Kimbal Musk is an investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a chef.
Kimbal is on the board for Tesla Motors, SpaceX, The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and Chipotle Mexican Grill. His personal mission is to get communities rapidly thriving by improving every part of the food culture. Kimbal is a co-founder of The Kitchen, a growing family of restaurants that sources directly from local farmers, stimulating the local farm economy to the tune of millions of dollars a year, and creating quality jobs. In 2011, Kimbal co-founded The Kitchen Community, a complementary non-profit organization. The Kitchen Community has already built 200 Learning Gardens reaching over 120,000 students every school day, improving their vegetable intake and academic achievements.
Hugo Matheson is the Chef/Co-Founder of The Kitchen.
Born in England, Hugo grew up eating whatever food his mother picked up that day. Sometimes it was just “a bit of kale from our garden,” other times it was “a slowly simmered leg of lamb from the nearby butcher.” Either way, it was always fresh and represented the best of the area.
Tighe Hutchins is passionate about and committed to working with youth specifically around growing food and motivating youth to make healthy food choices.
Tighe has worked with TKC to help create, build, and implement a scalable and successful outdoor educational program for schools with Learning Gardens over the past 5 years. Her passion for this work comes from her background in Sustainable Food Systems and Environmental Education. Previous to TKC, Tighe worked in the for profit sustainable food systems sector specifically in the natural food industry where she focused and supported early growth, start-up companies. She has also spent time teaching environmental education and coaching youth sports. Tighe earned and a B.S in Conservation and Resource Studies from The University of California, Berkeley.
Robin is originally from Philadelphia and spent most of her professional career working in mid-size and large organizations located in New York, Washington DC and Dallas.
At TKC, Robin is responsible for leading our people activities and internal operations. Prior to joining TKC Robin cultivated her passion for people and process as part of the leadership teams at Conservation International, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ernst & Young and the National Ecological Observatory Network. She’s earned dual professional certifications in compensation and benefits from World at Work and is also certified as an Organizational Development Practitioner. Robin and her family moved to Boulder several years ago and love spending time outdoors exploring all things Colorado. As a proud alum of the University of Virginia, when she’s not at work you’ll also find her cheering for her favorite sports teams.
Joan grew up in Wisconsin where gardens were simply a part of everyday life. She lived in California for 22 years before moving to CO. For four years Joan served as President and COO of TKC. She now serves as Chief of Staff to the CEO. Prior to TKC, her experience included a combined 25 years of corporate systems consulting and academics. As a tenured business professor at Long Beach City College, Joan worked with many students of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds having varying and often extreme needs – students who forever positively changed her outlook on life. Joan has a Bachelor of Business Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin and a Master in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. She was a competitive middle-distance runner and duathlete; now she runs to keep up with her boys.
Erin is originally from New England. She moved to Colorado with her family in 2010. Prior to joining TKC, Erin held positions with vcfo, Hale and Dorr, LLP and Carlin, Charron & Rosen, LLP. Erin began her professional career as an electrical engineer redesigning torpedoes for the navy. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MS in Accountancy and is an active CPA in the States of Colorado and Massachusetts. When not working, Erin enjoys spending time with her husband and children. The decision to join TKC was not a difficult one. She is grateful for this amazing opportunity to use her professional knowledge to help children across the country.
Olivia is a native of Rochester, NY with a passion for providing children with hands-on learning experiences. Prior to The Kitchen Community she served as Development Director for WOW! Children’s Museum in Lafayette, Colorado, where she directed the Museum’s fundraising efforts. She has also worked in communications and marketing for Causewave Community Partners and New York State Assemblyman Joseph Morelle. Olivia holds her BA in Communications from SUNY Geneseo. In her spare time, Olivia volunteers as a Board Member for the Lafayette Public Library and attempts to cook Polish food with her husband and two children.
Fueled with a genuine passion to help people through design, Shaun has over a decade of experience in landscape architecture, design thinking, and creative problem solving. He completed his undergrad at Purdue University with a BS in Landscape Architecture in 2005 and calls Indianapolis his home. When not managing TKC projects, Shaun can be found playing with his family, catching a concert, and visiting local restaurants and dive bars. Shaun is also the Indy office walking calculator. He can add up sums quicker than you can pull up the calculator on your iPhone!
Charity is an avid vegetable gardener, who is passionate about sharing the joy and impacts of growing food with others.
She has a BA in Environmental Science from Goshen College, and experience working with urban farms, garden education, and edible landscaping projects. Most recently, she coordinated an edible garden outreach program in Pittsburgh, aiming to increase access to fresh and healthy foods through backyard vegetable gardening.
