Meet The Team

Bartram’s Garden - Maitreyi Roy

Maitreyi Roy is the Executive Director and landscape architect at Bartram’s Garden, a 45-acre national historic landmark and home of famed 18th century botanist John Bartram (1699-1777). Maitreyi leads the restoration and transformation of Bartram’s Garden as a vibrant civic common and garden for Southwest Philadelphia residents and a showcase river garden for the city and region.

Prior to Bartram’s Garden, Maitreyi led public space revitalization efforts through her work at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the City of Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department.




Independence Seaport Museum – John Brady

John Brady has 32 years of experience working in the Maritime Preservation Field. During that time he has worked at South Street Seaport, Philadelphia Maritime Museum, Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, and Independence Seaport Museum. Before becoming CEO, John was Director of Independence Seaport Museum’s Workshop on the Water for 16 years, bringing the Workshop to national prominence as a boat building and maritime education center.

In addition he serves as an authority on boat and ship construction on the Delaware River and along the New Jersey coast. He has been an active sailor of traditional boats (a wide variety of vessels) for 48 years. He has been published in Wooden Boat Magazine as well as authoring a website and several blogs ( He has been invited to speak at numerous regional historical societies. He credits his education to Ocean County College and Rutgers University.



Philadelphia Waterborne - Nicholas Pagon

Philadelphia Waterborne is an educational project, designed to reinforce core educational curricula in inner-city schools. The founder and Executive Director, Nicholas Pagon, is an experienced teacher, having taught in Philadelphia public and charter schools, as well in a Pennsylvania academy for children with language-based learning differences, and has worked with students ranging from 3rd grade through high school.

He holds a Masters Degree in Education, has received Pennsylvania teaching certifications in SPED (K-12), Middle School English, and Middle School Math, and is certified in the Wilson Reading System. Through these educational experiences, he has become a firm believer in expertise-based education, rooted in the conviction that the human brain and the human hand have co-evolved interactively over the millennia. Interdependent, they each work best cooperatively rather than in isolation, and students generally learn more efficiently and memorably by doing, as long as the doing is real and impactful.

Pagon is also a lifelong sailor and woodworker, and an experienced boat-builder, with a deep interest in worldwide maritime history, especially that of Philadelphia. Ship-building, navigation, and world exploration are fundamental in human history, and consequently also have a clear, deep, and direct historical connection to associated developments in mathematics, geography, astronomy, and most of the core physical sciences — and, perhaps most relevantly today, to watershed-protection and environmental education. The Philadelphia Waterborne program is built on this foundation.



UrbanPromise - Jim Cummings

Jim Cummings founded UrbanPromise’s experiential learning programs in 2004. As founder he has overseen the growth of Urban BoatWorks and UrbanTrekkers over the last 14 years. Jim has crafted and led hundreds of experiential learning excursions during his time as Director of Experiential Learning.

Jim now leads a staff of five educators and more than 15 volunteers in experiential/expeditionary learning for more than 200 youth annually. As a lifelong naturalist with multiple certifications in outdoor leadership, wilderness first aid, winter exploration and river/white water paddling, Jim oversees all aspects of the office from fundraising to ensuring safe practices and risk management protocols are followed.

Jim brings more than 30 years as both a volunteer and staff person to youth development work. In addition, prior to the founding of UrbanTrekkers and Urban BoatWorks, Jim served as a captain in the US Army from 1972-1976 and was a business owner for 25 years prior to joining the staff of UrbanPromise.

Center for Aquatic Sciences - Brian DuVall

Brian DuVall, the Center’s President and CEO, has worked for the Center since 1989 when it was still in the design phase. After earning his B.A. in biology at Lawrence University and his M.S. in fisheries resources at the University of Wisconsin, Brian worked at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for eight years as aquarist, fish’s department manager and assistant curator of fishes.

In 1992, he became the director of husbandry and operations and eventually COO and executive vice president of the Adventure Aquarium. Brian became president and CEO of the Center in 2000 and now focuses on overseeing all aspects of its activities, impact and support structures and board relations. Brian also serves as a lead AZA accreditation inspector, vice chairman of the animal policy committee of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Treasurer of the united way council of partner agency executives and member of the AZA aquarium affairs committee.

In his free time. Brian enjoys photography, boats, bicycles and cooking.