Dr. S. Atyia Martin, CEMBoard Chair
Dr. Martin is CEO & Founder of All Aces, Inc. and former Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston. She is also the author of We Are the Question + the Answer: Break the Collective Habit of Racism + Build Resilience for Racial Equity in Ourselves and Our Organizations.
Andrew DrosteMember & Chair of Nominating and Governance Committee
Andrew is an Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) expert at Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA).
Amanda RichCo-Founder & Board Member
Amanda is an independent sustainability consultant with a Master’s in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University.
Melinda VegaBoard Member
Melinda is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) and City Councilor in Chelsea, MA.
Joseph SteinTreasurer & Chair of Finance and Audit Committee
Joseph is an investment professional and currently serves as the Director of Quantitative Research at Natixis Advisors.
Taurean GreenBoard Member
Taurean is an attorney and serves as the Lead Compliance Specialist at Payfactors.
Danielle KaplanBoard Member
Danielle Kaplan is the Director of Operations & Finance at InnerCity Weightlifting and founder and maker of DaniJayne.
Grey LeeBoard Member
Grey is a sustainability subject matter expert and manages S&P Global's ESG service offerings for the northeast US.
David Meshoulam, PhDCo-Founder & Executive Director
David (pronounced Dah-veed) co-founded Speak for the Trees in 2018 with Amanda Rich. Formally trained as a science educator, his work has focused on ways to increase youth and adults' understanding of the connections between science, culture, and history and to empower them to be change agents. He holds a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a Senior Fellow at the Environmental Leadership Program, and is co-chair of the Urban Ecology Collaborative. When he's not tending to trees, his 2 children, or his 1 miniature Australian Shepherd, you can reach him at [email protected].
Jerel FergusonCommunity Outreach Manager
Jerel has a love of nature, trees, and the Great Outdoors. He encourages urban youth and families to participate in and experience an active life in the outdoors by hiking, biking, camping, and more. Jerel is also a Certified Herbalist, a forager, an established outdoor leader, and a farmer and gardener; he co-manages two gardens and a farm in Roxbury. Jerel serves on the Board of Directors for the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and Dudley Neighbors Incorporated (Treasurer), is a 2018 Graduate of the Food Solutions New England Leadership Institute, and is Program Director for the Urban Outdoors Association. Jerel has three children and a dog. He can be contacted at [email protected].
Ashley PedersenProgram Associate
While Ashley’s fondness of trees began in childhood while playing “house” under the blue spruce in her backyard, she developed a passion for urban forestry as Director of Education at Tucson Botanical Gardens where she developed educational programming to facilitate an appreciation of plants and nature, to help residents design appropriate desert landscapes, and to foster stewardship of Tucson’s urban forest. Dedicating her career to the design of healthier and more equitable urban green spaces, Ashley is pursing a Master’s of Landscape Architecture degree at the Rhode Island School of Design. She is delighted to support Speak for the Trees’ inspiring work by helping to coordinate events, volunteers, and youth programs. On weekends, Ashley enjoys hiking in the many forests near her home in Arlington, MA with her husband and 4-year-old son.
Elizabeth LohrCommunity Engagement Coordinator, TerraCorps Member
Elizabeth is originally from the Philadelphia area but has called Worcester, Massachusetts home for the last 6 years while studying at Clark University. She was introduced to the idea of urban forestry through the HERO (Human-Environment Regional Observatory) fellowship, where she researched the Greening the Gateway Cities program and the effect juvenile urban trees have on their environment and the residents who steward them. After graduating from Clark in December 2019 with a degree in biology and geography, she decided to join TerraCorps as a chance to pursue a conservation career in the Boston area. She is very excited to continue her work in urban forestry as a Community Engagement Coordinator. She hopes to help expand the organization through her passion for all things tree-related during her service year!
