PRESIDENT, METROPOLIS FARMS
Jack grew up in the working class neighborhoods of North Philadelphia’s River Wards (made famous in the Rocky movies). He spent his childhood getting into trouble with his friends under the shadow of the El, along the then busy industrial streets of Frankford and Kensington neighborhoods. These once bustling working-class communities are now filled with postindustrial vacant factories, shuttered businesses, and have been identified as one of the largest urban food deserts in the country. They are now among the poorest communities in the United States.
Jack is an accomplished entrepreneur, financier, and inventor, holding over 20 patents and pending patents in diverse fields including high-energy rocketry, advanced refractive light systems, and of course, indoor and outdoor farming. He is a self-described socially responsible capitalist and minimalist. Jack’s inventions, businesses, and personal activities center around social justice, environmental responsibility, and economic sustainability. His personal goal is to crush every food desert in the United States by growing both local food and green collar jobs in these communities. Jack believes we can chase the poverty out instead of the people.
His expansive career has taken him from Silicon Valley to Wall Street and back to Philadelphia. Prior to founding Metropolis Farms, Jack was the President of The Capital Resource Group, a Wall Street based Merchant Bank. Jack resigned from The Capital Resource Group five years ago to pursue his goal of creating accessible farming technologies that promote food security, green collar jobs, and ultimately food independence for local populations. Not your average executive, Jack hates golf and loves to talk with just about anyone. His natural habitat is a local dive bar with a group of his friends. He is a self-described socially responsible capitalist and minimalist. Last year Jack was nominated for membership in the oldest agricultural society in North American by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture and the former chief scientist for the USDA. Metropolis Farms has been featured in TV and Print Media worldwide.
In addition to being the president of Metropolis Farms, Jack is also the founder of the National Urban Farmers Association, a nonprofit focused on helping local and urban farmers throughout the United States obtain government and private funding to build and expand their farms; and he is also the Chairman of Applied Intelligence Group, a private think tank focused on solving the problems of poverty and hunger.
Through extensive private and public partnerships, Jack’s companies are transforming Philadelphia into a hub of innovation for indoor farming and outdoor urban farming. The “Farm Works” Metropolis manufacturing division is rapidly expanding green collar manufacturing jobs in Philadelphia and projects to employ over a thousand Philadelphians over the next three years. Metropolis Farms has the only indoor farming technology that can cost effectively grow flowering, fruiting, and staple crops for food, energy, or medical use (more than just another lettuce farm). Metropolis modular pre-manufactured indoor and outdoor systems build farms rapidly at far lower costs enabling current and future farmers to be built productive farms within 60 days. Metropolis is currently building farms across the United States including the world first solar powered vertical farm in Philadelphia. Cities across the world have sent both private and public delegations to Philadelphia to create their own sustainable network of high density smart farms (flash farms) to feed and employ their ever-growing populations.