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Outgoing Executive Director
Jonathan has been working throughout his adult life to transform the destructive aspects of organizations and systems into a people’s economy centering mother earth. He joined the Food Project in the summer of 2022 to guide and support the transition to new leadership.
He is a serial Interim Executive Director and social change practitioner creating and managing innovative projects and organizations and advising people in the global food and trade justice, new economy, organic and cooperative movements. Jonathan is a co- founder and former executive director of Equal Exchange, the first worker-owned, fair trade coffee company as well as Oké USA, the first fair trade fresh fruit company in the USA. His focus is on providing transformational leadership and organizational healing with a strong commitment to racial justice. Jonathan makes his home in Watertown, Massachusetts with his partner and is the parent of two adult children
Tommy O’Connor is The Food Project’s Communications Manager. He is an alumni of TFP’s youth programs (NS Seed Crew 2012 represent) and has previously returned to The Food Project as a Crew Leader and mobile market manager. Tommy’s background includes 3 years of professionally hosting and producing radio shows/podcasts for newsrooms across the US and a degree from Hofstra University. Outside of work, Tommy enjoys seeing live music, telling jokes, and letting the Boston Celtics determine his emotional wellbeing.
Youth Development Manager – GB Root Crew
Tu began working with youth at Northeastern University where he studied Cultural Anthropology and International Relations. During that time, most of his work was focused in the Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston. After college, Tu both trained as a Farm Apprentice with the Urban Farming Institute in Boston and a Grower’s Assistant under Danielle Andrews at The Food Project—starting in 2018. Tu now supervises Root Crew throughout the year, supporting The Food Project’s most experienced youth cohort as they tackle advanced farm tasks and collaborate directly with community members to better the local food economy. Tu works with young people to establish strong roots as they begin to figure out their future careers. In his spare time, Tu travels to distant continents. “Traveling is escaping. It makes me feel small and insignificant and yet feel so connected to the wonders of the world.”
Director of Impacts & Initiatives
Max Gitlen rejoined The Food Project in 2019, and has worked as part of the organization for over six years in total. He brings deep and broad experience in the local food system, including work in the pasture-based sustainable meat industry, with consumer and farmer coops, and as an entrepreneur. Outside of work, Max loves to spend time with his family, in the kitchen, in the woods, and in the ocean.
Director of Learning & Programs
Ludia Modi is The Food Project’s North Shore Regional Director and is an alumna of The Food Project’s North Shore youth programs and served professionally as a Youth Development Specialist and Food Corps supervisor. Ludia brings a background in nonprofit leadership and community partnerships from past positions at CityYear and Bridgewell, as well as a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. Ludia has stepped into this new role with a deep understanding of The Food Project’s culture, the opportunities and challenges faced by the North Shore community, and a talent for building, developing, and leading diverse teams with a mission-driven and detail-oriented approach. Outside of work Ludia loves going on long walks with her dogs, crocheting, and eating delicious food at local restaurants.
Co-Director of People Operations
617-442-1322, Ext. 280
Maritza joined The Food Project in May 2019 as the Greater Boston Regional Director after working in public service positions for over 15 years. Maritza is an internationally experienced non-profit and public sector leader who has dedicated her life to combining community activist efforts with service-learning frameworks. Maritza prioritizes placing people at the center of every program she innovates. Her accomplishments include co-founding a student-run business program for the Chicago Public School District and serving as a founding board member of Y2Y Harvard Square—a shelter for young adults experiencing homelessness. As a current resident of Dorchester, she enjoys the close-to-home connection of The Food Project’s work. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and traveling to her homeland, Puerto Rico.
Co-Director of Strategy & Organization Support
781-346-6726 Ext. 650
John joined The Food Project in May 2005 and helped start The Food Project’s North Shore site—based in Lynn, Beverly, and Wenham—as the Youth Programs Manager. Currently, he serves as The Food Project’s Deputy Director, where he is responsible for the oversight and development of the organization’s program portfolio, ensuring that it aligns and delivers on The Food Project’s vision and mission. He works collaboratively to define and execute the strategic plan, working towards the organizational goals and objectives across both regions. John is a graduate of the International Health Policy and Management program at Brandeis University’s Heller School and holds a B.Sc in Microbiology and a M.Sc in International Health Policy and Management. John’s experience in youth advocacy spans education, literacy, HIV-AIDS prevention, and community service promotion. When not in the office, you can find John cooking – a lot, spending time outdoors in the fall, backpacking and discovering new places, and reading books next to fires or swinging in hammocks.
