She/Her – Renee@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3248
Renee Fillette is an executive bringing over 16 years of experience in child welfare, domestic violence, peer support, autism, behavioral health, homelessness, food insecurity, care management, substance abuse, Head Start, and education. At an early age, Renee found her passion while volunteering in soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters for the homeless. In 2003, she founded the first new foster care agency to be licensed in New York state in over 30 years. It was there at St. John Bosco that she learned about leadership and management of a non-profit and grew the agency from its original budget of $300k to nearly $2m serving high-risk children in community-based group homes. Several years later she served as the executive director at Grace Smith House, a Dutchess County-based agency for survivors of domestic violence. It was under her tenure that the agency expanded its services to offer a teen dating violence prevention program in all 13 school districts throughout the county. In 2014 Renee earned her doctorate in Public Service: Leadership and Management of Non-Profits and moved into a newly created position of Chief Operating Officer at Astor Services for Children and Families. During her time at Astor Renee led the restructuring of a $65m agency, major service expansions in the Bronx, and performance improvements to enhance the quality of care provided and the fiscal health of the agency.
Renee’s career has always focused on providing much-needed services to people in the most respectful, effective, and efficient way possible. Her work and travels have informed her about the devastating impacts of poverty, housing, and food insecurity, and the many systemic challenges that prevent people from achieving their greatest potential for health and happiness. It is her mission to connect with people, institutions, and social systems in a meaningful, compassionate, and transformative way. She feels deeply aligned with our mission at Dutchess Outreach and is looking forward to building on our strong legacy while supporting our staff to further their unique talents and honor their remarkable dedication.
She/Her – 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 – Samantha@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3247
Samantha comes to Dutchess Outreach with over ten years of fiscal management experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She has worked at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Grace Smith House, Hudson River Fruit Distributors, and in private practice. She is proficient in most areas of non-profit fiscal management, and the use of Quickbooks (yay!!). She is the first administrator at Dutchess Outreach to use Quickbooks – a major step forward for us.
Samantha has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (3.64 GPA). She is meticulous, organized, efficient, kind and is able to multitask under pressure. I had the opportunity to work with Samantha when we were both at Grace Smith House, and I’m thrilled to be working with her again.
She/Her – Jeanne@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3246
As the Director of Development & Communications at Dutchess Outreach, Jeanne will manage our existing grant and donor portfolio while increasing funding to support the growing needs of our programs. Jeanne will also focus on ensuring the organization’s communication efforts coincide with the organization’s mission and best represents Dutchess Outreach to the community.
Prior to joining Dutchess Outreach, Jeanne served as the Development and Volunteer Manager at Safe Harbors of the Hudson where her development and communications efforts enriched the organization’s housing, arts, and community programs. Prior to Safe Harbors, Jeanne was the Development and Communications Director for the ALS Association – Greater New York Chapter where she managed a million dollar fundraising initiative as well as the communications and advocacy outreach for the organization. Before joining ALS, she was the Senior Manager of Donor Relations at City Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in NYC, where she managed a portfolio of VIP donors, community partners and developed marketing strategies.
Jeanne was selected as a 2020 Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress Fellow working with a group of community leaders on pressing issues and solutions facing the region. Jeanne has a Juris Doctor from Western New England University School of Law with a concentration in Public Interest Law and a B.A. from the University at Albany.
Jeanne grew up in the Hudson Valley and returned several years ago to raise her son in the same community she grew up in. Her young son keeps her very busy and she enjoys a wide-variety of outdoor activities with him.
She/Her – Nyhisha@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3250
Nyhisha T. Gibbs, brings a broad range of education, experience and enthusiasm to her position. She was introduced to volunteerism at a young age and it has influenced and directed her path. It continues to be an integral part of her life.
Her role of managing the Dutchess Outreach “workforce” is critical. Our vital and valuable volunteers are the heart of Dutchess Outreach and are managed with professionalism, timeliness, patience and charisma.
Nyhisha is a Brooklyn (East New York) native who resides in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Nyhisha received her a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from North Carolina State University (Raleigh) and her Masters of Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (NYC).
She/Her – 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.
She/Her – 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.
Stacy is a third-generation farmer who grew up in Pennsylvania surrounded by veggies and animals. She moved to NYC to attend New York University College of Arts & Sciences, where she earned a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies but found her purpose when she began studying at Fordham University School of Law’s Environmental Justice Program. From there she worked at various non-profit legal organizations: Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, South Brooklyn Legal Services Housing Department, and the NYC Bar Association Pro Bono Legal Services, as well as a private firm specializing in civil rights cases brought against the NYPD.
After her marriage and the birth of her daughter, Stacy and her family moved north to Beacon, NY. There she returned to her agricultural roots and has worked at both Glynwood and Fishkill Farms. Like many farmers, she has taken a variety of roles in the sustainable ag world: production, education, cider making, event management, markets, and wholesale to name a few. She is incredibly excited to be a member of the Dutchess Outreach Staff and get to be a part of the good work being done here on a daily basis. Stacy loves snowboarding, clay work, meditation, hiking, spinach & goat cheese omelets, big dogs, family puzzle & popcorn nights, block print art, and petrichor.
She/Her – TessC@Dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3096
Tess comes to us with a diverse background in cooking, instructing, farming, and so much more. She has worked around the country holding positions such as chef instructor, chief of operations, culinary director and farm manager. Tess has a holistic approach to her work with people and food that is aligned with the ideals of Dutchess Outreach.
Tess earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the City University of New York in Food Service Administration for Emergency Services, and a Master’s Degree in Disaster Resilience Leadership Sciences from Tulane University, School of Social Work. She is excited to develop new opportunities in our community meal program, while supporting the meal services already in place.
He/Him – Keith@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3096
Keith has been with Dutchess Outreach since August, 2021 when he was recruited to fill in for Danielle who was planning a maternity leave. Although this was his first job in the non-profit sector, Keith instantly adapted to working with a variety of volunteers and managing unpredictable donations of food. He has been highly sensitive to the needs of our guests and keenly interested in providing delicious food. He is compassionate and kind, without exception, and a wonderful cook. He takes most pride in the meals he prepares for the afterschool programs, and we have learned that the children have never enjoyed their food as much as they have since Keith has been preparing it. When I asked Keith what his secret was, he simply smiled and said, “I cook with love.”
Keith has been working in kitchens for over 25 years including a variety of fine dining restaurants in Dutchess County. Keith also attended the Culinary Institute of America, and grew up in Poughkeepsie. We feel tremendously fortunate that Keith will be staying with us as a full-time team member.
He/Him – Rich@dutchessoutreach.org
*Headshots: ©Sean Hemmerle 2021
**Headshot: ©Mary Rappleyea 2020
***Headshot: ©Robb Lim 2019