In the ever-developing world at Sylvester Manor, another change is afoot as the Education Farm’s Board of Directors undergoes a transformation.Eben Fiske Ostby, an 11th generation descendent of Nathaniel Sylvester and co-founder of the the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, has stepped down as Board president, but will retain a role on the Board as president emeritus.
He has served as president since the Educational Farm was incorporated in 2009 and he and his nephew, Bennett Konesni, are credited with creating the plan to cultivate, preserve and share the Manor with the community.
Mr. Ostby gave 83 acres of farmland to the organization in 2012 and donated the Manor House and grounds to the nonprofit farm in June.
Sam Seymour, an attorney with the prestigious New York City firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, will assume the presidency.
“If it weren’t for you — your insight, your bold step — none of us would have this relationship with Sylvester Manor,” Mr. Seymour told Mr. Ostby. “With Bennett’s vision, you’ve created something wonderful,” he said.
Jennifer Ruys was elected vice president and Kathleen Minder was re-elected treasurer. Edie Landeck joined the executive committee as secretary. Glenn Waddington will also serve on the executive committee.
Archaelogist Stephen Mrozowski, who has spent a substantial amount of time on Manor grounds unearthing the past, has also joined the Board. It was his efforts between 1998 and 2005 that showed the Manor to be a site of contact between Native Americans, Europeans and enslaved Africans. His findings helped Sylvester Manor to be recommended for inclusion in the New York State Historic Register and to seek inclusion in the National Register of Historical Places.
Dr. Mrozowski directs the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaelogical Research at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. The late Alice Fiske endowed that center in memory of her husband Andrew, Eben Fiske Ostby’s uncle.
Rounding out the Board of Directors are Blair Borthwick, Whitney Browne, Thomas Carrier, Scott Chaskey, Steven Eisenstadt, David Kamp, Alfred Kilb Jr. and Peter Vielbig.