Deneine Powell - Executive Director
As Executive Director, Deneine leads the daily operations and provides strategic direction to Groundwork Milwaukee by collaborating with staff on program strategy, cultivating relationships with key allies, and working with the Board, donors, and foundations. Under her leadership, Groundwork has launched several successful initiatives to promote green infrastructure workforce development programming and to expand the base of volunteers actively engaged in the stewardship of our local green spaces. She comes to Groundwork with over 15 years of consulting and nonprofit leadership experience, most recently as principal consultant of Lilly & Hampton, a small business and resource development consulting firm. Before founding Lilly & Hampton, Powell worked for several nonprofit groups, including UW Parkside’s Small Business Development Center, Milwaukee Community Service Corps, and the Center for Self-Sufficiency. In addition, Powell has experience mobilizing grassroots advocates, formulating public policy, partnering with public agencies and developing programs. Powell received her bachelor's degree in cultural studies and comparative literature from the University of Minnesota, and her master's in organizational leadership from Marian University. She lives with her husband and two children in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
Nick DeMarsh - Food Systems Developer, Young Farmers Program Manager
Nick started his work in environmental justice in 2007 as an AmeriCorps member at 16th Street Community Health Center's Environmental Health Department. From 2008 to 2010, he worked at Growing Power. In 2011, he started the Young Farmers Program and was hired by Groundwork Milwaukee in 2013 as Groundwork's Operation Manager. Nick is currently pursuing his master's degree in urban studies at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and is a fellow at UWM's Center for Economic Development MIED Program.
Nick Montezon - Green Team Coordinator
Nick comes to Groundwork with extensive experience in youth education, construction, aquaponics, and urban farming. From 2010 to 2013, he worked at Sweet Water Organics Urban Farm as an Aquaponics Farmer and Compost Engineer. From 2011 to 2014, he worked for Sweet Water Foundation and led hands-on projects at Milwaukee Public Schools. During the summer of 2013, he was able to take his knowledge overseas and led an international aquaponics training program in Sweden, Germany, and England. From 2012 to 2015, Nick worked for All Hands Boatworks and led the construction of more than 32 boats with help from over 500 youth and adults. He currently leads several of Groundwork's Green Teams and community garden builds.
Janice Christensen - Urban Agriculture Specialist
Janice has worked in urban agriculture in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee since 1999, when she and her partner, Dr. Dave (David Schemberger, MD) began building raised bed gardens in back yards. She worked as a Community Organizer for the YMCA of Greater Milwaukee from 2001 through 2014, when she retired. She helped create a number of community gardens during that time, and worked on urban agriculture policy.
Before moving to Milwaukee, Janice worked in advertising, journalism and academic administration. She was co-owner of a potato farm in Central Wisconsin for nine years. Janice has a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She came to work at Groundwork Milwaukee as a consultant in 2015.
Matt Rudman - Associate Director
Matt joins the Groundwork team after spending some time as a freelance adventurer. With past experience in metal scrapping, running large scale composting operations for University Wisconsin Milwaukee to being immersed in the restaurant industry, owning a food cart, and running a small urban farm, he is used to wearing many hats. After receiving a B.A. of Environmental Geography, Matt joined the Groundwork Milwaukee team as Associate Director. Matt has a huge interest in where food comes from and what people use to fuel their bodies. He is passionate about sustainable and organic growing practices, as well as seeing the food industry come full circle: from growing to cooking, to eliminating food waste and creating fresh compost from scraps. Matt wants to feed everyone.
Daisy Romero - Milwaukee Grow's Program Manager
BIO Coming soon!!!
Lawrence Hoffman - GIS Program Manager
Lawrence is a geographer interested in working on socially conscious projects that aim to reconsider the logic and power dynamics of spatial production. He has an extensive background in geography including a B.A. from UW-Eau Claire, a M.A. from University of Arizona, and a GIS Certificate from UW-Milwaukee. In addition to his academic training, Lawrence brings experience in youth development, community engagement and bicycle advocacy to Groundwork. As GIS Program Manager, Lawrence will oversee a range of projects that collect, analyze and publish geographic data in ways that augment Groundwork-led projects. He will also lead GIS youth programming intended to excite the next generation about geography while teaching them valuable technical skills.