Emily is a creative fundraising professional with a strong commitment to food justice, sustainable agriculture, and developing local sources of healthy fruits and veggies. She joined The Food Project’s development team in March 2022 as the Institutional Giving Associate, and is responsible for researching and writing compelling grant proposals to foundations, government agencies, and corporate giving entities. Emily previously worked as a freelance journalist, traveling to places far and wide between Cortez, Colorado and Molise, Italy. The rest of her time she spends hiking, gardening, and learning new languages. Please feel free to reach out and connect, especially with book recommendations!
Director of Donor Engagement
Heath joined The Food Project in March 2022 as Associate Director of Development. Previously, he served as Director of Development & Engagement for Emmanuel Music, helping a fifty-year-old organization imagine and commence a strategic pivot towards greater relevance through embracing a more participatory culture.
Notably, Heath helped to build Community MusicWorks—a creative youth development organization nationally recognized for “creating rewarding musical experiences for often-forgotten populations and forging a new, multi-faceted role beyond the concert hall for the 21st century musician” (MacArthur Foundation). He continues to provide capacity building mentorship for musician colleagues who are growing community-based initiatives, including Palaver Strings (Portland, ME), Iris Music Project (Rockville, MD), and Newport String Project (Newport, RI).
Earlier in his career, as a professional cellist, Heath was fortunate to have spent summers studying and performing in such bucolic locations as Banff, Blue Hill, and the Berkshires.
Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Nichole is a dedicated food system professional with an interest in healthy food access, equitable food systems, sustainable local agriculture, and nutrition education. Nichole joined The Food Project’s development team in January 2020 as the Grants Manager and is responsible for the strategy, management, and writing of all grants to the institutional funders of The Food Project. Nichole has previously served as a project manager for The Food Trust’s Farmers Market Program, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit committed to healthy food access. In her free time, you can find her roller skating, playing roller derby, at the gym, or at home curled up with her two super sweet cats!
Myla originally joined The Food Project as a youth in 2015, making her way through Seed and Dirt Crew, and then spending the two subsequent summers as a Seed Crew Peer Leader. She rejoined the organization as the Development Associate in March 2022 after graduating from Ursinus College with a BA in Theater. Her academic research explored theater as a tool for marginalized populations to affect social change. At The Food Project, Myla handles gifting from individual donors and oversees event management. In her free time, Myla enjoys performing with her local community theater, baking new recipes, and sitting outside to read!
Greater Boston Community Programs Manager
The community programs manager builds and sustains stakeholder interactions by managing organizational programs, collaborating with local residents and businesses alike, and keeping an external point of contact information database. Yasser holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, where he double-majored in International Affairs and Religious Studies. He is currently in a master’s program at Northeastern University pursuing an M.S in Urban Security and Resilience. Yasser’s participation in this master’s program is made possible by a scholarship he received for being a part of the Northeastern University Martin Luther King Fellowship. Yasser grew up in the Boston Public School (BPS) academic system and has 5+ years of experience in security, hospitality, retail, concierge, supply chain operations, event coordination, and administrative support prior to my position at The Food Project. Outside of the office, Yasser enjoys being with his family and friends. He joined The Food Project as a volunteer in late 2019, became a seasonal urban farmer in 2020, transitioned into the operations specialist role in 2021, and has now become the community programs manager. Yasser’s community engagement involves being a part of Dorchester Not for Sale, New England United for Justice, Northeastern Off-Campus Housing Community Ambassador Corps, Northeastern Service-Learning Street Team, the Dorchester Historical Society, and the 2020 United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
Lynn Farms Manager
Andres Bolanos grew up farming in Guatemala with his father and grandfather where he became passionate about plants and growing food. He first started working at the Food Project as an assistant grower in April of 2021. After a full season of growing vegetables and relationships in Lynn, Andres took on a new role as the Lynn Urban Farm Manager. In this role, he enjoys working with and supporting community members and organizations in the city of Lynn to build a more equitable food system. Prior to working at the Food Project Andres worked at a 32-acre greenhouse growing tomatoes and strawberries. Andres has a degree from Tufts University in Biology and Child development. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, pickling, and outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing.
Community Food Fellow
Alice joined The Food Project in June of 2021 as the Community Food Fellow. In this position, she manages farmers’ markets in Roxbury and Dorchester, runs the Build-a-Garden program for Boston, and serves as the assistant supervisor to Root Crew. Prior to working at The Food Project, Alice studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, where she researched the impacts of climate change on hummingbird foraging behavior. Having grown up in Somerville, she is happy to have gotten to return to the Boston area to do hands-on food justice work despite the lack of hummingbirds. Outside of work, Alice enjoys biking, taking on overly ambitious art projects, and maintaining her crossword puzzle completion streak.
