A great team is like a flavorful recipe — it requires a mix of all sorts of people with varying backgrounds, from all corners of the world.
Dennis Derryck, Founder and President
Dennis Derryck is Professor of Professional Practice at The New School for Public Engagement. Dennis views himself as a practitioner generating theory through practice, and his experiences span the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. At Milano, he teaches a series of courses across programs and schools creating, through collaboration, a range of social ventures at the New School. Dennis is currently teaching a course on “Food Hubs and Value-Based Supply Chains” and an undergraduate course, “Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship: The Big Idea”. The former Chair of WE ACT for Environmental Justice he has also been Vice Chair of South Bronx Economic Development Corporation (SoBro). Dennis earned his BS from Manhattan College in Mathematics and his MS and PhD from Fordham University in Education Administration and Supervision.
Favorite vegetable? It's hard to pin down, but as a Trinidadian at heart, I like my callaloo!
Erica Christensen, Strategic Growth & Operations Manager
Erica Christensen has more than 7 years of experience working with communities across the country on issues related to value chains, food hubs, food access, policy, community gardens and farmers’ markets. She has a background in community organizing and a deep passion for community-based and participatory food systems. Erica holds a MA in Global Environmental Politics from American University and a BA in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Memphis.
Favorite vegetable? It varies from season to season, but broccoli is always in rotation!
Valencia Howard, Faith & Food Coordinator
A California native, Valencia has always been passionate about the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit. She is a recent graduate of Union Theological Seminary where she studied Integrative Health Care and Spirituality. While at Union, she earned two certificates in Public Health Education and Wellness Education from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. She was also an active member of the Center for Earth Ethics where she created a Wellness Center and conducted wellness workshops on campus.
Valencia currently oversees the Faith & Food Initiative-Health & Wellness Program, and will moderate a panel discussion on Faith and Food at the 2016 BUGS Conference. It is an integrative approach to already existing Health Ministry in faith communities in which weekly distribution of fresh produce along with cultural nutrition education based on sacred texts are taught in faith communities throughout NYC. Prior to moving to NYC, she was a Clinical Case Manager, VA Nurse Assistant and professional model.
Favorite vegetable? Okra of course!
Carolina Gomez, Farmshare Manager
Born in Colombia, Carolina moved to New York 8 years ago. Before emigrating to New York, Carolina studied Accounting at The University of Manizales, and spent 5 years working as a public notary for the City of Manizales, managing the finance and payment collection departments. Since her arrival in America she has taken on many roles including office manager, and financial adviser with local Harlem-based organizations.
As a Harlem resident, her passion for community development and social justice brought her to Corbin Hill two years ago as a community organizer, where she was inspired by Corbin Hill’s mission bringing great alternatives to thousands of families in the city of eating better locally sourced foods. Her expertise in accounting and data management led Carolina to her current role as Farmshare Manager.
Favorite vegetable? Spinach, definitely.
Jonathan Fraser, Farmshare associate
A recent graduate from Baruch College, Jonathan majored in Digital Marketing with a minor in Film Studies. Jonathan's interest in food justice began in 2009 as a gardener for an urban garden with The Brotherhood-SisterSol organization, where his passion for the environment and grew prompting Jonathan to start a farmers market with Brotherhood-SisterSol. Jonathan joined Corbin Hill Food Project as a Community Organizer in 2014, and joined the Corbin Hill staff as the Farmshare Associate in July 2016. As a member of one of the communities Corbin Hill works in, Jonathan's goal is to help Corbin Hill grow and prosper.
Favorite Vegetable? Broccoli is the way to go!
Jane olszewski, Procurement and logistics Manager
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA Jane has spent the last 8 years working in sustainable agriculture and food access. After graduating from university Jane was lucky enough to spend 3 years in her hometown apprenticing on, and then managing, an urban farm and greenhouse for a local nonprofit. This is where her passion for food justice was born, and she has spent the years since exploring its role in multiple aspects of the food system. Having experiences in everything from international development to small food startups.
Jane joined Corbin Hill in June 2016 as the Logistics and Procurement Manager. Her hope is to help community members try new, seasonal produce, while getting sustaining, wholesome meals out of their shares.
Favorite vegetable? Celeriac, it's not an eat-everyday vegetable, but it has such an interesting/ amazing flavor that reminds me of fall. Plus it's really fun to say.