Interested in becoming a board member?
Growing Gardens is always looking for possible new board members. Board terms begin in January, but we’re happy to receive applications or inquiries at any time. You can always email us at info@growing-gardens for more information.
- Nell Tessman, President: Gray Family Foundation
Nell works as the Program Officer for Gray Family Foundation, where she has the privilege of connecting organizations, educators, and youth to resources that support their efforts to be strong stewards of the environment, their health and each other. Nell has worked in public health and education throughout her career, including working as a Growing Gardens’ Youth Grow Educator nearly ten years ago. Nell lives in Northeast Portland and loves to play basketball, bake bread, and get messy in the garden with her family.
- Jeff Shular, Vice President
OneWest Bank (retired)
- Missy Maese, Secretary: Kaiser Permanente (Retired)
Missy recently retired from Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, where she served as the Director of Compliance and Ethics. At Kaiser, Missy consulted with leaders in healthcare and the insurance industry to support a compliant and ethical organizational culture. Missy enjoys family time, travel, gardening, and boating. Missy lives on a floating home with her husband and cat.
- Ben Coleman-Fire, Treasurer
US Bankruptcy Court, OR Division
2019 Board Members:
- Jennifer de Thomas: New Outlook Financial
- Rebeca Márquez : Familias en Accion
Rebeca Márquez is the Health Education Manager at Familias en Acción. Rebeca moved to Portland 4 years ago from Xalapa, Veracruz, where she studied Nutrition and specialized in Pediatric Nutrition. In Mexico, she worked at the State Autism Center and created their Nutrition Program. In Portland, she was previously employed as a Community Health Worker supporting immigrant and refugee communities.
- Eca-Etabo Wasongolo: Village Gardens
- Shireen Duke: Mt. Hood Community College
- Ray Lewis: Connections Associates
Ray is retired after a career focused on promoting innovative projects and programs in higher education with a primary focus on technology and distance learning. His experiences included funding (U.S Dept. of Education), managing (State of Oregon) and evaluating (consulting firm) creative responses to critical needs—the kind of things Growing Gardens does so well. Ray enjoys cycling, hiking, skiing, travel, gardening and spending time with his partner, Denissia Withers, and their grandchildren.
- Justin Rossman: New Seasons Market
Justin is a Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator at New Seasons Market. He’s a N.E. Portland native and a Benson Tech Alumni, holding a passion of service to the city. His career and personal path constantly have him on a pursuit of food justice for all, dreaming of the day that all are welcome a seat at the table. He loves spending free time with his son Malachi as they paddle-board, roller coaster, eat and travel through this world together.