Nicole Foti
Fashion Design and Merchandising, Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center

Nicole Foti teaches the Fashion Design and Merchandising program at Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Center in Port Ewen, NY. The fashion program aims to help high school students in Ulster County explore a variety of career opportunities within the fashion industry, while engaging students in meaningful projects that collaborate with local businesses and communities. In this two-year course, students build their portfolios, preparing them to pursue college or related employment after graduation.Nicole’s background in the fashion industry focuses on womenswear woven and cut-and-sew design, with further experience in knitwear, menswear, CAD design, fabric research and development, and merchandising. In addition to her freelance experience, Nicole has worked at companies including Kenneth Cole, Donna Karan, LF USA, and Rebecca Taylor. She is the recipient of the 2019 Agricultural Literacy Grant from the New York Agriculture in the Classroom program.

Robin Guy
Birch Hollow Fibers

Diane Kennedy
Twilight Song Farm
Buskirk, NY

Diane Kennedy of Buskirk, NY works for a trade association in Albany. She also owns Twilight Song Farm, where she raises Merino/Cormo and Leicester Longwool sheep.

Cydney Cornell
Greene County Wool

Cydney, owner of Greene County Wool, is based in East Durham, NY at the foot of the Catskills Mountains on a 122 acre 200 year old farm.  There she tends to her flock of registered CVM/Romeldale sheep which she coats yearlong and then markets those fleeces to fiber artists. Cydney enjoyed a 30 plus year career as a successful freelance hairdresser based out of NY and Los Angeles specializing in creating wigs and character hairstyles for film. 5 years ago she began transitioning to her upstate NY dream life. Creativity and hard work define her no matter what business she delves into.  Cydney loves caring for her expanding fiber flock and making unique items from her own sheep’s fiber to sell at local markets and festivals where she finds meeting other creative people inspiring. She is proud to be raising the special breed of heritage sheep -the CVM- and is a member of The Livestock Conservancy which sponsors the popular Shave em to Save Em program.

Allison Rich
Knitwear Designer, New York City

Allison is a fashion designer based in New York City.  She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in knitwear. Raised in the farming country of upstate New York, Allison, has a personal interest in supporting the Hudson Valley fiber and textile industries.  In her work she aims to fuse innovative design with heritage craftsmanship while utilizing the resources of her region. Currently, Allison works as a designer for a knitwear start up in New York. In her free time she continues to develop her own creative projects, and is usually hand spinning or knitting something. 

Elaine Gerber
Alpaca Farmer
Woodland Meadow Farm

My husband, Chuck and I  own Woodland Meadow Farm, LLC, a working farm focused on raising champion Huacaya alpaca, Gerber Enterprise,  an entrepreneurial venture working with the People’s Platform and rental properties. I have a BS degree environmental chemistry fromSUNY ESF/Syracuse University and worked 20+ in environmental laboratories. I worked in various positions from bench chemist to sales. I spent 10+ years selling advertising and have also sold legal research programs. 
On our farm we practice selective breeding with the goal being animals that carry fine, bright, crimpy fleeces to create quality yarns. Our herd is roughly 70 animals with the majority being breeding females and the balance blue ribbon and champion herdsires. The farm offers tours to educate people on alpaca. We shear our herd annually and also shear for other farms. 
I am a member of the Alpaca Owners Association and am currently serving on the Fiber Committee of the organization. I look for any opportunity to educate people on the wonders of alpaca fiber and look forward to the day that it is no longer a novelty to most people. 

Cecelia Tkaczyk
Cece’s Wool
Guilderland, NY