Niraj Ray - Founder & CEO -

  • Niraj is an international pioneer of urban and rural vertical agriculture. From his first backyard garden in Dayton Beach, Florida to vertical gardens for underserved school in Washington, DC and strawberry farms in Maharastra, India, Niraj is intent on finding innovative and sustainable ways to bring fresh produce to communities that need it. He is an educator and agricultural expert with a mission to transform urban food deserts into thriving local food systems. Niraj holds a B.S. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from the Ohio State University and a M.S. in Integrated Environmental Science from Bethune-Cookman University, and is a former National Wildlife Federation Emerging Leader Fellow and used to work with the US EPA - Office of Water.

Victoria Mirowski - Education Coordinator -

  • Tori started her urban farming journey with an internship at Aquaponics Colorado in Denver, CO. She later spearheaded the design and creation of an aquaponics system at the University of Connecticut, where she received a BS in Environmental science with a concentration in Natural Resources. Upon graduating in 2015, she worked for MetroCrops, an Urban High Density Indoor Farm, in Bridgeport, CT. She coordinated logistics of harvesting, packing, delivering, and selling produce all while conducted research for a Small Business Innovation Research grant. In her current position at CTC, her responsibilities range from coordinating events and crop planning, to grant writing and developing educational curriculum. In her free time, she is outside whenever possible—yoga, kayaking, camping and hiking are some of her favorite things. She is also looking to pursue a Master's degree in the near future.

Dee Dacey Emory - Director of Growth & Sustainability; Event

  • After enjoying the role of Account Director for DC full-service advertising agencies, focusing on the branding and marketing of such companies as Choice Hotels, ABA, SAIC and Booz Allen Hamilton and planning hundreds of high-profile and major events at JW Marriott and throughout the DC area, Dee now focuses on improving access to healthy, locally-grown food for local communities. In her role with Cultivate the City, she concentrates on creating and nurturing partnerships and sponsorships that will help support this mission. 

Buddy Bernhard - Website Developer, Broken Greenthumb & Product Designer

  • Buddy completed his Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science & Environmental Studies at The George Washington University, completing a senior project design in beehive vibrations. Upon graduating he rode a motorcycle around Colombia touring schools with a 3D printer. Later, he made his way to Paris, struggling with his French, enjoying local food, and working with the global startup community. At Cultivate the City, Buddy leads website development and content management.