Growing fresh accessible leafy greens, Cheryl is a co-founder of Miami's premier Hydroponic Box Farm: Box Greens. Cheryl's passion for growing a new business idea from concept through start-up to maturity has lead her to launch several businesses across South Florida. After building a produce distribution company (www.endlesslyorganic.com), and subsequently exiting in 2015, Cheryl set out to disrupt our food system, and co-founded Box Greens. The mission of Box Greens is to grow and harvest farm fresh greens and distribute locally throughout the city of Miami.
A former Miami-Dade County teacher, Cheryl went on to work for Discovery Zone as a Training Manager, prior to becoming their Director of Customer Service, and ultimately the Field to Finance Liaison. Following that position, she was part of the team that launched (www.EnFlyer.com), the first successful email marketing company, where she has retained an ongoing consulting position until late 2019. She went on to launch Froganic Fundraising; a company providing earth-friendly fundraising products to schools and organizations (a finalist in the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge). Following that endeavor, Cheryl started a produce distribution company (www.endlesslyorganic.com) in 2010, grew it to over 200 distribution locations, sold it and exited in 2015.
Endlessly Organic was profiled on WSVN 7 Money Matters with Belkys Nerey, Ocean Drive Magazine, The Miami Herald, South Florida Business Journal, and more.
Upon exit, Cheryl had consulted with Start-ups from a wide range of sectors, including Farming, Distribution, and Technology. Launching Box Greens has been the perfect outlet to combine her talents, and engage in Community Wellness.
Cheryl was born and raised in Miami. After graduating from Miami Palmetto Senior High School she continued her education at the University of Florida, where she earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees. Cheryl, along with her husband and two children, and very cute bunny rabbit, lives on Miami Beach.
Lisa Merkle is the proud co-founder of Box Greens est. Providing fresh greens to discerning diners, transforming our food system and developing a movement of pioneers throughout South Florida in the booming field of AgTech.
The genesis of Box Greens marks a homecoming for Lisa. She returns to Miami after 17 years in New York City where she launched an experiential event production and lifestyle design studio. After becoming certified as a yoga teacher and a Holistic Health Coach she carved out a reputation as an expert in lifestyle design to serve clients associating with health and wellness trends. In addition to full-scale event production, Lisa regularly provided services that included curriculum development, program curation, press events, product launches, and panel discussions. Prior to launching her own business, she spent a decade as Studio Manager with photographer Bruce Weber.
Lisa is a contributing writer with Mind Body Green. She spoke live at Revitalize 2017, their annual invitation-only event for health and wellness influencers which was broadcast live to 1 Million viewers. In October of 2019, she graced the stage of TEDx Hollywood, FL where she spoke about solutions to remedy our broken food system. Lisa presents publicly as an expert and advocate regarding the future of food, female leadership, and complementary care for cancer patients.
Ben grew up on a small struggling organic farm in the foothills of western North Carolina, steeped in the traditions of homegrown, local food. While earning his degree in industrial design, Ben spent his nights and weekends developing indoor farming systems that would later become the Farmery, an indoor farm-at-table eatery designed into a 1967 airstream. The Farmery licensed its indoor farm designs to a greenhouse company that resulted in over 30 indoor farm installations. After the Farmery, Ben pursued senior project management opportunities with leading indoor farming companies where he worked to optimize processes, remove inefficiencies, and innovate solutions for some of the largest indoor farms in the world.
Ben’s vision for the industry is full automation and a highly streamlined, sustainable footprint that scale dynamically with the farm—a target he saw could not be realized with the limitations and flaws inherent in these rapidly expanding mega-farms. At Box Greens, Ben is deploying and refining a fresh, fully scalable system that combines industry wisdom with a nimble, neighborhood farm approach.
Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator
CLAUDIA DES ROSIERS
Claudia has always been a change-maker. She joined the team at Box Greens to use her background in Sustainable Practices and ability to manage Community-led Projects to fulfill her dream of bringing nutritious food to local communities. Claudia most recently held a Research and Program assistant position at the Institute for Sustainable
Communities (ISC). She helped manage multiple community-led projects and provided administrative, logistical, research, and programmatic support. She is also an experienced Assistant Accountant who has supported supervisors by researching, tracking, and resolving accounting discrepancies. She has also spent time working in the leisure, travel and tourism industry.
Claudia speaks English, French, and Haitian Creole. She has extensive academic and volunteer experience in environmental and community-based projects. Claudia holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida and a 10 Hour OSHA Outreach Certification for General
Industry. Claudia grew up in Haiti, lives in Miami, has a bright smile, and loves lettuce.