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August 20, 2018

Grow Portland Welcomes Michelle Welton as Executive Director

Contact: Amy Gilroy, Board of Directors Vice Chair at amy.gilroy at

The nonprofit, Grow Portland is pleased to welcome Michelle Welton as our new Executive Director. As we approach our ten-year anniversary, we are excited to have another skilled leader to advance our work; David Beller, our founder and Executive Director for nearly a decade is working closely with Michelle to ensure a smooth transition.  

Michelle will lead a staff of six and Grow Portland’s work with 13 public schools. Our Garden School program provides over 5,000 students with high-quality, monthly garden-based education in three school districts, Portland Public, David Douglas, and West Linn-Wilsonville. Students receive hands-on garden education focused on healthy eating and environmental stewardship led by our team of skilled educators. 

Michelle is a fifth-generation Oregonian, holds a degree in International Studies, and comes to Grow Portland with close to two decades of nonprofit management experience. She worked as a Manager and Program Director for Catholic Charities supporting the resettlement of refugees into the Portland community. At Tilukum Center for Retreats, Michelle served as the Retreat Center Director where she implemented integrational programming and built fundraising and marketing efforts. Since moving to Portland a decade ago, Michelle has focused her time primarily in the field of social services including roles in volunteer coordination, community outreach, development, and grant support.

Michelle serves as the Board President for the Rose City Rollers, supporting their work empowering women and girls through physical activity and community building. Michelle is a passionate urban gardener, volunteer, outdoors person, and prides herself on being among the world’s greatest aunts.

In Michelle’s words:

“I am thrilled to be joining the strong, vibrant staff and board of Grow Portland. This role brings together my skills and experiences to a field I care deeply about. I am looking forward to supporting Grow Portland in the next chapter of its work.”

Grow Portland is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 to build healthy communities through urban food production. Grow Portland’s mission is to empower our community to grow healthy food. We have built or sponsored 11 community gardens and provided school garden education for more than 10,000 students at 20 public schools.

Michelle’s Contact Information: 971-202-9050, mwelton at