PRESIDENT: Evelyn Clarke
Evelyn Clarke is the former Ulster County Youth Bureau Director, and also the county’s Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Coordinator. Simultaneously, Evelyn was also the former Director of the Ulster County Human Rights Commission. In addition to being on the Board of Family, Evelyn is currently a Councilwoman on the Esopus Town Board. Other community involvements include serving as an Associate Minister with New Progressive Baptist Church, a Voice Over Artist and member of the District Attorney’s Restorative Justice Task Force. Evelyn joined the FOW BOD in 2018; and holds an MPA from Marist College.
VICE PRESIDENT I: Sherrill Silver
Sherrill having been a nurse in the community for many years, she brings knowledge of the needs of the individuals and the groups we serve. In the past, she has worked on many projects promoting peace through dance and worked for political change. Currently, she works toward bringing universal health care laws, in addition to her “day job” providing mental health care at our local hospital. For fun, she plays and teaches ukulele, and will dance (literally) when the pandemic ends. Sherrill joined the FOW BOD in 2018
VICE PRESIDENT II: Joan Eck
Joan Eck is the SVP/ Sales & Marketing at Ulster Savings Bank, where she has worked for the last thirty years. She is a graduate of St. John’s University, the National School of Banking at Fairfield University with a certification in Finance and the Central Atlantic School of Commercial Lending at Bucknell University. She is also an active member of the Ulster County Continuum of Care and an advocate for affordable housing. Her husband is an attorney at Ulster Savings Bank and they have two children, 27 and 22. Joan joined the FOW BOD in 2001.
TREASURER: Laura Brown
Laura Brown is a Senior Advisor at ITHAKA, a mission-based not-for-profit striving to eliminate barriers to learning, where she works on a range of projects from prison education to a civil rights database. For more than a decade, she served as ITHAKA’s Executive Vice President and the Managing Director of JSTOR, ITHAKA’s digital scholarly library. Prior to joining ITHAKA, Laura was the president of Oxford University Press, USA, where she spent most of her professional career.
In addition to Family of Woodstock, she currently serves on the boards of Yale University Press, The Gordon Parks Foundation, and University of the People. Laura joined the FOW BOD in 2020.
SECRETARY I: Bruce Katz
Bruce is an internationally performing Blues and Jazz musician, teacher/clinician, former Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, and a concerned citizen. Bruce joined the FOW BOD in 2018.
SECRETARY II: Maria Elena Ferrer-Harrington
Maria Elena is the Executive Director of Humanamente, a diversity and inclusion consulting organization, Chair of the Athena Network New York, a psychosocial support network in the area of social services, health, and specifically in mental health, for immigrants experiencing psychological challenges related to the migratory process, and a socially engaged artist.
Maria Elena has successfully facilitated migration-related workshops since 2004. As a member of the global Athena Network Association — a clinical and academic initiative of the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health’s Health Initiative of the Americas, the University of Barcelona’s Ulysses Syndrome Program and Paris Descartes University’s Francoise and Eugene Minkowski Center for Migrant Health — Maria Elena has presented her work with immigrants at the network’s annual Migration and Mental Health congress in London, Rome, Berlin and Brussels, and leads the Athena Network New York. She introduced the concept of migratory mourning nationally at the 2012 National Council of La Raza’s (now SomosUS) Annual Conference in Las Vegas and has also led migratory-mourning panel discussions at the annual conference of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, and at the Somos Latino New York State legislators’ spring conference.
In October 2018, Maria Elena presented a manifesto at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, about the importance of humanizing migration. The manifesto also attested to the critical importance of the reunification of migrant families in the United States and elsewhere. Signed by leading international cultural psychiatrists and others, the manifesto has also been presented to the United Nations in 2019 as part of the Athena Network’s eighth international Congress on Migration and Mental Health, held at SUNY New Paltz in October of that year.
An author and Hispanic-issues expert quoted by U.S. news media, Maria Elena contributed to Espiritualidad y Politica (Spirituality and Politics), published by Spain’s Editorial Kairos publishing house in November 2011. Other contributors to the book include philosophers Ken Wilber and Ervin Laszlo and former UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor Zaragoza.
Maria Elena has served two terms on the Ulster County Human Rights Commission and is currently a member of the Kingston Arts Commission and the Family of Woodstock Board of Directors.
Earlier, she was from 1986 through 1999 a U.S.-recognized advertising executive and art and special-effects director in Venezuela, developing an award-winning specialty in clay animation. Clients included advertising agencies Foote, Cone & Belding, J. Walter Thompson, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Young & Rubicam.
Maria joined the FOW BOD in 2019.
