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Meet the staff: Ben, kitchen manager, and Becca, transition social worker

Each month, we are featuring two of our staff members as a way for you to get to know the good folks who make up our community. This month, we're featuring kitchen manager, Ben, and Becca, Fellside transition counselor. More about them below!


Ben Quiñones (he/him)

Kitchen Manager


Ben's culinary journey is deeply rooted in mentorship and community, beginning at Lincoln Culinary School where he honed his skills before embarking on a transformative journey at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Connecticut.


Starting as an intern for three months, Ben quickly proved his mettle and was promoted eventually to the role of executive chef during his 14-year tenure. It was at The Riverhouse where Ben found more than just a job—he found a mentor whose guidance profoundly shaped his approach to cooking and leadership. Working at The Riverhouse taught Ben that a kitchen can be like a family, where everyone is listened to, self-expression is encouraged, and exciting ideas can ferment.


After his mentor's passing during the pandemic, Ben sought a new direction, navigating through various culinary roles before finding his way to Gould Farm—a place that resonated deeply with his values and experience. Drawn by the opportunity to nurture and create within a close-knit environment, Ben embraced the role of kitchen manager with sincerity and dedication.


At Gould Farm, Ben sees his role as more than just managing a kitchen; it's about fostering growth and celebrating the achievements of his team. He is particularly excited about the farm-to-table aspect of living and working at Gould Farm, where both guests and staff contribute to producing many of the ingredients that end up on our table. He values the way the kitchen gets to partner with our farm, garden, and campus crew teams, recognizing the significance of utilizing farm-made ingredients and the sense of pride it brings to the guests in particular. Much of the hard work of the day at Gould Farm ends up on our dining room tables.


With his cat Sonny as his companion and the anticipation of visits from his teenage son, Ben finds solace and inspiration in the rhythm of kitchen life and living on the Farm. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the arts and culinary offerings of NYC, indulging his passion for creativity and gastronomy.

 

Becca Litwin, LCSW (she/her)

Transition Social Worker, O'Connell House


In her role as the transition social worker at O'Connell House in Monterey, Becca Litwin, LCSW, draws from her extensive background in social work, having earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Hunter College, where she specialized in policy and organizing. With her deep commitment to community empowerment, Becca strives to collaborate alongside guests to navigate life's transitions with confidence and resilience. Drawing from personal experiences of change and growth, she emphasizes the importance of community, skill-building, and embracing new opportunities.


Becca’s career is rooted in bridging the gap between policy change and direct service. Prior to joining the team, she immersed herself in various roles, from educational reform work in New York City to program design for the Me Too Movement, always ensuring that those being served were in direct communication with those driving policy change.


Becca's involvement with Gould Farm runs deep. As a neighbor of the Farm (she lives right on Gould Road, next to the Farm!) and a long-time member of the Gould Farm Human Rights Committee, she has witnessed firsthand the transformative impact that Gould Farm's holistic approach to healing can have on guests. Listening to guests share their stories and recovery journeys while on the committee has reinforced her belief in the powerful combination of intentional community support and meaningful work.


Outside of work, Becca finds joy romping around in the woods, going for a paddle, getting her hands in the soil, enjoying the tranquility of Rawson Brook, and spending time with her partner and their cat Lou.

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