Database & Operations Manager
781-259-8621 Ext. 140
Ashley joined The Food Project first as the Development Associate in 2019 after studying at the University of Maine and earning a B.S. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, with a minor in Sustainable Food Systems. Ashley is also an alumna of The Food Project’s Seed, Root, and Dirt Crews, and is grateful to have grown in those roles from 2008-2011. Outside of ensuring that The Food Project’s database runs smoothly and assisting with operations, Ashley enjoys baking, video games, and gardening.
Youth Development Specialist – Seed & Dirt Crew
Josiah currently serves as the Greater Boston Youth Development Specialist, where she runs the introductory youth programs: Seed and Dirt crew. She joined The Food Project in 2012 as a youth on the North Shore and remained involved as a peer leader, an intern, a crew leader, and as staff for the mobile market. After graduating from The University of Chicago in 2019 with a degree in Statistics, she was inspired by her time at TFP to become an educator. She stayed in Chicago for two years working as a math teacher and earning her Masters in Education from Relay Graduate School of Education. In 2021 she came back to Massachusetts to work for The Food Project and be closer to her family. In her free time, Josiah enjoys walking with her dog, eating banana bread, and learning random new skills like how to make animations or play harmonica.
Lincoln Field Manager
Rob first found farming while studying Environmental Science at Dickinson College. After graduating, they spent a season as an apprentice of the Dickinson College Farm, living yurt-style, leading harvest crews, and slanging wood-fired pizza at the farmer’s market. In 2018, they continued on to The Food Project as a Grower’s Assistant. In their current role as Field Manager, Rob helps to grow vegetables for the farm’s many distribution outlets, with the core principle that good land stewardship reciprocates good food production. Midsummer, you might find Rob preparing fields for planting, moving the irrigation gun to its next destination, or directly sowing seeds on a tractor from 1948. One of their fondest roles is leading youth in workshops around sustainable agriculture or even hands-on hot sauce making. Off the farm, Rob’s passions for music and dance find them digging for rare records at their local record shop.
Boston Farm Manager
617-422-1322 Ext. 130
Danielle Andrews has worked on and off at The Food Project since the summer of 2000, where she started as a grower’s assistant on The Food Project’s Lincoln farm. In the fall of 2000, Danielle returned to her hometown of Toronto to finish a master’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on agriculture-based education and work on urban agriculture projects. In 2002, she returned to The Food Project as the Boston Urban Grower. Following a maternity leave in 2008, she returned to The Food Project to head up the Dudley Greenhouse. In her current position, she enjoys working with and supporting neighbors and neighborhood organizations that are working in partnership with The Food Project to strengthen our neighborhood food system. Danielle loves to grow, cook, and appreciate vegetables; ride bikes; and explore Boston’s free events, pools, and skating rinks.
Lincoln Farm Manager
781-259-8621 Ext. 370
Alex Pogany began volunteering for The Food Project in 2009 and came on board full-time as a Grower’s Assistant in 2010. After three full seasons as a Grower’s Assistant, he became the Lincoln Farm’s Field Manager in December of 2012. Alex held the Field Manager position for three years until the winter of 2015 when he became the Lincoln Head Grower.
Some of the many roles Alex is responsible for include vegetable production and planning, soil fertility, compost operation management, maintaining and operating field equipment, leading agriculture workshops, and guiding youth and volunteers in meaningful and valuable work. In 2009, Alex returned home to Boston after an eight-year sojourn in Washington state where he worked as a forestry technician for the U.S. Forest Service. His interest in sustainable agriculture is an extension of his long-held concern for the protection of the environment.
Boston Grower’s Assistant
Liz joined The Food Project in April 2020 as the Boston Grower’s Assistant, after training with the Urban Farming Institute of Boston. Having previously worked as a Site Coordinator at a human services nonprofit, she transitioned to farming in order to develop a stronger connection to the earth and to explore the ways food can address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of both people and communities. Driven by her passion for place-making and community investment, Liz is now committed to working a full growing season on The Food Project’s Boston farms. Outside of growing, Liz is involved with anti-displacement work, a start-up food co-op, and an environmental justice working group. You can also find her experimenting with kombucha and repurposing food scraps!
Marketing & Communications Associate & Graphic Designer
781-259-8621 Ext. 26
Hannah joined The Food Project in March of 2018 as the Marketing & Communications Associate & Graphic Designer. Prior to joining The Food Project, Hannah held design and communications roles at the KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market, the Office of Health Promotion at Boston College, and ran her business as a freelance designer. Hannah is a 2018 graduate of Boston College, where she obtained her B.A. in Communications. In her spare time, you can find Hannah visiting farmers markets and craft fairs around New England, or engaging in creative pursuits including calligraphy and baking.