Meet the Team

Board of Directors

Juliana Obie
President

Community School Coordinator
Lincoln Elementary Community School

Julianna has a passion for youth development and civic engagement--mentoring for Sponsor a Scholar, facilitating girl empowerment workshops, and volunteering for many local organizations and initiatives. She grew up in Schenectady and spent many of her adult years working for Girls Incorporated, giving back to the community who invested in her. Strong ties to Schenectady drive her enthusiasm for being a part of its revitalization efforts, while ensuring it maintains authenticity and provides unique opportunities for urban communities. She graduated from SUNY Albany with a Bachelors in Communication Rhetoric and is currently working on a Masters in Educational Policy and Leadership. In her current role as Community School Coordinator, she has the ability to shape the services and opportunities that are provided to local families and students. She is confident The Electric City Barn will bring back a creative light to the community, which is necessary for its growth potential.

Drew Pearson
Vice President

Founder
BIKE OLD DORP

In 2017, Drew started BIKE OLD DORP, a social bicycle ride that introduces riders to the neighborhoods of Schenectady and safe and easy places to ride. Drew is actively involved in bicycle advocacy efforts both at the local and state level. A long-time resident of Schenectady, Drew works to connect small businesses and organizations with an eye toward collaboration and community pride. Formerly of Goose Hill, he now lives in the Stockade with his wife Katherine Stephens and their cat Poppy.

David Hogenkamp
Treasurer

Executive Director
Capital Region Land Bank

Project Director
Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority

While exhibiting no real artistic talent of his own, David is happy to support Schenectady’s talented creative community by joining the Electric City Barn.  David has served as Project Director at the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority since 2013.  Metroplex is a public benefit corporation that enhances the longterm economic vitality and quality of life in Schenectady County.  Additionally, in 2016 David was named the Executive Director of the Capital Region Land Bank.  The Land Bank has deployed over $6 million to revitalize neighborhoods by repurposing vacant and abandoned buildings in Schenectady and Amsterdam.  A native of East Aurora, New York, David received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Union College and Master of Regional Planning from the University of Albany.  David is excited to see the Barn play an important role in revitalizing neighborhoods and building an important creative place for the community.

Louis Apicello
Secretary

Project Manager
OpenText

Louis has been part of the barn organizations since 2010 after an initial partnership with the first Rest Fest, which took place at the old St. Joe's in Arbor hill. Since then, he served on the board of Albany Barn until the 2018-2019 term when he became a founding member of the Electric City Barn. He hopes to leverage lessons learned from both organizations to help develop a repeatable model to "Raise the Barns" in other areas where there is opportunity.

Jessica Hunter

Secretary, Treasurer
BOD Hamilton Hill Arts Center

Jessica Hunter is a native of Hamilton Hill and a child of the Hamilton Hill Arts Center (HHAC). After dancing with Umoja African Dance and Drumming for over 15 years, she now assists in teaching African dance to the local community. She volunteers with the HHAC's ArtReach after school program, teaching needlecraft, introductory coding, and dance, and holds several positions on the Board of Directors. Jessica is also a member of the NYS Capital Region Kwanzaa Coalition, which coordinates Kwanzaa celebrations every year in Albany, Schenectady, and soon Troy. She holds a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from RPI (2011) and an M.S. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT (2014) and works at the Naval Nuclear Laboratory. A strong advocate for African American culture and education in both arts and science, Jessica is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Electric City Barn.

Colleen Wygal
Jinelle Thompson

Director of Operations
Mackin & Casey, LLC

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Jinelle has been in the Capital Region for the past 5 years and has lived in Schenectady for just 4 months. Passionate about giving back her first mission when she moved to the area was volunteering her time. When she first learned about the Electric City Barn she was immediately drawn to its mission of empowering creatives and providing them with the tools to turn their creative pursuits into thriving businesses. Jinelle brings her energy, collaborative spirit, and love for the arts and its power to shape communities to the ECB Board. Jinelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from the University at Albany. She is a mentor for the Capital Region Sponsor a Scholar program, a member of the Junior League of Albany, and a founding Board member of the Capital Region West Indian Association.

Staff

Kristen Holler
Executive Director

Kristen M. Holler, Executive Director, Albany Barn Inc.

Kristen is a native of Schenectady, and a lover of all things small-city. An avid arts appreciator from an early age, Ms. Holler began working with Albany Barn, Inc. as an intern in 2006 and has supported the organization in various capacities - including as a founding board member and director of volunteer coordination - before taking on her current role as executive director in 2013. Previous to that Kristen worked in employment services with various non-profits, and spent 13 years in the theatrical costuming industry at The Costumer. In addition to her work with Albany Barn, Ms. Holler is an active volunteer in her community. Board and committee service includes Rosa Venerini Early Childhood Center, Zonta Club of Schenectady, Mission Accomplished Transition Services, and SUNY Empire Leadership Institute.

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Erin Eckler
Operations Coordinator

Erin M. Eckler, Operations Coordinator

Erin Eckler is a local artist and entrepreneur (EQWilbert) born and raised in Schenectady, NY. From facilitating a Songwriting Workshop at Schenectady High School for 8 years to being a champion for fellow artists through support and encouragement, Erin's career has been most fulfilling when it is integrated with nurturing others. She is excited to leverage her position at Electric City Barn to further her goal of generating creative opportunities and support systems for creatives throughout the community.

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Tim Sheldon
Community Engagement Coordinator

Timothy J. Sheldon, Community Engagement Coordinator

Working for Albany Barn Inc. as an AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Tim originally hails from Philadelphia, PA. After graduating in 2018 with a degree in International Relations, Environmental Studies, and Mandarin Chinese from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, Tim dove into an internship with the youth program at a church in the Philadelphia area. It was during this internship that Tim felt himself called to do a volunteer service year in America's cities with AmeriCorps. This is what brought him to Schenectady and the Electric City Barn, taking over marketing and community engagement at the Barn.

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