The GardenWorks Project is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit. Over 200 talented and passionate volunteers come together to build organic vegetable gardens at the homes of our neighbors in need of food pantry assistance.

Could you be the next integral part of our team? We are currently looking for board members who wish to serve as Treasurer, and board and committee members to focus on our garden builds and educational programs. If you would like to be considered for a board or committee position, please complete our application or contact us for further details. 



Joe Grussenmeyer, President

Joe Grussenmeyer, President/Community Relations
Joe has volunteered with The GardenWorks Project since the summer of 2014. His background includes a BA in Business from The University of Illinois and is the owner B2B Web Solutions Corporation. Joe has a passion for organic gardening and teaching others about the benefits of healthy organic living. He believes it starts with our youth and educating them on where food comes from. When Joe isn’t working or chasing his two children around the yard, you can find him gardening or trying not to lose his ball on the golf course.

David Rhodes, Director of Programs

David Rhodes, Vice President/Program Management
David started with The GardenWorks Project in 2016, and he’s been a gardener for almost 20 years. He finds building gardens and coaching clients a great way to apply that passion, helping to help others see how easy and rewarding growing your own food can be. David earned his BA from Rice University and his MBA from Texas Tech University. Most of his career has been leading software development teams in Chicago’s financial services. David will apply his passion and skills in growing food at home in his role as Director of Programs. He misses Texas during the cold months, since that usually means sidelining both gardening and golf.


Kathy Hebert, Volunteer Management
Kathy started gardening as a hobby 8 years ago with a flower garden featuring native plants. She has since planted for pollinators, hummingbirds, and butterflies and has added vegetable gardens. She finds gardening to be relaxing, and her daughter (another GardenWorks volunteer) cooks with their harvests. Kathy is active in Special Olympics and Blessings in a Backpack. She became a volunteer with GardenWorks a year ago, and enjoys seeing the excitement of the clients when a build is completed and when she goes back to visit the clients that she coaches. Kathy is a retired special education teacher and hopes to continue to use her teaching skills with GardenWorks.


Jess Buttimer, Information Technology
Jess has a long history of exploring and exploiting new technologies to digitize, organize, and optimize. It all began with a database for her dad's tools, transitioned to CRM systems for Nuveen Investments, and culminated in a custom intranet for User Centric (now GfK). Jess now tinkers with technology for The GardenWorks Project, Prairie Food Co-op, and her PTA. Fond childhood memories of eating straight from the garden and a desire for local, organic, and sustainable food prompted Jess to grow an edible and native landscape at her Glen Ellyn home. Her two daughters love to dig in the dirt, sight new blooms, and harvest fresh and flavorful produce. It's a taste and a memory Jessica wishes for all families so she has been volunteering with GardenWorks since 2014.

Matt Tansley, Secretary

Matt Tansley, Secretary
Since joining The GardenWorks Project team in 2013, Matt has helped to secure recognition for the organization as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. He has a Master of Urban Planning degree and currently works as a Land Use Planner for a local government agency with a focus toward protecting agricultural lands and promoting sustainable local food systems. In the warmer months, Matt enjoys exploring new places by bike and playing ultimate frisbee.

David Malecek, Treasurer

David Malecek,Treasurer
Dave is an Executive Division Associate at Apex CPAs & Consultants with expertise in business optimization and operational finance, with a focus on growing profitably. He is a Certified Public Accountant with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. Dave lives in the Fox Valley with his lovely wife Heather and their three remarkable children. When not working, Dave likes outdoor activities (fishing, hiking, skiing, & kayaking), spending time with friends and family, reading the Bible, and learning.

Jeannie Iseman, Education
Both sharing a passion for gardening and community building, Jeannie Iseman and her husband have spent many years using their backyard as an informal community garden for friends and neighbors. Upon hearing about the Gardenworks Project, Jeannie was fascinated by their vision and mission, and joined the board in late 2016. Jeannie has a Masters Degree in Public Policy, and a background in social services, but most days you will find Jeannie chasing her three small children around or serving as a worship leader at her church. She is also a RYT-200 yoga instructor since 2011, and especially loves practicing yoga outdoors.

Dusty Holoubek, Marketing and Communications

Dusty Holoubek, Marketing and Communications
As the wife and daughter-in-law of Biology and Environmental Science teachers and hunters, Dusty has a healthy education of the study of life and the impact of humanity on nature. As the mother of three young children, she also has an invested interest in food origin. Dusty graduated from The University of Iowa in graphic design, is a member of DuPage Foundation's Marketing Committee, and is the Communication Chair for its Next Generation Committee. She runs her own marketing consulting business, My Marketing Tech, a firm that is focused on assisting non-profits and small businesses with design, photography, social media, websites and video projects and that is how she disconvered The GardenWorks Project. Helping others is innate to her Iowan background and being one with nature with both her husband and kids is where she is happiest. Dusty enjoys anything that breaks a sweat and puts her outside including biking, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing and skiing.

Amy Hebert, Member-at-Large

Amy Hebert, Member-at-Large
Amy started gardening 8 years ago because she wanted to start a vegetable garden to support her love of cooking fresh food.  It has grown from a few tomato and basil plants to a garden full of fresh vegetables.  She has a BS in Health Science from Benedictine University and a PhD in Anatomy and Cell Biology from UIC.  She is an assistant professor of biology at Elmhurst College.  In her free time she enjoys playing with her 2 Labs, cooking, gardening, watching the Packers and Cubs, and volunteering with various non-profits.

Sabrina Lear, Member-at-Large

Sabrina Lear, Member-at-Large

Sabrina began volunteering in the fall of 2014 when she moved to Illinois with her husband, Quinn, who is in dental school. Originally from Oregon, she wanted to volunteer in the community and was looking for an organization that was involved in suburban agriculture. Sabrina graduated from Oregon State University in June 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Crop and Soil Science with a focus in Crop Management. Sabrina and Quinn have participated in several garden builds and strongly believe in The GardenWorks Project's mission. Besides spending too much time in her front-yard veggie garden, Sabrina currently volunteers with her church youth group, is the office manager at the DuPage Foundation, and is pursuing a master's degree in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois.


Laura Fletcher, Member-at-Large
Laura took up gardening about 8 years ago, planting mainly wild grasses and shade plants. She was hooked and before you know it she was spending much of her time researching books or hanging out at the local garden centers, purchasing different shade plants as well as flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. As a kid, she remembers always having fresh tomatoes and cucumbers during the summer months. So, two summers ago she decided to start a vegetable garden. When she’s not busy relaxing in her gardens, she spends her weekends at the race track as a crew member on her husband’s drag racing team. During the winter, she enjoys cheering on her beloved Chicago Blackhawks.


Tina Koral, Executive Director

Tina Koral, Executive Director
Tina founded The GardenWorks Project in 2011, and now serves as its Executive Director. Tina holds a Master of Public Health, a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, an Associates in Horticulture and over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Tina serves on the College of DuPage Horticulture Department Advisory Committee, and volunteers with her PTO and Girl Scouts. In her spare time, Tina enjoys finding new places to hike with her family, gardening, raising her backyard chickens, yoga, and rowing crew on the Fox River.


Joy Davis, Programs and Operations Manager
Joy has been gardening for three years and started volunteering with The GardenWorks Project in summer 2015. She graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with a BA in political science and now works in marketing and publicity at a library. Besides gardening, her passions include writing, reading, poetry and the television show Survivor. Joy's writing has been published in literary magazines, Survivor websites and weekly in The Beacon News

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