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Our Team

Our talented, passionate team believes that growing food changes lives. Together we've created thousands of gardens and taught hundreds of thousands of gardeners. And we're just getting started.

  • Hugo Matheson


  • Madeleine Nelson

    Vice President of Advancement

  • Dianna Zeegers

    Vice President of Program

  • Amina Bahloul

    Project Coordinator

  • Kelsie Contreras

    Digital Marketing Coordinator

    With over a year of experience at Big Green, Kelsie works in all aspects of marketing, from social media management to communications, design, and branding. A proud Penn State alum with a degree in Agricultural Business, she brings strategic knowledge and creativity to her passion for food accessibility and sustainability.

  • Marie Dennan

    Assistant Director of Programs

    Marie Dennan lives in Memphis, TN. Marie has focused her entire career around school gardening and food systems and holes a Master's in Public Administration and an MA in Applied Anthropology from the University of Memphis. Marie also has a culinary background and as an advocate for the local food movement, loves cooking with produce bought at the farmers market and supporting local food businesses.

  • Laura Guzman

    Project Coordinator

  • Ava Jackson

    Director of Programmatic Operations

  • Cheyenne Johnson

    Director of Development

    Cheyenne Johnson is a lifelong Philanthropy Director with almost 20 years of experience in conservation and environmental philanthropy. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, she has centered her professional career on her passion for land and water conservation, sustainable farming, environmental education, along with cultural and historic preservation. Previous to Big Green while residing in Colorado, she has been a Philanthropy Officer for Colorado Open Lands and History Colorado. Johnson holds a Bachelor degree in Geography, specializing in Natural Resource Management from the University of Texas at Austin. She has held Director of Development positions at Hill Country Conservancy in Austin and the Cibolo Center for Conservation in Boerne, Texas. She loves all things nature, live music, getting her hands in the dirt, and traveling with her partner Chad and Bernedoodle, Ernie.

  • Sam Koentopp

    Director of Educational Programs

    Sam began his tenure with Big Green in 2013 supporting our efforts to build 200 Learning Gardens with Chicago Public Schools. He helped establish and continues to develop our programing to help all Big Green garden participants learn the skills needed to grow food and connect deeply with their gardens. Sam loves food, soil, and plants, and believes in the interconnectedness of all living things that is so profoundly evident in a garden. He brings that passion to Big Green to inspire others to find their own pathways through the garden.

  • Jonathan Pavley

    National Garden and Product Manager

  • Parker Rechsteiner

    Assistant Director of Events

  • Jasmine Trujillo

    Assistant Director of Finance and Grants

Board of Directors

Big Green's Governing Board provides the organization with broad expertise in education, entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and programmatic impact.

  • Kimbal Musk

    The Kitchen Restaurant Group, Nova Sky Stories

  • Don Degnan

    The Kitchen Restaurant Group

  • Patrick Drake

    AUTONOME, Inc.

  • Dorsey Hopson


  • Kasey Kumaran-Stark


  • Wendy Lea

    Energize Colorado

  • Hugo Matheson

    The Kitchen Restaurant Group

  • Larry Mueller


  • Michael Tang

    Tang Industries