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Meet Our Team

Meet Our Staff

Executive Director

Linda Appel Lipsius

Favorite vegetable: all

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Food Forest & Perennial Coordinator

Niki Barouxis

Favorite vegetable: mulberry

Pronouns: they/them
Food Access DUG Corps Member

Delanie Baumgartner

Favorite vegetable: red bell pepper

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Delanie is originally from Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) where she studied urban planning with a focus on sustainable development. Her previous work heavily focused on broadening food access and eliminating food insecurity on college campuses, and she am extremely eager to bring the knowledge she gained from those roles and my coursework into this season! Delanie has a heartfelt belief that access to healthy and nourishing food is a human right, not a privilege and she cannot wait to help provide that for the people of Denver! In her time outside of DUG, you can find her knitting up a storm of hats, baking one too many baked goods, or biking around the park in my cruiser. She is excited to be a part of the DUG network that connects people to gardens all around the city and provides access to those as eager as I am to get gardening!

Senior Director of External Affairs

Amy Daly

Favorite vegetable: parsnip

Pronouns: she/her
Community Education Director

Judy Elliott

Favorite vegetable: broccoli

Pronouns: she/her
Garden Finance

Katie Gourley

Favorite vegetable: cucumber

Pronouns: she/her
Community Events & Education DUG Corps Member

Max Gulliver

Favorite vegetable: garlic

Pronouns: he/him/his

Max has lived and gardened here in Colorado his whole life. After earning a master's degree in Sustainable Food Systems last year, he's been looking for ways to make a positive impact in his home state. Max's food journey began in restaurants and has led him to work in vineyards, wineries, organic farms, landscaping/edible gardening, food retail, and food policy. These days, he's passionate about food, wine, gardening, cooking and baking, canning and preservation, fermentation, and just about anything else garden or food-related. In his free time, Max is an amateur birder and loves exploring the amazing world of Denver’s parks and diverse ecosystems. He is thrilled to be part of the DUG team, helping to grow Denver’s beautiful garden spaces and bring together our communities.

Compost Program Manager

Kristi Hatakka

Favorite vegetable: beet

Pronouns: she/her
Director of Permaculture & Perennials

Creighton Hofeditz

Favorite vegetable: winter squash

Pronouns: he/him
Garden Maintenance & Support DUG Corps Member

Nick Hopkins

Favorite vegetable: potato

Pronouns: he/him
Photo of DUG staff member, Taylor Kibble.
Garden Projects Manager

Taylor Kibble

Favorite vegetable: asparagus

Pronouns: she/her
Director of Education Strategy and Engagement

Niko Kirby

Favorite vegetable: pumpkin

Pronouns: she/they
Volunteer Programs Manager

Marisa Loury

Favorite vegetable: carrot

Pronouns: she/her
Bilingual Marketing Manager

Osiris Mancera

Favorite vegetable: elephant garlic

Pronouns: Osiris/Osiris

Osiris is originally from Jacksonville, Florida and has lived all over the country (and even a few places oversees). And while Osiris moved for work, they stayed for the snowy mountains of Colorado. Osiris enjoys bridging their passions for language, community, and stories at DUG and is new to gardening! Osiris is all about holistic wellness and is an avid yogi (you can find Osiris teaching yin at the local climbing gym), passionate powerlifter, and novice climber. When Osiris is not working, they're sipping iced matcha, reading a cheesy romance book, or cuddling with their dog, Betty!

Fun Fact: Osiris speaks Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese!

IT & Salesforce Manager

Sue Mathison

Favorite vegetable: tomato

Pronouns: she/her
Office Coordinator

Daniel Maynard

Favorite vegetable: garlic

Director of Corporate Partnerships

Nessa Mogharreban

Favorite vegetable: okra

Photo of DUG staff member, Shay Moon.
Food Access Programs Manager

Shay Moon

Favorite vegetable: sweet potato

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director of Finance

Debbie Nash

Favorite vegetable:

Pronouns: she/her
Director of Operations

Brittany Pimentel

Favorite vegetable: snap peas

Pronouns: she/her

Brit has over 10 years experience in food systems work and began volunteering with DUG in 2014. She is deeply passionate about localizing our food system and deepening knowledge around growing food. Brit holds a Master's Degree in International Development from the Josef Korbel School for International Studies at the University of Denver. Brit enjoys yoga, hiking, reading and gardening with her two daughters, Willa and Indigo, and pup, Max.

Fun fact: Brit has over 50 first cousins!

Photo of DUG staff member, Caroline Sprague.
Community Events Manager

Caroline Sprague

Favorite vegetable: garlic

Pronouns: she/her/they/them

Caroline (she/they) comes to Denver via the Northeast. She is a nonprofit administrator with prior experience in civil rights law and the arts. Caroline has been privileged to learn from food justice, community, and mutual aid organizers in Denver and beyond, and brings a systems-level framework to the daily details of event management.

Fun Fact: My favorite holiday is Halloween!

