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Greentopia

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Staff

Everyone who works on our team is passionate about making Rochester a better place to live.

Michael A. Philipson, Co-Founder & COO

Michael Philipson has over 25 years experience in graphic and web design, communications, and marketing. He founded and built – from the ground up – TWO successful creative firms during that time: Cre8tiv Juice Group in Miami, FL, and The Philipson Group, in Rochester, NY. He is originally from Ionia, New York, attended Bloomfield Central School and grew up doing farm work in the pastures and woods surrounding his boyhood home. After almost 32 years away from the region, living in San Francisco and also in Miami, Michael returned home in 2008 to return to family and familiar landscapes – and to explore new opportunities.

Michael, along with co-founder Lewis Stess, conceived and implemented the original ideas for the GardenAerial project and for Greentopia. He is now Chief Communications and Operations Officer for the organization. Michael received his B.A. in Biology (with emphasis on Ethology (Animal Behaviour) and Natural History from Carleton College (Minnesota) and also holds a French Language certificate from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (France). In addition, he received a Certificat en Biologie Marine (Marine Biology) from the University of Rennes (France). He is a passionate classical musician and has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Florida Grand Opera, Rochester Oratorio Society and Eastman-Rochester Chorus. You might call Michael an innovator…others have called him a visionary…but no matter what you call him, he and the passionate, devoted team he leads are driving one of the most transformational efforts to re-shape (and reimagine) a vibrant new Rochester.

Direct Line: 585-287-5560, Ext. 701

Morgan Barry, Director Green Visions

Morgan Barry is Special Projects Director and Community Manager at Greentopia. He received his B.A. in English Writing Arts from the State University of New York at Oswego. Mr. Barry is an eleven-year veteran of coordinating and managing projects and events. He has managed projects across the spectrum, from construction at Atlas Contractors, LLC, in Rochester, NY, all the way to Film and Event Production in New York City. He has successfully cultivated working relationships with companies such as Arcade.44, CMJ Music, Gawker Media, Diesel Jeans, Logitech, and InternetWeekNY.com along with many others. In addition, Morgan has a wide variety of work experiences: contributing writer at Gawker.com; many years work in the private finance sphere, and running a successful event photography business in New York City.

Morgan manages “Green Visions”, a work-development and phytoremediation program that installs flourishing flower gardens on vacant and decaying lots in Rochester’s JOSANA neighborhood. The program provides employment, instruction and business experience to at-risk, inner-city young women and men. Morgan coordinates the team, in addition to leading, executing and implementing the project itself.

Direct Line: 585-287-5560, Ext. 702

Rachel Walsh, EcoDistrict Coordinator

Rachel Walsh received her BS in Horticulture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill. The smell of warm soil in a humid greenhouse called her to four years of work in cultivation and sales of annuals and perennials. Despite her love of dirty hands and pretty flowers, she took her passion from the field to the classroom- where she received her MA in Environment and Community from Antioch University Seattle. The program was housed in the Center for Creative Change which specialized in teaching students adaptive, systemic design solutions for a rapidly changing world. While there, she worked as a Graduate Research Assistant tasked with curriculum development and reform. Now back home in Rochester, she is excited to be putting her newly minted educations to use in her role as EcoDistrict Coordinator for Greentopia.

She is honored to be part of such a passionate and dedicated team and looks forward to helping Rochester move toward a greener future. In her spare time, she still plays with flowers as a freelance florist and gets her hands in the dirt whenever possible.

Direct Line: 585-287-5560, Ext. 707

News Archives

Greentopia - Smart Green Growth
for a New Rochester

Greentopia
74 Browns Race
Rochester, New York  14614

585-287-5560

© 2011-2017 Greentopia.org

 

People are often amazed by the sheer volume of what we accomplish with our small, but highly passionate and dedicated staff. Everyone who works on our team is dedicated to making Rochester a better place to live.


Lewis Stess, Co-Founder, President & CEO

Lewis Stess, Co-Founder, President & CEO has lived in Rochester since 2007. As a “new” Rochesterian, Lewis saw tremendous opportunities and was awe-struck by the 96-foot-high waterfall that he discovered while first exploring his new city. He best describes this place as “a waterfall, inside a canyon, inside a city – a world-class site.”

