Staff

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.

Antoine Carter - Program Director

Antoine has been involved with community development and urban agriculture since 2011 through his work with Groundwork Milwaukee. He started his work with the organization as a Crew Leader and was responsible for leading residents, youth crews, and volunteers to complete residential and city projects. In 2014, he became the Program Manager of Milwaukee Urban Gardens, Groundwork's premier program, and continued working to build the overall capacity of the community gardens at the city-wide scale. He is now the Program Director of Groundwork Milwaukee and is responsible for the organization's programatic direction. Antoine is currently enrolled in the African American Leadership Program (AALP).

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.

Thomas Welcenbach - Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program Manager

Thomas received his undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2010. As an undergrad, he worked in UW's Departments of Agronomy and Soil Science. Thomas moved back home to Milwaukee in the spring of 2011 to attend the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and completed a Master's Certificate in GIS Mapping and Cartography in 2013. He joined the Department of Geography as a graduate student and in the fall of 2015 completed his M.A. in Geography with an emphasis in critical GIS, land use planning and public health. As a graduate student at UWM, Thomas was the lead Teaching Assistant (TA) for Geography 125: An introduction to Environmental Geography.

Thomas recently joined Groundwork Milwaukee's staff as the GIS Program Manager. Thomas will guide the process and oversee all field data collection and GIS mapping and analysis. In addition to working for GWM, Thomas volunteers his time twice a year to serve as the GIS Project Manager for the bi-annual Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Point in Time Homelessness Count for Milwaukee County. For this project, Thomas oversees all field data collection and GIS mapping for the City of Milwaukee Community Development Block Grant Administration.

 

Alice Muehlbauer - Urban Water Program Manager

BIO coming soon....

 

Matt Rudman - Associate Director

BIO coming soon....