About

Staff:

Matthew Stinchcomb, Executive Director

Before heading up the Good Work Institute, Matt was the longest serving employee and the VP, 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 the desire to maximize the benefit their work has on people and the planet. In 2013, he was named a GOOD Magazine ‘Figure of Progress’. The next year he was named as one of the Purpose Economy 100. In 2016, He became a BALLE Local Economy Fellow.

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.

Erica Dorn, Managing Director

At the Good Work Institute, Erica choreographs experiential and participatory educational programs. She champions ‘deep scale’ in business – believeing we can all contribute to building inclusive, compassionate economies that improve our collective future by uplifting diverse and locally-owned businesses. Erica’s led a mission-driven career working in U.S. microfinance, community economic development, and small business education. Erica ran business development and lending for Accion NY, the leading micro-lender in the US. As a new economy consultant, she built programs advocating for inclusive ownership and heart-led decision making for the Queens Public Library, Department of Small Business Services, Fare Resources, and Bernoulli Finance.

Erica is an adjunct lecturer at Baruch College in Community Economic Development, Slow Money NY board member, and Coro alumna.

Caitlin Dourmashkin, Operations Director

As Director of Operations, Caitlin is responsible for developing the organization through strategic planning, human resources, communications, development support, and financial management. Her passion for process is born from her work supporting and organizing local business owners to build a better, more compassionate economy. In 2005 Caitlin was part of a City-hall lead initiative to increase capital access in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where she worked with community leaders and residents to develop a wide range of community based programming. More recently, as the Director of Planning and Community Development at Evergreen, a north Brooklyn industrial development non-profit, she built a network of food manufacturers focused on building the skills and relationships necessary to power a renaissance in NYC local food production.

Caitlin holds a B.A. in Political Science from Fordham University  and a M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

Grace Lodge, Community Manager

Grace joined the Good Work Institute team in 2015 after working in the fashion industry as Production Manager for a small NYC based brand. Having dedicated much of her time to working with social enterprises in the U.S. and abroad, Grace sees value and great opportunity in the creation of a new approach to business education that cultivates an inclusive and compassionate economy that works for all. Grace graduated from the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business in 2013. As Community Manager, she focuses on connecting and maintaining the greater community of fellows, program logistics, and communications. She loves working with fellows and finds joy in working toward more just and regenerative business strategies and implementation.

Grace grew up moving from NYC to Tokyo to Basalt, Colorado and now lives in Newburgh, NY.

Aja Schmeltz, Bio forthcoming

Local Facilitators:

  Kavitha Rao, Lead Facilitator

Kavitha Rao is a mother, a facilitator, a yoga teacher, a consultant, and an organizer. She has worked with grassroots organizations around the world and is humbled by the immense commitment and vision she has witnessed from people unwilling to accept that the violence, injustice, and inequity that may surround them is the only way things have to be. She has spent much of the past decade founding and leading Common Fire, a nonprofit which helps to create accessible and sustainable intentional communities as a means of cultural transformation, and working as a Senior Fellow with the Center for Whole Communities, which cultivates transformative leadership that weaves together and strengthens movements for justice and the environment.. Through her work with Common Fire, Center for Whole Communities, and partners like The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Be Present, and others, she has consulted and facilitated numerous retreats and trainings on power and privilege, interpersonal dialogue, non-violence, consensus decision making, conflict resolution, the art of facilitation, green building, spirituality and social change, mutual mentorship and more. Kavitha is passionate about healing and is thrilled to share with others practices that have fueled and sustained her own activism, helping her to ground her work from a place of love and creative action rather than merely anger and reaction. All the various manifestations of her work are explorations for how we can live, in the here and now, the just and sustainable futures we all deserve in solidarity with all peoples and the planet.

