Staff & Board

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Michelle Welton (Executive Director) is a fifth-generation Oregonian, holds a degree in International Studies, and has two decades of nonprofit experience, ranging from program management to volunteer coordination to development. Michelle spent the initial years of her career at numerous Pacific Northwest camps and retreat centers supporting outdoor education, youth and family programming, fundraising events, and retreat center management. Since moving to Portland a decade ago, Michelle has focused her time primarily in social services including roles in volunteer coordination, community outreach, development, grant support, and service on nonprofit boards. Most recently, Michelle managed the diverse staff and services of a local refugee resettlement program. 

Djamila Moore (Education Director) grew up in a rural town on the Big Island of Hawaii where she developed a passion for connecting to the land and growing food. Djamila is a leader in the school garden education field with over ten years of experience teaching and developing curricula in gardens, farms, classrooms and kitchens including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City, where she received her Horticulture Certificate. She earned her MA in Science Education from the University of British Columbia where she worked at the intersection of teacher training and agriculture. Djamila's work and research on school gardens has been presented at the Oregon School Garden Summit, Environmental Education Association of Oregon, World Affairs Council of Oregon, and the American Horticultural Society. Djamila cares deeply about cultivating community through gardening and professionalizing the field of school garden education.

Jennie Marable (Program Manager) Jennie has gardened alongside children and their families in Metro public schools for over a decade, learning about food, culture, and growing practices from the many communities that come together there. She is passionate about equity in education, and wants to see every child at every Oregon public school have the opportunity to learn and play in a food producing garden. As our Program Manager, she teaches, works to raise awareness of our mission, recruits and trains volunteers, and supports our development efforts. Her past work as a teacher, tutor, and child advocate, as well as private sector event coordinator, shaped her unique knowledge and perspective of food systems, health, and community engagement and continues to inform her work as a school garden educator and advocate.

Please contact her if you have questions about our organization, or would like to contribute time or dollars to our vision of green, thriving schools where every child has a good place to grow.

Bryce Belinski (Garden Educator) Growing up in Southern California, Bryce’s passion for nature and play brought her exploring all facets of outdoor life. She has led youth on educational adventures in the oceans of San Diego, the wilderness in Santa Barbara, the jungles of Costa Rica, and the mountains of Peru. Before landing in Portland, Oregon in 2016, Bryce honed in on her passion for the Spanish language and teaching diverse youth by spending a year teaching English in Vitoria- the capital of the Basque Country of Spain. She drew inspiration from the farming practices and love for food that the Basque demonstrate, leading her to return to the United States to pursue a masters degree in "Leadership for Sustainability Education" to bring this relationship to her community at home! Bryce comes to Grow Portland with an enthusiasm for sharing her love of nature, gardening, cooking, and healthy relationships with the students, families, and faculty of Portland Public Schools. Bryce's Spanish nature name is Brisa ("Breeze") and she will encourage you to find yours!

 

 
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Madeline Miller, Garden Educator

Madeline is a native Portlander and is the third generation of her family to serve Portland Public Schools. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Northwestern University and a M.S.Ed. in Leadership for Sustainability Education from Portland State. Madeline has dedicated herself to helping foster connections between people, food, and the natural world, especially through school gardens. She comes to Grow Portland with several years of experience in the field of garden education through AmeriCorps, summer camps, the Master Gardener program, and the Learning Gardens Lab in SE Portland. In her free time Madeline enjoys cooking, fermentation, and knitting.

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Julia Yost, Garden Educator

Julia joins Grow Portland after finishing two years of service with FoodCorps Americorps in Tillamook, OR. Julia graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies. It was there, while interning with Food for Lane County’s Youth Farm and developing her gardening skill set at the university’s Urban Farm, that she became inspired to pursue a journey of empowering and connecting communities through outdoor garden education. Julia believes that the garden is powerful space to learn, reflect, and connect and should be an available space for all students.

Grow Portland Board

Weston Miller (Board Member, Oregon State University Extension Service) serves as Community and Urban Horticulturist for Oregon State University Extension Service for the tri-county Portland metro area. Part of his duties include managing the Master Gardener and Beginning Urban Farm Apprenticeship.

Jessica Rojas (Board Member, NE Coalition of Neighborhoods) brings extensive knowledge around the intersections of race, gender, class and the environment. She works for NE Coalition of Neighborhoods as the Community and Environmental Engagement Manager. She is a 3rd generation Oregonian, raised in NE Portland. Jessica previously worked for the City of Portland, Metro and Cafe Mam. She is a lay herbalist and also serves on the board for the NW Center for Alternatives to Pesticides.

Amy Gilroy (Board Member Oregon, Department of Agriculture) is the Farm to School Manager at the Oregon Department of Agriculture where she works statewide to build nutrition and local food procurement efforts in public schools. As a part of this work, she helped expand the Food Corps program throughout Oregon. Amy previously worked as Project Manager for the Oregon Public Health Institute. She holds a Master of Public Heath degree from the University of Nebraska.

Amanda Hart (Board Member, Metropolitan Family Service) has worked with school communities across three districts in greater East Portland since moving to the city in 2010. She is currently the AmeriCorps program manager for Metropolitan Family Service, providing yearlong service opportunities to those passionate about giving back to their community. Amanda earned her BA in Comparative Sociology at the University of Puget Sound, with an emphasis on Latin American studies.

Bill Kabeiseman (Board Member, Bateman Seidel) has practiced Oregon land use and municipal law for over 15 years.  He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon for Land Use Law. Bill serves as general counsel for cities and other governmental entities, addressing the wide variety of issues that arise in land use, public contracting and election law. 

Founder

David Beller (Founding Director 2010-2019)  brought over 20 years of experience in horticulture, agriculture, food policy and community food projects. He earned a bachelor degree in agroecology and sustainable agriculture from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master of public policy from the University of California, Berkeley. David managed the California Polytechnic State University Organic Farm and was a researcher for the California Food Policy Advocates. David also worked as the Program Officer of Mercy Corps Northwest’s agriculture project, helping 100 local refugee farmers improve their skills and incomes.