Our Team

Mill City Grows is a small organization in its 8th year of operation. 

EXECUTIVE TEAM
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Francey Slater

Francey Slater, Co-Founder / Executive 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.

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Lydia SissonLydia Sisson, Co-Founder / Special Projects 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.

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Jessica Moore Wilson, Deputy Director
Jessica has worked in non-profit administration and fundraising for over 15 years, with a strong focus on writing and communications. Jessica holds a BA in Communications from UMass Amherst and an MA in Media Studies from The New School. She loves gardening with her husband Peter, and is particularly proud of her Swiss chard. She is also the loving mom of her daughter River, who’s being raised on local veggies. You can reach Jessica at Jessica[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.

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Alison Jacobs, Director of Programs
Originally from Springfield, MA, Ali has been an operations and project manager for over a decade. She started her career in agriculture in New York City where she lived for many years and helped found and develop community gardens, urban farms,  and other food justice projects. She comes to Mill City Grows after managing a large organic farm in Western Mass. Ali can be reached at Ali[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.


FOOD ACCESS TEAM
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Nikki TolaniNikki Tolani, Urban Farm & Food Access Coordinator
Originally from Singapore, Nikki is excited to be able to join the 
food justice movement in Lowell! She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Human Services with a food sustainability minor at Northeastern University. Nikki developed her passion for growing fresh, local food when she started volunteering with several food justice non profits in Boston. Since then, she has been eager to learn more about urban farming, so she is thrilled to be apart of Mill City Grow’s farm team. Nikki can be reached at Nikki[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.

 


EDUCATION TEAM


Giuliana CappucciGiuliana Cappucci, Education Manager
Giuliana Cappucci has worked in the food justice system in Lowell for about five years and is very excited to continue her work at Mill City Grows as their 2 year AmeriCorps/FoodCorps Service Member! She believes that any child should have equitable access to nutritious, locally grown food, and have an understanding of where food comes from. Giuliana can be reached at Giuliana[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.

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Macayla Cote, Education Coordinator
Born and raised in Lowell, Macayla is excited to continue her journey in the local food movement working with MCG’s Education Team. She started with Mill City Grows as a youth J-Squad member in 2016 where she quickly realized her passion for urban farming. Macayla completed her associates degree at Middlesex Community College in 2019, and plans on studying Environmental Science. One day, Macayla hopes to inspire all youth to spend their day on a farm to cultivate a strong connection towards food justice, and of course, to get dirty! You can reach Macayla at Macayla[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
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Maggie Nowak, Lowell Farm to School Manager
A Chicagoland native, Maggie can’t wait to bring her commitment to food justice, environmental sustainability, and urban farming to Mill City Grows! Maggie graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2016 with a focus on food, faith, and social change. She worked for over 3 years in Providence, RI, teaching high school and college students how to grow food and build a more equitable food system. When she is not tending to her garden or whittling a spoon, Maggie loves hiking, embroidering, and fostering community at Harvard University’s Leverett House where she and her husband are residential tutors. You can reach Maggie at Margaret[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.

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Maddie Grant, FoodCorps Service Member
Maddie was raised in New York City and went to Williams College in the Berkshires. At Williams, she studied Geosciences and developed a love for science and environmental education. Following her lifelong passion for growing plants and being outdoors, she has spent her summers working in horticultural gardens on community farms where she was exposed to the exciting work of food justice. Maddie is thrilled to combine her passion for science communication, education, and food justice in her new position as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Member at Mill City Grows. Maddie can be reached at Maddie[at]millcitygrows[dot]org. 


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Haela Booth-Howe, FoodCorps Service Member
Haela was born and raised in Maine and attended Stonehill College where she received a B.S. in Health Sciences. Since graduating, she spent a year in the Dominican Republic as part of the Stonehill Service Corps, where she taught English to preschool-first graders. Her passion for exploring new cultures through the lens of food lead her to job-shadowing a Nutritionist in the coffee region of Colombia and interning with a plant-based chef on a permaculture farm in Costa Rica. Haela believes all children should know where their food comes from and have access to locally grown, organic food. She is thrilled to be part of the MCG team and immerse herself in the Lowell community. Haela can be reached at Haela[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.
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Maggie Acosta, FoodCorps Service Member
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Maggie (Mags)  and her family moved to Lowell 11 years ago with the hope of a new future. Mags graduated from Greater Lowell Technical High School, where she earned certification as a Medical Assistant. Mags is now a full time student at Middlesex Community College, pursuing her Associates Degree in Biology. After working as a Medical Assistant at two medical facilities, Mags has switched gears and joined MCG as a FoodCorps Service Member. Through this position, Mags hopes to communicate the importance of intentional living, community, and health! She is passionate about children and their development, and believes everyone has the right to access nutritious foods and have these supplied in abundance. You can reach Mags at Mags[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.


COMMUNITY PROGRAMS TEAM


Enrique Vargas, Gardens Manager
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.


ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM


Solimar Berrios, Head of Office Operations
As Mill City Grows’ Head of Office Operations, Solimar will touch all aspects of programming and administration at MCG headquarters. Though she grew up in Lowell, Solimar spent much of her adult life living, studying, and working in Puerto Rico, where she acquired a wealth of human resource, administration, and office management experience. Solimar has an identical twin sister, is passionate about chocolate, and is mother to two beautiful daughters. You can reach Solimar at Solimar[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.

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Kerri Keeler, Development Associate
A current resident of Lowell, Kerri’s volunteer work both here in the U.S. and for a children’s home in Honduras sparked a love of working in the nonprofit world.  After years of diverse experience in a corporate career, she is putting her expertise and passion to work for Mill City Grows.  Drawing on her talents in marketing and connecting with donors, along with gardening, beekeeping, and working with children, has prepared Kerri to give back to her community through MCG. Her hobbies include travel, hiking, gardening, and working on DIY projects in her bungalow home. Kerri can be reached at Kerri[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.

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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, Suzzanne co-founded The Lowell Film Collaborative with her movie-loving husband, Brett. You can reach Suzzanne at Suzz[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.