Leaders and Growers

Gateway Greening isn’t just a non-profit organization; we’re a family of planters, growers and educators. Strength and empowerment are our tools, and our desire to educate the community is our goal. We’re friends, neighbors, teachers and co-workers looking to better our neighborhoods by working hand-in-dirt with people like you.


Sarah Bullock

Volunteer Development AmeriCorps VISTA

Email SARAH 

Volunteering is a tremendous thing to do and its impact can go beyond what an individual sees. When a person volunteers there is a chance for personal growth, to make connections, to become a catalyst in the community where they live, and potentially, land a job. Several positions I’ve held throughout my career have come from being a volunteer first (this one included). Gateway Greening understands the benefits of giving back and they have over 4,000 volunteers that help in 240+ community gardens. Their work throughout the St. Louis area reaches parts of the community I would never have become familiar with if it were not for my involvement with this company. I am enthusiastic about getting others to volunteer, whether it’s with us or other community based organizations!



Kathleen Carson

Education Manager

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 107
Email Kathleen

I have been engaged around the St. Louis region in a variety of capacities in community building and sustainability efforts. I am returning to my roots so to speak with community gardening and urban agriculture as I come from a farming family. My background is in education and public policy and I approach this work with the aim of empowering people and communities. Gardening knowledge is uniquely powerful as individuals can use it to impact their own and their families’ well being as well as help improve their community and build relationships with their neighbors.

Carolyn Cosgrove Payne

Teen Programs Coordinator

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 100
Email Carolyn

I’ve been working with young people on farms since 2010, and it has been a great honor to grow Dig It STL from an idea into a thriving program. Digging potatoes out of the earth in a July dawn is highly addictive, and teen employment in our field (which is literally a field!) seems to address so many problems at once. Farming is an accessible framework for starting conversations with young people about hunger, racism, and environmental & economic justice. It allows us to step outside the virtual world and into the tangible world, where we can practice how to care for other living things. It answers a necessary and fundamental question about how we can work together to create a more equitable community. Every day on the farm is a new opportunity to do something powerful and good.


Matthew Even

Outreach Manager

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 112
Email Matt

I consider myself to be a part of the re-learning when it comes to how we interact with our environment. To me, the act of growing food represents our ultimate expression of co-dependence with the natural world. Sharing ideas around growing food, communities, our environment and “making them all better than how we found it” inspires me every day.


Dean Gunderson

Garden Program Manager

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 108
Email Dean

Food and the plants we grow are some of the few things in life that connect us all; everybody eats. It’s a connection that crosses all of the artificial lines we draw to separate ourselves. I love being part of an organization that works to give people more access to gardening and food to help unite us. I like meeting all of the gardeners we work with and hearing about all the different plants they grow and how people with different backgrounds than me grow and eat those plants differently than I do, so if you grow a weird food plant or have a unique way that your family eats it let me know!


Jackson Hambrick

Urban Farm Manager

Email Jackson

From a very young age I have had a close tie with food. I grew up in Colorado where we hunted every year; we put so much effort into hunting that it required a default respect for the effort we put into as well as a respect for the animal. This also influenced my love of nature and my care for environmental stewardship. I graduated from the U. Missouri last spring with a degree in Food Science and Nutrition. During my studies I kept seeing how the food industry disconnects individuals from the food system. This is why I joined Gateway Greening because of the organizations core mission of empowering communities through gardening and urban agriculture.


Lucy Herleth

Youth Educator

Phone: (314)588-9600 ext.106
Email LUCY

I am a native St. Louisan who loves exploring nature in the city and beyond. I believe everyone is a scientist, and nature is the best laboratory to get kids excited to investigate! Gardens are just outside the classroom door and growing food is the perfect introduction to the wide, wonderful world of plants, animals, and climate. Holding a worm, pulling a carrot out of the ground, and working together as a class to grow a tasty snack brings out the best in students and us. I am thrilled to share my love of getting muddy and discovering the natural world in our schoolyards and backyards with St. Louis kids.


Meg Holmes

Youth Educator

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext.105

I am a native born south St. Louis resident, serving as an Americorps VISTA here at Gateway Greening. I have an Associates Degree with an emphasis in horticulture because of my love of plants. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to do more to give back to this world, so I went back to school and hodge-podged a degree together to attain a Bachelor’s in Educational Studies, with a minor in Environmental Studies and a Certificate in Interpretation. It has panned out, teaching children in non-traditional ways to care about the environment has come to fruition. This experience as a VISTA adds another level of fulfillment and giving back because now I am helping build curriculum and lesson plans that will help teachers get their students outside into the garden more while assessing needs of teachers and connecting them with the vast resources available at Gateway Greening. Besides wanting to help the environment, every child deserves to be exposed to new foods and the opportunity to eat nutritious food. I am helping to make that possible while here at Gateway Greening because that’s what Gateway Greening does here every day though education and empowerment we help people grow their communities through gardening and urban agriculture, it’s a perfect fit!


