Poughkeepsie Farm Project harvests new leader

POUGHKEEPSIE — The Poughkeepsie Farm Project’s Board of Directors has appointed community activist and entrepreneur, Madeline Henriquez, to serve as the nonprofit’s interim executive director following the resignation of Ray Armater, who served as executive director for the last three years. Board leaders thanked Mr. Armater for his dedication to the Poughkeepsie Farm Project (PFP), a multi-faceted community farm that provides healthy, affordable food and educational enrichment to thousands of city residents.

“I have truly enjoyed serving as the Executive Director of Poughkeepsie Farm Project and am gratified by the accomplishments we have made in the last three years. The organization is in a strong position to move to its next level and I proudly hand the reins to new leadership,” said Mr. Armater, adding that he looked forward to dedicating more time to his family following his departure from PFP on September 18, 2020.

PFP Board Chair Diane von Roesgen Oktay stated: “On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to thank Ray for his stewardship of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project over the past three years and welcome Madeline as our Interim Executive Director at this pivotal time. Non-profits are being challenged like never before during this period of social and economic realignment and we are thrilled to have Madeline join us to move the organization forward.”

Ms. Henriquez began serving as PFP’s interim executive director on September 8, allowing her time to transition into the role while Mr. Armater remained on the job. She previously served as Co-Vice Chair of PFP’s Board, resigning from the board effective September 4 in order to take the new position. Ms. Henriquez most recently co-founded Earth, Wind & Fuego, LLC, a social enterprise venture and café formerly operating at the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

Madeline Henriquez

“It is both a privilege and honor to step into this role as I lead to inspire and lead to empower the passionate and dedicated team at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project,” said Ms. Henriquez. “Together we’ll get loud in advocating for a more just and sustainable food system and carry out our mission to ensure that the people of Poughkeepsie have access to good, nutritious, affordable food with dignity, now and in the future. There’s room at the table for all to enjoy what is cultivated on this land.”

With a staff of seven full time and 17 part-time employees, PFP has increased its donations to emergency food providers by 22% compared to last year, with donations totaling 23,738 pounds of produce as of August 27, 2020. PFP currently provides produce to a collaborative community food program of Bread of Life, Hope on a Mission, ChangePoint Church, and Community Matters II; Dutchess Outreach’s Lunch Box Hot Meal Program; and free breakfast and lunch sites for children throughout the city. PFP reaches approximately 7,000 youth through its educational programming annually.

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