Our Board of Directors is composed of a team of talented, passionate individuals from all walks of life. Learn a little more about the people who help keep VINES successful. Interested in joining the Board or attending a VINES meeting? Contact us for more information.
David Levenson, Chair
David Levenson joined the VINES Board in 2013. After several decades with NewChannels Corp., then Time Warner Cable, he left the industry as Director of Customer Care. Getting to know the staff and buying vegetables from the Urban Farm, he decided to see if he could help with the organization’s mission. He formerly volunteered at Day Nursery Association, March of Dimes, and several more not for profits. It is a great joy working with VINES as it provides such an accessible, safe way to get fresh, healthy food to so many residents of our area.
Heather Cornell, Vice Chair
Heather M. Cornell joined the VINES Board in 2017. Heather is a Partner with the law firm of Levene Gouldin & Thompson, LLP. She concentrates her practice in the areas of commercial and residential real estate, general business law, estate planning and administration. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association Trust and Estates Section, and the Broome County Bar Association. Heather is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D.) and Pennsylvania State University (B.S. with Honors) and is admitted to practice in New York and Florida. In addition to Vines, Heather is also currently on the Board of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, and is President of the Union-Endicott Football Boosters. She lives in Endicott with her husband, Jamie, and their three sons.
Christopher Allin, Secretary
Christopher Allin joined the VINES Board in 2016. Chris is a relative newcomer to the area, relocating to Binghamton in early 2015 to take a position at The Raymond Corporation as a Risk Management Analyst. Along with his running shoes Chris has brought his passion for gardening and desire to revitalize urban areas through responsible community stewardship to assist VINES in its mission of providing youth with diverse employment opportunities and connecting community members with nutritious food sources.
Christopher Caroompas, Treasurer
Chris Caroompas joined the VINES Board in 2016 after being a VINES volunteer for about a year. Chris is a special education teacher at The Greater Binghamton Health Center teaching middle school on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit; he has been there since 2007. In his spare time Chris enjoys hiking with his family, spending time at the gym, running and swimming. He is also very excited to be part of the VINES community and all the wonderful things that VINES does.
Aisha Jasper joined the VINES Board in 2019 after being a guest speaker with the Grow Binghamton Youth Program and volunteering on the Urban Farm with the Southern Tier Young Professionals. Fortunate enough to make her passion her career, she works as Community Development Liaison with Visions Federal Credit Union. She is an Endicott native, having remained active in a variety of community organizations including the Emerging Leaders Society, NYS Mentor Program and Uplift Her. Aisha is honored to being a part of the VINES Board during this exciting period of growth for the organization.
Amy Shapiro joined the VINES Board in 2012 and served as Board Chair from March 2013-March 2018. She currently serves as the Chair of the Fundraising Committee. A Binghamton resident since 1990, she is a commercial litigator at Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP and a past treasurer of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, past president of the Broome County Arts Council and founding president of Binghamton’s West Side Neighborhood Association. She is thrilled that VINES is bring energy and imagination to strengthening the local community and promoting local agriculture, and is happy to work with energetic staff and volunteers.
Connie Barnes has been involved with VINES since its inception in 2007 as a founding Board Member, and served as Board Chair for several years. She is co-owner of RiverRead Books, 5 Court St, Binghamton.
Gail Kovac has served on the VINES’ Board of Directors since 2011. She’s a retired teacher having worked in the Vestal Central School District for 34 years. Following a lifelong passion for plants, Gail has been a master gardener at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cutler Botanic Gardens for the past decade. She volunteers at the local library, Hoyt Foundation and is a member of the Binghamton Garden Club. In her spare time, Gail enjoys reading, walking her dog, yoga and Tai Chi.
Jessica Dillenbeck joined the VINES Board in 2018 and had previously been a supportive event attendee and sponsor of our Farm to Table meals. She has lived in New England, but returned to her roots in Upstate NY following the 9/11 tragedy. Since 2005 she has been operating a successful real estate brokerage firm. Jessica is a big believer in supporting her community and its members. She actively donates time and resources to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Congenital Heart Defect Coalition, several Real Estate Boards as well as VINES. Giving back is simply her way of life. Jessica wants everyone to succeed and will do her best to make that goal come true.
Matt Conlon joined the VINES Board in 2016. Matt is a life insurance producer who owns and operates his own practice in Endicott, NY. He is a native of Binghamton and a graduate of Broome Community College with an Associate’s degree in Business Financial Services. Matt is married with 3 children and currently resides in Endicott, NY. When not spending quality time with his family, you can find Matt outside enjoying nature, hiking in the woods and downhill skiing.
Jon Yerger is a founding VINES Board member and served as VINES’ first chair 2007 – 2009, up until Guillain-Barré Syndrome GBS took him out of circulation and he returned in his electric wheelchair in 2011. He hopes that, in some small way, he helped establish early forms of VINES’ mission and organization, including the first gardens at Pine and Laurel. Jon is a retired IBM Engineer and a Presbyterian Deacon and Elder. He is constantly amazed by the talent and motivation of all the people in VINES. He has also become an advocate for breaking down barriers to wheelchair accessibility.