Over the course of this intensive, several month program, fellows develop deep ties to one another and gain vital collaboration and initiative‐building skills while cultivating inner clarity about what it means to do good work.
Teams within the cohort learn by doing – inquiring into key questions and piloting projects related to the possibilities of a more equitable and regenerative economy.
Fellows return to their places enriched by the opportunity to reflect on aligning their work and values and with embodied knowledge about how to collaborate to make change.
The relationships forged within the fellowship are sustained through ongoing Good Work Network events and collaborations that link each cohort with the growing group of innovators and community leaders committed to a thriving future for the Hudson Valley.
Zoe grew up an artist and crafter with a love of functionality. She spent almost a decade working as a model maker and presentation designer for some of NYC’s best architecture firms, before pursuing her interest in emerging technology and rapid prototyping. From there, she transitioned into interactive design and most recently graduated from a master’s program at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication program where engineer/artists are always busy thinking up creative ways to push the boundaries of technology. In addition to her design and tech career Zoe was also a skater for Gotham Girls Roller Derby, a pastry chef, and co-founded the jewelry company Lock&Spoon. ‘Handled’ is a line of assistive kitchen tools to empower differently-abled users to have better access to the pleasure of cooking.
Wen-Jay Ying is addicted to the local food movement. After her time working with Americorps, Just Food, and Red Jacket, she decided to create her own dream job; with a rental car and no business training she started Local Roots NYC. Local Roots NYC connects New Yorkers with freshly picked organic produce and small batch provision from local farms. We support local farmers, small batch producers, and artisanal makers through our CSA food program and brick-and-mortar market. More than just a food hub, we are a vibrant movement that promotes a transparent and sustainable food chain and fosters empowerment by providing New Yorkers with an alternate way to eat food in a way that is more aligned with their own passion and beliefs.
Tylea Richard is the founder of Thundress, a company that makes non-toxic underwear for women. The chemicals that are used to manufacture fabric have been linked to cancer and a long list of reproductive problems. Thundress wants to keep these toxins out of our most precious places with US-made organic fabrics, low-impact dyes, and woman-driven design. She has a decade of experience in social compliance, logistics, sourcing, and product development. Thundress combines two of Tylea’s biggest passions: women’s health and ethical fashion. She believes that what is good for our rivers and oceans is also what’s good for our chachas, and visa-versa. Tylea currently lives in Los Angeles, she loves bachata, long train rides, and gluten free lemon bars, and is most happy on the beach with a good novel.
Shira currently lives in New York City’s Lower East Side with her feminist husband, Sam, and their two cats, Monkey and Meatball. Throughout her career, Shira Wheeler has explored the theme of art and commerce, distilling ideas into results-driven creative strategy, helping numerous brands craft and communicate distinctive stories on and offline. Now she is using her experience and expertise to help shift the understanding and perception of women’s health and sexuality with the launch of Oddo, a collection of organic, 100% cotton underwear. Oddo seeks to be a part of the ongoing conversation, but also to guide and lead discussion around what it looks like to be a woman in the 21st century.
Shanti Nagel is inspired by the magic of plants and the power of effective design. She owns Design Wild, a collaborative landscape design firm based in New York City. Shanti believes strongly in the positive change green space brings to people, places and culture. Shanti founded her own organic vegetable farm at the age of 20, selling at local farmers’ markets, as well as starting a CSA. After years in operation, she moved from rural agriculture to urban agriculture, managing one of the largest urban farms in NYC. Shanti is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture at the NY Botanical Garden, a trained horticulturist and skilled garden designer. She acts as technical, design and agricultural advisor on many projects including rooftop farms, school gardens, public space and community parks.
Reuben Reuel was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Growing up in a Christian family had a major impact on his life, Sunday became his favorite day of the week, as this was the day when he would witness women and men wear their most stylish clothes. In 2012, Reuben created his own clothing line, Demestiks New York, sold on Etsy.com. Demestiks New York is a New York based womenswear label dedicated to making clothing with a vintage flair while creating new classics. The fabric used for the line clothing is sourced from and manufactured in New York City’s Garment District in efforts to support local commerce and domestic manufacturers. Reuben’s business is helps women feel beautiful in how they dress, which makes the world a bit brighter.
Niambi Cacchioli is the founder and head artisan of Bloomsbury Sq. Skincare. Originally from Kentucky, Niambi moved to London in the nineties for grad school. While pursuing a doctorate, she worked on cultural outreach initiatives in Europe, Turkey, India and Morocco. Her belief in “blooming where you’re planted” was galvanized by interactions with grassroots activists, often ordinary citizens, whose work changed lives despite their shoestring budgets. In 2013 she launched Bloomsbury Sq, a company dedicated to helping women find beauty in balance. In 2014, she co-founded 942 Summit, a shared creative space in Jersey City Heights, NJ where Niambi makes and sells her goods on site, hosts wellness events, and welcomes the local community to shop, learn and connect.
