Meet the Team: Memphis

Elizabeth Bradford

Elizabeth is a native Memphian, and recently moved back to Memphis after living in Nashville. Elizabeth studied Family and Consumer Science with a focus on Food and Nutrition at Tennessee State University, where she also assisted with YAMS (Youth Active and Media Savvy) to develop community youth health programs focused around nutrition and environmental sustainability.
Prior to working with Big Green, she has been developing and delivering health education programming, building relationships with clients as a health coach, and has organized and led national webinars focused on sustainable communities, and healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Elizabeth has a passion for working with Memphis youth and  promoting health and wellness throughout Memphis communities. In her spare time she enjoys running, hot pilates and making tasty vegan food!

Marie Dennan

Marie is originally from New York City, but has lived in Memphis long enough to call it home.

Marie has Masters’ in Public and Nonprofit Administration and Anthropology from the University of Memphis, and a culinary certificate from the California Culinary Academy. She is most passionate about engaging youth through gardening, and networking with food system stakeholders in Memphis. Marie spends her free time backyard gardening, chicken keeping, volunteering at local farmers markets, and dancing with the local company Project: Motion Modern Dance Collective.

Lisa Ellis
Regional Director

Lisa Ellis, a native Memphian and Memphis Grizzlies fan, is proud to call Memphis home.

Before joining Big Green, Lisa was a fundraiser at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She brings a passion for children along with donor development and events knowledge to Big Green. She is also involved locally with The Junior League, AutoZone Liberty Bowl, and St. Jude. Lisa holds an MBA in Management and a BBA in Marketing from The University of Mississippi. When she isn't at Big Green, you can find her playing tennis, working in her garden, or entertaining friends with her husband and their puppy Birdie.

Erika Hansen

Hailing from Virginia, Erika received her B.S. from Virginia Tech in Environmental Policy & Planning, and just recently graduated from Duke with a Masters of Environmental Management. Erika has a strong interest in environmental education through place-based, experiential, and service-learning opportunities. In the past, she managed the Virginia Tech Student Garden, and was a volunteer through the WWOOF program in Italy and at the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm. Additionally, Erika competed her masters project focused on creating a web database of garden-based curricula for North Carolina.

Karen Hess
Project Management

Karen grew up in Dallas, Texas and moved to Memphis to attend Rhodes College.

She graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Environmental Science after falling in love with the food, music, and people of Memphis. While at Rhodes, Karen was involved with the campus garden and farmers market and worked as a research assistant in the archaeology department. After graduation, she spent a year teaching science and caring for chickens and a small farm at a Montessori school in Knoxville. Karen is thrilled to be back in Memphis and continue her work in education and sustainability with Big Green. In her free time, Karen enjoys singing in choirs and planning trips to visit her eight siblings.