Our Team

GCG 2016 Staff Photo

Office Team

Jessie Banhazl, CEO and Founder

Jessie has managed Green City Growers since inception in 2008 to profitability while establishing GCG as the leader in urban agriculture in the Northeast. Jessie was named “…arguably the queen of Boston’s urban ag visionaries” by Stuff Magazine, among the Top 40 Under 40 by Boston Business Journal, Top 30 Under 30 by Zagat, and a Root Cause 2013 Social Innovator. Jessie is a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA.

Christopher Grallert, Managing Director

Christopher-Grallert

Chris joined Green City Growers in 2015 as a Partner, Advisor, and Managing Director. With over thirty years of professional experience in organic and sustainable agriculture, Chris is committed to supporting agricultural models that foster responsible land and soil stewardship. Outside of his role at GCG, Chris serves as President of Littleton Community Farm, and enjoys working alongside his nine-year-old nephew in his organic vegetable garden and helping to revive the lost art of mechanical weed control by restoring and repurposing cultivating farm machinery. Chris is also an contract auditor for farm sustainability and has degrees in from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture (Fruit & Vegetable Production) and the University of Maine (Sustainable Agriculture).

Sarah Moylan, Project Manager

Sarah MoylanSarah’s administrative work behind the scenes at GCG makes it possible for our farmers and crew to focus on installing and maintaining bountiful urban farms. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science and public communication. She spent her formative years working with livestock before coming to GCG in 2013 to immerse herself in the horticultural side of agriculture. Sarah is also a music connoisseur who contributes music reviews to the Boston Compass newspaper and volunteers for Boston’s BRAIN Arts Organization.

Jeff Gilbert, Head of Marketing

jeff-with-pumpkinBefore joining the Green City Growers team in 2015, Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in English and Environmental Studies from Lehigh University, and completed graduate studies in education and literature. While at Lehigh, he discovered a passion for urban agriculture while working in several of the community gardens in partnership with the city of Bethlehem, and is thrilled to translate this passion into substantive change in the Boston area. Jeff is an avid outdoors enthusiast, and when not in the office, you can often find him playing ultimate, skiing, and hiking (especially in the Adirondacks).

Emma Dismukes, Administrative Assistant

Emma DismukesEmma attended Muhlenberg College where she obtained a degree in Business Management and Sustainability and developed a passion for corporate social responsibility and food policy. She spent some time working in management education, but left to pursue a career more closely relating to food and the environment. Before coming to GCG in 2016, she additionally worked in the rewarding world of food rescue and donation. If you can’t find her, Emma is most likely eating, reading, or playing with someone else’s puppy.

Horticulture Team

Laura Feddersen, Director of Horticulture

Whole Foods Market harvestLaura has had a lifetime of experience in gardening and horticulture. Born to a botanist mother, her first jobs ranged from working in a commercial greenhouse, to harvesting flowers, to building city parks in Northern Ireland. More recently she helped design, build and operate the Produce Project urban farm on a vacant lot in New York’s capital district, and worked designing urban landscapes and rooftop gardens for Rader + Crews Landscape Architecture in New York City. She is excited about building a sustainable food system in a city she loves. When she’s not gardening you might find her playing the fiddle in one of Boston’s Irish pubs.

Leilani Mroczkowski, Director of Education

1114-Leilani-04Leilani joined the Green City Growers horticulture team as an urban farmer and farming educator in the summer of 2013 and currently works as GCG’s Director of Education, developing garden education programming and teaching lessons for children and adults. Hailing from the Midwest, Leilani headed east to attend Syracuse University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, International Relations and Spanish. When not farming around Greater Boston, Leilani serves as board president of The Somerville Community Growing Center. She loves nature, biking, and community activism

John Neri, Urban Farmer & Fruit Specialist

john-neriJohn has joined the Green City Growers team in 2015 as one of our Urban Farmers. A graduate of the University of Vermont, John has a bachelor’s degree in Community & International Development. As John pursued his degree in Vermont, he developed a love for local food and sustainable agriculture. John has WWOOFed in Ecuador and volunteered with a sustainable farm-orphanage in Belize. After traveling, John returned to the Northeast where he managed a fruit farm in New Hampshire for two seasons. When not farming, John is out and about exploring his new home in the city of Boston!