AT-LARGE I: Sam Magarelli
Sam has resided in Woodstock for more than 48 years. Sam has been very active over the last 35 years working and serving his community. Sam serves on the Woodstock Rescue Squad, Fire Company # 5 and is certified EMT with the Woodstock Volunteer Fire Dept.
Sam is the founding member of the Woodstock Soccer League, ‘Staying in Place’ a senior support network, 501 (c) (3) a Public Charity, the Woodstock Volunteers’ Day “A Day of Gratitude” 501 (c) (3) a Public Charity, and the Woodstock Repair Café affiliated with Woodstock Transition. He is a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, RE Director, League of Women Voters, Phoenicia Rotary, the Library Alliance, and Friends of the Woodstock Library,
Sam has served on the Board of Directors of the Woodstock Arts Board, Woodstock Memorial Society, ‘Artists Cemetery’, Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Arts, President of the Board of Education, Trustee of the Onteora Central School District, Chairman of the Woodstock Democratic Party. Sam was a campaign coordinator for the Clinton-Gore election effort in Woodstock and an appointed Coordinator of Volunteers’ Day by the Town of Woodstock and as an Ulster County Legislator. Sam joined the FOW BOD in 2019.
AT-LARGE II: Theresa Pabon
Theresa was the former Deputy Superintendent of New Paltz Central School District, served 30 years in Kingston City School District Educator/ Administrator, and coached at Ulster BOCES for 11 years. Theresa served 28 years on the Community Services Bd – Mental Hygiene Dept. Ulster County. She was a member and past President of the Wiltwyck Quilters’ Guild, co-leader of Project Linus, and built one of the first passive solar houses in Ulster County. Theresa joined the FOW BOD in 2022.
Jeffery is a co-founder of the Hudson Valley Sudbury School. Jeffrey has volunteered as a member of the Woodstock Library Board, Woodstock Library Capital Campaign Committee, Hudson Valley Sudbury School of Finance Committee, Town of Woodstock Zoning Board of Appeals and the NYS Democratic Committe. Jeffrey joined the FOW BOD in 2020.
Bruce has 20+ year career in Public Relations, Healthcare Communications and Marketing. Bruce has volunteered with the Disaster Action Team Supervisor, Public Affairs Team
Member, American Red Cross Greater NY Region, Victim’s Advocate, Sexual Assault & Abuse Victims Empowerment Program (SAAVE), and the Westchester Medical Center.
Bruce joined the FOW BOD in 2020.
Shaheen is a lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley. He works locally in the city of Kingston. After completing his formal education Shaheen returned to Ulster County with a strong local focus on helping the community. He has previously served as a board member for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Ulster County. Shaheen joined the FOW BOD in 2018.
Nathan has served as President of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation and on the Board of Directors of the Ulster County Jewish Federation. Has served on the Finance Committee at Circle of Friends for the Dying, Music Teacher at Bard Lifetime Learning Institute,
Acting in a PAW Play, and Hunger Project Volunteer. Nathan is a longstanding member of FOWCS Committee and was the Head of Day at Family in Woodstock Hotline for many years. Nathan has served as a mediator for the Woodstock Youth Center. Served as a certified elementary and high school math teacher in NYC, a guidance counselor in NYC and Rondout Valley, had his own financial services business until 2008 and from 2008 to the present has served as music teacher, providing lessons on trumpet and conga drums. Nathan joined FOW BOD in 2016.
Robert was creative director at Forbes Media for 20 years. He has served as warden of Christ the King Church in Stone Ridge, volunteers for the Family of Ellenville, the Circle of Life Hospice in Kingston, and is currently the Chairman of the Ellenville Rotary Club. Robert joined the FOW BOD in 2023.
Deacon Bill Mennenga, MS, MPA
Dr. Ivan Godfrey
Sharon taught grades 3-6 at Hunter Elementary School for 22 years. Prior to that she worked in the film industry in NYC. She has been a literacy volunteer and currently serves as a member of the Olive Democratic Committee. One of her main goals in retirement is to help others. Sharon joined the FOW BOD in 2023.
Simon grew up and is a long-time resident of Ulster County. He has worked as a professional pilot and factory foreman making medical equipment. Simon co-founded a disaster relief nonprofit in Puerto Rico which provides both hurricane and earthquake relief in the Caribbean region and was a team leader for Rosendale4Refugees which resettled an Afghan refugee family in Ulster County.
Tom is a retired video, producer, documentary filmmaker, and television executive. Tom joined the FOW BOD in 2023.
Maria C. Rice
Maria has forty-eight years as an educator, twenty of which was as a School District Superintendent with almost fifteen years at the New Paltz Central School District, from which she retired. Maria serves through Rotary and Friends of Ghuirgo. Maria joined the FOW BOD in 2023.