Our Team

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


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 a contract auditor for farm sustainability and has degrees from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture (Fruit & Vegetable Production) and the University of Maine (Sustainable Agriculture).

Claire Davies, Director of Marketing

Claire joined Green City Growers in 2017 after working for fifteen years in marketing and communications with Whole Foods Market and Pine Street Inn. Claire’s passion for gardening was fostered early by her British mother who was born “with a green arm,” and her father, a soil chemist. After helping to establish an off-the-grid community in the Hudson Valley, Claire spent her pregnancy with her son working on a farm in Acton, MA. Claire is a graduate of Smith College and in her spare time directs and acts in film and theater projects in New England.

Colleen Chambers, Account Representative

Colleen joined the administrative team at GCG in 2017.  Having spent the previous few years as the project manager at a food pantry in Leominster, MA and as the activities coordinator at a middle school in Seattle, WA, Colleen is passionate about food justice, social equity, and community involvement. When not working (and usually during lunch breaks) she can be found pursuing the ever-elusive goal of reading 52 books in 52 weeks.  Colleen is a 2013 graduate of Fordham University’s College at Rose Hill.

Sarah Noe, Office Manager

Sarah Noe brings a broad human resources and operational background to GCG with years of experience at high end and lifestyle retailers, start-ups, and community focused arts organizations. She grew up on a quarter acre organic garden and developed a love of growing and an obsession with tomatoes. Sarah holds degrees from the College of Wooster and the Harvard Extension school. She enjoys scifi, public art, and tackling sewing projects.

Matt Kramich, Business Development Assistant

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.

Horticulture Team

Zannah Porter, Director of Horticulture

Zannah Porter joined GCG in January 2018. Zannah graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2002 with a degree in Outdoor Leadership. Zannah’s passion for horticulture and agriculture was fostered by a botanist father, a rural up-bringing in southwest Virginia, and many hours spent volunteering on Warren Wilson College’s sustainable farm. This is Zannah’s tenth year working in commercial agriculture in Eastern Massachusetts. Most recently, Zannah managed production on a 22-acre diversified vegetable farm operation. Zannah has a passion for tractors, teaching, and anything to do with the outdoors including winter hiking, surfing, and cycling.

Rie Macchiarolo, Landscape Designer

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

Lee Toomey, Horticulture Manager

Lee 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.

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.

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.

Katie O’Connell, Urban Farmer

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.

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.


Jonathan Lizcano

Jonathan was raised in Miami, FL, and came to Boston in 2009 for school, graduating with a BFA in Fine Arts from Tufts University in Partnership with School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA). Working with other SMFA students, Jonathan organized several trips to New Orleans to assist with Katrina recovery efforts, and this became his first experience with urban gardening and community planning at this scale. Before joining GCG, Jonathan worked full-time as a freelance videographer. Jonathan came to GCG because he loves to work outside and being part of a company that is at the forefront of urban farming.


Jo-z Coppinger, Marketing Intern

Growing up in Western Mass farm land, Jo-z is now a sophomore at Wheaton College. She started interning at Green City Growers in January through College for Social Innovation’s semester in the city program. Majoring in Sociology and Studio Art, Jo-z hopes to gain work experience and further her knowledge in marketing and food access. When not interning or in class, Jo-z likes to make art, be outdoors, or play Ultimate Frisbee.


Watch this space for additions to the GCG team!