Who We Are
Leaders and Growers
Gateway Greening isn’t just a non-profit organization; we are a family of planters, growers, and educators. Strength and empowerment are our tools, and our desire to educate the community is our goal. We are friends, neighbors, teachers, and co-workers looking to better our neighborhoods by working hand-in-dirt with people like you.
Community Projects Manager
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 108
Dean Gunderson is from Glen Carbon, Illinois about 20 miles east of St. Louis. He attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) where he studied Agricultural and Food Geography. Dean then interned at Cahokia Mounds where he was able to study the prehistoric agriculture practiced at Cahokia. He found his way to Gateway Greening as a volunteer, then an intern, which led to a seasonal position in the community garden program. He later became the Community Garden Program Manager and started our orchard program, the Giving Grove. He now manages the Giving Grove program and oversees the garden program and it’s services. His favorite thing about working at Gateway Greening is getting to work with and learn from so many different people and getting to help them to grow food for their families and communities.
A few fun facts about Dean, he enjoys doing garden experiments on his family’s property specifically trialling perennial crops and staple foods like grains and nuts, including almonds. He likes trying unusual edible foods, is a huge fan of Dr. Who, and this past year he and his wife welcomed their first child, a baby girl.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Master of Science in Geographical Studies with a focus on food and agricultural geography.
Future Education: Master of Time from the University of Gallifrey
Community Education Manager
Phone: (314)588-9600 ext. 109
Jackson Hambrick is originally from a small town in Southern Colorado. He left Colorado to attend the University of Missouri and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Food Science and Nutrition and a minor in Environmental Science with a focus on Soil Science. Through his studies in food science, Jackson realized that while he would be working with food and products on a daily basis his job would actually be disconnecting individuals from their food. After this realization, he took the time to travel and ended up traveling through New Zealand for 4 months working on organic farms and vineyards.
Jackson started at Gateway Greening in 2016 as an AmeriCorps VISTA and eventually ran the Gateway Greening Urban Farm program. When the program ended Jackson transitioned into his current role as Community Education Manager. What Jackson loves about working at Gateway Greening are the passionate and dedicated community leaders he gets to work with on a daily basis. What Jackson says about the work, “One of my favorite aspects of the job is the people I work with. Hearing people’s stories and how they are making positive changes in their communities. And I love that I get the honor of being a part of that positive change”. In his spare time, Jackson obviously likes to cook. He also is an avid runner, biker, hiker. He commutes by bike daily and he has run 10 half marathons and 1 full marathon.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition. Certified Food Safety Modernization Act Trainer.
Future Education: Jackson’s ultimate career goal is to run the most hipster pretentious coffee shop on this side of the Mississippi.
School Program Manager
Phone: (314)588-9600 ext.106
Before Gateway Greening, Lucy Herleth, a St. Louis native, worked as an Outdoor Educator through Americorps. For five years, she taught in New Hampshire, Montana, Maryland, and Washington, encouraging students to explore and appreciate their natural surroundings. Today, she oversees the Gateway Greening School Program, creating an inquiry-based garden curriculum, nurturing partnerships with educational and environmental institutions, and cultivating relationships with local educators and teachers. Outside of the office, Lucy can be found cooking, traveling, and exploring the outside.
Education: Bachelor in Environmental Studies from Saint Louis University. (Currently working towards a Masters in Biology from Miami University)
Future Education: Goat herder to chomp up invasive plants!
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 101
Theresa has been with Gateway Greening since December of 2005. Theresa is a native of St. Louis and went to Saint Francis DeSales grade school before graduating from Roosevelt High School. After working a couple of jobs at for-profits companies she got a job in the non-profit world and loved it. After having worked at that non-profit for 10 years she made the jump to Gateway Greening and has been managing our office ever since. Her favorite parts of working here are all the people she gets to meet and interact with and the variety of things that happen that make sure life is never boring here.
When she’s not working, she is spending time traveling and visiting her 4 children and 4 grandchildren that live in Chicago, California, and New York which allow for all sorts of fun road trips and family time.
Future Education: Time Traveling / Teleportation
Outreach & Volunteer Manager
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 110
Education: Bachelor of Arts in English.
Previous Employment Highlights: Conference Director, Project Coordinator at EducationPlus.
Working at Gateway Greening was a perfect matchup of my career interests and passion for gardening. Helping people grow food and make those community connections has also enabled me to learn a great deal from the Gateway Greening community.
Manager of Advancement
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 111
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration and Management, Project Management, and Contract Management. Associates in Culinary Arts.
Previous Employment Highlights: Sous Chef at Saint Louis University Nutrition and Dietetics. Volunteer Chef for The Sweet Potato Project. Volunteer Program Co-Chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Member of Black Leaders Advancing Community Change Cohort.
I didn’t choose to work for Gateway Greening. Gateway Greening chose me. I wanted to take a step back from the culinary industry and take my talents and use them to create a better St. Louis. I didn’t feel fulfilled with working in kitchens, especially with how poor dieting impacted my immediate family. I wanted to be a part of something that was truly making a difference.
