meet the green team
City Sprouts continues to grow due to the commitment of our dedicated staff and Board of Directors, community partners, and volunteers.
City Sprouts Staff, Farm Fest 2023 (left to right): Laura Simpson, Marissa Jensen, Rocky Huibregtse, Edgar Romero Gonzalez, Zee Elmer, Aaron French, Kaylee Reynolds, Andreya Cook, Emily Ramelb, Shannon Kyler
Coming to City Sprouts with a background in conservation leadership and program management, Marissa joined the Green Team in July 2023 as our Executive Director. Over the past ten years, she has worked professionally and in volunteer roles for outdoor and natural resource focused non profit organizations. She has a deep love for gardening and believes sustainable and equitable food systems are essential toward strengthening our community. Marissa is excited to join the talented and passionate team at City Sprouts to continue the organization's important work and mission.
Manager of Urban Farm Initiatives
Aaron joined our team in 2018 and brings loads of agriculture, education, market, and outreach experience to City Sprouts. Aaron manages City Sprouts' Urban Farming Internship and City Sprouts' multiple growing sites.
Edgar Romero Gonzalez
City Sprouts South Manager + Assistant Educator
Born in Mexico City and Midwest-raised, Edgar is bilingual in Spanish (his native language) and English. Though he is ultra-focused at the task at hand, he still loves having a good time and incorporating fun into his work. Edgar graduated from Metropolitan Community College in 2015 with a degree in Horticulture, Land Systems and Management. He is experienced in greenhouse production, organic cultivation, cultivation consulting, and is excited to be teaching some here at City Sprouts and leading a team of 2021 interns. Edgar oversees operations of City Sprouts South and will help teach in many of our programs in both English and Spanish.
Communications + Development Manager
Emily joined the City Sprouts team in Spring 2021. She oversees City Sprouts branding, marketing strategy, fundraising and organizational development. Graduated from Rockhurst University, she has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in marketing and communication, and the Helzberg School of Management's Undergraduate Award for Distinguished Leadership. When Emily isn't working, she's in the kitchen whipping up something colorful and delicious, or kicking back with friends and family.
Conservation Education Program Coordinator
Zee Elmer joined City Sprouts in May 2023 after graduating from the University of Nebraska - Omaha with her Bachelor's in Environmental Science, concentrating in Earth Sciences and Sustainability. She has worked with various community partners to promote sustainability and conservation during her undergraduate years and will continue that work with City Sprouts. After hours she enjoys crocheting, trying new recipes, hiking, and scuba diving.
City Sprouts Interns
2022 Urban Farming Interns mentored by City Sprouts staff members Aaron French, Edgar Romero Gonzalez, Mia Webb and Laura Simpson. Learn more about the PAID Urban Farming Internship here!
Andreya joined the City Sprouts team in May 2023 as the Education Intern. As part of Avenue Scholars' Intern Omaha program, Andreya will be with us for a whole year! In addition to assisting with teaching classes, Andreya preps class materials, helps manage school gardens, and even jumps in with data entry and administrative work.
When she's not working, Andreya enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, and trying new hobbies. When asked about her career goals, Andreya's face lit up when she said, "I want to be a chef". Well, Miss Andreya, you are in the right place - we ♡ food!
our board of directors
Our Board of Directors consists of community volunteers, who help provide oversight and direction for City Sprouts.
City Sprouts Board
Back Row LTR: Katie Kresha (Executive Director, City Sprouts), Brandon Pappas, Cassie Goulet, Dan Walsh, Ryan Grieb, Kimbler Harrold; Front Row LTR: Vanessa Martinez-Hernandez, Octavia Butler, Jane Hartig, Courtney Herrington
LaLeesha Haynes, President
Honor, Senior Manager of Learning + Development
Courtney Scott, Vice President
Union Pacific, Manager of Marketing + Sales
Ryan Grieb, Treasurer
FNBO, Head of Deposits
Randy Vyhnalek, Secretary
Conagra Brands, Scrum Master
BWC Consultancy, Freelance
Greater Omaha Chamber, Vice President of Marketing and Communication
Jackson Lewis, Attorney
CHI Health, Senior HR Business Partner
Google, Data Center Contract + Financial Management
Metropolitan Community College, Faculty
Embassy Suites, Executive Chef
Staff Attorney, Koley Jessen P.C.
Mutual of Omaha, Social Impact Coordinator
City Sprouts is committed to providing an environment free from all forms of discrimination and conduct considered harassing, coercive or disruptive, including sexual harassment. Actions, words, jokes or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, pregnancy, leave status, [mental, emotional, or physical] ability/disability, military status, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic or status, will not be tolerated.
Education Program Manager
Kaylee joined the City Sprouts team in September 2023. Since receiving a Bachelor's degree in Animal Ecology and Interpretation of Natural Resources from Iowa State University, she has been building up a wealth of knowledge in multiple environmental education positions. Kaylee has worked several jobs as a naturalist at different residential outdoor schools and county conservation agencies, has been an education facilitator for a state university, and most recently worked as a coordinator for a youth corps program. She brings lots of enthusiasm and fresh, new ideas with her and is excited to further the mission here at City Sprouts. In her free time, Kaylee likes to rock climb, hike, craft, cook, and spend time with her dog- Mowgli!
Programs + Distribution Coordinator
Laura is an Omaha native, she grew up in the Keystone neighborhood of Northwest Omaha.
Laura graduated from MCC in 2013 with a degree in Business Management and Marketing, and from UNO in 2018 with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - 3D Media. Over the past few years, she has worked with a local arts non-profit, BFF.
Rocky joined our year-round staff as the new Education Assistant in May 2023. A former City Sprouts Urban Farming Intern, Rocky has a wealth of knowledge in sustainable growing techniques. He will assist the Farm Crew in guiding the summer internship, as well as take lead in the classroom. When he's not working, Rocky enjoys spending time reading, baking goodies, and tending to his many chickens, turkeys and quail.
North Programs Manager
Shannon joined the City Sprouts team in 2016. She manages our North Community Garden, coordinates volunteers for both sites, is an educator for Garden to Table, and is our resident Chicken Wranger and Beekeeper. When she is not at City Sprouts she is attempting DIY home improvement projects and having dance parties with her kids.