Meet the Team: Chicago

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Daniel Gibbs
Garden Educator, Chicago

Marla Guggenheimer
Garden Educator, Chicago

Maggie Hughes
Regional Director, Chicago

Katherine Jernigan
Garden Educator, Chicago

Sam Koentopp
Program Manager, Chicago

Ilana Marder-Eppstein
Garden Educator, Chicago

Laura Mueller
Development Manager, Chicago

Sean Ruane
Garden Educator, Chicago

Chicago Board Members

Regional Board

Joanne Woiteshek
Chairman of Regional Board

Albery M. Friedman
Honarary Chairman of Regional Board

Gina Bolger
Regional Board

Leslie Fowler
Regional Board

Sabina Shaikh
Regional Board

Jennifer Tengelsen
Regional Board

Jacquie Zasche
Regional Board

Associate Board

Tyler Beth
Associate Board

Tyler was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, went to college in Bozeman, Montana and moved to the city 11 years ago. He always wanted to find a way to give back to Chicago and more specifically the kids of the city. With Big green offering students an education in health, science, nutrition and entrepreneurship, it was a perfect fit for him to join the board. In his free time, Tyler enjoys travel, mountains and Chicago sports teams.

Brittany Chibe
Associate Board

Brittany is a Chicago-native on a mission to help others encounter the transformative experience of clean eating. She founded Within/Without, a clean ingredient snack company, in 2014 and is excited to join Big Green as an advisory board member.

Noam Dorros
Associate Board

Noam Dorros is a Partner/Director for Digital Media at Mindshare Chicago. Noam’s interest in food stemmed from an early age in Milwaukee, WI where he watched his mother, who was a food columnist for the local paper, teach cooking classes out of their family’s kitchen. His family's passion for food continues today with his older brother, who is currently chairman of restaurants in both New York and Jackson Hole. Noam firmly believes in real food education and access for all, which led him to support Big Green!

Stephanie Leistner
Associate Board

Stephanie is originally from Germany and moved to Chicago in December 2017. She is a Manager in KPMG's Deal Advisory practice and holds the CFA designation as well as a MS in Finance from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Throughout high school and college, she has been a volunteer member of the Fine Food & Dining Society, Red Cross and American Conservation Experience. Her interest in real food, health and the environment led her to join the Associate Board of Big Green Chicago to make an impact on her local community! On the weekends, Stephanie loves to go for long walks by the lake, explore new neighborhoods, music shows, breweries and vegetarian restaurants.

Brian McMeans
Associate Board

Brian McMeans, a Chicagoland native, went to school at Boston College, earning his B.A. in Communications Studies. He came to Big Green a little over a year ago in search of something impactful. He found that and more, and his time with the organization inspired him to join another non-profit organization, Make-A-Wish Illinois, as a Wish Experience Architect. As a long-time vegetarian and a more recent vegan, eating healthy and accessible real food is something that Brian is incredibly passionate about. Outside of work, you can find Brian either outdoors rock climbing and hiking, or indoors watching far too many movies!

David Nelson
Associate Board

Dave was born and raised in Joliet, IL and appreciates spending time with family and friends. He enjoys living a healthy lifestyle and understands the importance of nutrition in one’s diet. Dave currently works for Wintrust Financial as a Business Development Officer for its Construction, Engineering, & Architectural Division. He has a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois. His interests outside of the office include spending time with his lovely wife and daughter, home projects, traveling, exercising, and outdoor activities.

Cory Reeves
Associate Board

I first learned about Big Green through my friend Tyler Beth, the President of Big Green's Associate Board in Chicago. He showed me several of the working gardens across the city, and I joined the Board in November 2018. I was impressed not only by the teaching the importance of a healthy, natural food, but the effect the development and continued care of the gardens has on kids and the overall community. I have lived in the Lakeview area of Chicago since 2012, and I work as a Private Banker on a holistic wealth management team at Northern Trust. On weekends, I help to make food deliveries for the Lakeview Food Pantry in my neighborhood.

Jennifer Shaffer
Associate Board

After a childhood spent on a farm in the Midwest, Jennifer Shaffer moved to Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood 20 years ago. She may have moved off the farm but her love for gardening, healthy eating and food in general led her to volunteer at a Big Green garden at her neighborhood elementary school. Jenn joined the Big Green Associate Board in 2018.

Jonathan Soond
Associate Board

Originally from Cleveland, Jonathan has lived in Chicago for the last 5 years and is the founder of Spark Organics a Chicago based organic snack food company. With a lifelong passion for cooking, food, and nutrition Jonathan is excited to spread the mission of Big Green and help connect children to their food. His favorite thing about Chicago is the city's amazing restaurants and concerts. When he's not working, you can find him in the kitchen or the boxing gym.