leads the consulting team that handles the stock administration and special project needs of hundreds of clients across the country. Andrea earned her BA in English from Lynn University, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from University of Miami, and Ph.D. in Comparative Studies with a focus on Environment, Society, and Technology from Florida Atlantic University. She frequently speaks at equity compensation industry events and authors the Career Corner blog in the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP) Career Center.

Andrea has recently made Kingston her home and brings her enthusiasm for sustainable and equitable development to the community.

Tanya GarmentThought Partner

Though a relatively new resident of Kingston, Tanya has found it easy to be at home in this beautiful small city. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she enjoys the familiarity of being able to walk past a variety of interesting scenes, or have a spur of the moment conversation with stranger, and also thrills at living in a place that is surrounded by and dappled with nature. An urban enthusiast and self directed student of the history of city planning, Tanya is compelled to investigate the workings of our city’s government, and share information with fellow residents of this beautiful town.


Joanne Sheldon, Bookkeeper

Joanne has worked as a bookkeeper for 30 years, servicing small businesses in the Kingston/Woodstock area. She sees herself as a bridge between her clients accounting needs and providing accurate accounting information (for Tax & financial statement preparation) to her clients accountants. She prides herself on working closely with each client to develop understandable systems, and provide them clear, accurate information, tailored to their every day accounting/bookkeeping needs.

In her free time she is a mom and wife who enjoys cooking, cycling, and staying fit. Her goal is to always do her best and enjoy that process.

Thank you to previous volunteers for the work you contributed in 2017!

Abigail Avital, Volunteer Intern

Abigail is a second-year student at Bard College volunteering as an intern for the Kingston Land Trust. She studies Environmental and Urban Studies and Creative Writing. Abigail is from Manhattan but has spent a lot of time in the White Mountains hiking and working for the Appalachian Mountain Club, which among its many other functions, is another land trust. She became acquainted with the Kingston Land Trust this year during an ethnography project in which she studied the role of community in the development of inclusive green environments.

Tierney Weymueller, Student Volunteer
Nikhil Inalsingh, Student Volunteer
Matthew Sprague, Student Volunteer

A big thank you to DragonSearch for their support of our work in 2017.

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