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Capital Roots Welcomes New Staff and Board



Capital Roots recently welcomed three new board members and four new staff to its growing team. Adding valuable experience across the organization will help Capital Roots achieve its mission of providing the Capital Region access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. Capital Roots nourishes more than 175,000 residents in four counties with 480 tons of fresh, affordable produce annually.

Ryan Case of Saratoga County joins Capital Roots’ board. Ryan is Senior Vice President and Business Banking Team Leader at KeyBank. Ryan has spent a majority of his career helping business owners throughout the Capital District start, grow and eventually sell their companies. Ryan is devoted to the belief that everyone deserves access to healthy and affordable food.

Nick Crounse of Albany County joins Capital Roots’ board. Crounse is the Director of Strategic Communications of Bestpass (Albany County) and has served on Capital Roots’ Communications Committee since 2007. Crounse is looking forward to using his extensive background in strategic communications, public relations and community engagement to help further provide fresh affordable food and green spaces for all.

Jennifer Weil Malatras, Ph.D. of Albany County joins Capital Roots’ board. Malatras is a Clinical Assistant Professor at University at Albany, State University of New York. As a parent and a clinical psychologist, Malatras is passionate about ensuring that all Capital Region residents have access to fresh affordable food. By providing information about nutrition and horticulture, Malatras is looking forward to help nourish healthy communities.

Shauntay Brandon of Schenectady joins Capital Roots as Mobile Market Assistant. Shauntay holds a Bachelor of the Art’s Degree in Performance and Communications Arts. Shauntay joins Capital Roots with a passion for healthy holistic food access and its benefits on the wellbeing of underserved communities.

Leah Faustel of Hagaman joins Capital Roots as Outreach and Squash Hunger Coordinator. Leah holds a Bachelor of the Art’s Degree in Global Cultural Studies from Park Point University. Prior to Capital Roots, Leah worked as an Office Assistant for NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara assisting with outreach, communications and constituent relations, which sparked Leah’s passion to explore food recovery initiatives.

Scott Fuller of Clinton joins Capital Roots as Farm to School Coordinator. Scott holds a Bachelor of the Art’s Degree from Siena College and is pursuing an MBA through Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to Capital Roots, Scott was the Program Coordinator for CLEAResult, a company that designs and implements energy programs. Scott is excited to bridge the gap between our local farms and schools.

Sarah Heikkinen of Neversink joins Capital Roots as Development Writer. Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and worked previously at a local nonprofit as a Marketing and Social Media Coordinator. As a lifelong vegan and activist, she brings a passion for healthy eating, environmentalism, and combating income inequality to her new role, where she will oversee grant writing and donor stewardship.

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