About the Growing Center Team
The Somerville Community Growing Center is made up of an all-volunteer Board of Directors, a part-time Volunteer Coordinator, and a part-time Site Coordinator, who oversee the non-profit organization, "Friends of the Community Growing Center." Here is information about them, their background, and interests.
The Growing Center Board of Directors
Lisa Brukilacchio, Growing Center Board President
Lisa is a long time Somerville resident, moving here in 1977 from upstate NY. While a student at Tufts, she discovered community gardening and has been hooked ever since. It was while she was serving as the City's Community Gardens Coordinator as part of the Conservation Commission, that the Growing Center was born. As one of the founding members, Lisa was highly motivated by her own childhood experiences to create a space in the city where children could develop their own relationship with the natural world. In addition, she has strived to continue the creative legacy of the early years of the Center by working to foster an environment where all ages and abilities can discover how to apply their passions and talents towards building a model of sustainability, citizen engagement and cultural exploration.
Betsy Larkin, Growing Center Board Vice President
Betsy grew up in the Boston area and moved to Somerville after college. She began volunteering with the Growing Center in 2010, harvesting and selling herbs and produce at the Union Square Farmers Market. After a break of a few years, during which she had three children, she returned to organize the Growing Center’s summer playgroup that gives area children a non-manicured green space in which to play, run around and be free. This helped cement her connection to the space, which she sees as an important asset for area families, especially those without yards to play in. Betsy has a background in the cultural sector, with a particular focus on tourism programming and marketing. She most recently worked at Road Scholar, a not-for-profit educational travel organization for older adults.
Liza Kitchell, Growing Center Board Clerk
Liza Kitchell has been a volunteer at the Growing Center for 17 years and a board member for two years. Liza teaches music at the Community Music Center of Boston and in the Boston Public Schools, as well as teaching piano privately at her home in Somerville. She is a composer, and her works have been heard recently with Lynn + Paul Dance in Riverfest, and in “Postcards from Skratz” at the Armory in Somerville. Liza coordinates the Summer Song Series at the Growing Center and is committed to seeing the Growing Center grow and thrive for the next 25 years.
Maddie Morgan, Growing Center Board Member
Maddie grew up outside of Boston and currently manages events and programs for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN). Before joining MNN, Maddie spent her first year out of college coordinating environmental education programs and events at her alma matter's environmental center in Ohio. Eager to get back outside and in the dirt, Maddie is looking forward to serving the Growing Center and getting more involved with the community.
Sarah Moylan, Growing Center Board Member
Sarah Moylan is a seven-year resident of the Boston area and longtime admirer of the Growing Center. After moving from Vermont to Somerville in 2013-- and recovering from the shock of moving from the Champlain Valley to a "big city" with lots of concrete-- Sarah found a new appreciation for pockets of nature sprinkled throughout the city. Her interests in food systems and ecology led her to work at Green City Growers in Somerville and Grow Native Massachusetts in Waltham, where she gained a greater appreciation of how plants sustain not only human life, but the entire natural world. These days, Sarah works in commercial real estate finance and accounting as a professional number-cruncher. She is excited to get back to her roots (literally) in the garden and help with finances and fundraising.
Sasha Rollinger, Growing Center Board Member
A native of Washington, D.C., Sasha currently works for the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, after having spent a decade in visual arts fundraising in New York City. In her free time, she enjoys visiting museums, stopping by Somerville's playgrounds and green spaces with her toddler, and growing vegetables with her family at their home in western Massachusetts.
Nicolette Harris, Growing Center Board Member
As a Somerville resident for the last two years, Nicolette (she/her) has been inspired by the many opportunities the Growing Center creates to empower and connect our neighbors. The daughter of a horticulturist, her passions are deeply rooted in urban gardening, food security, and fostering community inclusion. She believes that there is no more significant opportunity for human connection than the one made through food. Nicolette works at The Home Depot, where over the past 16 years she has held multiple roles leading large teams to do their best work and is a leader of DEI efforts within the New England Region of stores. Nicolette is an avid home grower, cook, and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Growing Center and our amazing Somerville community.
Additional board members: Julia Featheringill, Growing Center Board Treasurer, Stephanie Cordova, and Stacey Simon.
The Growing Center Staff
Volunteer and Communications Coordinator, update coming soon
Paula Jordan, Site Coordinator and Children in Nature Coordinator