Aside from gardening, Charity enjoys baking, traveling, playing in nature, and spending time with her husband and their mini schnauzer.
Originally from a small family farm in Illinois, Mike spent the last 8 years in Minnesota receiving his J.D., starting his family (3 kids), and forging his resolve to devote his life to supporting the real food movement. Moving back to Illinois, Mike was immediately drawn to The Kitchen Community for its work jumpstarting the real food movement in Chicago. When he's not championing TKC's Chicago programs he's helping a local start-up food co-op and experimenting with small-scale, sustainable food production on a few acres.
Raised in the Garden State, Margarita grew up collecting and dissecting plants.
She went to Rutgers University where she received a BS in Agricultural Plant Science. She has worked with Rutgers Cooperative Extension as an intern, AmeriCorps VISTA, and project staff, working in plant and soil science education. When not tending to plants, Margarita likes to visit museums, read books, paint, and go hiking.
Rochelle attributes her love of nature and fresh food to her childhood in rural Upstate NY.
After graduating from Cornell University in 2014 with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture, she moved to Memphis, TN to pursue a passion for food justice, urban agriculture, and place branding. Previous to joining the TKC team, Rochelle was involved in a design initiative called Rust2Green Utica, and worked for Green Leaf, a small urban farm in South Memphis. In her free time, she enjoys collecting tropical plants and learning the magic of southern cooking.
Julia's interest in food access and social justice is backed by her time spent studying Environmental Science at Pitzer College, overseas in Costa Rica and New Zealand and with her experience in LA with urban agriculture projects.
Melissa Chananie is a New York native excited (like everyone else) to now call Colorado home!
Prior to joining The Kitchen Community team, Melissa served two AmeriCorps service years doing communications, fundraising, and outreach with Our City Forest, an urban forestry nonprofit in San Jose, CA and Assuring Better Child Health & Development, an early childhood organization in Denver. Between her two years she spent time traveling and organic farming in Nepal and Thailand. Melissa received her BA in English from Lehigh University in 2013 and currently sits on the board of Greenleaf, a local Denver youth leadership and food justice organization and urban farm.
Darin is a husband and happy father of two boys and a little girl.
His childhood in rural Indiana led Darin to Ball State University, where he graduated with a Master's of Landscape Architecture. Darin's past experience working for Civitas, Denver Public Schools and Learning Landscapes projects have propelled him to lead TKC's Project Management team. When Darin's not in the field or the office, you'll find him playing ultimate frisbee, where he competes world-wide.
Marie is originally from New York City, but has lived in Memphis long enough to call it home.
Marie has Masters’ in Public and Nonprofit Administration and Anthropology from the University of Memphis, and a culinary certificate from the California Culinary Academy. She is most passionate about engaging youth through gardening, and networking with food system stakeholders in Memphis. Marie spends her free time backyard gardening, chicken keeping, volunteering at local farmers markets, and dancing with the local company Project: Motion Modern Dance Collective.
After studying at Purdue and working as a mechanical field engineer, James Elia has focused his efforts on improving communities through rebuilding our relationship with food. He hopes to continue building creative and educational environments for students to learn where real food comes from. He has spent time all over the world but is very excited to call Boulder his new home. When he’s not at work, you’ll find James exploring new trails, destroying a burrito or hitting trees on his bike.
Lisa Ellis, a native Memphian and Memphis Grizzlies fan, is proud to call Memphis home.
Before joining TKC, Lisa was a fundraiser at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She brings a passion for children along with donor development and events knowledge to TKC. She is also involved locally with The Junior League, AutoZone Liberty Bowl, and St. Jude. Lisa holds an MBA in Management and a BBA in Marketing from The University of Mississippi. When she isn't at TKC, you can find her playing tennis, working in her garden, or entertaining friends with her husband and their puppy Birdie.
Cristina is committed to advancing community health and promoting environmental stewardship.
Prior to joining TKC, Cristina spent 10 years working in the environmental field providing both research and programmatic support to non-profit and governmental organizations. Most recently, she worked as a researcher for a university-based institute focused on capacity building for tribal environmental programs throughout the nation. Cristina holds a MS from Northern Arizona University in Environmental Sciences and Policy and a BA in Environmental Studies and Sociology (dual major) from the University of San Francisco. On the weekends, Cristina can be found outdoors rock climbing, biking, or skiing.
Hailing from Virginia, Erika received her B.S. from Virginia Tech in Environmental Policy & Planning, and just recently graduated from Duke with a Masters of Environmental Management. Erika has a strong interest in environmental education through place-based, experiential, and service-learning opportunities. In the past, she managed the Virginia Tech Student Garden, and was a volunteer through the WWOOF program in Italy and at the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm. Additionally, Erika competed her masters project focused on creating a web database of garden-based curricula for North Carolina.
