Susan Ryhanen has been an educator for most of her life. Her career began  as a Home Economics teacher in high school and then moved on to Librarian in elementary school.

Toward the end of her 33 year teaching career, she took up soap making as a hobby and it soon became Saipua, Inc. She has been the soapmaker and bookkeeper at Saipua ever since.

Now living next door to Worlds End farm she is always involved in either teaching or learning a new craft or skill.

As a member of the board she is the secretary/treasurer and keeps the books for the foundation. Math is a skill and a pleasure for her. She is committed to discovering new classes and opportunities for students who come to the farm and working on new fundraising projects.

Genise Paige Deal is a multidisciplinary artist who owns and operates a floral & design business called Genaissance LLC. She was first introduced to Worlds End as a floral resident student in 2021, and then volunteered to assist floral residents, Saipua TV, and with harvesting, chores etc.

As a Philadelphia artist she performs poetry and investigates cultural imbalances between varying societal experiences for art that inspires alternative world building and exposes the absurdity of calling a capitalist world “natural.” Her commitment to service culminates to 4 years AmeriCorp FEMA Corps, United Way, and Reading Partners receiving the GOLD President’s award and Congressional award for completing over 1900 of community service in one year. She has been a science teacher, musical theatre performer, actor, writer, floral designer, and a lifetime student.

As a World’s End School of Thought and Crafts board member she is committed to diversity in thought and in practice. Because she has spent years developing cultural competence and social justice pedagogy, her hope is to offer inclusionary actionable steps towards a more equitable future on the farm with goals to reach a community of artists in dire need of a simpler life.

Poppy Edmonds began her media career in London at The Evening Standard’s ES Magazine. In 2007, she relocated to New York City to join the founding team at Black Frame, an innovative creative agency that specialized in building brand visions, partnerships, PR and communications. Poppy became Vice President, a title she held until 2020.

At Black Frame, Poppy led the Nike Inc. teams for over a decade helping shape Nike's design, culture, style and athlete narratives. In parallel she nurtured brands at their launch phases including Everybody.World and Atelier Ace’s properties Sister City and Maison de la Luz. She has also helped to propel brands in their growth such as Depop, Byredo and MATCHESFASHION.COM at their acquisition stages and launched the BoF500 list and print publication for The Business of Fashion.

Poppy has since struck out as an independent communications and brand building consultant based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She continues to work with Nike and also consults for Bloomberg Media, Air Mail, Parisian artisans Astier de Villatte, British designers Margaret Howell and Kit Kemp Design Studio, wine critic Jancis Robinson and has rejoined the Everybody.World team for the 2.0 stage of their ongoing experiment in sustainable clothing manufacturing in Los Angeles. In 2021 she was proud to be on the communications team that built and executed the strategy for Kathryn Garcia’s NYC Mayoral campaign who gained endorsement from The New York Times Opinion Editorial Board.

Poppy works directly with artist and filmmaker Martine Syms, initially on her first film for theater ‘The African Desperate’ in conjunction with distributor Mubi. The film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, premiered at the closing night of MoMA and Lincoln Center’s New Directors New Films Festival and was part of the British Film Institute's Film Festival in London. Poppy oversaw Martine’s communications for her three concurrently running museum shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, MCA Chicago and the Hessel Museum of Art.

Claire Hong was born in Seoul, Korea, and immigrated to the US with her parents at age three The family settled in Northern Virginia and ran a dry cleaning business. Claire embraced various roles in the service industry during high school and college, cultivating a rich set of skills in interpersonal interactions. At Virginia Tech she studied civil engineering and worked as a waitress in a vegetarian restaurant where she met Worlds End co-founders Sarah Ryhanen and Eric Famisan. After college she discovered a passion for real estate and eventually settled in Las Vegas where she excelled as a residential realtor for 15 years.

In 2021, a pivotal moment led Claire to volunteer at Worlds End Farm, sparking a transformative shift in her trajectory. At Worlds End Farm, Claire found that growing food, working with livestock, and making art was profoundly therapeutic and invigorating. This experience led her to rediscover the enjoyment of interacting with people, a connection she had temporarily lost during her time as a realtor. Presently, she explores new career paths, prioritizes volunteering, and relishes life's adventures.

Claire currently serves on the board of Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT), a group focused on assisting individuals in re-entering the workforce by teaching people how to rethink their future and see themselves in skilled occupations that they have never tried before. Eager to make a broader impact, she looks forward to sharing Worlds End School with as many people as possible and actively being present for events and raising funds for the organization.

