He/Him/His Pronouns, 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.
She/Her/Hers Pronouns, 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 Masters in City & Regional Planning. In addition to her work at Dutchess Outreach, Atticus owns and runs Dirty Love Trash LLC (formerly Zero to Go) a company dedicated to zero waste management. She has two school-aged children and enjoys adventuring with them, especially when it’s raining. Atticus is a writer and artist, and is currently back to school, majoring in Biology.
They/Them/Theirs Pronouns, Sarah@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3241
Sarah comes from a diverse background with experience in development, farming, start-ups, finance, community organizing, and the retail environment, which lends to their 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 their 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 their work in Development with Dutchess Outreach, Sarah serves as the Chair of the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council. 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 their free time, Sarah enjoys running and biking long distances, getting lost in the dense forests of the Hudson Valley, watching documentaries, playing the ukulele, and spending quality time with pals and family.
She/Her/Hers Pronouns, 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 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.
In my 15 years of farming, I have never come across a farmer who doesn’t dream of being able to feed their entire community. There is nothing so satisfying as sharing the gift of nourishment with your neighbors. I am honored and excited to be on the team at Dutchess Outreach. In 2010 I graduated with an Associates’ degree in Horticulture and have been farming ever since. I was amazed and hungry to understand how different people went about nourishing themselves and their communities. After traveling around the country and farming in 12 states I settled in New York, spending 3 years running a small scale organic farm in Dutchess County. The Hudson Valley is full of farmland and incredible people working hard to farm it. It is also full of communities akin to the rest of the country where our relationship with food has grown quiet and unfamiliar. I want to mend that relationship, continuing the mission of Dutchess Outreach by bringing food back to the people. Bringing the excitement of community gardens into neighborhoods where adults and children alike can feel the value and satisfaction of getting your hands dirty and sharing a meal.
She/Her/Hers Pronouns, Bryana@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3096
Bryana’s commitment to advocating for a more just food system started in 2012 when she became a founding member of the Down to Earth food cooperative, an organization working towards increasing access to local and organic food, facilitating the development of practical skills, and strengthening the local community. While organizing and collaborating with other coop members, she learned about the social issues affecting every sector of our food system. Inspired by the advocacy work undertaken by others in her community, she began to take action as well. Since then she has volunteered for various food justice-oriented non-profits, worked on farms and in restaurants, developed and managed a mobile farmers market, and managed a large volume food pantry. She’s excited to apply the skills gained from these experiences to help Dutchess Outreach achieve its goal of ensuring every person regardless of income has access to fresh and healthy food. When not cooking at the Lunch Box, Bryana can be found growing, foraging, and fermenting food, climbing mountains, swimming in natural bodies of water, and spending time with her chosen family.
She/Her/Hers, Amy@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3096
Amy moved to the Hudson Valley from Chicago where she taught creative writing and literature in academic and community-based settings. While teaching, she also worked at restaurants in both front and back of house positions and at Chicago’s Green City Market. She has volunteered with the National Coalition for the Homeless (Washington D.C.) and La Casa Norte (Chicago, IL). Her ongoing interest in food justice led her to join the Dutchess Outreach team. Outside of work, she reads, writes (her first book is available from Spuyten Duyvil Publishing) and dotes on her dogs.
Headshots: ©Sean Hemmerle 2017