Natalie MerlineCommunity Engagement / Youth Educator Coordinator, TerraCorps Member
Natalie grew up in Eureka, Missouri outside of St. Louis, where she often explored the parks and natural areas around her. She is a recent graduate from the University of Dayton where she majored in Environmental Biology. In her undergraduate years, Natalie realized her interest in environmental justice and the importance of strong community involvement in environmental issues through her involvement in the River Stewards program, where she co-created a children’s book about the Great Miami River Watershed. Her enthusiasm for urban trees and forests grew through her work on a project looking into how various socioeconomic factors play a role in tree canopy cover in urban Montgomery County, Ohio. Natalie is excited to help the organization’s efforts in growing their youth education programming and curriculum.
Malú Rivas-ChavezMassCEC Summer Intern
Malú spent most of their youth in Wellington, Florida where they fell in love with the abundant green spaces surrounding them through the lens of their camera. They are a senior at Tufts University majoring in Environmental Studies in the communications track. Their goal is to make information as accessible as possible to their communities, particularly to underserved groups through Spanish translation and graphic design. They began to work towards a more equitable Boston through their involvement with Building Audacity, an organization focused on youth-led change with projects in areas such as food equity and education. They are looking forward to advancing their goals further through tree equity as an intern with Speak for the Trees Boston.
Amelia Murray-CooperMassCEC Summer Intern
Amelia is a rising senior at Boston University where she is pursuing a dual degree with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Analysis & Policy and a Master’s in Energy & Environment. On campus, she is involved with the Emerald Review Magazine, Clean Tech Club, a professional environmental fraternity, and a community service sorority. She is originally from New Jersey and has always appreciated nature and loved spending time outdoors. She is thrilled to be interning with Speak for the Trees this summer and she looks forward to promoting environmental justice and tree equity in Boston.
Eva ParadisoProgram Coordinator, Teen Urban Tree Corps
Eva grew up in Burlington, VT surrounded by the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain where she developed a love for the outdoors. Her passion for trees and forests grew during her first summer of field work in the White Mountains where she studied Black-throated Blue Warblers. Eva spent the following three summers working across New England’s forests doing forest ecology research, studying tree roots, and monitoring forest health. Since graduating from Wellesley College in 2020, Eva has been at the USDA Southeast Climate Hub working on a project to integrate climate change science in forest management to make forests more resilient. She is excited to join Speak for the Trees as the Teen Urban Tree Corps Program Coordinator to help youth gain a better understanding of the importance of urban forestry.
Izzy EssmanTeam Leader, Teen Urban Tree Corps
Izzy grew up in St. Louis, Missouri in a house shaded by dogwoods, wild persimmons, and massive oaks. She is a rising senior at Tufts University studying English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; outside of school, Izzy is an enthusiastic pollinator gardener and amateur pizza maker. She is excited to work with Boston youth to strengthen their relationships to nature and advocate for leafier neighborhoods.
Niamh BaylissTeam Leader, Teen Urban Tree Corps
Niamh is a rising senior at Wellesley College where she studies Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies. She grew up in Newton, MA, and developed a love of trees and the environment by hiking in New England’s forests throughout her youth. She has fostered that interest through deforestation, environmental justice, and climate change research. She is excited to be interning with Speak for the Trees this summer to advocate for tree equity and help youth consider the significance of urban forests in our community.
Syaer WebbTeam Leader, Teen Urban Tree Corps
Syaer currently resides in Hyde Park and has continued to do so for almost two decades. His passion for music has been his sole drive to strive for greatness. It is because of that drive that has led him to be accepted at UMass Dartmouth as a freshman for the Fall 2021 semester.
TaNoah PierreFundraising Intern
TaNoah’s interests in healthcare and in social justice have guided her to study Neuroscience and Global Black Studies at UMass Amherst. Her love for trees directly comes from her knowledge of their indispensability for a completely habitable, fair world. Witnessing deforestation and environmental inequality both in Haiti ,where she grew up, and in Boston, where she now lives, has left her worried about the future of our environment. This is why she values the work done by Speak For The Trees and is thrilled to be able to contribute to it as an intern.