Board of Trustees

Co-chair, Alfa Demmellash

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Alfa Demmellash now lives in New Jersey with her husband and two little boys. She is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that provides underserved entrepreneurs with the resources needed to grow successful businesses. Under her leadership for the past 15 years, Rising Tide Capital has run hundreds of Community Business Academies, which provide intensive business management training coupled with year-round coaching and mentorship to over 1,000 entrepreneurs annually. Corporate, foundation, and governmental funders underwrite the cost of tuition for all participants. By building successful businesses, these entrepreneurs meet their families’ basic needs, create opportunities for social mobility, and help transform their local communities into thriving economies.

Alfa is also the co-founder of Future Tide Partners, which equips cross-sector leaders to shift capital, policy, and culture to respond to a new world of work in service to a flourishing future economy.

Alfa has received a number of awards and recognition for her work with Rising Tide Capital. In 2009, she was selected and profiled as a CNN Hero, and recognized by President Barack Obama during a speech at the White House. She was recognized as one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World with Philanthropy in August 2012, and has been awarded honorary doctorates from St. Peter’s University and New Jersey City University.

Major media features include the Suze Orman Show, The Larry King Show, O, The Oprah Magazine, Inc.com, BusinessWeek.com, The Star-Ledger, Entrepreneur.com as well Essence Magazine.

Co-chair, Matt Stinchcomb

Matt Stinchcomb is a successful entrepreneur across sectors. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Matt was the longest serving employee and the Vice President of Values and Impact at Etsy.com. In that role, he oversaw the stewardship of the company’s vision, mission, and values and worked to give all employees the means and desire to maximize the benefit of their work on people and planet.

After leaving Etsy, Matt founded and led the Good Work Institute – a local organization that exists to cultivate, connect, support, and illuminate a network of people and initiatives working towards Just Transition in the Hudson Valley. Additionally, he is a co-founder of Place Corps, an educational program dedicated to cultivating a call to know, love, and serve our places. 

In 2021, Matt co-founded the Partners for Climate Action in the Hudson Valley to provide human, social, and financial capital to communities in the Hudson Valley who are leading the work to repair our natural systems and tackle the climate crisis.

Matt also serves on the Board of Directors for the Schumacher Center for New Economics (Chair) and Naropa University. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and lives in Rhinebeck, NY with his wife, Benedikta, and their sons, Francis and Lewie.

 

Kim Bucci, Treasurer

Kim is the owner and operator of Rivertown Lodge in Hudson and the soon-to-be Camptown Hotel in Leeds. She is a 20 year NYC hospitality veteran who managed a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, and event venues before moving to the Hudson Valley. The bounty of the area inspires Kim’s creative vision and direction, using local artisans, farmers, brewers and distillers to create a sense of place. In building these multidimensional businesses, Kim works to extend healthy work opportunities and mentorship to the community. As a member of the Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood Leadership Circle, she has spearheaded fundraising initiatives surrounding accessibility to women’s health resources. Kim has been a full-time Columbia County resident for the past 8 years with her partner Wes and two daughters, Adele and Max.

Aaron Dessner

Aaron Dessner is best known for his work with Taylor Swift (including the 2020 Grammy Awards’ Album of the Year winner, “folklore” and its sister album “evermore”) and with Grammy Award-winning alternative band The National, whose albums he has co-written and co-produced since the group’s inception in 1999. He began producing outside projects almost a decade ago, developing his own distinctive sound and approach, and an ability to connect with artists from disparate genres, whether it’s Sharon Van Etten’s breakthrough album ‘Tramp’, the delicate craftsmanship of Irish artist Lisa Hannigan, or the haunting gothic blues of up-and-coming singer-songwriter Adia Victoria.

His studio, Long Pond, near Hudson, New York, has become a creative oasis for Dessner and his collaborators a place where the beauty of the woods and the water makes it easy to get lost in the moment. “The best music happens when you aren’t overthinking or putting too much pressure on yourself,” he says. “What is most rewarding for me now is to write music and share it with other musicians, to see what strange alchemy happens when someone else adds their own voice, emotion and ideas into it. I think every idea is worth chasing, and every experiment is worthwhile. Sometimes what seems like a discardable fragment is actually the seed of a great song.”

