For General Inquiries call 503.284.8420 or sign up for our Monthly Newsletter.
Below is a list of our staff with their contact information:
Executive Director: Jason Skipton *Hablo Español*
Over the past decade Jason has worked internationally and locally on community garden programs, from Central America to Portland, Oregon. He was a Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer in Nicaragua, where he worked with subsistence bean farmers and worked with Village Gardens in North Portland for over 5 years as the Community Program Supervisor, building community engagement programs in the community gardens, livestock project and market garden program.
Business Manager: Tracey Harper
Tracey has worked as the Business Manager at Growing Gardens since 2012. She loves working for an organization that helps people to live better and believes eating healthy food and exercising regularly is a key part of that. She has an Economics degree from the University of Washington and has worked in nonprofit finance for over 10 years.
Home Gardens Director: Emily Keeler *Hablo Espanol*
Emily manages the Home Gardens program and coordinates the Learn & Grow workshop series. Emily grew up in Portland and has spent the last 10 years practicing small-scale sustainable agriculture and building garden-based programs. In addition to gardening, she also loves singing, sewing and admiring the local geology.
Home Gardens Community Outreach Coordinator: Zoe Potts
As the Community Outreach Coordinator in the Home Gardens program, Zoe is lucky enough to work with our amazing team of volunteers. She has worked for various outdoor education non-profits, and most recently was a garden educator at a middle school in Berkeley, CA. When she’s not at work, Zoe loves to hike, do yoga, see live music, and learn more about sustainable food systems as a graduate student at Portland State University.
Community Organizer: Antonio Rodriguez *Hablo Espanol*
Antonio joined the Growing Huertos program in 2014 and quickly became one of the program’s most dedicated volunteers, helping with installations and site visits, hosting workshops, and mentoring new gardeners. He has a great passion for agriculture and community education.
Community Organizer: Rebecca Melton
Being creative is important to Rebecca’s life. She’s a Mom, an artist, and a teacher. For many years Rebecca gardened by the “plant it and hope for the best” philosophy of gardening, but once she became a gardener through the Home Gardens program she became a part of the “put it in the ground and it will grow, and then you can eat it and share it!” camp. She’s very excited to have gone through the program and become a member of the Growing Gardens team and loves being able to share her experience, knowledge, and love of community with others.
Community Organizer: Angelica Cortes *Hablo Espanol*
Angelica Cortes Mejia was born in Mexico and has lived in Portland for 12 years. Her favorite part of her role is helping people in her community grow and sustain their own source of vegetables and fruits. Her favorite part about having her garden is sharing what she harvests with her neighbors and building strong community relations through food.
Community Organizer: Camilo Centeno *Hablo Espanol*
Camilo Centeno was born in Colima, Mexico and has been in Portland since 1979. At the age of 6 Camilo started working in the fields of Mexico where he spent the majority of his childhood until he came to the United States. During his free time he enjoys reading books, listening to audio books, and spending time in the library, gym, and garden. He also loves spending time with his wife and 3 kids. Camilo is extremely passionate about helping families of low resources. He loves to help his friends, his community and his family. He is willing to help anyone and values the chance that he gets through Growing Gardens to help families in his community. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Grow Program Director: Anna Garwood *Hablo Espanol*
Anna directs the Growing Gardens Youth Grow program, which teaches children how to grow, prepare and learn to love eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Her background is in managing a sustainable development nonprofit that helps rural communities around the world access clean water, renewable energy and healthy watersheds. She enjoys traveling, cooking and watching her baby daughter grow by leaps and bounds.
Youth Grow Coordinator/Educator: Amoreena Guerrero *Hablo Espanol*
As the Youth Grow Coordinator/Educator, Amoreena has the pleasure of helping elementary students connect with growing food in their own school gardens. In her role she also supports other garden coordinators and educators create successful and engaging garden-based programs for many schools and the students they serve. Working with other adults to expand opportunities for students to learn outside is her number one professional goal. She comes to Youth Grow with a Masters degree in Education and 15 years of teaching experience, both indoors and out. Each year she learns more from her students about how to teach and become a better person. When she’s not out in school gardens, you might find her with her family, or at the dojo teaching a weekly Ki-Aikido children’s class.
Youth Grow Educator: Pesha Wasserstrom
As the Youth Grow Educator, Pesha teaches after school garden clubs and leads in-class gardening and cooking activities. Pesha started working at Growing Gardens as an Americorps member in 2010, returned as a FoodCorps member in 2013, and is now a staff member. Pesha is a Portland native, and spends her free time exploring, canning and cooking with friends.
Kathy started out volunteering as a parent in an afterschool class taught by Growing Gardens when her daughter was in elementary school over 10 years ago. She then envisioned a garden transforming at that same school. She was involved in that transformation process by getting garden beds built and teaching garden class. She grew as the garden grew — evolving from a volunteer into a garden educator and now a Growing Gardens staff member. She loves teaching health and nutrition, watching young individuals thrive in a growing environment and being part of an organization that supports so many communities and is teaching life skills.
Garden Specialist: Julie Welch
Julie comes to us after serving the last eight years in the Bay Area as the Sodexo Food Service Garden Manager at Saint Mary’s College of California. She was also a staff member at the Nature Education Program in the Orinda Unified School District, and Nature Activity Coordinator at the Trails to Success summer adventure horse camp. While at Saint Mary’s, Julie taught a course entitled “Radical Homemaking” which emphasized cooking with produce from the garden. Prior to that, Julie spent fourteen years as a middle school special education teacher, all the while wishing she had a greenhouse for her students. She and her husband also helped start a community garden in their neighborhood. Now they are in the Portland area to be closer to family. Julie is thrilled to be part of the Abernethy Garden of Wonders team helping students connect Science, Math and Language Arts with nature through experiential learning in the garden, plus cooking delicious garden inspired creations and harvest of the month dishes.
Youth Grow FoodCorps Service Member: Sasha Langesfeld *Hablo Español*
Sasha teaches the after-school garden club as well as in in-class lessons at three of Growing Gardens partner schools. She recently graduated from Williams College in MA, where she helped run the campus garden club, conducted agricultural systems research, and worked as an in-class tutor at a local elementary school. She is originally from Miami, FL and is very excited to explore the PNW during her service year. She enjoys traveling, acro yoga, and basically anything that involves being outside.
Lettuce Grow Program Director: Rima Green
After many years working in technology-related jobs, Rima returned to her first love, gardening. As an Oregon Master Gardener™, Rima directs the Lettuce Grow program and provides garden education to inmates in state correctional institutions and juvenile facilities throughout the state of Oregon.