Marlena Sonn considers herself an activist working at the seat of power. She’s worked in finance since 2008, and launched my own firm, Treebeard Financial Planning, LLC, one year ago. Treebeard’s mission is to help create a more beautiful, humane and sustainable world through investments. A portfolio is not only a way to build wealth, but is also a reflection of an individual’s worldview, and ideally a tool for activism. To that end, Marlena offers a number of services including wealth management, cash flow planning, and philanthropy planning. She practices the principles that she seeks in worthy investments and pledges impeccable honesty, transparency, and loyalty to my clients. Treebeard is the first Socially Responsible Wealth Management practice to offer carbon offsets on individual investors’ portfolios.
Jeffrey Monteiro is the principal behind the design, content and philosophy of J. M. GENERALS. Monteiro trained as a fashion designer and has worked for many leading design houses around the world. Monteiro launched J. M. GENERALS in early 2014 in order to integrate design, craft and sustainable values in a new creative enterprise. Monteiro now designs, develops and collaborates on a range of responsibly made lifestyle products, produced exclusively made in the U.S.A. The minimal aesthetic extends to the ingredients in designed products, which are thoughtfully developed, domestically sourced and responsibly produced. J. M. GENERALS believes that the products we choose to enrich our immediate environment should be a reflection of our tastes and values, while having the least possible impact on the greater one around us.
As Executive Director of Hosh Kids, Henry has developed the organizational, program, and financial capacity of the nonprofit to deliver self-sustaining and health and wellness services to children, adults, and seniors in a cost-effective and fairly-priced way. His work has been featured by the Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Blog Talk Radio, and The NYC Social Innovation Festival. He is an appointed New York City official of Community Board 5 in Queens, serves on the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Neighborhood Advisory Board, and on the board of directors of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association. He finds joy in his community work service everyday and strives to make the Hosh Foundation one of the premier nonprofit studio and yoga service brands of the United States.
Eric is the founder of miLES, a civic startup that opens storefronts to possibilities by activating urban neighborhoods for pop-up entrepreneurship. Started as an online collaboration, Eric has been leading the development of miLES into an innovative practice operating between real estate, design, and social entrepreneurship. Eric has been invited to speak at Harvard Innovation Lab, Municipal Art Society Summit, Awesome Summit, Columbia University Studio X, Be Social Change, and TEDxDumbo. His work has been published in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Good Magazine and PSFK. Eric is an architect-turned-entrepreneur passionate about cities and neighborhoods. miLES lowers the entry barrier for entrepreneurs, creatives and community to use commercial storefronts to prototype ideas, gain exposure, and create experiences. Observing and prototyping are key ethos at miLES.
Edward is the CTO and co-founder of Radish Lab, an interactive creative agency focused on people and projects changing the world. Combining a deep understanding of creative design and standards-based development, Edward’s passion is creating rich, immersive, and memorable interactive digital stories. Ed built his first website when he was 14. The father of three young girls, Ed spends his free time training them to be Radish Lab interns. Based in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and founded in 2012, Radish Lab focuses exclusively on social impact projects. They think that by bringing smart design and innovative storytelling to projects and organizations working to change the world, will not only make the world more beautiful, but it will also be a nice place to live.
Dominic Maloney is the co-founder of Harlem’s first single origin Bean to Bar chocolate company, Sol Cacao. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominic’s passion for agriculture and longing to share his experience in New York City led him to create Sol Cacao with his two brothers. They make chocolate from the highest quality cacao beans sourced from countries such as Madagascar, Peru, Ecuador, and Tanzania. The cacao is sourced directly from small family farmers and farmer co-ops. Not only do these sourcing practices improve the wellbeing of cacao farmers, but it also creates a high quality product for Sol Cacao’s customers. Sol Cacao is playing a part in creating a more sustainable world, one chocolate bar at a time.
KD New York is a designer and manufacturer of premium quality knitwear for dance, yoga, and active lifestyles. David Lee is the co-founder of KD New York. After dancing in the Oakland Ballet, David and his partner moved to New York, the dance and fashion capital of the world, to start the company. KD New York has 30 years of experience in knits and manufacture all of its collections in the South Bronx. The brand has an international reputation for making the finest quality knits in the dance markets. KD New York makes beautiful clothing that helps to inspire their customers to move beyond their boundaries.
