BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Klare Shaw (President), is the Special Advisor to the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, after spending 10 years as a Barr Foundation Senior Associate. Ms. Shaw is an experienced philanthropy professional with 25 years in public, corporate, and private grant making, nonprofit organizational development, program design, building community and capacity. Her skills include a proven ability to articulate best practices, push systemic solutions in education and arts, and communicate with varied constituencies. She has been endowed with the honor of receiving The Massachusetts Association of School Committees Community Leader for Public Education Award 2011, the Boston Center for the Arts Arts Champion Award 2011, and the Discover Roxbury Puddingstone Award 2010.
Christopher Muhammad (Vice President), Director of Operations at Community Servings. Brother Christopher is an early and continuous member of the UFI Board, having served on the working committee since its inception. Chris Muhammed has been working at Community Servings for nearly 20 years, where he has been instrumental in its operational expansion. Chris will bring his extensive operations experience to the Board.
Glynn Lloyd (Treasurer), the Executive Director Minority Business Enterprise Initiative at Eastern Bank. After serving over 20 years as Co-Founder and CEO of City Fresh Foods, Inc. brought his extensive experience growing businesses and in food sustainability to his former role as Managing Director of Boston Impact Initiative. Mr. Llyod, has served on several boards including the Red Tomato, The Food Project, Dorchester 4 Corners Association and most recently on the Boston Mayor’s Food Council. He is currently a Fellow at Boston Rising, an anti-poverty initiative of the Ethos Foundation and on the Advisory Board Lead Boston—an organization that focuses on social justice. Mr. Lloyd is also co-founder and interim Chief Executive Officer of City Growers, LLC.
Dave Madan, works as a real estate developer with Boston Investments, and is the founder and executive director of theMOVE, an urban sustainability education nonprofit. He additionally serves as the vice chair of the board of trustees of the UUSC, an international human rights nonprofit based in Cambridge. Dave graduated in 2005 from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in business and urban planning.
Jennifer Hashley, is the Director of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in Lowell Mass. New Entry trains farmers in the business and practice of farming. Jennifer teaches in the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Agriculture Food and the Environment Program. Jennifer also runs an organic pastured poultry operation. Jennifer will bring her extensive farming and farmer training expertise to the Board. Greg Maslowe, is the Farm Manager of Newton Community Farm (NCF). He has managed NCF since its inception in the spring of 2006. Before coming to NCF, Greg was a doctoral student in Boston University’s Science, Philosophy and Religion interdisciplinary program. His research focused on the ethics of genetically modified crops. He took a terminal Masters degree when he left the program to farm full time. Greg also has a Masters of Theological Study from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in systematic and philosophical theology. He lives at NCF with his wife and two children.
Mel King, Founder and Director of the South End Technology Center. Mr. King has been active across the landscape of neighborhoods and politics of Boston for over 55 years as an educator, youth worker, social activist, community organizer, elected official, and author. As an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a pioneer of Boston’s community gardening effort, Mr. King is responsible for creating a number of community programs and institutions for low-income people in Boston. The Mel King Institute was recently founded in his name to bring community development professionals and volunteers the skills they need to be effective in their positions in the community.
Greg Watson, is the Director of Policy and Systems Design at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics. Greg Watson has spent nearly 40 years working in the new economics field and to understand of systems thinking as inspired by Buckminster Fuller. He is the Director of Policy and Systems Design at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics where he founded the Cuba-U.S. Agroecology Network. He currently serves on the boards of CommonWealth Kitchen and the Urban Farming Institute, both in Boston, Massachusetts.
Previously, he served as Commissioner of Agriculture in Massachusetts under Governor Deval Patrick and as Commissioner (1990 to 1993) under then Governors Dukakis and Weld. During the Patrick administration, he worked to launch a statewide urban-agriculture grants program and chaired the Commonwealth’s Public Market Commission, which oversaw the planning and construction of the Boston Public Market. He chaired the Massachusetts Food Policy Council. Watson has also served as Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Affairs; Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Centers of Excellence Corporation; and as Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative where he made urban agriculture a major focus of the community’s revitalization plan. Greg also served on President-elect Obama’s transition team for the U.S. Department of Energy; as Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Technology within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; and at the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod, first as Education Director and later as Executive Director. Greg currently resides in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Gerald Cox, a Management Consultant for over thirty years, prior to which he was a senior consultant with the international consulting firm, Hay Group/McBer, Inc. His consulting practice focuses on organizational improvement, including culture change, leadership and management development, board training, and team building. Before receiving a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Clinical and Organizational Psychology, he served on the executive staff of the Harvard Community Health Plan, currently known as Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and was a founder of its Mission Hill-Parker Hill Neighborhood Health Center. When he was a community organizer in the 1960s and 1970s, he helped to establish the South End and Uphams Corner Health Centers. His consulting practice includes the health care, financial services, federal and state governments, and corporate sectors. He has been a trustee of several community-based, non-profit health and social services organizations and is Trustee Emeritus of the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Board.
