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.
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, 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, Sarah@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3241
Sarah is a thought leader in food security and food system thinking and 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 and Strategy with Dutchess Outreach, Sarah is the founder and a co-facilitator of the Hudson Valley Food System Coalition and 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, Nyhisha@dutchessoutreach.org // ext. 3250
Nyhisha T. Gibbs, 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.
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/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.
She/Her/Hers, email@example.com // ext. 3096
Food, health, and wellness have always been a part of Danielle’s life. Growing up in New York City, always on the go, Danielle became interested in what type of food she was eating and where it came from. After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA she landed back in NYC as an Americorps for the food rescue organization, City Harvest. As an Americorps, Danielle coordinated volunteers to lead nutrition education courses in areas throughout the city with high rates of obesity and diabetes. Being able to provide communities with the cooking skills and nutrition resources to live healthier lifestyles, deepened Danielle’s own connection to food and her commitment to encouraging a generation of healthier eaters.
Danielle later went on to work for a growing season on a 4-acre vegetable farm in northwest CT, learning the importance of local food and agriculture. Finding herself back in NYC, Danielle worked as a garden educator for a nonprofit and then at Whole Foods coordinating in-store tasting programs for local and outside food/beverage vendors. Her appreciation for local food and sourcing developed as the associate sales coordinator at Gotham Greens; the Brooklyn, NY based company that owns and operates 4 rooftop greenhouse in New York and Chicago growing hyper-local, premium-quality vegetables and herbs. Upon moving to the Hudson Valley, Danielle’s roles at local food distributors have allowed her to use her experience in the food and agricultural industry and be part of the thriving local food scene. When she’s not preparing meals for The Lunch Box, Danielle can be found practicing yoga, hosting dinner parties, and hiking with her dog.
Headshots: ©Sean Hemmerle 2017