About Us

BluePrint Geneva is a federally registered 501c3 public charity founded in 2016.

We have no paid staff, but a whole lot of dedicated volunteers! Our board is connected to the community and provides project ideas, feedback, and management. Want to get involved? We'd love to have you join the team! Reach out to info@blueprintgeneva.org to let us know.

Board of Directors

Teresa Velez President

Teresa is a Manager at Generations Bank in Ontario County. Before moving to Geneva over 20 years ago, she lived in New York City and Puerto Rico and served as a Spanish language translator. She has led the BluePrint board for two years.

Michael Bersani Secretary

Mike is a local trial lawyer and community activist. He has served for many years on local boards, including the Geneva Human Rights Commission, Geneva Boys & Girls Club, Auburn and Geneva YMCAs, Farm Workers Legal Services of New York, and the Worker Justice Center of New York. Mike lives in Geneva with his wife Alejandra Molina.

Kathryn Slining-Haynes Treasurer

Upon returning from living in France and Montréal, Kathryn spent 10 years with a worker-owned wholesale natural foods collective. After earning a master’s degree in social work she was a LCSW until retirement. She volunteers with the Center for Dispute Settlement and the Alternatives to Violence Project. She has served on the board of several national and international non-profits as well as working as a bookkeeper for several agencies. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys playing her button accordion, camping with her husband, gardening, and fiber arts.

Shanelle France

Shanelle is a Special Education teacher at Geneva Middle School. After graduating from William Smith College in 2011, she lived in Lesotho, Southern Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer then attended graduate school at The George Washington University in D.C. After 5 years of living in the hustle and bustle of our nation's capital, she happily boomeranged back to Geneva, NY. She is passionate about giving back to Geneva, as it gave her so much during the transformative years during her undergraduate studies. Aside from her passion for teaching, she is a certified Yoga instructor, loves to cook, ride her bike and play with her Great Dane puppy.

Angela Thomas

Angela is a Development Manager for The Solar Village Company in Geneva, NY. Although born in Geneva, Angela grew up in Lockport, NY. She returned to Geneva in 2013 at the behest of her great uncle who is a bishop of one of the local churches.

Angela's passion for community development and networking led her on a unique path to joining BluePrint Geneva. She looks forward to working on various projects to further enhance the community of Geneva.

Samantha, originally from South Africa, has been cooking, teaching and catering in the Finger Lakes for over 20 years. Chef Samantha’s passion for food and community keeps her involved with amazing organizations such as Share our Strength and Foodlink. Recently Chef Samantha headed up a team of 7 amazing women from the Finger Lakes, showcasing some of the best at The James Beard House in NYC, January 2020. She is owner of Simply Red events, providing catering, event planning, and culinary tourism services. She has led BluePrint's emergency food program and Just Harvest meat-buying cooperative.

Faith Hicks

Director of Food Justice Operations

Faith has her B.A. in English and is on her way to achieve a Master of Arts in Teaching at Johns Hopkins University. She is the BluePrint Geneva '21-'22 Americorps VISTA.

Her work in Geneva is focused on food security, program operations, and volunteer recruitment and retention. Faith is from Los Angeles, California and loves writing poetry and cooking vegan meals in her free time.

Emma Falkenstein

Assistant Director of Development

A 2021 graduate of Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Emma studied Anthropology and International Relations. She became involved with BluePrint while studying local community development and city politics. She is currently a master’s student at the London School of Economics and Political Science studying urbanization and development. Emma is involved in program administration, community outreach, and board development. In her free time, Emma enjoys hiking, cooking, and running with friends.

Jackie Augustine Executive Director

Jackie started BluePrint after serving 16 years as a city councilor. A Geneva native, she is also a graduate of William Smith College and has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Rochester. She teaches part-time at Keuka College and is the co-founder of the Seneca7 relay race. A policy wonk at heart, she is committed to data-driven solutions and nimble, creative approaches to complex problems. She is the mom of three great kids who are perpetually helping on a "volun-told" basis.