Originally from Louisville, KY, Laura has lived in Australia, Norway, Finland, Portugal and Slovenia, but today she enjoys strong roots in Indianapolis, IN. A serendipitous string of events involving yoga, a raw milk cow-share and a front porch egg-CSA lead Laura to start the Indy Winter Farmers Market in 2008 and found Growing Places Indy in 2010. Ever since she has been driving forward the vision for healthier communities through real food and mind-body education. Laura is delighted to bring her experience and commitment to The Kitchen Community and to bring Learning Gardens to Indianapolis schools. Away from work, Laura teaches yoga and enjoys time - mostly involving good food - with family and friends. She completed a BA from Butler University in 2000 and an MBA from the Bled School of Management in Slovenia in 2014.
Karen grew up in Dallas, Texas and moved to Memphis to attend Rhodes College.
She graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Environmental Science after falling in love with the food, music, and people of Memphis. While at Rhodes, Karen was involved with the campus garden and farmers market and worked as a research assistant in the archaeology department. After graduation, she spent a year teaching science and caring for chickens and a small farm at a Montessori school in Knoxville. Karen is thrilled to be back in Memphis and continue her work in education and sustainability with The Kitchen Community. In her free time, Karen enjoys singing in choirs and planning trips to visit her eight siblings.
Sydney Karpowich is a landscape designer and is passionate about creating and building spaces that are central, distinct, and empowering places to learn, teach and gather in a school.
Celeste is fun-loving and passionate about creating change in our food system.
She comes to TKC with a background in community and youth development and garden education for schools and non-profits. Did we mention she also brews her own beer!?
Stephanie studied at Ball State University where she graduated with a BS in Environmental Science and Biology.
Kristin Kirkpatrick is the Regional Director for Colorado at The Kitchen Community.
Kristin is passionate about creating environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice. With a background in public health and city planning, Kristin has worked to support the health of Coloradans where they live, work, and play through roles in community-based organizing around obesity prevention, transportation planning at the local and federal levels, in policy advocacy around health equity, and in health-oriented private real-estate development. Kristin is currently an adjunct professor at CSU in the School of Public Health and chairs her local planning commission. Kristin holds a B.S. in Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado. As a mother to three young children, Kristin understands the transformational power of the seeds being planted through TKC's Learning Garden initiative and feels so lucky to be part of the team. In her spare time, you can find Kristin playing outside with her family and her dog, Derby.
Sam Koentopp is a gardener, and teacher from Chicago.
Sam Koentopp is the Chicago Program Manager. He has been with TKC since 2013 and has helped build most of the organization's Learning Gardens currently installed in Chicago schools. Sam is a father of 2 girls and outside of his work with TKC he enjoys being with his family, cooking, eating, and playing music. Sam is proud to be a part of the Chicago urban agriculture community and believes deeply that we can accomplish the most when we work in cooperation and collaboration with our communities.
Growing up in Montana, New Hampshire and Idaho, Sadie learned to love the outdoors at an early age. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and worked in an engineering lab focused on mapping the impacts of climate change. She is passionate about projects focused on positively impacting others. When not working or spending time with family and friends, Sadie enjoys riding her horses, rock climbing, skiing, and reading
A native of Buffalo, NY, Josh holds a bachelors in Environmental Policy (SUNY Buffalo) and a Masters in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University.
Josh is a certified Permaculture Designer and has a particular focus on creating systemic changes in our food systems, studying in Maui, Kenya, Oregon and Colorado. He has worked for numerous non-profits and with Americorps implementing sustainable community development with both youth and adults. He is also addicted to wildlife documentaries.
Madeleine Nelson joined The Kitchen Community with five years of non-profit development experience.
Most recently, she was Donor Relations Manager at Western Resource Advocates (WRA), a non-profit environmental conservation organization in Boulder, where she focused on corporate and individual giving and special events. Prior to WRA, she worked in membership at the YMCA of Boulder Valley. Madeleine originally hails from Chicago. She earned a BA in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder and holds a Nutrition certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Micheal join The Kitchen Community team in the winter of 2015.
Micheal graduated with her Bachelors in Business Administration in Marketing and Accounting from University of Saint Francis and completed the Windy City Harvest Apprenticeship Program in 2015 with a certification in Horticulture, driven by her passion for environmental and food justice. At the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Micheal instructs the course "Entrepreneurship for Local Foods" and also serves as CFO of Canaan Community Redevelopment Corporation in the Englewood Community. In her free time, Micheal partners with several local urban gardens and community organizations. Micheal lives with her husband and two daughters in Chicago.
