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


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).

Claire Davies-Frishman, 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 in her free time acts in film and theater projects throughout 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.

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.

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 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!

Danielle Sommer, Education Manager

Danielle Sommer joined GCG as Education Manager in 2017. A native Bostonian, her initiation into urban gardening took place at her family’s victory garden plot before she could even walk. Danielle believes in learning through interactive engagement and works to develop that in every educational setting. For almost a decade, Danielle has worked in a variety of in and out of school environments– from teaching digital media arts to kindergarteners in after school to urban agriculture and nutrition with high school students at community centers. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College and maintains a deep love of Pine trees and polar bears. When she is not teaching or gardening, Danielle enjoys sewing, listening to music and the company of her children.

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.

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

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.

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.


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.

Nick Salerno, Marketing & Sales Intern

Nick is the newest addition to the GCG team; as a senior at Framingham State University studying Food and Nutrition and Public Policy, he spends most of his time either hitting the books at the FSU library or here at GCG. He has a passion for food system reform and more so social justice, and is driven to make an impact once he wraps up his studies. Nick also loves food; cooking yes, but most importantly he says, eating. He has a prior education in the Culinary Arts, and enjoys experiencing new cuisines and trying new flavors any chance he gets. Nick is from Georgetown Massachusetts, and grew up learning how to grow herbs and vegetables from his “Nanu” – his grandfather. In his spare time he enjoys the outdoors, and many different sports. Nick found out about us doing research on Boston area companies that are involved urban agriculture initiatives, and now he could not be more excited to be working with us on that very goal.