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. He is 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.
Jasmin Vazquez- Communications Specialist
Jasmin is a community advocate in both the Hudson Valley and New York City. Her connections to local networks of influence and her passion for offering veterans sustainable career opportunities got her invested in the mission of Heroic Food. Jasmin’s professional background is political in nature; she has a B.A. in Political Science from SUNY New Paltz and has been educating disenfranchised populations on how to get involved in political and social reform. Her technological, networking, public relations and administrative skills make her a vital part of maintaining effective and authentic communications as a nonprofit.