Willie Brown, a long time resident of Roxbury and an early and continuous member of the UFI working group. He brings significant neighborhood and gardening experience to UFIB. He is the director of the Edward L. Cooper Community Garden and Education Center.
Patricia Spence, Executive Director
The Urban Farming Institute, Inc.
As a seasoned leader Patricia brings to the table extensive experience in the areas of community engagement, project design, development and implementation; program marketing and promotions; budget preparation, fundraising and administration.
Prior to joining the Urban Farming Institute, Pat served as the Community Field & Literacy Coordinator for Boston Public Schools, as well as having worked as an education advocate assisting parents navigate the school selection process through the Educational Options Series. Over the years, Pat has work with numerous non-profits specializing in the areas of the arts, employment and education. Her earlier beginnings started in sales and marketing for Xerox and the Digital Equipment Corporation. She continued in sales, in the community, working for WILD 1090/ HOT 97.9 radio and WGBH. In the background Pat has worked on various projects and community engagement efforts to empower families and the community.
Mrs. Spence is the Founder Board member of “They Made It So Can I”, the 5th grade speakers series, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Boston Nature Center Sanctuary Committee.
Patricia is passionate about the environment, and as the daughter of a farmer, in her free time, she enjoys growing her own herbs and vegetables in her back yard. Pat is excited about the work ahead for UFI and looks forward to empowering the community through creating farmer entrepreneurs, increasing urban land dedicated to farming and working on urban farm related advocacy issues.
Bobby Walker III, Farm Training Manager
The Urban Farming Institute, Inc.
UFI’s energetic trainer offers more than five years of farming experience, having ran his own small scale farm and farmers market, and as the former farm manager for City Growers. By trade, Bobby has worked in construction and property management for over 15 years, and along with his love for growing, he creatively combines both trades to open opportunities for individuals passionate about farming. As a young entrepreneur, Mr. Walker has lead several youth based programs and and ran a small scale farmers market in Lower Roxbury, teaching youth about urban agriculture and entrepreneurship. This among many other initiatives he is involved in, working with schools and universities, Bobby continues to bring young people and the community closer food and their connection to the earth, while courageously creating opportunities to learn about business and creating ones own wealth opportunity.
Nataka S. Crayton, Operations Manager
The Urban Farming Institute, Inc.
Nataka S. Crayton-Walker, has committed her existence to the discovery and development of meaningful strategies for social, economic and food equity, particularly for communities of color. Mrs. Crayton believes that through such discovery and determination, we are able to unleash our human and innate entrepreneurial capacity to create opportunity and new industry. Mrs. Crayton-Walker has worked as an urban farmer for more than 8 years with the Village Farm, City Growers, and helped to create the Urban Farming Institute. In 2016, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, selected Mrs. Walker among other great women for the Extraordinary Women Campaign of Boston on International Women’s Day.
Her childhood dream to become a farmer, coupled with her hands in the ground gardening, led her to acquire her Master Urban Gardener Certificate from Boston Natural Areas Network, and her farming certificate from New Entry Sustainable Farming Program. Nataka S. Crayton-Walker, is working to complete her Masters in Community Economic Development.
Mrs. Crayton has developed youth programs and led several community development projects including the Bessie Barnes Memorial Garden and the Frederic Douglas Peace Park. In 2006, she was nominated for the REI Stewards for the Environment award for her dedication to her community and the environment. In her spare time, Mrs. Crayton takes her harvest to the table and chefs up vegetarian and vegan cuisine for events. She also volunteers as one of the Co-Hosts of Sisters Sewing Seeds on Drum Beat Radio, a program of the Black Community Information Center.
Tristram Keefe, Enterprise Manager
The Urban Farming Institute, Inc.
Tristram Keefe is an Urban Farmer from Boston, Mass. In his role as Enterprise Manager, he manages production on three urban farms in Dorchester and Roxbury. After completing the Urban Farming Institute’s farmer training program, Tristram worked as the Farm Manager at City Growers LLC from 2013 to 2015. When he is not in the fields, Tristram enjoys deejaying, cooking, and wild foods.
Linda Palmer is an experienced education and healthcare program management and training professional. She was drawn to Urban Farming Institute of Boston’s mission to build a healthier and more locally based food system, having grown up with urban family gardeners and having spent summers on family farms in North Carolina. She is an outdoor enthusiast and loves to hike.
Barbara Knecht, R.A.
Project Leader for Farm Site Development
Barbara has been developing urban land for public benefit for more than thirty years. Her work has included managing the design and construction of affordable housing, public space and commercial facilities. She has worked in the public and not for profit sectors and has taught and directed several university programs. Through her work, she has researched and observed urban farms across the country and around the world.
Barbara’s mother made sure she got her fingers dirty, by growing vegetables and raising animals for food, and by training her in the preparation of food for the table. Working with UFI to develop urban farms in Boston brings together her experience developing urban land with a love of all things edible. Ms. Knecht holds degrees in architecture from UC Berkeley and Columbia University, and she was a Loeb Fellow in advanced environmental studies at Harvard University.