Board and Coordinators
Lisa Brukilacchio 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.
Tai Dinnan joined the board in 2009. She grew up in rural Vermont, coming to Somerville to attend Tufts University. The natural oasis she found at the Growing Center, along with her work at Groundwork Somerville, helped make urban living enjoyable. She ran kids programming including April Vacation Week Camp and The Somerville Maple Syrup Project at the Growing Center and coordinated composting efforts. She sees enormous value in preserving natural public spaces in which all urban residents can play, relax, connect, learn, and grow. Tai is now the Extended Day Program Director at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Shelburne, VT.
Marla Rhodes has lived and gardened in Somerville for nearly twenty years, and has been on the board of several local community food and agricultural organizations. She likes to brag about being the very first applicant for Tufts University’s Agriculture, Food and Environment Masters degree program.
Kim Schmidt has lived and gardened in Somerville since 2000. She can often be found planting in various spots around town, usually with her kids (or pile of kids) in tow. She is grateful for the many resources in our vibrant city, most especially the intersection of nature and community found in spaces like the Growing Center. As volunteer coordinator for the Friends of the Community Growing Center, Kim helps orient new volunteers to the space and connects them with some of the many opportunities here. Kim is excited about her role in continuing to keep this accessible, beautiful, green space going in our city.
Sara Rostampour is a vegetable farmer professionally, but also grows vegetables, flowers and herbs in Somerville on her balcony, in her apartment, and in her community garden plot. She is excited to be part of creating community and increasing access to green space through the Somerville Community Growing Center.
Michelle Serock has lived in Somerville on and off for 5 years, and Boston for a total of 10 years. She originally came to Boston to study Behavioral Neuroscience at Northeastern University and went on to work at several different institutions in Boston, including MIT, Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s and Boston Medical Center. Michelle is a pragmatic optimist; she founded and headed a chapter of GlobeMed, a national organization dedicated to partnering students with grassroots organizations to address health disparities. She continues to work and volunteer in the public health sector, both nationally and internationally, focusing on food insecurity. Michelle is ridiculously excited to contribute to the garden and collaborate with other members to further the sustained growth of Somerville.
Additional board members: Aileen Bellwood, Jennie Dubitsky, Leilani Mroczkowski, and Karl Thidemann.