It starts in the kitchen!

The Sylvia Center teaches young people how to build healthier lives through food and become healthy food advocates within their communities.

The Sylvia Center is a part of a movement to develop the next generation of healthy eaters, cooks, and advocates that can fundamentally change the future of food.

We empower our students to take control of their health, provide them with a toolkit of life skills, and encourage them to become healthy food advocates within their communities.

Our Team

Meet our amazing team of chefs and educators who are passionate about inspiring young people to eat well.

Staff

MORGAN BLACKBURN

Development Director

NICOLE CARDISH 

Program Manager, Farm-Based Programs

JONATHAN CETNARSKI

Executive Director

KAREN CHERFILS

Teen Culinary Apprenticeship Community Chef

RYAN
CIOFFI

Operations Manager

DOREECE DYER

Community Chef & Program Manager

SARAH
HEASLEY

Community Chef

CINDY HU

Digital Communications Coordinator

KRISTEN JONES

Upstate Program Coordinator

SARAH KABALKIN

Community Chef

MARCUS MARTIN

Chef Assistant

ELI MATTERN

Community Chef

DONALD MCGILL

Teen Culinary Apprenticeship Community Chef

THERESA MORELLI

City Youth & Family Program Manager and Community Chef

SELINA PREYER-BLAKNEY

Acting Director of Programs

DESTINY SMITH

Community Chef

RONG LING WANG

Chef Assistant

Board of Directors

CINDY
EDELSON

Chair

LIZ
NEUMARK

Founder

COURTNEY ARCHER-BUCKMIRE

LYNN
COLE

NINA P.
FREEDMAN

DEBORAH
GARDNER

TARA
GENDELMAN

TRUDY ELBAUM
GOTTESMAN

PHIL
MELDRUM

DODI
MEYER, MD

SCOTT
MILLSTEIN

MICHAEL
POLLACK

HOWARD
PULCHIN

CHAIM
WACHSBERGER

History

The Sylvia Center was founded in 2007 by Liz Neumark, CEO of Great Performances, in memory of her daughter, Sylvia. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to establish independent, healthy eating habits — so that they may lead healthy and productive lives.

Through our direct service culinary and nutrition programs in all five boroughs of New York City and in Columbia County, young people learn what fresh food is, how delicious it tastes, and how to prepare nutritious meals on a daily basis. Over the last decade, The Sylvia Center has made a tremendous impact in all five boroughs of New York City, and in schools across Columbia County — serving more than 30,000 since it began in 2007.

In 2007, CEO Liz Neumark founded The Sylvia Center. Great Performances provides support in The Sylvia Center’s fundraising events and contributes to programs in New York City and Columbia County.

To learn more about how to become a sponsor, contact our Development Director, Morgan Blackburn E-mail morgan.blackburn@sylviacenter.org

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