Emily Leidenfrost
2017 - Emily L

Horticulture Instructor

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 113 

Working with my hands and growing my own food floods me a sense of empowerment, confidence and accomplishment. I strongly believe in the therapeutic power of urban agriculture to heal people and communities, teach transferable life skills, and revitalize our connection with food and nature. I’m so thrilled to be working (and playing!) on the farm everyday and watching others undergo their own personal transformation. 


Theresa Lopez

Office Manager

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 101
Email Theresa

One of the best parts about working here at Gateway Greening is the people. From the staff, to the board, to volunteers who work for us — the people are just great. This place never gets boring; the amount of variety and passion people convey is inspiring. So inspiring, in fact, that I personally eat better and live better. That’s priceless.

Megan Moncure

Manager of Volunteers

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 110 

I first learned about Gateway Greening by donating plants to the Great Perennial Divide and then as a community gardener. I have always been exposed to growing my own food from being on my grandparent’s Nebraska farm to helping my mother in the vegetable garden. I love working with volunteers and am excited to do what I can to help them get more involved in their community and urban agriculture.

Bryan Rogersbryan-headshot-for-website

Manager of Advancement

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 111
Email Bryan 

I came to the Gateway Greening team through a non-traditional path.  I have spent the last fifteen years as a chef in country clubs, restaurants, grocery stores and universities.  Many would assume that my passion for food started within that time, but actually it was the complete opposite.  I have been playing in community gardens since I was a little boy.  I was one of those kids that lived in a St. Louis food desert.  I understand how imperative it is to push our mission forward not only to solve food insecurities, but also to gain an appreciation for the process of life, through the education of plant growth.


Matt Schindler

Executive Director

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 102
Email Matt

I was drawn to Gateway Greening because of its mission to educate and empower people to create a better St. Louis. In urban areas, I think we have lost touch with where our food comes from and even with our connection to nature. Gateway Greening is providing that link for many St. Louisans and communities, and I am proud to be a part of it.


Suzie Schmitt

Food Distribution Coordinator


I have loved to cook my entire life. Eventually, I started to wonder where the food I cooked with came from. Once I started diving into our food system I couldn’t stop – which led me to my passion for gardening and urban agriculture. I graduated from Webster University with a self-designed major in Environmental Sustainability with an emphasis on Urban Agriculture, and I’m very happy to be putting it to work at Gateway Greening. It’s very rewarding to help St. Louis eat better and healthier while doing something I love!


Genesis Tafari

Youth Program AmeriCorps VISTA


Before I became a VISTA I was able to work with Gateway Greening as Dig It member. Through that experience I found how much I truly enjoyed being outdoors and working with others together for a greater purpose. Gateway Greening was my, and is for many others, first connection to urban agriculture and urban farming and its something I’m extremely grateful for.


Sara Wike

Director of Administration

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 113
Email Sara

Gateway Greening’s remarkable staff and dedication to the St. Louis community is what drew me to this organization. Their eagerness to see the City grow through community gardens and teach individuals to live a self-sustaining life is a value every resident of St. Louis should grasp and welcome. I am thrilled to be apart of the Gateway Greening team, and to support the growth of urban agriculture throughout the St. Louis City.


Erin Wood

Communications Manager

Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 104
Email Erin

As a kid, I was privileged to grow up surrounded by small family farms in southern Illinois and to be best friends with a tried-n-true farm girl. Privileged, because it meant summers spent eating delicious home cooked dinners straight from the garden, hilarious weekends making mass batches of sauerkraut when the cabbage patch did TOO well, and plenty of nights chasing fireflies – just because. Working at Gateway Greening appealed to me as a way to bring those positive experiences of good food, safe fun, and supportive community to other kids who might not have the opportunity otherwise.


Board of Directors

This amazing group of individuals is the stem to our leaves. Our board is an important part of our growth and development; they keep everything smooth and iron out any corporate road bumps. Making our city greener would be harder, if not impossible, without their insight, hard work and leadership.

Megan Barton, Centene Corp.

Ellen Borowiak, Saint Louis University

Ann Smith Carr

Norma Fanara, Commerce Bank

Stephanie Grise (Treasurer), US Bank CDC

Mark Lawson, Monsanto Company

Missy McCoy, Husch Blackwell

Randy Parker, Randell S Parker Law

Bill Ruppert (Chair), National Nursery Products

Michelle Smart, St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund

Jack Terry, Lathrop & Gage

Julie M. Thomas (Secretary), Edward Jones

Zar Toolan, Wells Fargo Advisors

Frank Warren Jr.


Advisory Council

Here’s our advisory council. Just like your big brother or sister, it’s always good to have sound advice. And we’re no different. These people live and breath Gateway Greening to make sure we’re heading in the right direction.

Kelly Annis

Judge Nannette Baker

Sarah Coffin

Melanie Dileo

Deno Fabbre

Lisa Flegel

Scarlett Lee Foster

Eric Gilbert

Loura Gilbert

Bonnie Hamid

Clare Higgins

Susan Kennedy

Dana Malkus

Keenan McRoberts

Andrew Meyerkord

Robert Neu

Ken Piva

David Richardson

Bryan Robinson

Jim Schulte

Amber D. Simpson

Ted Spaid

Matt Wetli

Dennis Woldum

Howard Wynder