Hawthorne Valley Association
Executive Director, Martin Ping
Martin has been at Hawthorne Valley for more than 30 years. He taught practical arts in the High School, served as Director of Facilities for 14 years, and managed several multi-million dollar construction projects. Since the early 2000s, Martin has served as Executive Director, balancing his time developing the synergies amongst the Association’s diverse enterprises and the more than 200 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. He is passionate about creating learning opportunities for young people to connect with their vocations, including through Hawthorne Valley’s new Place Corps gap-year program. He is co-founder and storyteller for The Magical Puppet Tree Theater, a founding member of the Slow Money Alliance, and has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Currently, Martin sits on the Advisory Board for Ethical Markets.
Executive Assistant, Sushannah Laurange
Sushannah joined the Hawthorne Valley team in 2012, and currently supports the marketing and development efforts with content writing and editing, organizing donations, and more. She grew up in Berkshire County and received a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Messiah University in Grantham, PA. She lives in Chatham with her husband, three children, and cat.
Chief Operating Officer, Lauren Wolff
Lauren received a BA in Environment and Society at Hofstra University and a Masters in Project Management from the School of Business and Public Management at George Washington University. Lauren’s professional career has been closely tied to many area anthroposophical organizations. She worked at Camphill Association of North America as the Director of Camphill Coworker Development Office and as Director of Camphill AmeriCorps Program. For several years, she was an independent consultant, working with organizations including Mountain Laurel Waldorf School, Waldorf Education Foundation, and Plowshare Farm.
Lauren has also been a long-time Hawthorne Valley community member. She first was introduced to Hawthorne Valley in 1991 as a Summer Camp Counselor, and was immediately drawn to our work and over the years has remained involved both as a consultant, staff member, and CSA member. She has served as a VSP Intern and then a Program Staff member, the Atelier Property Manager, Farm Admin/Marketer, Creamery Staff & manager, and a Special Projects coordinator.
Director of Marketing and Communications, Heather Gibbons
A graduate of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, Heather joined the Hawthorne Valley team in 2016. She began her career in marketing in the medical education field, working with Fortune 100 companies on physician and patient education programs, and then moved on to work as a marketing lead at an advertising agency. Following the birth of her first child, Heather’s career took an entrepreneurial turn when she became the creative director and co-owner of a marketing and custom publishing firm, Rising Tide Communications. There, she was also the designer of a regional arts and culture magazine for seven years before selling the title to a larger publishing company. Heather enjoys being part of the Hawthorne Valley team and takes great pride in sharing the organization’s important work with the community and world.
Development Director, Stacy Szymaszek
Stacy has been working in the nonprofit arts sector since 1999. She is excited to bring her skills to agriculture and education at Hawthorne Valley. She is a published poet with seven books in print, and is the recipient of a 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, and a 2019 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant in poetry. From 2007 to 2018, she was the executive director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in New York City. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Montana, Naropa University, and Brown University, and she has served as a mentor in several mentorship programs including Queer Art Mentorship. She lives with her partner, the poet Kimberly Alidio, in Greene County.
Marketing and Development Associate, Julia Zinszer
Julia is from the Syracuse area and got her B.A. in Philosophy-Psychology at SUNY Oswego. She has worked in customer service and animal care throughout the years. Having been a camp counselor for SUNY Oswego’s summer camp programs as well, she loves doing work that combines her two passions of helping people and healing the planet. From 2022-2023 she interned at Rice Creek Field station which is a part of SUNY Oswego. There she helped plant and grow trees native to NYS as a part of the Canal Forest Restoration Project to give them away to the public. Julia also has a tortoise who loves the outdoors just as much as she does.
Controller, Lynda Nielsen
Lynda grew up in Columbia County and attended Russell Sage College where she received a B.S. in Accounting. After 32 years at Columbia Memorial Hospital and holding increasing roles of responsibility she resigned as the Accounting Manager to become the Controller for Hawthorne Valley Associates. During her tenure at CMH she developed extensive experience in Fund Accounting methodology, general ledger, financial and audit reporting, including grant, state and federal reporting requirements. Lynda and her family reside in the Town of Ghent where she enjoys vegetable and perennial gardening, golf and time with her family. She also loves the rural beauty of Ghent and serves the community as a Councilwoman for the town board. Lynda is excited and looking forward to meeting everyone at Hawthorne Valley and welcomes learning about all the programs it offers.
Human Resources Manager, Ali Calhoun
Ali’s professional background includes human resources and human services administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management with a concentration in business administration from St. John’s University. Ali lives in Philmont with her husband and their two children. She is excited to be an integral part of providing support to the Hawthorne Valley team, which includes more than 200 co-workers.
Environmental Services Manager, Dave Kisselburgh
A Hudson native, David has spent his career working as an Environmental Services professional and manager in the healthcare field. He worked at Columbia Memorial Hospital for 32 years, and also worked at Ellis, Albany Memorial, and Samaritan Hospitals in the Capital District. Dave has a passion for cleaning, and enjoys teaching others the craft. He is a big fan of the Miami Dolphins and New York Yankees, and in his free time, enjoys playing golf and spending time with his 8 grandchildren. Dave is excited to be part of the Hawthorne Valley team, and looks forward to getting to know the faculty, staff, and school community.
Campus Director, Josh Wise
Hawthorne Valley School
School Director, Karin Almquist
Director of Enrollment, Amy Flaum
Community Relations, Lower School Enrollment, Linda Park
High School Chair, Simon Frishkoff
Lower School Chairs, Karin Almquist & Andrew Sansone
Kindergarten Chair, Janene Ping
High School Administrator, ESL and French Teacher, International Student Exchange Coordinator Eileen Lee
Receptionist, Karine Towe
Hawthorne Valley School Faculty and Staff
Hawthorne Valley Farm
Farm Manager, Field Crop & Compost Manager, Spencer Fenniman
Field Vegetable and CSA Manager, Todd Newlin
Director of Retail, Jeremy Laurange
Director of Sales and Production, Zachary Fox-Hill
Co-Director Place Based Learning Center, Matt Davis
Co-Director Place Based Learning Center, Joe Harris
Farmscape Ecology Program
Center for Social Research