Ron Pitz a degreed horticulturist, has worked in horticulture and agriculture for most of his adult life. His mentor was his grandfather James Tomasiello who taught him the basics and especially the philosophy of the organic method of growing vegetables and ornamental plants.
After being a self employed landscape contractor for 16 years he sold his business and discovered a small non profit organization called Knox. This was a place he could use the skills and the passion for gardening and horticulture to help strengthen Hartford’s communities. He was hired by Knox in 1998 and became Executive Director of Knox in 2009.
Ron began a community strengthening tree planting initiative in Hartford called Trees for Hartford . This program plants on the average of 1,000 trees in Hartford per year.
Knox works with 3,000 volunteers per year, working in parks, planting trees and completing community beautification projects; including another Knox initiative called Hartford Cleans Up.
Knox is also now working with the Mayor’s Youth Corps..
Ron is also an accomplished bass player who continues to play professionally...he is also a board member of Associates for Training and Development. Knox has been in business for 50 years!
Tenaya Taylor is Grow Hartford staff co-organizer. Tenaya has been working with the Grow Hartford Youth campaign for a year and has been instrumental in creating new pathways of communication with city officials and community members, as well as continuing to push our campaign to be intersectional in its approach to discussing food justice and food freedom. Tenaya is part of several local initiatives focused on sustainability of our community, including the Complete Streets Committee, Summer of Solutions, and is currently completing a degree in Anthropology from Trinity College.
Martha Page is the Executive Director of Hartford Food System, a nonprofit organization devoted to building a healthy and just food system in Hartford through urban farming, youth leadership, community engagement, policy, and advocacy since 1978. Before coming to this role in January 2010, Martha was the Environmental Health Director for the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to completing a Master’s Degree in Public Health in 2009, Martha spent more than 25 years in the health insurance industry in a number of executive positions.
Martha and her husband, Bill Young, are proud Hartford residents, calling the City home for more than 20 years. Martha volunteers as a board member of Hartford 2000 and is active in bicycle and pedestrian advocacy. An avid recreational cyclist, she and Bill have explored many countries by bicycle (and have many more to do!)