Meet the Team

Reuben Simmons

Founder, Executive Director

Reuben Simmons is a stalwart figure in Beacon’s public service landscape, dedicating two decades to serving the community within the highway department, including a tenure as Highway Superintendent. His leadership extended beyond official roles, as he also served as president of the local union for two consecutive terms. Reuben’s academic pursuits include an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Dutchess Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the Catholic University of America.


In 2011, Reuben spearheaded a campaign aimed at fostering better relations between city workers and the public, igniting a deeper understanding of the need for citizen empowerment in addressing community issues. This catalyzed the formalization of I Am Beacon as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2012, alongside a dedicated group of individuals sharing his vision.


Under Reuben’s guidance as founder and former president, I Am Beacon flourished, operating solely on a volunteer basis for its first 11 years. The organization has since become a cornerstone of community support, responding to local needs through educational outreach initiatives. Its focus areas include youth education, combating food insecurity, raising mental health awareness, and fostering community bonds.

Over the past decade, I Am Beacon’s impact has been profound, organizing over 50 events, distributing 327 turkeys to families in need, providing 800+ school supply kits, and awarding more than $33,000 in college scholarships to Beacon’s youth. Reuben’s unwavering commitment to community service extends beyond administrative duties; he has actively coached youth football and basketball for over 20 years, embodying his dedication to the holistic well-being and development of Beacon’s young generation.

Brooke Simmons

Board Member, President

Brooke is a lifelong Beacon resident, is a seasoned commercial leader in consumer-packaged goods with 16 years of expertise in category development, shopper insights, and field sales. Excelling in translating consumer and retail insights into actionable strategies, she consistently achieves impactful outcomes. Beyond her career, she's deeply engaged in service, focusing on community education and advocacy. Additionally, she's an elected board trustee for Beacon's Howland Public Library. Brooke's creativity, honed through diverse experiences, fuels her commitment to bridging professional success with community impact, aiming to inspire meaningful change in every endeavor.

Dawn McFadden

Board Member, Treasurer

Dawn brings over 20 years of financial expertise to her role as Treasurer of I Am Beacon. Born in Beacon and raised in Hopewell Junction, Dawn's deep roots in the Hudson Valley fuel her commitment to community service. With a background in Criminal Justice and Community and Human Services, she has always been driven by a desire to help others. Dawn holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management with a concentration in Leadership, further enhancing her ability to contribute strategically to our organization. Currently serving as Branch Manager for Hudson Valley Credit Union in Beacon, Dawn combines her financial acumen with a passion for making a difference. Beyond her professional commitments, Dawn enjoys traveling, reading, and spending quality time with her husband David and their four cats.

Jessica Mills, LCSW

Board Member, Secretary

Jessica Mills is a licensed clinical social worker with a profound dedication to promoting mental health and well-being. With a wealth of experience, she specializes in offering compassionate counseling, guidance, and support to individuals navigating life's challenges. Jessica's commitment lies in creating a safe and empathetic space for her clients to overcome obstacles and embark on a journey towards positive and lasting change. Born and raised in Newburgh, NY, Jessica has returned to her roots in the Hudson Valley after living in upstate NY and CT. Currently residing and working in Beacon, NY, she brings her passion for community service to her role as Secretary of I Am Beacon.

Brandon Lillard

Board Member

With over two decades of dedicated experience in youth development in the Hudson Valley, Brandon Lillard is a seasoned professional committed to fostering positive growth and development in young people. His passion lies in designing and implementing youth-focused programs tailored to the unique needs of Beacon's youth. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Beacon, Brandon understands the challenges faced by local youth and has made significant impacts through his work. He believes in the collective effort of the community to support and empower young individuals. Through his innovative programs and unwavering dedication, Brandon continues to inspire and contribute to the nurturing of the next generation in the Hudson Valley.

Brianna Rascoe

Board Member

Brianna has a decade of experience in branding: creating strategic visual solutions across web, mobile, and print. Her skillset in front-end web development, content creation, creative direction, and illustration enable her to lead client's brand functions across multiple industries. Brianna graduated with a BFA from the Graphic Design program. She currently serves as an adjunct lecturer for that same program. She’s passionate about using her design and problem-solving skills in both a professional and volunteer capacity to serve efforts that seek to provide positive experiences, education, and empowerment in her community.

Junior Dabashi

Board Member

Junior Dabashi, with over fifteen years of entrepreneurial experience, is deeply rooted in both Milford, PA, and Beacon, NY. He actively organizes fundraisers and volunteers for local non-profits, including the food pantry and Vetstock. Junior is a strong advocate for small businesses, constantly supporting their growth and sustainability. Outside of work, he cherishes time with his wife and three daughters. Junior's commitment to community service and local businesses makes him an invaluable asset to both towns.