Mark House is a farmer, educator and community member at World's End School of Thought and Craft.  Mark was born and raised in the Mohawk Valley Watershed of NY, of which WESTAC is also part. He returned here to his roots after 20+ years living and working as an organic farmer, beekeeper and educator in the Finger Lakes of NY, Northern California and Hawaii.

Before pursuing his passions for farming, education,and being a catalyst for positive change, Mark served 8 years in the U;S: Coast Guard. He did search and rescue work on Surf Rescue Boats in Cape Hatteras, NC ("The Graveyard of the Atlantic") and along the wild Northern California coast.  He was also an Antiquarian Book Dealer in San Francisco, CA for many years.

Mark has served on various Not for Profit Boards including Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty and Finger Lakes Land Trust in NY. He also founded and managed a successful community based farmers market in Canandaigua, NY.

Mark brings a unique depth of experiences and wisdom gained over the years to his work at WESTAC. He feels privileged to have the opportunity to bring his experience, knowledge and passion for world building to World's End School of Thought and Craft.

Deborah Needleman is a full-time craftsperson, making baskets and objects for the home from willow and rush. Prior to this she was editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. She was previously editor in chief of WSJ. magazine and creator of the Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty section, as well as founding editor in chief of domino magazine. She writes occasional articles on craft, design and culture for The New York Times and various magazines, and consults for brands and non-profits. In addition to the board of the Worlds End School for Thought, Agriculture, and Craft, she is also on the board of The National Book Foundation and involved in the writer’s organization PEN. Deborah lives in the Hudson Valley.

Deborah’s work has always been motivated by improving the quality of life of herself and the widest public possible by sharing the cultural ideas and thinking she finds most valuable and life-enhancing. With WESTAC her goal is to make the wonders of the natural world and what can be created from it—food, meals, objects, relationships, equanimity, self-reliance, and community—accessible to all who might benefit from it, regardless of means.

William Pollard  is the Director of Operations at Worlds End School. William was born and raised in Chicago and has lived in San Francisco, London, and New York before joining the team at Worlds End in 2023. While studying Anthropology at Santa Clara University, William’s research focus was on gender and nonprofit structures. His interest in the subject began after working for the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation in Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sailing accessible for people with physical disabilities, and the Walkabout Foundation in London, an organization that distributes wheelchairs around the world. More recently, William was in the luxury hospitality industry in New York working for travel brand PRIOR as Chief of Staff.

When he’s not spending time on day-to-day farm operations, he can usually be found in the kitchen testing and preparing new Coyote Cafe recipes. William currently resides at Worlds End.

Sarina Vetterli grew up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where, in addition to Christmas trees, wheat, and potatoes, her family raised turkeys and chickens in vast numbers. Resolutely leaving farm life behind to pursue a career in book publishing in New York, Sarina nevertheless found herself drawn to the green spaces of the city over the years, contributing time and resources as a volunteer for Friends of the High Line.

Upon leaving the city for the wilds of Fairfield County, Connecticut, to raise three sons with her husband John, Sarina quickly joined community organizations dedicated to conservation, nature education, and horticulture. Over the past two decades she has actively supported the New Canaan Nature Center, the New Canaan Land Trust, and The Glass House. She has served on the board of the Service League of Boys (SLOBs) alongside her sons, coordinating teen volunteer efforts for several local non-profit organizations. Sarina currently serves on the board of New Canaan Beautification League, overseeing community green spaces that require horticultural expertise.

Sarina’s careful tending of her own garden has benefitted the Garden Conservancy through their Open Days program, and area gardeners visiting to swap ideas and best practices. Plant people are her favorite kind of people, and so Sarina recently jumped at the chance to join the Friends of Horticulture committee at Wave Hill, a storied public garden in the Bronx.

As one who has cultivated a deep, lifelong appreciation of vibrant and dynamic green spaces, Sarina recognizes the unique qualities of Worlds End. In a relatively short span of time, Worlds End has had an extraordinary impact on a number of extraordinary people. Through generous and creative contributions, Sarina hopes to ensure that Worlds End continues to inspire, delight, and teach in ways that are welcoming and significant to people of all walks of life.

Worlds End School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
123 De Kay Dr, Esperance, NY 12066 | ︎
photos courtesy of Rinne Allen and Sarah Ryhanen