OUR ORGANIZATION IS RUN BY A SMALL GROUP OF DEDICATED, PASSIONATE INDIVIDUALS
A New Britain native, Joey Listro has worked on a variety of non-profit farms beginning in 2009 while attending the University of Southern Maine. Joey worked building organic farming apprenticeships and curriculum for high school students as an AmeriCorps volunteer. He's a former Incubator Farmer at the Community Farm of Simsbury where he launched a small-scale potato chip and organic CSA business. He served as Head Teacher and Educational Programs Consultant at Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain for their after-school garden enrichment programs from 2011-2014. He spent two years managing a 100+ acre educational farm in New Milford, before returning to New Britain as the founder of ROOTS. Joey serves on the steering committee of the New CT Farmer Alliance and is an active member of the Coalition for New Britain's Youth.
Born and raised in the bountiful Hudson Valley, Bri has grown her personal and professional career from the Good Food Movement of the New York region. She studied Journalism at Iona College, where she sought to marry her passion for writing with her love of food to report on food related topics and issues. While interning for Valley Table Magazine, she worked closely with local farm and food resources, and the restaurants and organizations that utilize them, to assist with continuing the development of a positive narrative surrounding healthy, local food. Upon graduation, she worked in gourmet food sales, before making the decision to jump into service oriented work within the nonprofit sector.
Bri started with ROOTS in July of 2017, serving as the Program Aide for the “Farm to Summer School” section of the CSDNB Xtreme Program, where she assisted with incorporating hands on programming alongside STEM lessons that taught students about nutrition, food systems, the environment, climate change and more. In August, she was accepted to serve as the Americorps VISTA for ROOTS, where she will work to fight food injustice and insecurity in the community. She is both inspired and excited to continue on the path of learning about food through a critical lense, and to make meaningful connections through her work in New Britain.
Owen Quatrano resides in New Britain, but was raised in Litchfield County, where his love for the outdoors began. He spent years working in the food and service industry before attending school for environmental geography and geographical information systems.
While enrolled at CCSU, Owen got his start with ROOTS, working as an intern and assisting in the construction of several garden beds throughout the New Britain School District. Owen continued his employment with ROOTS as an educator, teaching elementary students on a variety of issues ranging from food security to sustainability. It was through this position that he was able to combine his passions for growing food and helping the next generation find their own appreciation for the land we live on.
Currently, Owen serves as ROOTS’ Market Manager. You can find him driving our Mobile Farmers’ Market to multiple locations around New Britain throughout the market season, serving up fresh, local produce to the community.. Beyond ROOTS, Owen looks to incorporate his GIS education into a plan that will help benefit those suffering from poor access to healthy food.
Born and raised in Meriden Connecticut, Ben enrolled at Middlesex Community College when he was 14 years old. While matriculating at Middlesex, Ben worked fulltime as a professional actor in New York City. He is now in his senior year at University of Connecticut where he will earn his Bachelor’s in English and Anthropology come May 2019.
Ben spent the last summer season working as a counselor/naturalist at Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Overnight Camp where he taught kids how to canoe, sail, identify natural edibles in the wild, and to grow their own produce in the community garden. He has also worked part-time with Yoga4Change, a non-for-profit that gives low-income children and families free access to yoga therapy and a mindfulness meditation practice.
This summer, Ben is excited to serve as the New Britain ROOTS Program Assistant to their summer programs, markets and gardens.
arli, a native New England resident, fell in love with the mountains and nature at a young
Carli, a native New England resident, fell in love with the mountains and nature at a young age growing up in CT, but really found a connection with it after he visited the Navajo Nation in Arizona during the Spring of 2015. After visiting the Navajo Nation she focused her undergraduate degree in Literature and Education on non-western education practices and experiential learning. After earning her B.A. Carli worked as a teacher and interventionist in the CT public school system. While there Carli found a strong connection between student success and student connection with food and the outdoors. Carli then returned to school to earn her graduate degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from the School for International Training in Brottleboro, Vermont during 2016 where she also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2017 at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department during her second year in the program to further her understanding of our nation's relationship with the environment. She is excited to be a part of the New Britain ROOTS team where she can incorporate all of her passions into educational programming for the city of New Britain.