M. Scott Knox, Executive Director
Prior to joining the Root team, Scott worked at Brooke Charter Schools, a network of high-performing college preparatory public charter schools in Boston for eight years in a number of senior leadership capacities, including chief operating officer and chief development officer. Before Brooke, Scott worked at The Steppingstone Foundation as Dean of Academic Preparation and as Vice President of National Expansion. Scott has also worked with Jumpstart, has taught 8th and 10th grade English, and has directed an AmeriCorps service program in New Orleans. Outside of work, Scott is on the board of Silver Lining Mentoring, the only mentoring program in Massachusetts which focuses on long-term mentoring and life-skills coaching to youth in foster care. Scott is a beekeeper and a gardener, and lives in Roxbury. Scott holds a B.A. from Boston College, and a M.P.A. from Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Sam Hunt, Head Chef & Instructor
Noted North Shore chef Sam Hunt brings his talents to Root as Master Chef/Instructor. In this core role of chef as teacher, Sam is responsible for creating a positive learning environment for Root students, implementing culinary classroom curriculum, integrating the students into production, and motivating them to achieve their highest potential.
Hunt, who holds a BA in industrial design from Syracuse University and an associate culinary degree from Scottsdale Culinary Institute, worked for four years as Operations Manager at The Wild Horse in Beverly, managing all aspects of 120-seat restaurant. Prior to that he served for four years as Chef/General Manager at 15 Walnut in Hamilton, overseeing the redesign, relaunch and expansion to an award-winning restaurant which earned multiple awards under his direction including BONS: Best New Restaurant, Best Burger; Yankee Magazine: Top Pick; Top Chef North Shore. Sam began his career in 2003 first as line cook and then as sous chef at No. 9 Park in Boston. From there he moved to Westside Lounge in Cambridge where he managed the daily operation of the kitchen and 60-seat restaurant.
In addition to his culinary experience, Sam developed the mobile web application, OUI Chef APP, to empower independent restaurants by delivering a communication platform for both internal and external needs.
Robin Swayze, Sous Chef
Robin Swayze holds a BA in Economics from Bowdoin College and completed the Professional Chef Program at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 2013. Robin has spent the last five summers at The Market Restaurant in Annisquam, Ma as a prep cook and pasta maker. During her off seasons she has had a number of challenging and exciting opportunities. In 2013, she was an intern at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California and the following year she worked in the bakery/café at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Ireland. She spent a winter at America’s Test Kitchen assisting with recipe testing and kitchen management and she also worked as a pasta maker at Eataly in Boston. All these experiences have continued to fuel her passion for cooking, learning and working with young people.
Beth Alaimo, Program Director
International Field Manager, Community Engagement Coordinator, and Environmental Educator are just a few of the roles that describe Alaimo’s career before arriving here at Root.
In 2010, Beth received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Ecology from the University of Connecticut. Soon after graduation, she enrolled in AmeriCorps and served as an Environmental Educator for the state of Rhode Island. She quickly developed a passion for teaching and connecting youth to their natural environment. She spent the following years working for the Audubon Society and the Norman Bird Sanctuary as an Education Coordinator.
Beth later pursued her Masters Degree in International Development from Concordia University to gain a broader understanding of the challenges diverse communities were facing. While studying abroad in Ecuador and Italy, she focused her research on the intersection between human rights and the environment. By the end of the program, she had lived with three different host families, visited 7 different countries, and became fluent in Spanish. After receiving her degree in 2015, Beth relocated to the beautiful Cusco, Peru. As a Field Manager, she coordinated international volunteers at a variety of community-based organizations and ran medical campaigns in rural communities.
After two years in Peru, Beth moved back to the states to focus her passion and newly acquired skill set to connect North Shore residents with life changing opportunities. She hopes to bring her experience in community programming and international perspective to inspire youth along their path to success and happiness.
Michael May, Associate Director of Programming and Food Service Operations
Michael joined the Root team in May of 2017 as Associate Director of Programming and Food Service Operations. In this role, Michael supports the Root youth training program, acting as a community liaison to local businesses, and supporting food service for Root's enterprise arms.
In 2015 Michael became a resident of Salem and worked as the assistant general manager and bar manager of Tavern in the Square. Prior to moving to Salem, Michael worked as the general manager of the Franklin Cafe in Boston's South End. During his time there, the Franklin received recognition in publications such as Boston Magazine and the Food Network enjoying its role as a late night industry haven. Over the years Michael has held virtually every position in the front of house from service manager to his first job as a busboy at the age of 15. May attended Loyola University, Baltimore, MD specializing in public relations and advertising.
May has worked in community service groups and non-profits from a young age such as Pass-it-Along, Heroes and Cool Kids, and North Shore CDC.
Faith Emerson, Development and Communications Manager
Throughout her career, Faith’s aim has been to make a positive impact on the communities in which she lives. After leaving an initial career in real estate to focus on her family, she became a committed volunteer at a variety of organizations that support youth and families, broaden access to education, and foster the development of the building blocks necessary for lifelong success. Over the past twenty years, she has served in both leadership and support roles on boards and committees across the non-profit sector, including Wellspring House, Brookwood School, the Town of Manchester, the Bucks Harbor Yacht Club, and The North Shore United Way. Faith graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in Political Science.
T. Caleb Friday, Director of Finance & Operations
Caleb brings many years of finance, administrative, and budgeting experience. He previously worked for the state House Ways & Means Committee, preparing the budgets of several state agencies. In addition to non-profit finance and accounting, his experience includes a background in commercial bank lending and finance. He has a B.A. in Political Science and Economics and studied for a Masters in Finance at Brandeis University. He has served on the boards of several small nonprofit organizations, including in historic preservation, and has been a youth soccer coach, flag football coach, and enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible. He has a passion for working with young people from underserved communities who, unfortunately, face barriers to success.
Jennifer Eddy, Founder & Board Chair
Jennifer Eddy is a graduate of St. Lawrence University with a bachelor’s degree in French and History, Eddy worked in corporate lending and bond sales and trading for 13 years leaving business to focus on her growing family. Additionally, Eddy attended Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and earned her Professional Chefs Certification. She worked in accounting and special events at two restaurants in Salem, MA (Love Noodle and Havana). Eddy has volunteered and served on the board of several nonprofits in Essex County including Hospice of the North Shore, Wellspring House, Windrush Farm, Essex County Trail Association, Appleton Farms and Three Sisters Garden Project.