Local Economies Project | The New World Foundation

Local Economies Project


Bob Dandrew, Director

In launching the Local Economies Project, Bob set out to focus on the intersection of economics, environmentalism, and culture with an eye toward locally owned business, resilient agriculture, and democratic participation in decision making. Before joining LEP’s fiscal sponsor the New World Foundation, Bob was executive director of the NoVo Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls. Prior to NoVo, he was director of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation’s East Coast Office.

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Sarah Brannen, Associate Director, Programs

Sarah Brannen coordinates program planning, evaluation, and the development of collaborative marketing for LEP and the Farm Hub. Previously, Sarah was a senior policy analyst at the New York City Council where she advised the speaker on economic development and food policy issues. While there, she researched, designed, and launched the widely-recognized FoodWorks initiative to improve economic, health, and environmental outcomes in the New York City food system

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Nanette Ayers Dalton, Business Manager

Prior to joining LEP, Nanette held the position of business manager at the Shadowland Theatre in Ellenville, New York. Her background includes working in the credit department at a solar energy distribution company in Kingston for three years, as well as serving as the practice manager of an animal hospital for over ten years. Nanette earned a BFA in theatre from the University of Detroit.  She lives in Rhinebeck, New York.

Brooke Pickering-Cole, Associate Director, Community Relations

Brooke is a former town supervisor (Marbletown, New York) and long-time town board member. With over fifteen years of combined experience in community development and local government, her expertise includes strategic planning, public relations, grant funding and project management. Initiatives spearheaded by Brooke during her tenure as a town official include major grant funded projects for the O&W Rail Trail, Marbletown’s Sustainable Economic Development plan for the Hamlets, and the Town’s Farmland Protection Plan.

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Caitlin Salemi, Program Associate

Prior to joining LEP, Caitlin was the coordinator of the NYC Food Forum (NYCFF) where she co-produced the Mayoral Candidate Forum on the Future of Food in New York City in July 2013, coordinated the development of a 5-point food policy primer and supported the NYCFF Coordinating Committee in advancing a visioning process to integrate and advance racial and economic equity within the Forum. Previously, as general coordinator of Food Systems Network NYC, Caitlin supported the efforts of a 200+ cross-sector membership organization.

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Daniel Torres, Assistant to the Director

Prior to joining LEP, Daniel was the Assistant to the Ulster County Comptroller. A lifelong New Paltz resident, Daniel serves on the New Paltz Town Council and previously served as a Trustee on the New Paltz Central School District Board of Education. He received his BA from Marist College and is presently working on his MA.

Jen Vinal, Administrative Assistant, Community Relations

Prior to joining LEP, Jen worked as a farmer on various organic farms from NYC at EcoStation:NY to Columbia County at Made in Ghent. Her background also includes a combined thirteen years of working in restaurants and hospitality. Originally from Massachusetts, she received her BA in Writing and Rhetoric from UMass, Dartmouth. After college, she worked in publishing, and while editing a how-to-homesteading series, her passion for food and farming blossomed. Jen is avid vegetable gardener, and when she’s not digging in the dirt, she’s embracing the lively community in Kingston which she now calls home.