Entrepreneur and Restaurateur
After spending 14 years in publishing and living in Manhattan, Aneesa Waheed returned to Schenectady NY to pursue business opportunities. In 2008 Aneesa and her husband Muntasim Shoaib opened the Moroccan and Indian boutique, TARA.
Customers intrigued by the Moroccan products started talking about the cuisine of Morocco. Lacking this kind of food in the capital region the couple had idea to start a Moroccan restaurant. To raise money for this venture they started small selling their Moroccan food at the local farmer’s market.
After 3 years of selling at the market every Sunday, they were able to purchase a open Tara Kitchen in 2011. In 2017 a second location was successfully opened in Troy, NY.
Aneesa created a line of Moroccan cooking sauces that retails in over 300 grocery stores in the North East. The sauces International SOFI award in 2016.
Ms. Waheed and her husband are the proud parents to daughters Zoya and Suha Shoaib. They enjoy a love of travel and culture.
Library Director, Gloversville Public Library
Barbara is a graduate of Gloversville High School, holds a B.A. in History and Anthropology from SUNY Oswego, a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a 2016 graduate of the NY Library Association Leadership and Management Academy. She has been employed by the Gloversville Library for over 19 years – 12 as Director.
A member of the New York Library Association and past President of the Leadership and Management Section, she was awarded the 2016 Dewey Fellowship Award which recognizes contributions that advance the library community throughout the state. She is President of the Mohawk Valley Library System Board of Trustees and Director’s Council Liaison to the Board and has been involved in local groups including the Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market Board, Mayor’s Marketing Task Force, Gloversville 2020, and the Gloversville Civil Service Commission.
In her free time Barbara enjoys triking, scuba diving, and of course reading.
Mayor, Trustee, Actor, Hospitality-Expert
Doug Plummer grew up in Fairview Village, PA and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from New England College in Henniker, NH and Arundel, Sussex England. After graduation, Doug moved to New York City to pursue a career in the theatre, eventually working full time for Glorious Food, a catering company, which taught him some valuable skills and prepared him for a future unknown career in hospitality. Doug’s acting roles include being cast as an orderly on the soap opera Another World, and a stint as the 75th anniversary Nestlé’s Morsel. After 10 years in NYC, Doug and his husband Garth Roberts decided to give upstate NY a try. In 1993 Doug and Garth opened their first business, The Rockville Café, in Sharon Spring which had a 7 1/2 year run, and prepared them for their next adventure, the restoration of the abandoned American Hotel, a catalyst for the revitalization of Sharon Springs, where Doug has served as a village trustee and mayor.
Assistant Professor at Fulton-Montgomery Community College
Jason Radalin is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts, Film Studies, and English at FMCC. Since 1999, Jason has also served as a freelance technical director and lighting designer for various theatre companies. He has published book reviews in the New England Theatre Journal and was a semi-finalist in the 2003 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. His screenplay, entitled “Boy Next Door” (co-written with Jennifer Nigra-Radalin), was chosen as one of 130 semi-finalists from a field of over 6,000 entries. The Nicholl Fellowship is administered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the same organization that oversees the Academy Awards.
Jason earned a B.A. in English at The College of Saint Rose, a M.A. in Drama at Washington University, and has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Drama at Tufts University. He also studied for one year at Harvard University’s Center for Literacy and Cultural Studies.
Director of Board, Mohawk Valley Collective
Tolga Morawski founded the Mohawk Valley Collective (MVC), formerly known as Historic Fort Plain, with two friends in 2011 and currently serves as a Director on the Board. Tolga was raised in Fort Plain, just two blocks away from the MVC's first restoration project, Unity Hall. He earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Alfred University in 1997. Tolga is an active member of the Mohawk Valley community, with involvement in groups such as the Friends of Fort Plain and Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful, He has worked to support historic preservation, including serving as Vice President of the NYC chapter of the Society for Industrial Archaeology (RCSIA); documenting architectural landmarks for SUNY and others, assisting local governments in establishing National Register Historic Districts, and advocating for preservation of open space, farmland and important structures. Tolga is an avid cyclist and also enjoys hiking, rock climbing and traveling in his free time.