Micah Blumenthal, Kingston

I do the work that I do because I believe that we are each the social architects of our society. So we can manifest whatever it is we choose and in fact, we do. I see choice as the only force in the universe. I am an artist and though my work is only occasionally in tangible form, my life is my art. The way I walk, talk, move and breathe is my expression. I believe in living in possibility, and want to prove to my kids that anything is possible, even world peace. Anything is possible. I believe that we are moving towards oneness. I work to unify where there is division. I work selfishly to expand my own definition of self till I can act selfishly and towards the good of the universe simultaneously knowing that they are one in the same. In seeking unity I work to counter-measure the us vs. them paradigm. I do all of this as a yoga teacher at Mudita, as creator of DAY 1, on the board of Wild Earth, Radio Kingston and the Center for Creative Education, as a part of O+, working at the Kingston Farmer’s Market, a facilitator with TMI, as a City of Kingston Art Commissioner, just as a human being working in my community and especially as a father.

Susan Grove, Poughkeepsie

Susan Grove is committed to facilitating collaboration, connecting across difference and creating lasting conditions for greater equality. She has dedicated more than twenty years to supporting diverse mission-driven organizations – faith-based, economic and rural development, anti-poverty, food system change, and holistic adult education. She has worked in Romania, India, Ecuador, Cambodia, Laos, Kenya, Mali, the Philippines, Ethiopia and China as a consultant to Oxfam America, director of the US Office of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, and Peace Corps Volunteer. In 2008, she shifted her focus to community-based work in New York’s Hudson Valley, serving for five years as the first Executive Director of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and coordinating the grassroots Poughkeepsie Plenty food justice initiative. Currently, she manages the cross-departmental community engagement strategy of the Omega Institute. Her work has involved participatory facilitation, strategic planning, program development and implementation, resource development, financial management and governance. She holds a graduate degree in international affairs from Columbia University. She is a founder of slowPOK (walking tours), the City Organizer for Jane’s Walks, and a member of the Race Unity Circle, Hudson Valley Feminists, the Board of the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, the Community Advisory Board of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, the Neighborhood Revitalization Committee of Hudson River Housing, Daily Voice Community Advisors, and sPOKe Poughkeepsie (bicycle advocates).

Ava Bynum, Beacon/Newburgh

Ava Bynum is a passionate systems thinker with experience in education, food systems, community organizing, development, and non-profit management. Ava founded Hudson Valley Seed, a nonprofit that connects public school students to the land, themselves and each other through weekly garden education. With Ava as Executive Director Hudson Valley Seed scaled to educate over 5,000 children in New York public schools through curriculum-integrated garden education. Through her current consulting practice, Omnymyst, Ava combines her extensive experience as an educator, food justice advocate, curriculum developer and farmer with her expertise in fundraising, organizational development and systems thinking. Ava’s clients have included universities, start-up nonprofits, social service agencies, movement-building organizations, and social-impact businesses. Ava is a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, a past fellow with the Good Work Institute, and is currently an organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice in Beacon, NY where she lives.

Dawn Breeze, Hudson

Dawn Breeze is a creativity advocate, change agent, educator, writer and internationally awarded interdisciplinary artist, living and working in Germantown, NY.  Breeze has lived and worked in Columbia County for sixteen years and is committed to building community around creativity as demonstrated in her interdisciplinary social projects like: Instar Lodge, the non-for-profit arts project space she founded and currently directs, Wayfinding: Imaging History with (Our)story, a mapping odyssey at at Olana State Historic Site, and her creativity curriculum Creativity + Courage™ which she leads as participatory workshops throughout New England for institutions and corporations, along with creativity consulting and coaching. She continuous to marvel at the ceaseless bounty of natural inspiration, agricultural and cultural nourishment, and caring community within Columbia County.  She is eager to help support the visions and work of Good Work Fellows which enhance their shared place.

Board of Directors:

Konda Mason is a social entrepreneur, earth and social justice activist and spiritual teacher. She is the Co-Founder and former CEO of Impact Hub Oakland, a beautiful inspiring co-working space that supports and connects socially engaged change makers and social entrepreneurs.  She is the Project Director of the Runway Project Oakland, a micro-lending fund for African American entrepreneurs intended to close the “Friends & Family” gap funding that is often unavailable to them. Additionally, Konda is the co-founder of the annual COCAP (Community Capital) conference in Oakland, with a focus on “Building the We Economy”.