Data Mapping Intern

Pablo Torre-Walter

Favorite vegetable: broccoli

Pronouns: he/him
Bilingual Youth Engagement Manager

Vanessa Villalobos

Favorite vegetable: calabacitas

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Vanessa holds two Bachelor's degrees from Arizona State University in Sustainability and Spanish and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Development Practice from Regis University. Vanessa has a passion to eradicate environmental injustice and ensure a sustainable future for all. In Vanessa’s professional career she has had the opportunity to work with youth who have inspired her lifelong curiosity and desire to learn every day. In her position at DUG she hopes to promote autonomy in the young people of Denver and empower them to bring positive transformation to the systems that affect them. In her personal time she enjoys Latin dancing, cooking, and appreciating nature.

Fun fact: Vanessa’s favorite sport is American Football - Go Cardinals

Director of Garden Operations

Lara Wirtz Fahnestock

Favorite vegetable: pineapple tomatillo

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Lara Wirtz Fahnestock has a passion for building community, teaching children where their food comes from and finding places of beauty and healing wherever she can. Lara joined Denver Urban Gardens as a Garden Leader in 2010 and DUG staff in 2015. As the Director of Garden Operations, she coordinates land use with DUG partners, oversees all new garden builds and oversees DUG's Therapeutic Garden Initiative. She has a BA in Biology from the Colorado College, a certificate of Authentic Leadership from Naropa University and is a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in trauma healing. Lara is currently studying Horticultural Therapy.

Fun fact: Lara is a second degree black belt in taekwondo

Volunteer Workdays DUG Corps Member

Eve Zook

Favorite vegetable: tomato

Pronouns: she/her

Eve was born and raised in Colorado Springs. She attended the University of Colorado Denver and earned a Geography degree with an emphasis in environment, society and sustainability. After her studies she moved to France for over a year and attended the American University of Paris where she studied French. During my year in France, she visited eleven countries! In her free time Eve enjoys gardening, watching movies, and exploring my neighborhood. She is so excited to be a part of the DUG team!

Interested in working with DUG?

Learn more about our available employment opportunities.

Employment Opportunities

Explore what fuels our work.

Learn more about Denver Urban Gardens.

About Us
All PR inquiries should be directed to Stef Jones at

Meet Our Board

Briana Borin-Lygizos

Chief People and Culture Officer at Snooze

Jolon Clark

Executive Director at Denver Parks and Recreation

Tim Craft

Founder of Craft Companies

Andrew Feldman

Private Wealth Advisor at Legacy Wealth Partners

Charon Earnest

Data Systems Manager at Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners

Brooke Gabbert

Director of Communications at

Richard Hess

Attorney at Coan, Payton & Payne

Adam Larkey

COO at Zeppelin Development

Jason Longsdorf

Associate Vice President at HDR

Kelly Nordini

CEO at Conservation Colorado

Jesse Ogas

Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement at 9News

Melissa Rosas

Senior Vice President at Consor Engineers, LLC

Chris Shaffner

Senior Vice President at CoBank

Melinda Warner

Garden Leader at Golden Community Garden

Zane Way

Vice President at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Interested in joining the DUG board?

Board recruitment generally happens each spring. If you’re interested in joining, please email Linda Appel Lipsius, Executive Director.

Meet Our Advisory Council

Advisory Council members provide guidance and thought partnership to DUG senior leadership and lift up our work through their networks. We also ask them from time to time to engage in educational opportunities and fundraising events.

Dana Bryson

Senior Vice President, Social Impact at

Zach Bush, MD

Physician, Research Scientist, Entrepreneur and internationally recognized educator and thought leader

Steve Culbertson

President & CEO, Youth Service America

Robert Egger

Nonprofit/Power Of Food Advocate & Dedicated Elder Ally

Ryland Englehart

Co-Founder + Executive Director at Kiss The Ground

Justin Evans

Global Head of Analytics & Insights, Samsung Ads

Beverly Grant

Founder, Mo' Betta Green MarketPlace

Daniela Ibarra-Howell

CEO and Co-Founder, Savory Institute

Jeff Krasno

Co-Founder, CEO + Podcast Host at Commune; Co-Founder + Executive Chairman at Wanderlust; Author; Conscious Capitalist

Laura J. Lawson

Executive Dean at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station

Ashley Williamson

Chief Replication Officer, the Giving Grove

Meet Our Partners

Our Partners support the work we do inside and out. Their encouragement, participation, and enthusiasm for the work we do incites our collective passion towards building a regenerative urban future.

Community Collaborators

Market Station

CPV (17th Street Gardens)

City of Lakewood (Porter Park)

Archway Communities- Mosaic


Corporate Funders



Southwest Airlines
Tagawa Gardens

Alec’s Ice Cream
Farmer’s Defense


Garden Adopters

Marcus Foundation
Liberty Global
Snooze 7th & CO
Graland Country Day School

Jeffco Public Health
Good Karma
Alpine Bank
New Hope
Conver Wonder Foundation
United Health Care

Brownstein Law
Secret Sauce
Gaming Lab International
Fairway Independent
Xcel Energy
Illegal Pete’s

Meow Wolf
Snooze Ballpark
Tributary Real Estate

SeEds Foundation/Milgrom
Oz Architecture
Emich Automotive
Whole Foods

Huntington Bank
Chase Bank
Broncos Foundation

Grant Partners

Technology Partners




A1 Organics

Specialty Wood Products
Botanical Interests

Blooma Farms

Wallaroo Hats
Great Divide