BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Growe is fortunate to have trustees who share our passion for educating children about healthy eating and caring for the environment. Our board brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and community connection to Growe.
Matt Benjamin, Board President
Matt Benjamin has lived in Boulder for 16 years. He holds a degree in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado, and was the Education Programs Manager at Fiske Planetarium. His focus is Environmental and Community stewardship, and to that end is currently working on local Boulder issues, particularly the impact made on climate change through renewable energy and finding ways to build Boulder’s middle class with measured growth and developing affordable housing. He is also working as the science advisor for the Idaho Conservation League and its efforts to create the nation’s first dark sky reserve. Matt’s professional experience includes working extensively with NASA and NCAR’s research and education programs. Matt loves nature and is driven to provide children experiences that inspire a sense of stewardship for their local environments and the planet as a whole. His passions are skiing, backpacking, gardening and photography.
Founder and Managing Partner of Boulder Foods Group, Tom previously co-founded EVOL Foods and was the COO of Bear Naked Granola. Under Tom’s management, both businesses were successfully sold to public companies. In addition to his role at BFG, Tom proudly serves on the board of directors of three non-profit organizations including Growe Foundation, Chef Ann Foundation and Just Label It. Tom was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. He attended Santa Fe Preparatory School and then Vanderbilt University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors and dual degrees in Economics and Spanish.
Jessica Benjamin, Member at Large
Jessica began event planning for Growe in 2008 and then joined the board in 2015. She began her experience in the restaurant & food industry where Jessica realized her passion for bringing people together over a delicious meal. Here she worked for two years on venue side of event planning with The Kitchen. Moving to the corporate meeting world, Jessica spent over seven years managing multiple clients to execute conferences and meetings all over the world. Jessica loves spending time with her family gardening, cooking, traveling and being outdoors.
Sonja Tuitele, Member at Large
Sonja has spent nearly 15 years working in the natural and organic foods industry. She began her journey as Senior Director of Communications and Investor Relations for Wild Oats Markets until she transitioned into her current role in 2007. Sonja then began leading strategic communications and sustainability initiatives for Aurora Organic Dairy, the leading producer and processor of organic milk for the store-brand market. Additionally, she consults a variety of companies in areas of public relations, investor relations, crisis management, brand development, and sustainability. Sonja is involved in many non-profit causes, and is particularly passionate about educating children about the benefits of natural, organic and locally grown foods.
Susan Green, Member at Large
Susan Green is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Elevations Credit Union, where she directs marketing and communications strategy and execution. During her tenure, she has led some of Elevations’ key green initiatives, including partnering with Boulder’s EnergySmart program to provide low-cost loans to fund energy efficiency upgrades for consumers and businesses. Susan is passionate about nature and the outdoors and all the Colorado lifestyle affords. In fact, you might say Susan’s last name describes how she feels about the world.
GROWE STAFF AND KEY VOLUNTEERS
Growe has committed and experienced staff members and volunteers to help foster school partnerships and support to ensure the growth of your school gardens.
Lisa Atallah, Executive Director
Lisa’s background spans 20 years of Colorado nonprofit leadership, all centered around hands-on learning experiences for pre-school and elementary age children. Her passion is enhancing quality learning opportunities for young children through program engagement. In 1996, she founded and was the Executive Director of WOW! Children’s Museum in Lafayette, CO for 16 years. This Boulder County museum currently serves 80,000 visitors a year. Previous to WOW!, she held marketing management positions with corporations and trade associations in Colorado and Washington, DC. In her spare time, Lisa volunteers with her golden retriever and Alliance Therapy Dogs at schools, libraries and hospitals.
Deborah Foy, Program Director
Deborah has been involved with Growe since 2008, when she joined to expand programming from its initial start at Creekside Elementary. Bringing her marketing background and expertise as a Colorado Master Gardener she helped develop both the Garden To Table lessons and unique program model used today. Deborah has been an active member of the Boulder community, serving on multiple boards and is currently Conservation Co-Chair for the Garden Club of Denver. She is a passionate beekeeper and a founding member of the Bee Chicas, an advocacy group providing outreach and education on pollinator issues. She believes in the power of planting seeds to inspire change, loves food, travel and playing outdoors.
