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 Ameroso 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.
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.