MEET OUR TEAM
STEFANIE SMITH - SALES & OPERATIONS
Stefanie is an Ohio native and current resident of Long Island City. Prior to joining Shekomeko Farms she worked as head of purchasing and operations at Cloud Catering and Events. She has also spent time in the kitchens of Union Square Cafe and other award-winning restaurants in New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and Cleveland Ohio. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2013. In her free time, Stefanie enjoys fishing, reading, and exploring the local food scene.
SHAZA BANNA - HEAD CHEF / CULINARY DIRECTOR
Surrounded by a large family of food enthusiasts, Shaza was born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. Under the foot of her grandmother, Amina and her mother, Boushra; she was destined to be involved in the kitchen. Shaza has spent majority of her culinary career in Manhattan, most recently as a Sous Chef at the Michelin starred, The Modern Restaurant. In a world of technological cooking, Shaza remains true to the roots of simplicity and allowing locally grown ingredients to shine on the plate. In her spare time you can find Shaza enjoying strolls throughout the triboro, puzzles and cuddling with her 10 year old cat, Heinrich.
ERIC HARVEY- GENERAL FARM MANAGER & VEGETABLE PRODUCTION
Eric is a native of Portland, Oregon and grew up appreciating the culinary abundance of the northwest. A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, he was steeped in international concerns around climate change, land-use and ecology. An internship at Caromont Farms in Virgina helped make the connection between his interests in the environment and the table. His experience includes two seasons learning the in's and out's of intensive vegetable growing from Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, and years in Portland, OR growing for some of the most innovative chefs in the country. A farmer who loves to cook, he is currently excited about potatoes, winter squash and chicories.
ARTHUR SILLER - FIELD MANAGER
Arriving daily from Connecticut, Arthur loves to take care of vegetables and find good homes for them. He has a background in agronomy, farming, and pickling and brings these passions to Shekomeko. When not working, Arthur enjoys playing with his daughter, Tzuf, and doing little projects. If forced to choose, he might choose cabbage.
SAM HYERS - FARM CREW, PROPAGATION
Originally from New Jersey, Sam has been living in the Hudson Valley for the past seven years and enjoys being a part of the growing food and farming community. Sam began working at Shekomeko in 2016 as a farm crew member, and has taken on leading propagation and microgreen production. Sam especially enjoys working in the greenhouses, and is excited to see the farm continue to expand and develop.
ARELLA HORDYK - farm crew, harvest
Arella has spent her last five seasons working on farms across the States and Canada, arriving in the Hudson Valley last spring. This year, she's excited about growing alliums and herbs and is cooking up lots of delicious tomato sauce.
JAKE RENNER - FARM CREW
Jake Renner is a natural farmer and wild foods enthusiast local to New England and the Hudson Valley. He received a bachelors degree in economics and his permaculture design certificate while attending the University of New Hampshire. Jake is also a certified instructor through Permaculture Institute of North America. He is passionate about building a strong community and sees agriculture as a key component. Jake is involved in the local community and has founded an educational garden in his home town of Sharon, CT. Nutrient dense vegetables are his primary focus now...