Diane Picard, MAP’s Executive Director, has been with the Massachusetts Avenue Project since 1997 and currently serves as MAP’s Executive Director. In 2003, she founded Growing Green, a program that employs and trains youth in urban agriculture, food systems issues, microenterprise and leadership. With her very talented staff, she has led MAP’s efforts to increase access of fresh, affordable food in Buffalo’s schools and inner city neighborhoods. In 1992, she received a Masters of Social Work from Boston University, specializing in Program Planning and Community Organizing. Her undergraduate degree from Cornell University prepared her to teach agriculture and art at a rural secondary school in Botswana, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1986-1988.
Email Diane at dpnoc (at) mass-ave.org or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext. 2
Erin Carmina, MAP’s Development Director, has a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Potsdam in Anthropology and Archaeology and moved down to central Virginia to work in the field for five years following graduation. In 2008, she moved back home to Buffalo and went back to school in 2011 to receive a Master of Public Administration degree from Hilbert College. During this time, she has been rehabbing an 1890s home on the east side with her husband Keith. They love being a part of the community, enjoy biking around the city, and especially playing with their dog, Champion. Since moving home, she has developed a deep love for being an active participant in the revitalization of our region and has been involved in a number of non-profits and community action groups.
Bethany Ortquist is MAP’s Farm to Table Coordinator. Bethany began working with MAP in 2011 as a summer AmeriCorps member after graduating from Houghton College. In the years that followed, she worked with both Jericho Road Community Health Center and Westminster Economic Development Initiative as the Program Coordinator of the FLY Program where she oversaw after school and summer programming for approximately 30 middle school refugee students every year. At FLY, she was passionate about teaching her students life skills such as gardening, cooking, nutrition, and self-care, and she is excited to bring that passion to MAP. Bethany lives in a housing co-op with several friends and loves being a part of the vibrant and diverse West Side community. She enjoys gardening, beekeeping, ultimate frisbee, and cuddling with her chickens.
Email bethany (at) mass-ave.org or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext 3
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, Katherine Pfohl, MAP’s Farm Manager, started farming in Zambia where she was a Peace Corps volunteer in an aquaculture program. After that, she studied Permaculture in Oregon and then moved to St. Croix to work on a permaculture farm. With a desire to know how to farm in temperate regions, Katherine helped start a CSA in East Aurora for the 2010 growing season. Katherine started working at MAP as an Americorps Volunteer and now she is happy to be working with MAP as a full-time staff member.
Email Katie at kate (at) mass-ave.org or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext. 5
Danielle Rovillo, MAP’s Markets Director, studied architectural technology and environmental design before pursuing a degree in urban planning. In graduate school, at SUNY Buffalo, she focused her studies on community development and food justice. Danielle studied under longtime supporter and former MAP board member, Dr. Samina Raja, and traveled with her classmates to Stuttgart, Germany to examine physical activity among grade school students.
Danielle’s interest in community development has provided opportunities for her to manage programs that support a diverse range of mission objectives including food justice, public engagement, community service, youth mentorship, and neighborhood revitalization. She has also spent time providing marketing support to a local farm, enjoys experimenting with container gardening, and loves learning about the health benefits of food.
Email Danielle at danielle (at) mass-ave.org or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext. 4
As Youth Education Director at MAP, Rebekah Williams is responsible for hiring, supervising, and supporting approximately fifty Buffalo teenagers each year. She develops curriculum and conducts lessons in social and environmental justice, democracy, policy change, and youth organizing. Rebekah also works with the Buffalo Farm to School partnership to bring local food to thousands of Buffalo Public School students and is MAP’s representative on the Crossroads Collective, eight local organizations working to bring about a just transition from an extractive economy, to one that relies on renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, ensuring that the transition benefits all people and communities.
Rebekah is experienced in strategic planning, event planning, and community organizing, and has over 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector in Buffalo. She has coordinated marketing and development for organizations focused on youth leadership initiatives, environmental and cultural programming, and the arts, and in 2011, she completed two years of training with a Montessori Teacher Education Program. Rebekah has a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Empire State College in Social Structure, Theory and Change with a concentration in Community Studies and Development.
Email Rebekah at rebekah (at) mass-ave.org or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext. 6