Dana Morgan, Program Manager
Dana’s foundation is in elementary education; she authentically cares about children and is committed to their growth through hands-on learning. As the mom of a globe-trotting military family that recently retired in Boulder, she is excited to grow some long-term roots of her own in this community.
Hannah Bare, Garden Director
Hannah has combined her personal passions with her professional interest in environmental stewardship and community development. Her studies led her to working in diverse ecosystems in Midwestern urban gardens, a large scale organic farm, wilderness conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest, tropical horticulture in Hawai’i, and drought educational gardens and ranch in California. She was thrilled to begin her work as Garden Coordinator with Growe in early 2016. Hannah obtained her Colorado Master Gardener Certificate in spring of 2017 and in addition to being an edible food grower, she loves cooking and eating fresh. In her spare time she lusts after succulents, snowboards, is an outdoor explorer, trains for trail half marathons, and has a passion for partner and improvisational dance. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Urban Studies, minoring in Women’s Studies, with a focus on environmental and social issues.
Gretchen McCormick, Garden Coordinator
Gretchen has always wanted to teach others how to become more self-sustainable through gardening, seed-saving, and preserving. Her background in environmental studies and farming experience have finally come together to work here at Growe. Gretchen has a great passion for community outreach, local food, and believes that it is important to teach children early on where their food comes from and how it’s grown. Previously she worked as the Farmers Markets Manager at Cure Organic Farm in Boulder, and now is ecstatic to begin the new opportunity at the Growe Foundation. Gretchen graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Ecology, Conservation, and Environmental Biology, and in her free time likes to crochet, go thrift shopping and fly fishing.
Carol Klein, Garden Coordinator
Carol Klein was born and raised in Virginia where she eventually studied Craft and Design at VCU in Richmond, VA. She feels most at home working with her hands, digging in her garden, playing with her kids, and building friendships. Her experiences in life have taught her that those that have, should give. While she has been staying home with her youngest child, she volunteers her time to help where she can. Carol began volunteering at Ryan Elementary’s school garden when her eldest was in Kindergarten (2014) and became more involved through each school year, while also volunteering some directly with Growe. She most appreciates Growe’s motivation and directive which are community driven, and their desire to do more to educate and involve people in working the land and the many benefits that come along with that. Carol believes that the work we do should exemplify our beliefs, and that each action taken has the potential to be a stepping stone to a harmonious future.
Carol Olson, Emerald Elementary Garden Coordinator
Andrea Fryrear, Marketing
Andrea is the Founder and Chief Content Officer of Fox Content, Ltd. as well as Editor in Chief of TheAgileMarketer.net. She is a top-ranked speaker, author of the Death of a Marketer, and an agile marketing consultant and trainer. Andrea has spoken about the intersection of Agile and marketing at SXSW, Content Marketing World, Business Agility 2017, Intelligent Content Conference, Digital Summit DC, to name a few. She graduated summa cum laude from Austin College with a degree in English, and holds a Master’s degree from Oxford University.
Rachel Peterson, Events
Rachel is a Colorado native who loves all things food! From gardening with her family growing up, to serving at local breakfast favorite the South Side Walnut Cafe, to now fostering a career in Natural Products, she has always supported good quality food. During her 7 year stint at South Side she met Jessica and Matt Benjamin who got her involved with the Growe Foundation. She has been on the events team since the get go and utilizes her current role as the Sponsorship Manager for Natural Products Expo West to help pull off some really exciting Growe events. Rachel is looking forward to her future kiddos benefiting one day from the Growe gardens in our schools!
BOARD ADVISORY COMMITTEES
The Board of Directors recently established 5 Board Advisory Committees, to be made up of board and community members with professional and personal interest in the following: Finance Committee; Marketing Committee; Nominating Committee; and Program and Education Committee. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining one of our Advisory Committees.
Bryce is a sixth generation New Zealander where he was trained as a Mechanical Engineer and moved to the United States at the age of 21. Working as a management consultant to hospitals he witnessed firsthand the effect that poor diets were having on children’s health and was alarmed by environmental issues. Here he became inspired. In 2004 Bryce started working with at-risk youth from Justice High School in Denver about food and farming. From this small beginning he went on to start the School Food Project in Boulder Valley School District to reform the quality of school meals and to develop the Garden to Table Program, an experiential learning curriculum for elementary schools.