Marie Macchiarolo, Landscape Specialist

marie_profile

Marie joined GCG in the spring of 2015 as an Urban Farmer. She got her start in farming during her two-year stint in an intentional community in Virginia where she spent countless hours in the four-and-a-half acre garden used to feed 100 people. After completing a Permaculture Design Certificate course, Marie moved to western Massachusetts where she earned a Masters of Science in Ecological Design from the Conway School. In 2017 Marie stepped into the role of Landscape Specialist to expand GCG’s offerings to include landscape design and installation that emphasizes perennial and native species. Marie also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ecological Landscape Alliance. In her free time, Marie loves to bike around greater Boston and prepare vegan feasts!

Kate McGoldrick, Urban Farmer

kate-mcgoldrickAs a North Shore native who spent many years traveling, she is happy to be back in Massachusetts. Through an interesting turn of events, Kate went from a career in electronics to a full-time farming position in the fields of Danvers and Salisbury, MA. While there, she learned the necessary skills to grow organic food for herself and others, as well as native flowers and medicinal plants. She is also an herbalist apprentice and is always trying to expand her knowledge of plant, tree, and fungi identification. Kate is looking forward to this year’s growing season and is excited to begin working with GCG and the greater Boston community to continue bringing food sustainability to the region. In her spare time you might find her at some community event around town or her favorite place: the ocean.

Claire Trail, Urban Farmer

claire-1Claire joined the Green City Growers team in the spring of 2016, after having lived and worked on farms and gardens for most of her life, and heads up a number of our garden education programs for youth. She has been developing her skill in sustainable farming for the last eight years including completing a bachelors degree in Sustainable Agriculture, and working on a vegetable farm, landscaping, and at The Land Institute, an agricultural research facility in Kansas. Claire is committed to making farming more ecologically sustainable, bringing food production and people closer together, and teaching good farming practice and environmental stewardship. Outside of her time at GCG, Claire enjoys Tai Chi, learning, running around outside, and cooking.

Emma Hahn, Urban Farmer

Emma HahnEmma joined the Green City Growers team in the spring of 2016 as an Urban Farmer. Two years ago, a spontaneous and life-changing WWOOF stint on a biodynamic farm in Southern California pushed Emma to abandon the design world and turn wholeheartedly to farming.  After completing an apprenticeship on a semi-rural production farm last season, Emma is super jazzed to be farming in an urban setting and tackling issues of sustainability, education, and food justice through direct interaction with community members. When not farming with GCG or tending her own herb garden, Emma can be found doing yoga, reading sci fi and horror novels, cooking vegan meals with pals, or engaging in a nail-biting game of high-stakes cribbage!

Annie Gilmore, Urban Farmer

bio-pic-annieAnnie’s first experience in agriculture came from working on her college’s farm. Though briefly distracted with a stint counting shorebirds for the government, Annie was drawn back into the world of growing veggies with an internship for Green City Growers in 2012. After her first round with GCG, Annie dove into production agriculture on a non-profit farm/wildlife sanctuary, where over the course of three seasons she solidified her love of growing food and working outdoors. Now, four years after her first time with GCG, Annie is back to build upon that knowledge in an urban setting. When not playing/foraging/working outside, you can find Annie eating. Basically all of the time.

Lee Toomey, Horticulture Facilities Manager

li-toomeyLee joined GCG in the spring of 2016. They have a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and German from the University of Vermont. Lee has spent time focusing on permaculture and sustainability initiatives in Vermont, Nicaragua, and Germany. They are happy to be closer to their hometown again and are excited to take part in the greening of Boston! When Lee is not at GCG, you can find them drinking tea and bird watching, sometimes simultaneously.

