Our Team

 Credit: Satsun Photography

Credit: Satsun Photography

Rebecca Lemos-Otero

Co-Founder + Executive Director
Email: rebecca@cityblossoms.org

Over a decade ago Rebecca was asked if she would like to do a small gardening project with a group of kids in a local community center. From that point on she grew to see urban gardening as a way to combine her interests in art, community participation, and everything green. Since then Rebecca has worked with children and youth of all ages. Rebecca has a BA from Fordham University, and an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art.

 
 Credit: Satsun Photography

Credit: Satsun Photography

Lauren Kruglinski

Director of Operations
Email: lauren@cityblossoms.org

In 2011, Lauren stumbled upon City Blossoms’ Girard Street Children’s Garden and was immediately hooked on kid-driven, community-focused urban gardens. In January 2012, she started as City Blossoms’ Volunteer Outreach intern and has been connected to City Blossoms in various capacities ever since. She received her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from American University in 2012 and her Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She has worked with on farms, urban and rural, in the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New Zealand, but has always considered Washington, DC home. Lauren enjoys cooking with garden-fresh veggies, politicking, bike touring, and camping with her dog Lupo and her husband, Alex.

 
 Credit: Satsun Photography

Credit: Satsun Photography

Willa Pohlman

Director of Programming + Trainings
Email: willa@cityblossoms.org

Willa started working with City Blossoms in 2012 as a rockin’ maintenance intern. After ending her internship she just wasn’t ready to go and joined the team full-time as an Educator. Originally from Vermont, Willa brings to this work her experience of growing up on her family’s farm and her passion for community development.

 
 Credit: Satsun Photography

Credit: Satsun Photography

MAlka Roth

Youth Entrepreneurship Cooperative Program Manager
Email: malka@cityblossoms.org

Malka grew up in northern Virginia but spent several years living in the Hudson Valley, New York where she first fell in love with flowers and pulling root vegetables out of the ground. Malka’s background is in program development, having worked with teens in the realm of restorative justice through New York based organizations including Family of Woodstock and Red Hook Residential Center. Malka’s passion is in creating spaces where young people feel empowered to show up as their full dynamic selves. She believes in nature connection as a tool for understanding empathy and self-worth and loves that she gets to spend her days building these types of conscious communities with young people. She is a sucker for a beautiful flower and a good dance party.

 
 Credit: Satsun Photography

Credit: Satsun Photography

Jessica Richards-Murray

Early Growers Program Manager
Email: jessica@cityblossoms.org

Jessica has always been found amongst the "wild things." When she moved to DC in 2003 to attend Howard Univ., she realized how much she missed the days when she would visit her grandmother in the country, shucking purple hull peas grown on her grandmother's land. It then became her goal to find the sustainable balance of her Southern roots and city living. She loves having the opportunity to do work empowering youth and creatively engaging them in response to their communities' needs through the arts and urban farming with CB.

 
 Credit: Satsun Photography

Credit: Satsun Photography

nicole schenkman

Volunteer + Development Coordinator
Email: nicole@cityblossoms.org

Nicole grew up between a small family farm in Northern New Jersey and her mother’s various studio spaces in New York City. She became infatuated with the magic of place and importance of nature at a young age. Whether she was playing with her favorite sheep in the pasture or exploring new neighborhoods in the city, she was drawn to the existing beauty and history of the environment. Nicole started working at City Blossoms as an education intern. Not ready to leave DC and the City Blossoms team, she is excited to continue developing and sharing her passion for communal education and environmental studies with City Blossoms’ wonderful volunteers.

 

City Blossoms also works with a dynamic team of interns and summer youth staff throughout the year to provide direct opportunities for young people to gain experience in the professional and urban gardening fields. If you are interested in such a position, check out more info here.

City Blossoms does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation or age.


Our Board

We believe deeply that every kid in this city has a super power just waiting to be discovered in the garden – be it a panache for seeing possibility in everything, a fierce desire to nourish family and community, or an insatiable sense of wonder – and it is our job to give them a safe and beautiful place to explore their super powers. In the process, we discover our own.
— Katie Rehwaldt, Board Member

Steven Muñoz, chairperson

Steven has been the Director of the Lee Arts Center, a program of Arlington Cultural Affairs, since 2009. For several years prior, Steven was the Grants Officer for Arlington Cultural Affairs managing the grant program for the arts. He sat on the national board of directors for the Grants Managers Network and served as chair of the DC area chapter. Originally from New Mexico, Steven came to Washington, DC to attend American University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in printmaking. Steven enjoys spending time as: a board member of City Blossoms, a certified DC Master Gardener, a dog owner, and a coffee drinker.

 

Todd Harper, Vice-chairperson

A city boy from a farm state, Todd grew up outside of Chicago and earned degrees from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  After spending nearly 15 years working in Congress, Todd is now an executive with the National Credit Union Administration where he covers press, politics, and policy matters.  While Todd’s vocation may be the financial services world, his avocations are gardening and helping others.  His basil pesto is one of the best in DC, having won the Besto Pesto award at City Blossoms’ Annual Basil Bonanza in 2015.

 

Juan Cardona, treasurer

Upon graduating from college, Juan went on to teach environmental education at a community-based learning center and then became an elementary school teacher in a bilingual Charter School. He was first introduced to City Blossoms as he taught children the importance of environmental stewardship and sustainability. He made a transition into real estate development, first as a tenant organizer, then as a development manager specializing in multifamily affordable housing. He is now a partner at Gragg Cardona Partners, a real estate development firm in Washington DC.

 

Luke Fields, secretary

Attorney, K&S Law Firm

 

BRETT BRENNER

Deputy Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs, U.S. EEOC

 

Cyril Crocker

Senior Economic Development Advisor, DC Council

 

Arsine Kailian

Director of Finance, Women Enabled International

 

PAMELA LARMEE

Principal, Strategic Philanthropy Services, LLC

 

MICHON LARTIGUE

Fundraising and Development Consultant

 

Beverlie Lord

Owner, Satsun Photography

 

katie rehwaldt

Manager of Park Partners and Community Engagement, DC Dept. of Parks and Recreation

 

Ryan ulbrich

Associate Director of Consulting Services, Arabella Advisors

 

Rafael woldeab

Trainer, The Posse Foundation