Mill City Grows is a small organization starting its 6th year of operation. Meet our team!
Francey Slater, Founding Co-Director
Francey is a seasoned educator and gardener. Francey has focused on garden education program development; designing, building and coordinating physical gardens; cultivating volunteer participation; and establishing partnerships to leverage resources to support community health and wellness. You can reach Francey at Francey[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Lydia Sisson, Founding Co-Director
Lydia is an experienced commercial farmer and small business owner, and holds a Masters degree in Economic and Social Development of Regions. Before starting Mill City Grows, Lydia ran a CSA farm for 4 years. You can reach Lydia at Lydia[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
After graduating from Lowell High School’s class of 1995, Amy left for a college that allowed her to follow her passion for horses. She worked on a diverse array of small farms and gained experience in vegetable and fruit crop production, greenhouse management, animal husbandry, and field research. She earned a B.S. degree in Environmental Conservation from UNH and returned to Lowell shortly after to support refugees who were starting farm businesses. She spent many years connecting refugee and other local farmers and low income community members in mutually beneficial relationships. Amy is an avid gardener, part-time farmer, and proud mother of two children Draigc and Maya. She is a recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award and believes that gender equity is the unfinished business of 20th century. You can reach Amy at amy[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Val Snowdon, Education Program Manager
Val comes to Mill City Grows after spending a season managing two vegetable gardens in downtown Boston with a crew of urban youth through Boston Natural Areas Network. Val holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England, where she focused in community and school food systems. You can reach Val at Val[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Kesiah Bascom, Community Program Manager
Kesiah was raised in a small town in NH, where she learned to garden and spread manure at a very young age. Since college, she has held many roles as a farmer, teacher and a community development professional, using food as a mechanism for social change. She also spent two years in Nicaragua as a Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security Peace Corps Volunteer. You can reach Kesiah at Kesiah[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Suzzanne Cromwell, Executive Assistant
Originally from Houston, Texas, Suzzanne’s work experience includes over 20 years on staff at the Boston Museum of Science and 15 years with The Walt Disney Company. She spent the last 8 years on staff at the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) and was a founding member of Mill City Grows’ Board of Directors before joining the staff team. An avid foodie, music hound, and rabid cinephile, Suzz co-founded The Lowell Film Collaborative with her movie-loving husband, Brett. You can reach Suzzanne at Suzz[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Enrique Vargas, MassLIFT Community Engagement Coordinator
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Enrique first came to Lowell in 2001 because of his passion for music, which led him to earn a degree in Sound Recording Technology from UMass Lowell. His passion for community and social justice lead him to Mill City Grows, first as a member of the farm team and Mobile Market, and more recently as a member of the Community Program. In his spare time, Enrique loves to collect records and books and talk about soccer and baseball stats. You can reach Enrique at Enrique[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Jessica Wilson, Grant Writer
Jessica has worked in non-profit administration and fundraising for over 15 years, with a strong focus on writing and communications. A former Board member of Mill City Grows, she is delighted to join the team and help develop more resources for a mission she truly loves. She loves gardening with her husband Peter, and is particularly proud of her swiss chard. She is also the loving mom of Oberyn, a bearded dragon. You can reach Jessica at Jessica[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Felicia Pinto, Community Food Educator
Felicia’s first love of food came from scratch cooking and gardening with her mother. She then went on to get a bachelor’s in Food and Dietetics from Framingham State University. From there her love of community work really took off while serving with Americorps and FoodCorps where she supported schools in establishing school gardens, helped coordinate farm to school projects, as well as delivered nutrition education in classrooms. Felicia can be reached at felicia[at]millcitygrows[dot]
Dai Kim, Assistant Mobile Market Manager
Dai is a cultured Lowellian through and through. His life long love affair with culinary arts and all things food makes him an enthusiast on the subject. Seven years of his career has been devoted to meat retail and his studies include hospitality management and business. Dai’s tenacity for service has brought him back home to Lowell where he now gives back to the community by continually improving access to food grown locally and in Lowell. If you see Dai, say HI! Dai can be reached at dai[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Moustapha Toure, FoodCorps Service Member
Born and raised in Mali, West Africa, Moustapha’s first visit to the Americas was to Havana, Cuba, where he studied veterinary medicine. He then worked with herders and farmers helping them build compost pits, produce compost, and improve their soil for a better crop production. Moustapha moved to Lowell in 2014, and immediately joined the urban farming movement by becoming a gardener and garden coordinator at MCG’s North Common Community Garden. This year, Moustapha is serving with Mill City Grows as a FoodCorps Service Member. He is interested in helping students understand, grow, and eat healthy food in the Lowell Public Schools where he has served as a substitute teacher during the past two years. Moustapha can be reached at Moustapha[at]millcitygrows[
Giuliana Cappucci, FoodCorps Service Member
Giuliana Cappucci has worked in the food justice system in Lowell for about three years and is very excited to continue her work as a Mill City Grows Americorps/Foodcorps Service Member! She believes that children should have access to nutritious, locally grown food, and get their hands dirty. Giuliana can be reached at Giuliana[at]millcitygrows[dot]
Tim Shugrue, Community Engagement Coordinator
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Service Member
Born and raised in the Centralville section of Lowell, Tim loves movement and all things outdoors. He grew up immersed in Lowell’s skateboarding community, and looks to it as a model for strong communities built by determined individuals doing what they love. After studying philosophy at Suffolk University, Tim grew passionate about food justice and urban agriculture. He tends plot #41 at the Smith Street garden, and also works at the World PEAS food hub and the Green Dragons’ Grodojo. Tim can be reached at tim[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Brendon Quiroz, Farm Team
Born and raised in Lowell, and with no farming experience except through volunteering, Brendon found his way to Mill City Grows through former MCG staffer Christopher Horne. He is a UMass Lowell Graduate (a Philosophy Major) who was trying to find his path in the world and ultimately found it on the farm. As a Lowell native, Brendon has enjoyed working in the community he has always called home and believes his work with Mill City Grows is his way of giving back to the City he loves. Brendon can be reached at info[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Hannah Corbin, MassLIFT-Americorps Service Member
Hannah Corbin is originally from Dracut, MA, and has spent the last five years working in the Worcester community and studying at Clark University. She graduated with a master’s degree in Community Development and Planning, with a concentration in Youth Work. While in Worcester, Hannah spent a lot of time working on gender specific youth programs, playing music, gardening, and exploring. Her primary focuses are on social justice youth programs and skill-sharing. Hannah can be reached at Hannah[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.