Brynn, an Indiana native moved to Colorado to pursue a career in food and environmental sustainability. She has always had a love for cooking with fresh, seasonal produce, visiting farmers’ markets, and connecting with others over a nourishing meal. Throughout college in Indianapolis, Brynn spent most of her time working on urban farms throughout the city and coordinating volunteers for a like- minded organization that serves locally grown food to underserved populations. Brynn believes that food is the sustenance to which we thrive, and educating youth in particular will have a lasting impact.
Hilary, a Berkeley native moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in economics with a business emphasis from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Whitney carries a BA in International Studies from the University of Iowa, with a focus on Human Rights, and a post-professional certificate in Sustainable Urban Planning from Archeworks.
She has worked on global food security initiatives, co-led a recreational culinary center, developed an environmental arts initiative, supported a neighborhood seed library, grown for restaurants, co-designed green roofs, and manages the Logan Square Farmers Market year-round. Outside of TKC, she moonlights as a birth doula, drummer, culture writer, and loves playing outside!
Corenna’s passion for sustainable agriculture and community development has led to opportunities working for several non-profits, most recently as a school garden coordinator for a Chicago public charter school.
Corenna earned her master’s degree through Miami University at Ohio, focusing on how gardens can encourage environmental stewardship, community engagement, local and global understanding, and inquiry-based learning. She is most proud of starting a community garden in her neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago.
Jeff is a domestic product of Iowa and California with farming in his blood.
Infatuated with cooking food fresh from the soil, he started a student catering org at Occidental College using food from the student gardens and South Central Farmers' community supported agriculture. He soon switched his efforts to landscape design through the Little Green Fingers Children's Garden Collaborative, working with DakeLuna on design and Dr. Nicole M. Gatto on program evaluation. Off the clock, Jeff can be found surfing or neck deep in a side salad.
Born in South Carolina, as a child, Danny was always getting his hands dirty in the garden.
After receiving his Bachelors degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, Danny joined the Peace Corps as an Environmental Education volunteer in Mexico. After completing his two years of service, Danny returned to the US and moved to Memphis on a whim. Danny feels most comfortable in his kitchen cooking big meals for family and friends.
Jenny has worked in construction and landscaping for 15 years.
She enjoys using her experience to bring edible gardens to schools in the LA area. Jenny loves to travel, garden, play with her family and she's an enthusiastic cook. Jenny has lived in Los Angeles since 2012, where she works as a Regional Project Manager for TKC.
Theresa grew up plucking fresh veggies from her parents' garden and cherries off their trees. Their example started her own enthusiasm for food, one that extends far beyond enjoying or cooking a meal, to a passionate support of real food and Indy's local farmers. Before TKC, Theresa worked in development and communications for the IU Center for Global Health and the IU Simon Cancer Center. Even further back, she was an advertising account executive. On weekends, you can usually find Theresa working with various vendors at the farmers' market or outside—tackling a triathlon, running, stand-up paddle boarding, or skating the canal.
Tim Villard is a New Hampshire native with a passion for plants!
Tim began gardening early on with is family back in New Hampshire, establishing immediate rapport with the bugs and worms beneath the dirt. His interest and experience grew and he found himself with a degree in environmental conservation with a focus on wetlands, and field ecology from the University of New Hampshire. After fulfilling his academic commitments Tim explored new areas of interest and experience by working in wetland mapping, tracking bird nesting, and the New England fishing industry. After a 'Magellan-esque' tour of the air and sea, Tim found himself once again drawn to the land and found himself comfortably settled in Boulder, Colorado working in small-scale organic farming. As his passion grew for the healthy impacts farming had on him and his local community, he was drawn to expand those impacts by working with The Kitchen Community to welcome kids and communities to growing the best produce possible.
Kate is an entrepreneur, attorney, and outdoor athlete who joined The Kitchen Community after spending two years building the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network in Colorado. Prior to attending the University of Colorado Law school, she founded and served as creative director of BeatUpBoots Media, a content, copywriting, and digital media management firm serving a variety of startup clients. Kate is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where she attended Hawken School and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Miami University of Ohio. Kate was a competitive, FIS and Junior Olympic alpine ski racer for 15 years. She enjoys skiing (especially in Silverton), drinking craft (beer and bourbon), climbing (Colorado Fourteeners), and hiking (with her dog Stanley).
Kalle has worked in landscaping and design for 15 years and enjoys bringing her experience and passion for environmental education to schools in Chicago.
She completed her undergrad at Warren Wilson College and went on to earn her Master's of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia. Kalle is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Registered Landscape Architect. When she's not in the office, she loves family camping trips, gardening, and dabbling in photography.