Peter Prokesch, Garden Educator

Peter joined GCG in 2017 as an Garden Educator. After graduating from the University of Maryland in 2011, Peter worked on a trail-crew in Klamath National Forest, California where he instantly fell in love with nature, ecosystems, and community living. A visit to a Permaculture center in Brazil in 2015 inspired him to begin a Masters of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning at Lesley University. While completing his coursework online, he returned to Brazil as a Permaculture garden volunteer and immersed himself in plants, soils, fruits, and native plant species. Before diving into soils, Peter spent three years in Wellfleet, Massachusetts sustainably farming oysters and Quahog clams. When not farming by land or sea, you can find Peter mixing it up on one of the many basketball courts in the Boston area, reading his favorite authors, writing stories, or simply goofing around with family and friends.

Anna Pierce-Slive, Garden Educator

Anna joined Green City Growers in the spring of 2017 as a Garden Educator. Before joining GCG, Anna got her hands dirty as the garden supervisor for Esalen’s Farm & Garden and at the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Her teaching blends a passion for plants with the urgency for social change to work towards more equitable and healing relationships between people and the land.

Product Development and Installation Team

Patrick Mulligan, Director of Operations

Patrick joined Green City Growers in 2017 as the Director of Operations. Patrick is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s Studio for Interrelated Media, where he began a lifelong journey of exploring the interconnections of art and ecology. A series of field recording projects in the Maine woods inspired Patrick to complete the Sustainable Food and Farming program at Stockbridge School of Agriculture, then soon found himself designing and building urban agriculture systems and infrastructure. Patrick is a NOFA accredited AOLCP and has been managing ecological landscaping and farmscaping projects around Massachusetts and Maine for the past few years.

Tim Cross, Shop Manager

Version 2Tim joined Green City Growers in 2015 as a seasonal crew member, but he’s excited to be on board full time as Builds Manager this season. Born in Boston and raised on the North Shore, Tim has deep roots to the city. Tim is a retired Army veteran, having served for thirteen years. He lives with his wife of twelve years, Melissa, and his son, Benjamin. Tim cares passionately about sustainability, self-sufficiency, and education, all of which he is proud to support through his work at Green City Growers.

Andrew Warnock, Field Manager

Andrew joined the Green City Growers team in 2016 as a crew member, and has since transitioned into a more permanent role as Builds and Installations Manager. He has a degree in environmental science, and is almost finished with a second degree in finance, both of which he uses as part of the operations team. Outside of work, you can find Andrew performing and recording music, cooking huge spreads, and spending time with friends and family.

Derek Jones, Field Supervisor

Derek Jones joined Green City Growers as Site Supervisor in 2017. Through his work completed on a kibbutz in the Golan Heights of Israel, a farming experience in Finland, work with native plant restoration in Spain and volunteering with the Diné on Nvajo Nation he began his path on propagating ecological balance. After completing a M.S. in Geo-Information Science and a M.Ed in Education, he taught science in both in Salem Public Schools and Boston Public Schools. With over 15 years in self-sustainable living and science education, he continues his mission to improve both student and adult quality of life through agricultural environments. Outside of GCG, he can be seen reading non-fiction, creating artwork, mountain biking on local trails, and going on adventures with his wife and two daughters.

Interns

Matt Kramich, Business Development Intern

Matt is currently a rising senior at Tufts University, where he is majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies. He recently wrapped up a semester abroad studying sustainable development in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he was able to learn about Scandinavia’s wide-scale use of renewable energy for electricity, transportation, and heating, and visit organic farms that attempt to mimic the land’s native ecosystems. Matt is relatively new to the agriculture world, but is very excited to help grow and produce food, which he believes is extremely important due to its impact on our environment, culture, and lifestyle. Having grown up snowboarding and visiting his aunt’s farm in Vermont’s Green Mountains, he discovered his love of nature through hiking, riding, and exploring the outdoors in general.

Katie O’Connell, Horticulture Intern

Katie is senior at Northeastern University about to graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies and Elementary Education. She is interning at Green City Growers for the spring of 2017 as a part of Northeastern’s cooperative (experiential learning) program. Katie hopes to combine her studies in the Environment and Elementary Education to make hands-on outdoor environmental learning a staple for all students, especially those in urban areas with less accessibility to nature. When Katie is not learning from all the experiences to be had at GCG you can find her on the Charles River rowing from when the sunrises until it sets. She is otherwise sleeping or eating.