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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.

  • Madeleine Nelson

    Vice President of Advancement

  • Dianna Zeegers

    Vice President of Program

  • Amina Bahloul

    Project Coordinator

  • Bethany Belcher

    Development Manager

    With over 10 years of experience across international education, development, and strategic brand partnerships, Bethany possesses a profound passion for connecting individuals with the resources that empower them. Dedicated to propelling organizational missions forward and cultivating impactful connections, she is excited to contribute to the continued growth of Big Green's impact. Beyond her professional pursuits, Bethany finds joy in life's simple pleasures, including spending park days with her dog Frankie, running, finding thrift store gems, and exploring new places.

  • 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.

  • Vero Dimas

    Community Engagement Manager

    I'm Vero Dimas, passionate about healthy food access and building strong communities. I have led teams that have spearheaded initiatives impacting thousands with community gardens, farmer's market, cooking programs, food distribution and mobile markets. My dedication to these issues has been through extensive experience in community engagement, nonprofit leadership and entrepreneurship. I am an avid gardener and yoga enthusiast. Most times you can find me strolling my local farmers market with my amazing daughters.

  • Laura Guzman

    Project Coordinator

  • Ava Jackson

    Director of Programmatic Operations

  • 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