Rochester Greenovation’s mission is to strengthen local communities through environmentally conscious initiatives, waste diversion, and education.


Like countless other “Rust Belt” cities, Rochester, New York has a housing vacancy problem. Neighborhoods most affected by the high vacancy rate are also the hardest hit by crime. Community connections are weak, partly due to the physical distances between occupied dwellings.  In successful neighborhoods, populations are relatively dense and residents are aware of their neighbors’ activities.  The City of Rochester aims to re-densify the troubled neighborhoods by removing problem housing units and reconfiguring or eliminating entire neighborhoods. Over the coming decade, the City will bid out the demolition of over 1000 vacant homes. Most of the resulting material will be disposed of in a landfill.

We at Rochester Greenovation feel that these houses are an asset that may soon be lost. Rather than see these materials end up in a landfill, we would like to turn them into an opportunity for education,  positive environmental impact, job training, and economic renewal.


Meet Our Organizers


Jay Rowe
Board Chair

Jay’s passion for the environment began at an early age, and was re-ignited when he became a father. Attempting to provide a clean, healthy home for his children, he began exploring simpler “green” living. In 2006 a chance spotting of a want ad led to a career with Rehouse Architectural Salvage. Through this position he was able to network with other reuse professionals around the country, and from that an idea was born. Combining his love of Rochester with his passion for the environment, local arts and social equity, he founded Rochester Greenovation.”

Jenny Lieske

Jennifer Lieske is semi-retired from a leadership position in commercial aviation. She is the mom to one charming, brilliant, beautiful, sneaky toddler. She attempts to repent for the high carbon footprint of her former career by cloth diapering her child, practicing family car-free transportation days, and eating local foods (especially when out of her own back yard.) In theory, she enjoys camping, hiking, gardening, canning, cooking, and knitting. In practice, she rarely gets to enjoy these things.

Jennifer has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from State University of New York at Purchase, and an A.A.S. in Aviation Technology from San Juan College in New Mexico. Her professional background is in airline aviation, customer service and support, project management and post-salvage retail. Jennifer believes that through salvage and deconstruction, we have a great opportunity to preserve our architectural heritage and benefit underprivileged members of our community.

Rebecca Berman
Vice President
Rebecca Berman recently relocated back to Rochester from New York City. She has a background in graphic design, art history, book making and accessory design. This combined with a love of travel, fashion and repurpose has created opportunities for Rebecca to find wonderful design inspiration in the most unlikely places. Rebecca enjoys spending time with her husband and pug, working on her house in Corn Hill and enjoying good food and wine.

Tom Mazur



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