Chef Danielle is a native Brooklynite with Southern roots. Danielle Moore grew up in a culturally rich world riddled with adversity. The eldest of six, she has become the matriarch of the family, living and leading by example. Mother of 2 and grandmother of 4, Danielle’s desire is to leave a legacy for her family and to positively impact her community. Annie Mae’s Bakery has been in business for more than 10 years, starting out making cheesecakes and cakes for family gatherings and friends’ events and eventually progressing to selling to a greater market, turning Danielle’s countertop desserts into profit. Annie Mae’s is a family based business that encourages the bonding of families.
Chris Zumtobel has a history of successful crowdfunding campaigns on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. He founded and runs a wallet company called BankNote NYC which has now expanded into backpacks and flasks. He currently spends his time creating local learning hubs in Brooklyn communities through organization he founded with David Kurfirst, Think Olio. In its first year, Think Olio has held almost 100 learning salons in the Brooklyn area and they plan to mindfully grow to replicate this model in other cities.Chris has a passion for powerful storytelling in business. Think Olio is an organization that rewards teachers for their work and makes in-person learning more accessible. Think Olio brings accessible classes to the local community, rewarding teachers for their work and making lifelong learning more accessible.
Barella Kirkland is Dough Maker in Chief of Pelzer’s Pretzels, and prior to that a beauty industry insider. She has a decade plus of experience in consumer product development, merchandising, packaging and marketing, having worked in various corporate capacities at Essie, NARS and Walmart. Barella is responsible full-time for general management of the company’s day-to-day operations, product development, and strategic planning and partnerships. She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of The College of William and Mary. She juggles running the business with raising her pride and joy, her two year old son Grant Ellis. She loves to travel, read, watch low-brow television and eat fabulous food.
In 2014 Barclay cofounded Bespokery, a fashion brand powered by peer production. Barclay’s family are schmatta dealers going back five generations, he has been drawn to fashion since he was a child visiting the Middishade Factory his family owned, watching men and women cut, sew, and alter the famous Middishade suits. Bespokery’s ethos mirrors that which made Middishade great: good fabrics sustainably grown, fair wages for workers, and transparent conditions and methods in every step of the supply chain. Women of all shapes and sizes can use Bespokery’s marketplace to source high fashion made just for them. Bespokery is a fashion brand that leverages peer production to make bespoke clothing that is both beautiful and sustainable, launched in January, 2016.
Ariel Barbouth founded Nuchas in 2008 after falling in love with Argentinian fast-casual restaurants that only sold amazing empanadas. He set up his first commissary in Union City, New Jersey and in just 2 years, Nuchas went from complete anonymity to being awarded a much-coveted spot in the middle of Times Square. In 2013 the Nuchas Truck won the Vendy Award for Rookie of the Year, in 2014 they were awarded a People’s Choice Award, and in 2015 Nuchas expanded operations, opening a dedicated own 8000 sq ft USDA commissary. In 2012, Ariel was named Minority Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Development Center of New York and in 2014, the Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce named him Entrepreneur of the Year.
Anne-Laure Py is French-American and spent much of her early career working in Asia. Based on her experience in Central Asia she started Craftspring, which partners with exceptional artisans in Kyrgyzstan to design and sell their handmade felt products around the world. Anne is now based in Park Slope Brooklyn, where she continues to build Craftspring, and lives with her partner Tim and their daughter Juliette. She loves to walk in the woods, dance and travel to unexpected places. Craftspring supports exceptional women entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan by helping them tap into the power of global markets to preserve their traditions. They make beautiful products whose production process is anchored in community, local production inputs and empowering wages. The mission is to make products that are deeply beautiful.
Andrew started ELIA Life Technology with the belief that modern technology could be integrated in novel, intuitive ways to benefit people who are blind or have a visual impairment. Through ELIA Life Technology, Andrew invited the ELIA Frames, a new font based on the standard Roman alphabet and designed for maximum tactile discrimination by people who have a visual impairment. Since ELIA launched, Andrew has led the company’s operations, including product development, grant writing, product support, fundraising and stakeholder outreach efforts. Under his leadership, the company has attracted and leveraged roughly $495,000 in investors financing to win $2.5 million in SBIR product development grants, and to prepare for the upcoming launch the company’s suite of products.
Agatha Kulaga is a co-founder of Ovenly, a creative bakery headquartered in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Founded in 2010, Ovenly is known for its unique twists on traditional recipes and its innovative flavor combinations that incorporate sweet and savory with a touch of spice. Prior to Ovenly, Kulaga worked in psychiatry research at NYU School of Medicine for nearly a decade. As a self taught baker, she has learned the intricacies of building a thriving wholesale and retail food business from the ground up. Ovenly is a wholesale and retail bakery that offers fresh baked goods on a daily basis to customers in NYC and beyond. Our goal is to provide our customers joy through flavor. At Ovenly, we are committed to creating a progressive workplace and employing good people from all backgrounds.