In 2013, Strong Family Farm, the last historical farm in Vernon, became a 501(c)3 nonprofit agricultural education center where children, families, individuals and community groups can experience an authentic family farm environment.
- Brian Motola, President
- Wendy Wanchak, Vice President
- Don Bidwell, Treasurer
- Nancy Strong, Secretary
- Christina D’Amato
- Dr. David Emery
- Dr. Ellen Marmer
- Bruce Pfazgraf
- Claudia Steele
- Alexis Carmichael
- Lynn Johnson
- Loyd Johnson
- Lisa Moody
- Judy Olivieri
- Lori Sanchez
- Jen Smith
- Richard Steele
- Theona Wheelock
- Members of the B.O.D.
Assistant Director & Garden Coordinator
- Erika Phillips, [email protected]
My first time visiting Strong Family Farm was the 2019 Chicken Run, when my husband and I took part in the walk and our daughter ran the kids’ race. Then in 2020 I signed up as a raised bed gardener, and have been here ever since. In 2023, I stepped into the newly created volunteer role of Garden Leader, serving as the coordinator for the Raised Bed Gardening program. I have really grown as a gardener thanks to the mentoring I have received in the Strong Family Farm’s RBG program, and am currently enrolled in the Master Gardener program so that I can pay it forward and help other gardeners grow their own food.
In addition to working at SFF, I am the Office Manager of Bates & Roper, PC. Prior to having my daughter, I obtained my Master’s degree in Anthropology from UConn, and conducted research in England. Before that I was with Cushman & Wakefield as their local researcher and then as a broker, and prior to working in commercial real estate I was the Research Editor of the Hartford Business Journal. Now I use my background in research design and survey administration for the farm’s data collection.
I’m excited to join the staff of Strong Family Farm as Assistant Director and use my skills and experience to help preserve farm history here in Vernon.
- Katie Riordan Napolitan, [email protected]
Hi! I’m Katie Riordan Napolitan. I am beyond excited to be the Program Director for Strong Family Farm!
I came to the farm in 2015 looking to complete required community service hours for college, and I never left. I have had many adventures on the farm, like being locked in the chicken coop with Nancy Strong, using my car to clear sunflowers from the field, and singing goodbyes to the chickens at the Chicken Run – all memories I won’t forget. Strong Family Farm provides a strong sense of belonging while serving our community.
A little information about me: I’ve been involved with the Hartford County 4-H since I was 7 years old. I have served as a Fair Officer, a Fair Jr. Advisor, and, currently, as a Fair Advisor. I have been married to my husband, Anthony, for the last 5 years and we have 3 fur babies. I am also an avid bowler and have been competing since I was 4 years old. I love to travel to different theme parks and ride roller coasters.
As Program Director for Strong Family Farm, I am hoping to bring new and exciting programs to the farm, along with sharing the great history that the farm has to offer!
- Liz Bologna, [email protected]
If you would like to help advance the mission of Strong Family Farm and help guide it into its next phase of strategic development, consider becoming a member of the Steering Committee or apply for a seat on the Board of Directors. All you have to do is send an email indicating your interest along with your contact information, phone number and the best time to reach you to [email protected]