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 114
Tonia has always had a passion for education, beginning her career as an English teacher. Eventually, however, she found herself feeling limited teaching in an indoor classroom setting. Having spent much of her own childhood roaming around her family’s woods, Tonia felt inspired to foster stronger connections between her students and the natural world around them. As Tonia says: “Whether it be on the importance of diversity, resilience, teamwork, change, or creating a healthy foundation for growth: nature is a great teacher.”
Tonia joined the Gateway Greening team in 2017 as an educator where she works closely with school gardens and youth in St. Louis Public Schools. Through Gateway Greening, she has found that giving a child the responsibility to nurture living things cultivates a sense of relevance in one’s life, while having the potential to boost the overall health of the community.
When not working, you can still find Tonia exploring outdoors. When she is in the city, she most enjoys going to concerts, upcycling thrifted finds, and making jewelry from items she discovers in nature.
Education: Bachelor of Sciences in Secondary Education. Missouri Master Naturalist Certified.
Future Education: Left-handed drummer in an all-female crossover thrash band.
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 102
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration and German. Master of Arts, International Relations.
Previous Employment Highlights: Director of Community Development for Downtown STL, Inc., Program Manager for International Institute of St. Louis, US Peace Corps, Armenia.
Gateway Greening does true community development. Of the 200+ community and school gardens in our network, these are all community-led projects. These projects address food access, the environment, safety, beautification, and sustainability, while playing a special role in developing connected neighborhoods and communities.
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 100
Nick is an Educator with Gateway Greening, connecting our youth both to nature and to urban agriculture. Through both teaching our youth and working with teachers, Nick is helping to get the hands of our youth dirty, while educating them at the same time. Previous to Gateway Greening, Nick worked at both the United Way of St. Louis and at Earthdance Organic Farm in Ferguson. Nick is from St. Louis, having attended CBC high school, and is married with one baby daughter. Outside of work, Nick is building his own non-profit, Ujima, volunteers with Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and enjoys craft beer and local parks.
Education: Bachelors of the Arts in Communications from the University of Missouri – St. Louis
Future Education: PhD in Gangsta Rap History & Culture. Dissertation Topic: “Buy Back The Block: How Cooperative Economics and Youth Entrepreneurship Can Revitalize and Restore Marginalized Communities.”
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 103
With a park ranger father, Evelyn grew up taking residency in a variety of National Parks, but it was in Asbury Park, NJ where her story took root. Here she attended Rutgers University and later found herself working for the Rutgers Botanical Gardens, both in the garden beds and behind the scenes as their Social Media Manager. These hands-on experiences with the natural world cultivated her interest in the effects of the environment on both plants and humankind. It was during Evelyn’s time attending Rutgers University that she heard about the Americorps VISTA position with Gateway Greening. She took a leap and landed on the soils of STL. At Gateway Greening, Evelyn works with the community projects team, expediting and supporting the many services offered to the GGI garden network. One of the highlights of her time at GGI thus far includes helping to develop a rain barrel system at the demonstration garden to showcase a low cost irrigation option. Outside of Gateway Greening, Evelyn shares her city apartment with her boyfriend and copious houseplants. She also enjoys exploring her new city via Pokemon Go and eating at vegan restaurants (even though she is not, quite, a vegan).
Education: B.S. in Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behaviors, minor in Science Communication from Rutgers University
Future Education: Masters in Opinions from Greendale Community College
Phone: (314) 588-9600 ext. 113
A Michigan native, Sara Ashe has worked to make St. Louis a better place for over 10 years. Before joining Gateway Greening, she earned a master’s degree in Human Resource Management and served as the director of operations for the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma. While Sara was not hired for her green thumb, she keeps Gateway Greening growing as the Assistant Director. When she is not busy developing the Land Trust Program, Sara can be found learning to play the fiddle and rock climbing.
Education: Masters of Arts, Human Resource Management, Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
Future Education: Masters in Animal Rescue and Senior Dog Sanctuary
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. Melanie Bernds, Benson Hill Ann Smith Carr Terri Clifton, Boeing Dave Collett, Weber Shandwick Audrey Green, United Soybean Board Matt Hoffman, Husch Blackwell Elizabeth Kinney, Twain Financial Missy McCoy (Chair), Lewis Rice Chris Moore, Bayer Randy Parker, Randell S Parker Law Bill Ruppert (Former Chair), National Nursery Products Michelle Smart, Department of Human Services for St. Louis County Julie M. Thomas (Secretary), Edward Jones Zar Toolan, Wells Fargo Advisors April Troxel (Treasurer), US Bank CDC Frank Warren Jr. Bryan Welge, Commerce Bank
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.
Melanie Bernds, Benson Hill
Ann Smith Carr
Terri Clifton, Boeing
Dave Collett, Weber Shandwick
Audrey Green, United Soybean Board
Matt Hoffman, Husch Blackwell
Elizabeth Kinney, Twain Financial
Missy McCoy (Chair), Lewis Rice
Chris Moore, Bayer
Randy Parker, Randell S Parker Law
Bill Ruppert (Former Chair), National Nursery Products
Michelle Smart, Department of Human Services for St. Louis County
Julie M. Thomas (Secretary), Edward Jones
Zar Toolan, Wells Fargo Advisors
April Troxel (Treasurer), US Bank CDC
Frank Warren Jr.
Bryan Welge, Commerce Bank
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.