Manuela Zamora, Executive Director, Education Programs
M.Ed. Cambridge College; B.A. Universidad Mayor de San Andres (History)
Ms. Zamora is a consultant in gender, education and development. She was born and raised in Bolivia, where she studied history, before earning a Master’s Degree in Education from Cambridge College in 2001. In Bolivia, she was founder of Fundación Carmen, where she created El Dorado: the Route of Fair Trade, a program that promoted sustainable development by training low-income women artisans in production and marketing. Prior to her work with Fundación Carmen, she coordinated the division of cultural events and volunteer programs in the Office of the First Lady of Bolivia. Manuela lives now in New York City with her husband and two children who attend public school. She is one of the founders of The Greenhouse Project.
Nathaniel Coburn, Development and Program Associate
A former line cook, baker, and chef, Nathaniel sought to merge his passions for food and social justice at New York University’s Food Studies program, where his studies primarily focused on food justice and scalable local distribution systems. Upon completion of his graduate work at NYU, Nathaniel worked as a grant writer and contributing reporter for Heritage Radio Network, a non-profit Brooklyn based internet radio station dedicated to food issues. He also worked as a New York City delivery truck driver for The Fresh Connection, transporting CSA shares and local farm produce to restaurants, homes, and institutions throughout the five boroughs.
MariaJose Aparicio, Business Development
MariaJose holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico. She is thrilled to be part of NY Sun Works as she is passionate about supporting initiatives that improve our environment and will guarantee a better future for next generations.
Prior to joining NYSW MariaJose worked at General Electric for 7 years focusing in Marketing and Business Development for GE Healthcare and GE Global Growth and Operations.
Linda Mansdorf, Finance & Operations Assistant
Linda is passionate about sustainability and is thrilled to be a part of NY Sun Works. She holds a certificate in Conservation & Environmental Sustainability from Columbia University and is a LEED Green Associate. Due to her studies, she became convinced there is a need to radically change the way in which we use natural resources and to communicate this need to the general public. She has since led presentations on sustainability awareness. An accomplished professional, Linda has prior experience as a business analyst in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia.
Sidsel Robards, Director, Development and Events
Born and raised in Denmark, Mrs. Robards enjoyed a long successful career as an international fashion model before retiring to focus on other interests. Her children inspired her to get actively involved in improving education opportunities, which lead her to co-found The Greenhouse Project in 2008. After several years of volunteering Mrs. Robards joined the NYSW staff in 2013 where she is responsible for partnership alliances and the expansion of The Greenhouse Project Initiative to partner schools. She also oversees fundraising events and is the organizations Public Relations liaison.
Dave Hazan, Greenhouse Systems Manager
Dave is an urban farmer who specializes in aquaponics and hydroponics. He has helped to build and maintain farms throughout the tri-state area, including at the Doe Fund locations, Brooklyn Rescue Mission in Bedford Stuyvesant, The Point in the Bronx, Restoration Farm on Long Island and Lani’s farm in New Jersey. For the last several years he has worked as a consultant advising schools, corporations and individuals on soil, aquaponic and hydroponic farming systems.
Dave has a degree in mechanical engineering and years of experience in sales, marketing and product development. He was born and raised in Venezuela and has lived all over the world- everywhere from Spain to China. He resides in New York City.
Jennifer Prescott, School Liaison & Program Support
As a Sustainability Coordinator, Jennifer has implemented recycling systems, Waste Awareness and reduction programs, indoor air quality and energy conservation education, and co-founded the D3 Green Schools Group Composting Pilot on NYC’s upper west side. The 2012 Cafeteria Waste Composting pilot was adopted and expanded by New York City Dept.(s) of Sanitation & Education and continues to be established citywide. As a Green consultant Jennifer assists to influence the design choices for interior product & décor as well as building materials, heating/cooling options, and water systems.
Jennifer is a New York University Graduate.
Lisette C. Tiburcio, Horticulturist
Lis is a graduate of SUNY Morrisville with a AAS Degree in Horticulture. She started out as an intern at the NYBG working hand in hand with their Gardeners at their Propagation Range; also a “John Nally” intern at Wave Hill Gardens where she worked in all their feature Gardens with their Gardeners, worked indoors Plantscaping and as a Horticultural Technician for Horticultural Creations. Lis then pursued her studies to achieve a Horticultural Therapy Certification at the NYBG. She first joined NY Sun Works in 2012 as an intern assisting the teachers and helping students as well as interns in learning more about the Horticultural part of Hydroponics. She is excited about her new position at NYSW where she hope to continue learning and sharing her knowledge.
Nick Strelov, Lab Support
Since graduating from CU Boulder with a B.S. Degree in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Nick has been working with a variety of horticultural systems. After spending time on an organic, soil based farm in Vermont, Nick moved back to New York City where he became the Aquaponics Manager at Edenworks. He is looking forward to sharing his experiences in sustainability, nutrition, and biology with the NY Sun Works community.