Meet the VINES Staff!
Amelia LoDolce, Executive Director
Amelia joined VINES as the organization’s first Executive Director in February 2016. As a volunteer, Amelia began working with VINES in 2007 as a founding board member and the coordinator of the Liberty Street Community Garden. Prior to joining VINES, Amelia worked for United Way of Broome County spearheading the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition’s Eat Well. Play Hard. Binghamton! project (a pilot initiative working to improve the health of families on the North Side of Binghamton) and the City of Binghamton as the City’s Sustainable Development Planner. Amelia holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture, Food, and the Environment from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Having grown up on a farm in Otisco, NY, she enjoys working with other community members to make space in the urban neighborhoods for people to grow their own food and connect with the local environment.
Kaitlyn Sirna, Community Garden & Youth Program Manager
Kaitlyn joined the VINES team in the spring of 2017. Her knowledge of farm life comes from her family farm in northeast Ohio, where her parents are first generation farmers. She furthered this passion in Chicago by pursuing urban agriculture initiatives while she received her BA in English from DePaul University. Kaitlyn has spearheaded farmers markets, coordinated CSAs and even a farm to table pizzeria in Ohio. Here in Binghamton, Kaitlyn worked in the community at Cornell Cooperative Extension prior to VINES and had previously been a substitute teacher as well. Her love of agriculture keeps her learning, as she is pursuing a Masters in Sustainable Communities at Binghamton University, focusing on the role culture plays in food and food accessibility. In her free time Kaitlyn loves to drink coffee, wander around the town, go camping and cook things she’s never made before.
Kyle Rittenburg, Urban Farm Manager
After helping VINES as the interim farm manager during the 2018 season, Kyle accepted the permanent position as Binghamton Urban Farm Manager in the fall of 2018. A Broome County native, Kyle developed his love of food and agriculture while working at Apple Hills during his high school and early college years. He received an associates degree from SUNY Broome and later went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Agriculture from Unity College in Maine. Kyle has traveled with the work-trade organization WWOOF and seen many different examples of organic production. In 2012 Kyle received his permaculture design certificate from the Aprovecho Sustainable Living School in southern Oregon. He has also worked at Johnny’s Selected Seeds research farm and the Mckay Farm and Research Center in Maine. Kyle is very excited to be in a position to provide fresh, healthy produce to the Binghamton community. In his free time Kyle works with his partner on their homestead and small farm operation. He loves being in nature, dreaming, designing, and building for a resilient and bountiful future
Kate Miller-Corcoran, Binghamton Farm Share Coordinator
Kate joined the VINES team in 2015 as the Farm Share Coordinator. No stranger to farm life, she grew up on a dairy farm in Windsor, NY, where her family has been farming for 4 generations. She received her BA in English from Penn State University and her Master of Arts in English from SUNY Cortland. Her background also includes education both at the Early Childhood and Elementary levels. She formerly taught fourth grade in the Baltimore City School District where she witnessed firsthand food insecurity and its effects on children and the surrounding community. Kate spends her free time reading, running or elbow deep in dirt, paint, play-dough and doing other creative activities with her daughter. She loves working with the amazing volunteers of VINES Binghamton Farm Share to help bring healthy food from local farms to the people in our community!
Giavanna Townsend, Program Assistant
Giavanna became the VINES Program Assistant in January of 2018. Giavanna was born and raised in Binghamton, NY and found a passion for growing food in the summer of 2013 while participating in the VINES Grow Binghamton Youth Program. Since then Giavanna continued to work on several farm and garden operations in upstate New York. Giavanna returned to the Binghamton area in 2017 and completed a one year AmeriCorps service term with VINES. She is now happy to be an official staff member, who can continue working where her fondness with engaging the community began. Giavanna also enjoys tending to her houseplants, watching cooking shows and eating new foods.
Hope Townsend, Farm Share Assistant
Hope joined the VINES team as an Americorps member in May 2018. However, she began her relationship with the program as the Farm Share intern in the fall of 2017. She received her BA from Binghamton University in Environmental Studies. Her love of agriculture and the environment is rooted in her childhood that was spent camping with her family and exploring the woods. Originally from Endicott, this area is near to her heart and she enjoys bringing the sustainable food movement home. Hope’s farming career began on a small garlic farm on Seneca Lake and the rest is history. In her spare time she enjoys growing food, playing games and spending time in Rec Park, camping, and exploring the community.