Before he turned his attention to High Falls, Lewis held senior level positions with several nonprofit organizations including the American Red Cross and the United Way. Lewis’ passion for and dedication to the organization is fueled by the fundamental and transformative change that he believes the project will have on area residents and on the local economy. Lewis has been described as an ‘agent of change’ and it is through the Friends of the GardenAerial’s work that he will help foster the greatest changes in his new community.

Lewis earned a B.A. in International Studies from The American University and an M.A. in Development Anthropology at SUNY Binghamton. Lewis is also beginning to re-learn how to ride a bike.


Michael A. Philipson, Co-Founder & CCO

Michael Philipson has over 25 years experience in graphic and web design, communications and marketing. He founded and built – from the ground up – TWO successful creative firms during that time: Cre8tiv Juice Group in Miami, FL, and The Philipson Group, in Rochester, NY. He is originally from Ionia, New York, attended Bloomfield Central School and grew up doing farm work in the pastures and woods surrounding his boyhood home. After almost 32 years away from the region, living in San Francisco and also in Miami, Michael returned home in 2008 to return to family and familiar landscapes – and to explore new opportunities.

Michael, along with co-founder Stess, conceived and implemented the original ideas for the GardenAerial project and for Greentopia. He is now Chief Communications and Operations Officer for the organization. Michael received his B.A. in Biology (with emphasis on Ethology and Natural History) from Carleton College (Minnesota) and also holds a French Language degree from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (France) and a Diplôme en Biologie Marine (Marine Biology) from the University of Rennes (France). He is a passionate classical musician and has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Florida Grand Opera, Rochester Oratorio Society and Eastman-Rochester Chorus here in Rochester. You might call Michael an innovator…others have called him a visionary…but no matter what you call him, he and the passionate, devoted team he helps lead are driving one of the most transformational efforts to re-shape (and reimagine) a vibrant new Rochester.


Maranne McDade Clay, Director, Grants Development and Administration

Maranne McDade Clay, a native of Rochester’s 19th Ward neighborhood, returned to the “Flour/Flower” City a little more than 15 years ago after living and working in Cambridge, MA, New Haven & Hartford, CT., and Los Angeles, CA. Maranne specializes in developing public and private partnerships that work to enhance and improve the greater community by maximizing its existing built environment and natural assets.

Maranne has extensive experience in managing initiatives that focus on adaptive reuse, historic preservation, employment, and economic development through projects such as the Friends of Mount Hope and programs of the City of Rochester. Maranne stewards Greentopia’s grant seeking and works to effectively leverage the generous philanthropy of both our public and private grantors in fulfillment of a collaborative vision. Maranne holds a Master of Arts degree in Art History from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Morgan Barry, Director Green Visions

Morgan Barry is Special Projects Director and Community Manager at Greentopia. He received his B.A. in English Writing Arts from the State University of New York at Oswego. Mr. Barry is an eleven-year veteran of coordinating and managing projects and events. He has managed projects across the spectrum, from construction at Atlas Contractors, LLC, in Rochester, NY, all the way to Film and Event Production in New York City. He has successfully cultivated working relationships with companies such as Arcade.44, CMJ Music, Gawker Media, Diesel Jeans, Logitech, and InternetWeekNY.com along with many others. In addition, Morgan has a wide variety of work experiences: contributing writer at Gawker.com; many years work in the private finance sphere, and running a successful event photography business in New York City.

Morgan manages “Green Visions”, a work-development and phytoremediation program that installs flourishing flower gardens on vacant and decaying lots in Rochester’s JOSANA neighborhood. The program provides employment, instruction and business experience to at-risk, inner-city young women and men. Morgan coordinates the team, in addition to leading, executing and implementing the project itself.


 

Rachel Walsh, EcoDistrict Coordinator

Rachel Walsh received her BS in Horticulture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill. The smell of warm soil in a humid greenhouse called her to four years of work in cultivation and sales of annuals and perennials. Despite her love of dirty hands and pretty flowers, she took her passion from the field to the classroom- where she received her MA in Environment and Community from Antioch University Seattle. The program was housed in the Center for Creative Change which specialized in teaching students adaptive, systemic design solutions for a rapidly changing world. While there, she worked as a Graduate Research Assistant tasked with curriculum development and reform. Now back home in Rochester, she is excited to be putting her newly minted educations to use in her role as EcoDistrict Coordinator for Greentopia.

She is honored to be part of such a passionate and dedicated team and looks forward to helping Rochester move toward a greener future. In her spare time, she still plays with flowers as a freelance florist and gets her hands in the dirt whenever possible.

 

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