She is one of the co-founders and co-facilitator of The Well-Being In Business Lab – Oakland, a cross-sector initiative guiding prominent business owners, non-profit leaders and government officials to a deeper level of intention within themselves and their businesses.

Ms. Mason, along with her partners Woody Harrelson and Laura Louie, owned the first home delivery service of organic food in the Los Angeles area and were the first to negotiate an organic food section in a major grocery store in 1997. Along with other “firsts”, Konda, working with a small cadre of activists, managed to stop a coal-fired power plant from being built in Borneo, Malaysia in the world’s precious Coral Triangle. Additionally, Konda leads annual eco-tourism trips to the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador in order to wake people up to become active stewards of this vital earth ecosystem that is being threatened by the extractive oil industry.

Konda is an accomplished filmmaker and artists manager and the recipient of an Academy Award nomination and a Grammy Award winner.  Konda holds a Permaculture Design Certificate, is a Kripalu certified yoga teacher and a meditation teacher. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Good Work Institute and Spirit Rock Meditation Center where she is in a four-year Dharma Teacher Training with Jack Kornfield as her personal mentor.

Konda’s work is fueled by a passion to witness in her lifetime a world that is environmentally regenerative, spiritually fulfilling, socially just and economically equitable.

Jerry Colonna is an executive coach who uses the skills he learned as a venture capitalist to help entrepreneurs. He draws on his wide variety of experiences to help clients design a more conscious life and make needed changes to their career to improve their performance and satisfaction. Previously he was a partner with JPMorgan Partners (JPMP), the private­ equity arm of JP Morgan Chase. He joined JPMP from Flatiron Partners, which he launched 1996 with partner, Fred Wilson. Flatiron became one of the most successful, early ­stage investment programs in the New York City area.  

Colonna also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Naropa University. Naropa University comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies. It is the only accredited Buddhist-inspired university in North America.

He also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Tibetan Village Project, a not-for- profit, non-political organization dedicated to creating sustainable livelihoods for Tibetans through social entrepreneurship and educational opportunities.

The recipient of numerous awards and a compelling speaker on topics ranging from leadership to starting businesses, Colonna has been named to Forbes ASAP’s list of the best VCs and Worth’s list of the 25 most generous young Americans. A graduate of Queens College, Colonna lives in Boulder, CO.

  Marlena Sonn, CFP(r) is the President and Founder of Treebeard Financial Planning, a New York City based wealth management firm. She specializes in working with progressive, Ultra High Net Worth millennials, women, inheritors, and family offices.

Marlena is a widely cited expert on personal financial planning, having been featured on PBS’ Nightly Business Report, Investment News, Crain’s, and guest lectures at institutions including the New School of Social Research, SOCAP and the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US-SIF). She is a recent recipient of the Good Work Institute Regenerative Entrepreneur fellowship, supporting her work piloting the first carbon-negative portfolios offered to individual investors.
Her personal mission is to plant 10 million trees in the Amazon rainforest in her lifetime.
Austin Dubois is an attorney that helps primarily middle-class families in protecting their assets from long term care costs and serving as general counsel to a select group of triple-bottom-line businesses and entrepreneurs. He is a seventh-generation resident of Orange County, and multiple generations beyond that of the Hudson Valley. Austin and his fiancee, Lauren, and their son, Colden are first-generation residents of the beautiful City of Newburgh. Austin serves on a variety of civic and charitable boards of directors, and in his spare time enjoys the outdoors, music, wine and craft beer, or preferably some combination thereof with his family, friends and neighbors.
Heather Jassy has worked in the areas of community building and values-aligned entrepreneurship throughout her working life, first as owner of an indie bookstore and cafe in her twenties, and later as a therapist and coach focused on creative entrepreneurs before moving into the corporate world. She was at Etsy for six years, where as SVP of Members and Community, she developed and scaled the teams that worked directly with millions of independent, creative entrepreneurs. Later, as SVP of Values-Aligned Business, Heather was responsible for integrating Etsy’s values into the company and the marketplace.