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 and committee members to focus on our marketing, fundraising and technology. If you would like to be considered for a board or committee position, please contact us for further details.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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. He misses Texas during the cold months since that usually means sidelining both gardening and golf.
Matt Tansley, Secretary
Matt Tansley is a Land Use Planner with the Kane County Development and Community Services Department. He provides staff support for the implementation of various county long range and strategic plans, including the Kane County 2040 Plan, Growing for Kane Report, and the Kane County Food Hub Feasibility Study. He also coordinates the activities of the Kane County Planning Cooperative, an interdepartmental working group of planning practitioners representing the Departments of Development, Health and Transportation; as well as publishes the group’s monthly newsletter. Matt holds a B.S. in Political Science from Bradley University and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. For the past four years Matt has served as Secretary on the GardenWorks Project’s Board of Directors.
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.
Krishna started with The GardenWorks Project in 2018. She was inspired by her mother’s love of nature to take up gardening. She has been a home gardener for almost 6 years and is passionate about helping bring food security to our neighbors. Krishna is a project manager in the tech industry and holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Western Kentucky University.
Tracy is relatively new to gardening but is quickly learning from the resources available from The Gardenworks Project and is looking forward to years of productive growing seasons in her future. Tracy is a CPA with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois. She has a long history in corporate finance, treasury, and accounting. In addition to learning to grow vegetables, Tracy’s interests include running, bicycling and travel.
Amanda Bryant has been gardening with her Mom since before she can remember. Now, she loves sharing her love of gardening with her husband, son and anyone who will listen. Amanda began volunteering with The Gardenworks Project in 2017 and became a lead during the 2018 season, shortly before joining the board. She earned her BA from DePaul University in International Studies and is also a registered yoga instructor. Being a part of The GardenWorks Project has given Amanda the great opportunity to combine her great passions: helping people become more connected with their bodies while also helping them become more connected to their food.
Emily became interested in gardening after taking a food insecurity and accessibility class in college, and has come a long way from growing basil and parsley in her dorm room. She majored in Nonprofit Management at Indiana University, and was able to volunteer at a couple of gardening initiatives around Bloomington. She is the Donor Relations Coordinator at the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans. Emily is so excited to combine her love of gardening and fundraising to help continue The GardenWorks Project's growth and impact in the community. Outside of work, Emily likes to tend to her garden, knit, and read.
Peter recently joined the Board in August 2018 after volunteering as a Garden Build Team Member during the summer months. Peter comes to the GardenWorks Project with educational, work, and volunteer experiences in teaching, program supervision, and administrative development. He currently is the Administrative Supervisor at People's Resource Center's Southeast location in Westmont. He developed an interest in gardening and cooking by learning from his grandmother and his father, who is a Chef. His grandmother's garden in Toronto has always been his happy place, and a symbol of his family's resiliency in adapting to life in an unfamiliar country after immigrating to Canada from Greece decades earlier. He is passionate about educating and supporting different community groups in order to provide food pantries with more fresh produce throughout the year.
Jeannie Iseman, Executive Director
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 an RYT-200 yoga instructor since 2011 and especially loves practicing yoga outdoors.
Robin Augustine, Programs & Operations Coordinator
Robin began gardening when her and her husband bought their house 10 years ago even though they didn't know anything about gardening. They went from planting a bed full of tomatoes and peppers that year to transforming an entire side of their yard into multiple gardens and growing a much larger variety of vegetables year round. She has developed a passion for growing and preserving food. Her and her two young boys have been volunteering with GardenWorks since 2015 after learning about the project from a friend who knew she was interested in more volunteer opportunities that she could get involved with her boys. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Saint Xavier University.