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 focused on its various projects in the City of Binghamton. Interested in joining the Board or attending a VINES meeting? Contact us for more information.
Amy Shapiro, Chair
Amy Shapiro joined the VINES Board in 2012, serving on 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.
David Levenson, Vice 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.
Christopher Allin, Treasurer
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.
Matthew Conlon, Secretary
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.
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.
Christine Day joined the VINES Board in 2016. She is a Humane Educator with Ethical Choices Program whose mission is to teach high school and college students about how their food choices affect the environment, their health, and animals. She is also the owner of A New Day Vegan Consulting providing plant-based nutritional counseling to clients in the Greater Binghamton Area. She is the founder of Triple Cities Vegans and organizer of Binghamton Vegan Drinks.
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.
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.