Meet the Staff
Diane Picard has been with the Massachusetts Avenue Project since 1997 and currently serves as MAP’s Executive Director.
In 2003, she founded Growing Green, a program that employs and trains youth in urban agriculture, food systems issues, microenterprise and leadership. With her very talented staff, she has led MAP’s efforts to increase access of fresh, affordable food in Buffalo’s schools and inner city neighborhoods. In 1992, she received a Masters of Social Work from Boston University, specializing in Program Planning and Community Organizing. Her undergraduate degree from Cornell University prepared her to teach agriculture and art at a rural secondary school in Botswana, where she served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1986 to 1988.
Email Diane or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext. 1
Erin Carmina, MAP's Development Director
Following undergraduate school at SUNY Potsdam, where she studied Anthropology and Archaeology, Erin moved down to central Virginia to work in the field for five years. In 2008, she moved back home to Buffalo and went back to school in 2011 to receive a Master of Public Administration degree from Hilbert College. During this time, she has been rehabbing an 1890s home on the east side with her husband Keith. They love being a part of the community, enjoy biking around the city, and especially playing with their dog, Champion. Since moving home, she has developed a deep love for being an active participant in the revitalization of our region and has been involved in a number of non-profits and community action groups.
Email Erin or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext. 2
Neena Hussey MAP’s Youth Education Director first started working at MAP in 2013 as a Growing Green Youth.
Inspired by her previous relation to MAP she went on to major in Food Studies at Syracuse University. During her time in Syracuse she’s helped organized a community garden in Syracuse, developed food justice curriculum, and interned with NOFA NY. She’s very passionate about social justice and believes in emulating the change you wish to see in the world. In her free time she likes to explore new music and play with her nephew. She looks forward to engaging with the youth in meaningful ways.
Email Neena or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext 6.
Taylor Johnson, an Americorps VISTA member, is MAP’s Mobile Market Coordinator. Taylor is helping MAP launch a new mobile marketing platform operated in collaboration with the University at Buffalo and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that seeks to answer the following question: Does mere access to healthy fruits and vegetables lead to healthier human lifestyles? Taylor is greatly excited to begin work on this incredible study, and looks forward to getting to work more closely within the diverse communities located in her hometown of Buffalo, NY.
Outside of MAP, Taylor received her BA from Geneseo with a degree in political science and a minor in environmental studies. While in Geneseo, she led the effort to bring composting solutions to her fellow students and spent a semester abroad in Prague. In the summer of 2018, she was fortunate enough to intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC as an environmental compliance specialist, while additionally co-coordinating the Feds Feeds Family food drive. Currently, she is attending Buffalo State to earn her MPA degree.
Email Taylor or call her at (716) 882 - 5327 ext. 4
Bethany Ortquist, MAP's Farm to Table Coordinator, began working with MAP in 2011 as a summer AmeriCorps member after graduating from Houghton College.
In the years that followed, she worked with both Jericho Road Community Health Center and Westminster Economic Development Initiative as the Program Coordinator of the FLY Program where she oversaw after-school and summer programming for approximately 30 middle school refugee students every year. At FLY, she was passionate about teaching her students life skills such as gardening, cooking, nutrition, and self-care, and she is excited to bring that passion to MAP. Bethany lives in a housing co-op with several friends and loves being a part of the vibrant and diverse West Side community. She enjoys gardening, beekeeping, ultimate frisbee, and cuddling with her chickens.
Email Bethany or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext 3.
After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, Katherine Pfohl, MAP's Farm Manager, started farming in Zambia where she was a Peace Corps volunteer in an aquaculture program.
After that, she studied Permaculture in Oregon and then moved to St. Croix to work on a permaculture farm. With a desire to know how to farm in temperate regions, Katherine helped start a CSA in East Aurora for the 2010 growing season. Katherine started working at MAP as an AmeriCorps volunteer and now she is happy to be working with MAP as a full-time staff member.
Email Katie or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext 5.
Danielle Rovillo, MAP's Markets Director, studied architectural technology and environmental design before pursuing a degree in urban planning.
In graduate school at SUNY Buffalo, she focused her studies on community development and food justice. Danielle studied under longtime supporter and former MAP board member, Dr. Samina Raja, and traveled with her classmates to Stuttgart, Germany to examine physical activity among grade school students. Danielle's interest in community development has provided opportunities for her to manage programs that support a diverse range of mission objectives including food justice, public engagement, community service, youth mentorship, and neighborhood revitalization. She has also spent time providing marketing support to a local farm, enjoys experimenting with container gardening, and loves learning about the health benefits of food.
Email Danielle or call her at (716) 882-5327 ext 4.
Rebekah Williams, MAP's Community Organizer, represents MAP for the Good Food Purchasing Program.
Rebekah is experienced in strategic planning, event planning, and community organizing, and has over 15 years experience working in the non-profit sector in Buffalo. She has coordinated marketing and development for organizations focused on youth leadership initiatives, environmental and cultural programming, and the arts, and in 2011, she completed two years of training with a Montessori Teacher Education Program. Rebekah has a Bachelor's degree from SUNY Empire State College in Social Structure, Theory, and Change with a concentration in Community Studies and Development.