Meet the Board!

MIMI BEAVEN 

Mimi graduated from agricultural school in Wales and ever since then has played an active role in the production, provision, and teaching of food. A transplant to New York from the UK many years ago, Mimi, who started out as a shepherd, has enjoyed roles in dairy farming, restaurant management, food television production, celebrity chef organization, as a cooking teacher, and as a mother of two, now teenage, daughters. A firm believer in the role of education in developing sustainable food practices, Mimi has taught cooking at an adult school, volunteered as a school visit guide at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and co-created a school kitchen garden program. Returning to her agricultural roots, Mimi and her family are restoring a small farm in the Hudson Valley with a vision to produce local food and to extend teaching opportunities.

ARMINEE BOWLER

Arminee is a retired executive originally from New York City with 30 plus years experience in international and domestic banking and finance. She has held various positions in major Wall Street firms and banks. In addition to her career, Arminee has and continues to be active as a volunteer in many social and educational events, and she is an avid mentor to young women. Arminee graduated with a BA from Mount Holyoke College where she remains an active alumni. She also has an MA from Tufts University.

DEBORAH D’ARCY

Deborah is originally from New Zealand and moved to the United States with her husband over 20 years ago. She worked for the children’s publisher Scholastic, first in their school book club division and then in their international division. She is co-founder and CEO of The Creative Legion, a new membership club for the creative community in the Hudson Valley opening in 2019. Deborah graduated from The University of Auckland NZ with a BA in art history. She has one almost adult daughter attending college in Ohio. 

STEPHANIE FIRST

Stephanie graduated from Russell Sage College and earned a BS in Accounting. She is a licensed certified public accountant in the state of New York and has been employed at Karp, Ackerman, Skabowski & Hogan, CPAs, PC since 1994. Stephanie specializes in audit and tax services to nonprofit organizations, and is experienced in tax preparation for business entities and individuals. A native of Hudson, Stephanie shares in the experience of growing up in the city and attending Hudson City Schools and continues to hold many ties to the local community. 

PAULA FORMAN

Paula has a PhD in Sociology from Columbia, is a published author (The Hourglass Solution), is a weekly columnist in 15 newspapers (Short Answers), and a full-time resident of Hudson. She had a long and successful career in advertising and ultimately was President of Wells Rich Greene BDDP, the New York headquarters of a large global communications network. Subsequently, she dusted off her academic credentials and taught sociology at CUNY and Simon’s Rock College of Bard. Paula is the Founder of Perfect Ten. 

PHILIP FORMAN

Philip graduated from NYU and earned a Masters in Education and an MBA. Philip had a long and distinguished career in advertising serving as President of the WPP group of companies. He went on to found a Management Consultancy with 12 partners from McKinsey called Mitchell Madison Group. MMG grew to 900 employees in 8 countries. Phil currently serves on the BAR for Hudson, The Historic Preservation Commission, Historic Hudson, and is President of the Friends of the Presbyterian Church in Hudson.

AFRICIA HEIDERHOFF

Africia attended Lagrange College for a BA in Art and Design and is a Art History MA Candidate at the City College of New York. Prior to moving to New York, she spent several years living in Berlin, Germany. Africia has worked in various New York museums over the last 10 years and is currently at the International Center of Photography in the exhibitions department. She has a strong interest in promoting the value of education and the “it takes a village” philosophy.

KATHERINE KANAGA   

Katherine moved to Columbia County in 2010 after visiting the county for many years. Katherine holds a BA, MA, and M.Phil from Columbia University. Her background includes 24 years at Marsh & McLennan, from which she retired as the Property Practice for the International Division at the end of 2009 shortly after returning from 5 years in London. While in New York, Katherine mentored girls at a NYC public high school as part of a Financial Women’s Association program. She now volunteers as a mentor in the Hudson Reads program at the intermediate school in Hudson.

CAMERON MELVILLE

Cameron is an owner of Club Helsinki Hudson in Hudson New York. He is also a co-owner of The Vortex an event center in downtown Los Angeles dedicated to progressive and community events and fundraising, as well as an offshoot of the The Vortex, a small performance space and artist in residency program in New Orleans called OneLove. He is an activist and dedicated to supporting his local community of Hudson, NY.

DEWAYNE A. POWELL

DeWayne is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. He is currently a licensed real estate salesperson who works with both local and international clients and advises them about their property investments needs in NYC and the Hudson Valley. Prior to real estate sales, DeWayne spent several years developing and managing affordable and supportive housing and more than 20 years moving between a private law practice, the music industry, women’s apparel, and financial services. DeWayne currently serves on the board of trustees of the Hudson (NY) Area Association Library. His other past and current non-profit experience includes serving on the board of the cooperative apartment building in NYC where he has resided for more than 25 years and the board (including serving as president) of his law school’s Black Alumni Network. DeWayne is interested in philanthropy and early care and education as tools for economic and social good.

JEFFREY ZEILER

Jeffrey brings a combination of corporate executive experience and a passion for education to our board. She is a seasoned corporate professional with a successful 25-year career as an advertising executive working with companies such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. After retiring from advertising, Jeffrey started a second career in adult education at Columbia University’s Community Impact, a social service outreach organization that enables volunteer Columbia students to teach and administer ESL, GED, and Computer Training classes for low-income adults in Upper Manhattan.