Stefanie is a cultural anthropologist and community organizer, and, as of September 2021, our new Co-Director. She's a military brat who was born in Italy, grew up in Colorado Springs, and has lived in Fort Collins - with the exception of a few years in the Pacific Northwest - since 2002. She has undergrad degrees in art, psychology, and anthropology, and an MA from CSU's department of anthropology and geography. Her master's research focused on homelessness in Fort Collins, and the intersection between public policy, social services, stigmatization, and the lived experiences of unhoused people.
As an applied anthropologist, especially one focused on governance, power, and the inherent inequity and unsustainability of neoliberal capitalism, her goal has always been to take her work out of the ivory tower and into the streets. Stefanie has worked or been on the board of multiple non-profit organizations in town, and an active community organizer around issues including homelessness, jail reform, and the rights of grad workers at CSU. She was an intern with The Growing Project during the 2019 growing season, and became a member of TGP's board, and chair of our Governance & Oversight committee, at the start of 2021. As Co-Director, Stefanie shares in big-picture strategic planning and decision making, and focuses on operations and development work. You can connect with Stefanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chris is an Attorney at The Fry Law Firm LLC. He received his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School (J.D.) and his B.A. from Columbia University in the City of New York, where he earned a double major in Economics and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures. Chris has held various leadership positions on The Growing Project team for over the past 10 years and now leads the 2020-2022 board as President.
Adam is passionate about connecting people through gardening. After growing up in a Montessori School through high school, Adam began a career in regenerative agriculture after a Permaculture Design Certificate training in Ecuador in 2015. When he returned to Colorado, Adam worked for Aspen Moon Farm. In 2016, he completed an internship in community development and education with The Growing Project. Adam loved it so much, he came back as an Assistant Farm Manager and Educator in 2017. In 2018 Adam was hired on as The Growing Project's Programs Manager, and in 2019 he was the Community Outreach and Garden Specialist. Adam holds an Associates of Arts and Science from Front Range Community College, and is active in the Fort Collins Community.
Matt is a designer & activist. Years ago, a love for cooking sparked his desire for a deeper connection with the origins of food, which ultimately ignited the light of permaculture in him. In 2015 he founded Common Roots to build a more resilient community designing food systems and water-conscious lifestyles. He's a mentor gardener for The Growing Project's Urban Food Outreach program when not working his day job as a website designer and developer.
Jordan is a senior accountant at Nutrien with over nine years of accounting experience. Jordan joined the Board of Directors as Treasurer in September 2021.
Human Resources Support
Gabi is an organizer, community connector, and local food advocate. Originally from South Africa, she grew up in a small town in Texas and is a recent Fort Collins transplant by way of Houston. She holds a B.S. in Business Management and prior to moving to Colorado worked for a non-profit teaching farm, where she focused on youth and adult education programs and strategic planning. After relocating to Fort Collins in 2019, she began establishing connections in the community to become a bridge-builder for the local food system and support working towards a brighter, more regenerative agricultural future. Currently, she consults and works with local food and farm-focused organizations including Poudre Valley Community Farms, The Northern Colorado Foodshed Project, and Big Green Colorado. She is deeply passionate about creating a more environmentally and socially just food system and working with learners of all ages to help better understand their connection to and relationship with food.
Lauren Alessi is a researcher in the Social Work Department at CSU. She has worked in Colorado as a community educator on opioid use and harm reduction; as a program evaluator for social services nationwide working in child welfare, criminal justice, and economic security; and as a researcher in New Zealand on a project exploring young people's transitions into adulthood. Lauren has facilitated writing programs for people in jail and prison and continues to research prison arts and education, volunteering in prison, and the impacts of these programs at the community and system-levels. She is passionate about building communities rooted in accountability, equity and restorative relationships and the role that food justice can play in these efforts.
Maricela DeMirjyn is an Assistant Professor in Ethnic Studies at Colorado State University, and affiliated faculty with the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research, as well as the Italian Studies Program and the Latin American Studies Program. In her scholarly work, Maricela is interested in intersectionality and identity construction, particularly as experienced by Chicana and Latina populations. She is a participant in the emergent discourse regarding visual narrative analysis within the contexts of social activism and marginalized communities. Her past work as a director and counselor in the respective fields of familial violence and addiction treatment has fostered her advocacy interests in leadership and issues concerning equity both within the University and local communities. In addition to serving on TGP's board, Maricela is a consultant for the CA7AE: HIV/AIDS Prevention Project and co-chairs the Northside Aztlan Community Center Advisory Board.
James Hale is a social scientist at Colorado State University. He is passionate about improving food systems, especially efforts aimed at achieving food justice. James has spent time in both practitioner and research settings including working as a Peace Corps agroforestry agent in Malawi, helping develop urban agriculture organizations in Denver, and managing food systems research projects at Colorado State University, Colorado School of Public Health, and at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He enjoys music, fermentation, and hiking.