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.
Member at Large
Amos is a corporate attorney with the law firm of Holland & Hart LLP. In his law practice, Amos helps large and small businesses achieve their goals, be it through venture capital financing, bank investments, mergers, joint ventures and sales of images/assets. Prior to his service on the Growe Foundation Board, Amos served for nine years on the board of trustees of an outdoor school and summer camp focused on experiential education and sustainability. Amos is a North Carolina native who loves the outdoors, particularly Colorado’s many offerings for mountain biking and backcountry skiing. Amos looks forward to the day when his daughter is old enough to attend a Growe school.
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.
Member at Large
Susan Green is Chief Marketing Officer 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.
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!
Member at Large
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.
Member at Large
Tina is a 20 year veteran of tech startups and a mentor of MergeLane, a tech incubator/accelerator that focuses on start-ups with at least one woman in leadership, as well as a passionate food advocate and a founding family for the School Food Project. Tina is a long supporter of the Growe Foundation — having been involved since inception. Tina believes in the advocacy of kids and healthy eating without social and economic boundaries. Tina can be found hosting dinners for BlueSkyBridge, supporting food start-ups, creating space for folks to make food in her commercial kitchen at Edesia Kitchen in Paonia, CO or sharing food with her tribe.
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..
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.
Lindsey grew up in the DC area, spent some time reconnecting with her roots in Texas, and has happily settled in her husband’s homeland of northern Colorado! After many years as a public school music teacher, Lindsey has been lucky enough to turn her focus to volunteer efforts at her daughter’s schools. She joined the Garden to Table team at Louisville Elementary when her older daughter was in kindergarten, taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about gardening in Colorado while spending time with her kids and fellow parent volunteers in the garden. After five years of helping children learn in the garden, and participating in the wonderful community that “grows” around a garden, Lindsey is excited to step into the Growe Program Manager position!
Ruth has worked for many years with the leading natural foods markets in Colorado. For the majority of her time at Wild Oats, Lucky’s Market, and Alfalfa’s she worked as the Marketing and Community Relations Director, planning hundreds of events that focused on good food and good health. One of her favorite activities was the store tours for elementary aged kids, teaching them about healthy lifestyles and food choices. Additionally, she is a painter and participates in art fairs around Boulder County and holds art classes for youth. Ruth loves being involved with her community and is passionate about good food!
Laurel’s work with Growe Foundation fulfills a personal mission to increase ecological literacy in our community. For 15 years she worked in Washington State as a community organizer. She received a BA from The Evergreen State College in Social Change Strategy and Psychology and co-authored Beyond Inclusion Beyond Empowerment : A Developmental Strategy to Liberate Everyone with Dr. Leticia Nieto. Laurel was the principal farmer at Buena Vida Farm in her hometown of Fort Collins, growing vegetables and Colorado Blue Spruce trees 2013-2016. She now farms organic vegetables at Stonebridge Farm in Longmont, the oldest continuously running Community Supported Agriculture program in Colorado. Laurel uses her Permaculture Design Certificate from the Denver Permaculture Guild to reimagine gardens and social systems to better meet community needs.
After graduating from Purdue University, Leslie moved from Indiana to California's wine country. She pursued a career in the wine industry, obtaining positions managing Tasting Rooms and Wine Clubs, all while learning about viticulture and enology. She then transitioned to managing the Novato, CA Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, where she was immersed in the world of herbs, supplements, and integrative health. There was an opportunity to come to Boulder to manage the South Boulder Store, and so began her journey to Colorado, where she remained as the Store Manager at that location for several years. Leslie started volunteering at Emerald Elementary in the garden when her son was in Kindergarten, and quickly found a love for the Garden to Table Program, teaching the lessons, promoting healthy eating, and building community. She has been the Lead Parent Volunteer for several years running and enjoys the children's enthusiasm in the garden and the challenges of Colorado gardening. Leslie enjoys camping, hiking, biking, and live music with her family and friends.
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.
Mika graduated from the University of Denver with a dual degree in Biology and Environmental Science. Her work experience includes being an environmental education field teacher, stream quality researcher, and farm intern at Sprout City Farms, an urban agriculture non-profit organization in Denver. Following these experiences, Mika received her graduate degree from the Masters of the Environment Program at CU-Boulder in 2017. Here she realized her true passion was in food justice, urban agriculture and building resilient food systems in communities. An advocate for sustainable food production, healthy eating and environmental stewardship, Mika believes establishing equitable food access is vital for all communities. Having lived in four countries, she now calls Colorado her home and is enjoying all the amazing things this state has to offer. When she’s not hiking in the mountains, Mika spends her time cooking, reading, working on a crafts project and planning her next outdoor adventure.
Elysa is a Colorado Native and loves being outside. She received her BA in International relations, Anthropology and Spanish in North Carolina. For the last 7 years, Elysa has worked in Public Health, and community wellness with a focus on obtaining equal access to healthcare and adequate nutrition for all. She is passionate about sustainable agriculture and enabling each individual with an opportunity to cultivate their own connection with nature. She created a therapeutic gardening program at Imagine! In Boulder County and is excited to aid in the cultivation, care and education surrounding The Growe Foundation school gardens.
As a management consultant to hospitals, Bryce saw the effect that poor diets were having on children’s health and was alarmed by growing environmental issues. He established the Our Love of Children Foundation in 2000, which became the Growe Foundation in 2006, and began working with local youth. Connecting with a local elementary school he was committed to exploring reforms to the quality of school meals and the use of school based gardens. Bryce was a catalyst for what would evolve into Boulder Valley School District’s School Food Project and Co-founded the Garden To Table program. Bryce returned to New Zealand in 2017 to address similar problems there.
Co-founder of the Garden To Table program in 2007, Deborah has a marketing background and a passion for gardens and the environment. Combined with her skill as a Colorado Master Gardener she developed the Garden to Table lessons and helped craft the Growe program model and toolkits used today. As Program Director, she expanded this unique program by working with school communities to build support from its early start at a single school to 19 schools throughout the Boulder Valley School District and a Denver pilot school before her departure in 2018.
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 email@example.com if you are interested in joining one of our Advisory Committees.