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Our Staff and Board of Directors
Our Staff and Board
La Vang comes to Gardening Matters with more than 10 years’ experience in non-profit accounting, having worked for East Side Neighborhood Development Company, the Ronald McDonald House, the Jeremiah Program, Prepare and Prosper, and Minnesota Computers for Schools. She has a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. Management. La has grounded her work in non-profits because she loves mission driven work.
Past Staff Members: Kelsey Barale, Ari Baum-Hommes, Nadja Berneche, John Brosnan, Ila Duntemann, Jeremiah Ellis, Lisa Farwell, Sara Grochowski, Rebecca Harnik, Magdalena Kaluza, Mallory Morken, Patsy Parker, Margaret Perez, Susan Phillips, Lina Rodriguez, Kirsten Saylor, Nate Schrecengost, Julia Wells
Seth has been a lifelong food activist. In his childhood, his family tended a vegetable garden, berry plants, and fruit trees at their home in the northern MN community of Baudette near the shores of Lake of the Woods. They would also occasionally visit his great-grandparents’ farm in western Wisconsin. In his adult life, Seth was a community gardener for five seasons with Celeste’s Dream Community Garden in St. Paul before pursuing the life of an urban farmer. In December 2010, along with his partner, Megan, he bought a house (with a double lot) in south Minneapolis. Presently, Kuhl Beans Urban Farm is largely a hobby more than a profession. Prior to joining the board in 2011, Seth served on the St. Paul-Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission. Professionally, he has worked at Second Harvest Heartland and The Home Depot, and currently works at Eastside Food Cooperative in northeast Minneapolis.
Nate Galloway is a semi-retired St. Paul School’s Educator and has worked over 40 years as a High School Visual Arts Teacher; Football & Basketball Coach. Nate also served as St. Paul Central High School's Athletic Director for 19 years. He earned a BA from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and a MEd from U of M in Visual Arts. Nate is the coordinator of Pilgrim’s Community Gardens and is also a founding member of the Urban Farm & Garden Alliance St. Paul. He is a Ramsey County Master Gardener and serves on the Ramsey County Extension Committee. Nate is an advocate for transforming vacant lots, boulevards, and backyards into a food production system that can help feed our underserved neighborhoods and connect people across cultures.
Anna has a background in environmental education and policy. She has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Colorado College, with a minor in Environmental Issues. After a stint in Washington, D.C., which included apprenticing on an educational farm, she moved to Minneapolis in 2013 to work for Wild River Academy--a nonprofit that utilizes rivers as a dynamic classroom to teach students about environmental issues. Anna is a current graduate student at the U of M Humphrey School of Public Policy. She has been pursuing her interest in state and local policy since moving to the Cities, and is excited to bring her experiences and energy to Gardening Matters.
Ebony is a Minnesota native with many interests which include gardening, preserving food, and photographing chickens in her backyard. From a very young age she started digging both hands and feet deep into the soil, so when time and schedule allow she can be found doing this with family and in community. As an awkwardly social butterfly, her love of food and nature drives her to continue to learn and explore the wonderful world around her. Some of Ebony’s talents include being a Red Cross Certified Aquatics instructor, Life Guard, Beach Manager, Artist, and community educator. She attended North Central University and Minneapolis Community and Technical College where she studied Youth Ministry, Culinary Arts, and Restaurant management. “You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.” ― Julia Child
Stayci Bell is an avid gardener, an actress, a model, a documentarian and most recently, a low voltage electrician. A single mother of 7, she loves ice skating, sports, crocheting and being involved and any and everything positive that she can find and have time to do. Stayci can be seen guerilla gardening all over the northwest suburbs.
Marco C. Suemnick was born and raised in a small town southwest of the Metro called Waterville. He was one of six children raised on a hobby farm where the family grew their own food and raised their own cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and sheep and fished and hunted regularly. He moved to the Twin Cities in 1999 and received his BFA in Visual Arts. Marco Later went on to St. Thomas to receive his Masters in Marketing Management. Marco has been a figure in the Metro Arts community since graduating and now working for himself to market other artists and galleries in the Midwest. He specializes in Social Media, Partnerships, Print, Event Planning, Customer Relations, Analytics, Branding, PR and Public Speaking. Marco is excited to bring his specific skill set and background to Gardening Matters and believes the non-profit is a great vessel to help him give back. He is excited to teach, educate and build stronger communities through Gardening Matters.
Special thanks to past Board Members Amy Arcand, Mike Braunlin, Valentine Cadieux, Grace Chou, Betsy David, Beth Fritcher, Collie Graddick, Mark Granlund, Dan Halsey, Del Hampton, Allissa Heim, Michelle Horovitz, Jim Howitt, Beth Kackman, Krista Leraas, Abe Levine, Greg McMoore, Ken Meter, Mary Morse, Xe Susane Moua, Towle Neu, John Parker-Der Boghossian, Ann Putnam, Fiona Quick, Chuck Repke, Greg Sautter, Ruby Simmons, Claudia Slovacek, Meredith Smith, Michelle Thayer, Chris Vanacek, Sarah VanDusseldorp, and Aurora Young.