Dessner also collaborates with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on their collaborative project Big Red Machine, and co-founded international music festivals including the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in Wisconsin, Boston Calling, and the National’s own Homecoming festival in Cincinnati. Along with Bryce, Vernon and a community of musicians and creatives, he launched the 37d03d (PEOPLE) collective in 2016. 37d03d produces multi-artist events and operates an independent record label, all with the goal of supporting and encouraging spontaneous collaboration.

Danielle Do

Danielle spent the first part of her career as a corporate lawyer, working as an associate and then partner with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. In that role, she advised many large corporations on mergers, acquisitions, and capital markets transactions, as well as on corporate governance and securities law matters. She currently serves as the Chief Corporate & Securities Counsel at Synchrony Financial where she handles corporate governance and securities law matters. Danielle is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School. She and her family split their time between New York City and Columbia County.

Maggie Keith

Maggie Keith is a fourth-generation steward of Foxhollow Farm, a Biodynamic Farm Community in Crestwood, Kentucky. In 2007, Maggie used her business degree and love of food and the outdoors to convert her family’s 1300-acre farm from a conventional three-crop rotation operation to a Biodynamic farm raising grassfed beef. Since 2008, Maggie has been selling and marketing 100% grassfed beef. In 2017, she grew the business, launching Foxhollow Delivery, a subscription delivery service bringing Foxhollow Farm’s grassfed beef, chicken, and lamb to homes throughout the continental USA. For the past 15 years, she and her Mom have worked together with the head herdsman of Foxhollow to grow their herd from 30 to 500 beef cattle. They have also built a community of fellow entrepreneurial Biodynamic farmers and holistic healers who work and live on Foxhollow Farm.

Along with managing the business operations of the farm, Maggie is passionate about growing, harvesting, and cooking food! She grows a variety of heirloom vegetables and cut flowers. Maggie is a co-host of the television show, The Farmer and The Foodie and serves on the boards of Dare to Care Food Bank and The Berry Center. Her goals are to grow more farmers, advocate for grassfed beef and Biodynamic Farming, and encourage everyone to take the time to enjoy a meal around the table with friends and family. Maggie lives on Foxhollow Farm with her three young children and husband, Benton Keith.

Alex Sierck

Alex is Hawthorne Valley parent and civil rights lawyer with several decades of experience as a public defender representing individuals in state and federal court. A graduate of Carleton College and The University of Michigan Law School, Alex has worked at The Legal Aid Society of New York City as a trial and appellate lawyer, as an appellate lawyer at the New York State Capital Defenders Office, representing individuals sentenced to death in New York State, a capital defense lawyer in California, and was the founding director of The Center for Holistic Defense at The Bronx Defenders.  Currently, Alex is a fifth-year psychoanalyst-in-training at The Jungian Psychoanalytic Association in New York City. He is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of The Brooklyn Zen Center.

Chris Tebbutt

Chris Tebbutt is a farmer, gardener, and landscape designer. He was raised in East Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, but came to the U.S in the late ’70s to study biodynamics with Alan Chadwick at the Round Valley Garden Project, where he met his partner, Stephanie Kotin. They went on to study botanical horticulture in the U.K., both in private gardens and at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. Returning to California to live in the Redwood ecosystem, he became a forestry activist in the ’80s and ’90s, working to improve silvicultural standards and played an integral part in Redwood Coast Watersheds Alliance vs. the State of California and the campaign for sustainable forestry practices. A life-long love of trees led to further work with the International Dendrological Research Institute, studying rare conifer habitat around the world. Co-founder of Land & Place, a design/build landscape company, Chris returned to farming when his children were born, with the creation of Filigreen Farm in Mendocino County, California, home to diverse orchards, vineyards, and gardens. He is dedicated to the study of water as a means to enliven and understand biodynamics.

Ex-Officio, Martin Ping
For the past eight years as Executive Director, Martin has balanced his time developing the synergies amongst the Association’s diverse enterprises and the 150 co-workers who carry those initiatives while cultivating collaborative relationships between Hawthorne Valley and other organizations in the Upper Hudson Valley/Berkshire region as well as like-minded initiatives nationally and globally. Read complete bio here.