Brian@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3248
Brooklyn born and bred, Brian Riddell came to Dutchess Outreach in 1989 as a caseworker. Later he served as Associate Director for five years, and was hired as Executive Director in 1995. Under his leadership our programs have grown significantly. For Brian the key to successful development, he says, is to always keep focused on our mission; to extend available community resources to address inequality in all its forms. And, he adds, this community has always responded. When not busy with Dutchess Outreach concerns, Brian loves collecting books for Poughkeepsie’s Sadie Peterson Delaney African Roots Library which he co-founded and now curates, and his work with Poughkeepsie ENJAN – End the New Jim Crow Action Network (of which he is a founding member); a group formed to combat racism in the criminal justice system and the mass incarceration of people of color. In his leisure time he can be found shooting hoops, listening to all kinds of music, and hiking the many trails surrounding his New Paltz home. He and his wife, Michele, run the Unframed Artists Gallery out their residence which they share with their dog, Karma, Minnie the Calico Cat, and a flock of chickens.
Tara@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3249
Tara grew up in Dutchess County, attended local schools, and has lived here all her life. She remembers as a young girl always wanting to help people less fortunate than her and felt a strong desire to make a difference. In 1997 Tara saw an ad in the Poughkeepsie Journal for a position at Dutchess Outreach.She was aware of the services they provided and was eager to apply. Back then it was not an online process to apply, it was personal and on her interview she knew it was right for her. Tara started in the back office as an Administrative Assistant but has always had her feet up front, excited to help the people served by Dutchess Outreach. While working administration, Tara learned many necessary skills from Executive Director, Brian Riddell who has been her mentor from day one. In her newest position as Associate Director, Tara feels a great deal of pride, but mostly gratitude to Brian Riddell for always believing in her and teaching her.
Tara considers the clients she serves as her greatest teachers, however, as they have taught her more than any classroom ever could.Tara looks forward to learning so much more in her future at Dutchess Outreach. Tara likes to spend her free time with family and friends at her family campground up north.
Atticus@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3247
Originally from Chicago, Atticus has lived in the Hudson Valley since 1993, save the four years she spent in Columbus, Ohio where she received a BA in Sociology and a Master’s in City & Regional Planning. Atticus loves working at Dutchess Outreach because she gets to do the nitty-gritty paperwork that keeps the organization alive and running. In addition to Dutchess Outreach, Atticus manages a company dedicated to zero waste called Zero to Go. She has two school-aged children and enjoys adventuring with them, especially when it’s raining. She loves riding her bike, smelling flowers and perfume, wearing dresses, driving fast, dancing, and sitting under trees. Atticus is a writer, poet and artist and loves the Hudson Valley.
Sarah@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3241
Sarah A. Salem, a systems thinker with a passion for equitable and sustainable development and in finding solutions that benefit the whole, rather than any one part, comes from a diverse background with experience in development, farming, start-ups, finance, community organizing, and the retail environment, which lends to her transdisciplinary approach to work and learning. Growing up in the Hudson Valley, Sarah has developed a strong affinity towards the community and in making the City of Poughkeepsie and the Greater Hudson Valley a more desirable place to live, work, and play, now and for years to come, for current and future residents. In her work with Dutchess Outreach Sarah drives home the idea that in order to thrive communities need fuel; a well-functioning economy, good jobs, upstanding community leaders and politicians, strong systems of public transportation, infrastructure, education, human services, space to play, and, most of all, consistent access to quality food whatever your net worth. In addition to her work in Development with Dutchess Outreach, Sarah is a Fellow of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, furthering her examination of societal and developmental ills/successes within the Hudson Valley Region. Charismatic and personable with a good sense of humor, Sarah has a knack for public speaking, thrives under pressure, and is committed to squeezing social injustice until it runs dry. In her free time, Sarah enjoys running long distances, getting lost in the dense forests of the Hudson Valley, watching documentaries, playing the ukulele, and spending quality time with her pals and family.
Nyhisha@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3250
Nyhisha T. Gibbs, the newest member of the Dutchess Outreach team, brings a broad range of education and experience to the position. Volunteering is an integral part of her having been introduced to volunteerism at a young age and it has influenced and directed her path. Nyhisha’s role is critical to Dutchess as our volunteers are vital and valuable. Nyhisha, a Brooklyn native, received a Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina State University and a Masters of Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Delia@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3240
Delia Vazquez-Habib has been a case manager at Dutchess Outreach for the past two years. Delia entered the field of social work 19 years ago at a non profit organization in East Harlem, similar to Dutchess Outreach. Dutchess Outreach has taken her to the roots of why she entered this field, to work hands on with clients and provide assistance on an individual basis and being able to motivate and validate their feelings giving them a sense that someone cares. That is what Dutchess Outreach is for Delia. Out of the office, Delia enjoys spending time with her 6 year old son and 11 year old daughter. The sound of their laughter and knowing that they’re happy is her driving force.
Teresa@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3243
Teresa was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, in which she still resides. Working at Dutchess Outreach has given her a certain sense of satisfaction. It has enabled her to combine her clerical skills with her natural desire to help people in need. Teresa is looking forward to being a member of the Dutchess Outreach team for many years to come.
Kris is a Hudson Valley transplant, native to New Jersey. Her passion for farming was cultivated through research related to her Graduate Thesis on the viability of urban farms operating as hubs within communities to form stronger ties between the farming, business, nonprofit, and public spheres to improve food issue within cities. For the past five seasons she has traveled the East Coast actively working various organic and biodynamic, urban and rural, homestead and production farms. She is thrilled to be working for Dutchess Outreach, where she is living the real life documentary version of her thesis. She believes nature is the best healer and has a strong connection to the environment, which she embraces through camping, hiking, biking, and swimming in any and all bodies of water she encounters. When she does come in from the outdoors she practices yoga, gets lost in zen coloring books, and tricks her friends into eating vegan (which she has just realized are all better done under the sun).
Letitia@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3096
Letitia is 39 years old and was born and raised in Peekskill, NY. She moved to Poughkeepsie 11 years ago and Dutchess Outreach introduced to her to the city and has helped her develop in multiple areas. First involved in the work of Dutchess Outreach as a volunteer, Letitia’s love of cooking and strong work ethic got her hired 4 months later. She is very fulfilled in her job and all that it gives to the community and is grateful to be a part of the family known as Dutchess Outreach.
Headshots: ©Sean Hemmerle 2017