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.
Val Snowdon, Director of Education
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.
Suzzanne Cromwell, Marketing & Publicity Coordinator
Originally from Houston, Texas, Suzzanne’s work experience includes over 20 years at the Boston Museum of Science and 15 years with The Walt Disney Company. She worked 8 years at the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) and was a founding member of Mill City Grows’ Board of Directors before joining the MCG 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, Community Engagement Coordinator
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps Service Member
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, Development Manager
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.
Hannah Corbin, Youth Education Coordinator
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.
Karl Goethert, Assistant Urban Farm Manager
After five years of co-managing a 3 acre vegetable farm with his partner, Karl is excited to return his focus to vegetable production with Mill City Grows. Karl has also piloted a beekeeping program with local farmers in rural Uganda, spent time W.W.O.O.F.-ing in Hawaii and New Zealand, and has a BA in Animation with a minor in Storyboarding. You can reach Karl at Karl[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Originally from Mexico, Laura comes to Lowell and Mill City Grows after working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for six years. She worked with community members and corporations in healthcare reform and unemployment assistance. She developed a love for the outdoors and the environment at a young age and spent the last four years caring for her little garden in Cambridge. A novice beekeeper, she started her first hive last year when she left her career with the Commonwealth to pursue her passion for sustainability and social justice. Laura can be reached at Laura[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Gallagher is an innovative and creative design professional, who combines her background in organic agriculture and local food systems with her practical design/build training and experience in order to create attractive, functional and productive spaces. Before coming to Mill City Grows she worked as an Associate Landscape Designer with the Regenerative Design Group in Greenfield, MA. Gallagher holds a Masters of Science in Ecological Design from the Conway School. You can reach Gallagher at Gallagher[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Joe Kapusanksy, Farm & Education Apprentice
Joe is a Mississippi native, now hardening through the Mass experience for over a decade now. His love for movement, food and community rooted him to Lowell where he seasoned his skills in the food industry and obtained a license massage therapy. Joe started volunteering with Mill City Grows in 2013 and is ecstatic to join the team in a more immersive role. He hopes to one day run a farm-to-table bed and breakfast on a remote tropical island. In his spare time, Joe likes stretching on a yoga mat, baking, and watching other people bake. You can reach Joe and Joe[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Originally from Massachusetts, Brian began his career working in television, film and video after graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He worked on the soap opera Guiding Light and most recently, as a Visual Effects Editor at Zero VFX here in Boston. Reading book after book about food and farms, it became clear a career shift was in order. He is brand new to farm work but is thrilled to learn the ropes from MCG, a company that shares his passion that good, local food is the best way to positively effect our health and community. Outside of work, Brian loves running, climbing, skiing, cooking and singing karaoke, especially oldies. You can reach Brian at Brian[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Alex has lived in Lowell since moving from New Jersey to go to school. She is a recent UMass Lowell graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with concentrations in Management and Marketing. Having worked outside her whole life, she is excited to move away from office positions and gain valuable knowledge and experience while giving back to her community. Alex can be reached at Alex[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
4 Nichols, Facilities and Construction Coordinator
4 (yes, his first name really is a number) had been actively volunteering with Mill City Grows since he moved to Lowell in 2012. As a veteran of the United States Air Force and an avid handyman, 4 has been helping MCG with infrastructure upgrades, garden builds, and many other projects as the local food movement continues to “grow.” 4 holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Geology from Salem State University and is a staunch advocate of all things Permaculture and practical solutions that will lead to a more food-secure world. You can reach 4 at 4[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
Alejandra Cabrera – Education Intern
Allie Skahn – Forest Foundation Fellow
Candice Bishop – Farm & Market Intern
Danielle DeGaspe – Dietetic Intern
Margaret Richie – Marketing & Events Intern