Meet Our Team
The Think Dutchess team is motivated to help attract, grow and retain businesses here in Dutchess County. Our team is comprised of a highly qualified and diverse staff that loves to live, work and play here in Dutchess!
Sarah Lee is the Chief Executive Officer of Think Dutchess and Executive Director of the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency.
Ms. Lee is responsible for overall strategic planning, program development and delivery and budget preparation for the agencies. She also oversees administration resource management, organization linkages and staff supervision of Think Dutchess and its departments, including the Business Attraction, Business Retention and Expansion and marketing as it relates to Economic Development.
Sarah Lee joined the former Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation in July of 2013 as a Business Development Specialist. Less than a year later, she became Director of Business Development. Ms. Lee previously held the position of Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Health Quest.
Ms. Lee holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and is a graduate of SUNY Albany.
To connect with Sarah, call or email:
As Chief Financial Officer, Marilyn is responsible for the overall financial, accounting, and compliance aspects of the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency and Think Dutchess, along with dealing with external relationships and the preservation and management of all assets. She brings over 25 years of experience working in the NGO sector, which includes healthcare, land conservation, animal husbandry, and education.
A proud graduate of Marist College, she holds a Master’s in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Accounting, along with a Professional Certificate in Fundraising from Boston University.
When friends and relatives visit, Marilyn heads right to the Walkway Over the Hudson. Whether biking or walking, with spectacular views, tons of eateries, and lots of friendly people a visit to the Walkway makes for a great day out! (For eateries close to the Walkway, her personal favorite for lunch is The Ice House.)
Having grown up in the eastern part of the County, Marilyn has seen so many changes to the area. Her hometown of Wassaic is now a destination for the creative arts community, along with having a train station again, which gives quick access to NYC. Beautiful stretches of farmland and small-town appeal…good reasons to live, work, and play in Dutchess County.
When not at the office, Marilyn can be found scouting out interesting photo ops: art found in unusual places, historic buildings, and cemeteries. Or hopping on the train for a quick trip into Manhattan. And her and her husband’s favorite past time? Trying all of the fabulous restaurants in Dutchess County!
To connect with Marilyn, call or email:
As Director of Business Attraction, Chris manages and implements programs and projects—from prospecting to completion–that support the attraction, relocation, and expansion of domestic and international businesses leading to investment and job creation in Dutchess County.
A proud graduate of Pace University, with a degree in Business Administration, Chris brings his past experience in economic development from New York City to Dutchess County with plans to help our area prosper.
When he is not working, Chris likes to spend time with his significant other, family and friends exploring the Hudson Valley, enjoying the vast array of restaurants and spending time with his two dogs, Pepper and Bailey.
To connect with Chris, call or email:
Renee Richard, Director of Business Retention & Expansion
As Director of Business Retention & Expansion, Renee manages and implements programs and projects that help support a diverse economic base along with supporting the expansion and retention of existing businesses, and promoting entrepreneurship in Dutchess County
Renee has both a Master’s degree in Business Administration and an undergraduate degree in Finance from Marist College. Her 30 years of experience in business development and finance has made her a trusted resource and support to businesses throughout Dutchess County.
When Renee is not working, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and traveling. She also volunteers with nonprofit organizations that support music, agriculture and youth leadership development.
To connect with Renee, call or email:
845.206.4150 extension 5108
Jasmin Haylett, Office Administrator
Jasmin has been with the organization since December 2005. As Office Administrator for Think Dutchess, she oversees the daily activities of the office.
When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and doing relaxing activities such as sewing, reading, arts and crafts, watching movies, playing board games, and walking.
She has an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and a BA from Marist College.
To connect with Jasmin, call or email:
As the Communications Coordinator, Rachel manages the digital and social media presence for Think Dutchess, assists in event planning, and serves as the press and media contact for the organization. Although new to the economic development sector, she has extensive experience in managing and building social media accounts for many Dutchess-based small businesses.
A proud graduate of Marist College with a degree in Professional Studies and a minor in Fashion Merchandising, she brings a combination of creativity, business skills and love of Dutchess County to market the benefits that she believes make Dutchess a great place to live, work and play.
A resident for more than 20 years, she is proud to see- and now be a part of- the exciting shift in energy that is revitalizing so many of our communities. A Poughkeepsie resident, in her free time you can find Rachel (and her black thumb) attempting to keep her garden alive, exploring the rail trail with her husband and daughter, or enjoying a Fig & Pig, at Mill House Brewing Co.
To connect with Rachel, call or email: