Leora Barish – Founder & Executive Director
Leora is an army brat and longtime writer, screenwriter, and advocate for social justice, with a deep interest in natural farming. During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Leora began mentoring veterans in writing through the Writers’ Guild of America East Foundation, of which she is a member. In 2012, she decided to start a sustainable farm school for veterans. She holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop.
Ryan O’Sullivan – Veteran Coordinator
Ryan served nine honorable years as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, on active duty from June 2001-February 2010. He was stationed with the 1st Marine Division as a field artilleryman and Light Armored Reconnaissance. Would serve three tours of duty in Iraq, and a deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary unit in Okinawa, Japan. Today Ryan is currently finishing his A.A. in Political Science at SUNY Dutchess and is one of the founders of the Veterans Resource Room on the DCC campus. He occupies positions on three Veteran advisory committees to the following governing bodies: Dutchess County Legislature, NYS Senate (41st Dist.) Sue Serino, and NYS Representative (18th Dist.) Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. A certified Peer Mentor through the PFC. Dwyer Foundation, a non-profit peer mentorship program for transitioning Veterans, and worked for a Veterans Center, (counseling center for combat vets) for 2 years.
Max Bean – Communication & Curriculum Associate
Max is a teacher and writer. He has taught full-time at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights and at Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem and has worked part-time in numerous other educational contexts. His education blog, Dewey to Delpit, which was active from 2010 to 2012, provided in-depth analysis of issues in education politics and pedagogy. In 2011 and 2012, Max worked to provide housing and other resources to homeless members of the OWS movement in New York City. Max holds a BA in education from Brown University.
Dustin Hassard – Web Designer
Dustin Hassard lives in Brooklyn, NY and works as a personal trainer and strength coach, which includes working with veterans. He originally approached Heroic Food to offer his web services after learning that our program trains veterans. Prior to his career in fitness, Dustin was a graphic designer and marketing professional for over 16 years. To leverage his experience in design and marketing, he founded OH Press to provide tools and templates for fitness professionals and small businesses to build and market their website. He assisted Heroic Food in the redesigning of our website and currently manages the technical aspects of the Heroic Food website. Dustin is also a military history enthusiast and practicing urban farmer.
Scarlet is the Associate Director of the Commitments Department and heads the Response & Resilience track at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). In this role, she works with corporate, philanthropic, government and non-profit leaders with an interest in global disaster preparedness, disaster relief, and humanitarian crises. She drafts and execute sessions related to the Response & Resilience track year-round, including for the CGI Annual Meeting, and recruit organizations interested in these topics to CGI membership.
Since 2010, she has managed the Haiti Action Network, CGI’s group of 50+ members working in Haiti, which address issues such as agriculture, education, energy, enterprise development, health, and shelter, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). CGI members have made more than 100 Commitments to Action focused on Haiti, which will be valued at $500 million when fully funded and implemented.
Previous to CGI, Scarlet worked in the Development department of the Clinton Foundation and at the Elie Wiesel Foundation. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a B.A. in European Studies, majoring in History and French.