our Team


Earth Matter NY

Marisa DeDominicis

Executive Director

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Marisa DeDominicis has a BA in Business and Organizational Communications from Emerson College, Boston. She worked for the Trust for Public Land as an environmental educator and site coordinator for 18 years.


She was an activist in the urban homesteading/squatting movement in the East Village, where she lived for 25 years. Her parents owned L & A Blacksmith Shop in Beacon, NY, and her maternal grandmother was the village midwife and butcher in Cugnoli, Italy. She has three lovely children: Kali, Lucca, and Selene.

Mark Leger

Bookkeeper/ Human Resources Coordinator/ Development

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Building sustainable, mission-driven organizations and caring for the urban environment and its people are Mark’s twin passions. He’s also a long-time NYC community gardener and a knitter who dyes his own yarn.


Mark has been working for social justice non-profits for over decade in a variety of roles: communications, fundraising, membership development, and financial management. On his days off, you can usually find him outdoors working alongside the other members of two community gardens in northeast Brooklyn. Says Mark, “I love how caring for the earth and growing food together creates and cements strong community bonds. Like knitting, it’s about creating a kind of fabric— a social fabric— stitch by stitch.”

NYC Compost Project Hosted by Earth Matter NY

Steve Affat

Project Manager

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The newest member of the team, Steven joins us as the New York City Compost Project Hosted by Earth Matter, Project Manager. Steven brings with him 10+ years of account services and media partnerships, and a lifelong passion for Ecology.


Having spent the majority of his New York tenure behind many a corporate desk, in recent years, he has dedicated himself to organizations and roles focused on environmental conservation, education, stewardship and policy.

Recently serving two AmeriCorps terms with the New York Restoration Project, he developed a fondness for leading groups in compost education and horticulture workshops, as well as encouraging students to develop their own recycling projects (a practice he regularly employs at home).

Outside of the office, he is most often found tending to his rooftop garden, cycling around Prospect Park, and brushing up on his tree identification skills.

Charlie Bayrer

Operations Manager

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Charlie Bayrer has been an active community composter and gardener for 13 years. He was a co-chair of the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust healthy soils initiative, which sampled and tested the soil in all 34 member gardens from 2007 to 2008.


He helped develop the sampling protocol, guidelines for remediation, gardener education on contamination and test interpretation, and implementation of remediation plans. Charlie is an organizer of the Fort Greene Compost Project, an all volunteer community-based collaboration that is currently composting over 40 tons per year of residential food waste for local use. He is also a founding partner of Earth Matter. All of these efforts are centered primarily across central Brooklyn from Red Hook to Bushwick.

Andrea Lieske

Zero Waste Coordinator

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Andrea joined Earth Matter in 2013 as an apprentice and was fortunate enough to turn her passion for playing with microbes into a job.


She has been an active composter and community garden member in Harlem since 2012, where she is a founding member of the compost group the Earth Picklers. That is where she fell in love with microorganisms and started her journey of learning about how important they are and how they interact with all life on earth. Her mission is to help the environment and advance sustainable living.

Andrea hails from Germany originally. By nature she is an organizer and ‘doer’. She loves being part of an urban farm. As a mother of two young children, a former contemporary dancer and the former Assistant Director of the Alban Elved Dance company. She is used to wearing many hats. She has many years of experience working in the food industry, theater industry and in construction.

Syed Arif Mumtaz

Compost Operator 

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In his third year in the agriculture field, Syed has taken a joy working toward a simpler future with bio-diverse soils and nutrient rich food.


Having spent a season growing crops for the Glynwood CSA in Cold Spring, NY, and with ties to the Queens County Farm Museum, he is eager to delve into the world of urban farming. A Master Composter from Queens, Syed knows the benefits of curbing waste, getting people involved in the process, and spreading great compost where needed. When not advocating recycling you can find Syed working on music compositions with his band or gardening in his Jamaica home.

Daniela Ianculovici

Project Coordinator

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Daniela has lived on 3 continents and been involved in community improvement, workforce development, and environmental initiatives. Using her BA in Psychology, she worked for several years in social services both in the U.S. and Africa managing teams and projects including a horticulture initiative for a food security program.


While always involved in environmental causes such as with Habitat for Humanity, Grow NYC, Recyclebank, and Green Mountain Energy, she returned to school to expand her knowledge and received an MS in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management. She is an avid nature lover, camper and hiker and her favorite garden fruit is the tomato. She created a bug collection at the age of 5 and her favorite insect is the bee (probably influenced by her beekeeper grandfather).


Shig Matsukawa

Farm Mentor

Sarah Lehrich

Lavender Field Manager

Caitlin Harrington

Zero Waste Initiative Coordinator

Ilsa Enomoto

Farm Product Coordinator

Bio to come.