Staff

Saara Nafici, Executive Director

Saara joined the Added Value team in May 2015, bringing over a decade of experience in inquiry-based, experiential environmental education with youth. She worked in garden and bicycle-based programs in Berkeley, San Francisco and Boston before taking over the Garden Apprentice Program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which she ran for seven years. Saara holds a Bachelors of Science in Conservation and Resources Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a longtime activist, feminist, bicyclist, naturalist, and youth educator. 

Corey Blant, Education & Market Manager

Corey has been working in the fields of youth development and food sovereignty for much of his adult life. He earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Michigan, in Brain Behavior & Cognitive Science and Latin American Studies. He has facilitated theater workshops at a juvenile detention facility and taught English as well as Spanish. From 2012-2013, Corey ran a service-learning program in Managua, Nicaragua and helped create 'El Vivero' - a community garden in one of the most underserved neighborhoods in the city. He is also very involved with Food First - The Institute for Food and Development Policy, facilitating their Oaxaca Food and Sovereignty Tours. Corey was born and raised in Manhattan, and now happily lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 

John Ameroso, Acting Farm Manager and Founding Board Member

John has been working in the fields of horticulture and agricultural production since 1964.  He received a degree in Agronomy from the University of Georgia in 1968. From there he volunteered with International Voluntary Services and went on to study tropical agriculture at the University of The Philippines. He then spent 4 years in South Vietnam working with agricultural projects involved in small scale vegetable and animal production, and establish farmer’s buying and selling cooperatives. In 1976, he piloted the Urban Gardening Program with Cornell University Cooperative Extension, and through his efforts successfully set the ground work for Extension education in urban agriculture and food production for New York City. Retired since 2010, he currently sits on the Boards of Directors of Just Food, Added Value, and Bissel Gardens, non-profits involved in urban agriculture. He also performs farm inspections for GrowNYC, sponsor of the GreenMarkets program in NYC. 

Shannon Outlaw, NYCHA Farm Manager

After graduating from the Green City Force farm corps 3 years ago, Shannon worked with landscapers in NYC and at Gravity Hill Farm, an organic farm in New Jersey. She is a Brooklyn native, passionate herbalist, and a budding permaculture designer.  

 

 

 

Jaquan Burch, Community Chef

Jay graduated from culinary school at Kingsborough Community College and worked as an assistant baker, head baker, and a line cook. Realizing his passion is to help others find their passion, Jay left the kitchens and went back to the classroom - working with KCC's and the Sylvia Center's education programs. He is a Brooklyn native with roots in the Carolinas and Jamaica, where he spent much of his childhood.

 

 

Board of Directors

John Ameroso, Cornell Cooperative Extension (ret.)

Eri Iwasaki, Nobu Restaurant (formerly), JPMorgan Chase

Maura Lout (Secretary), Central Park Conservancy

Peter McGowan, Sidley Austin LLP

Carmine Rivetti, Department of Citywide Administrative Services

Jeffrey Sandgrund (Treasurer), Brooklyn Bridge Park

Fa-Tai Shieh (President), NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services

Philip Silva, TreeKIT

Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.