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A New Year Welcomes New Staff (and Promotions)!

As we ring in 2024, we are delighted to announce several exciting staff changes at DUG. These changes reflect the growth and maturing of the organization as well as the high-quality work our exceptional team does every day to cultivate food, community, and climate resilience on a human scale.

Amy Daly – Senior Director of External Affairs

Amy will oversee DUG’s development (fundraising) and marketing/communications teams. Amy brings years of experience leading both functions at some of Denver’s greatest organizations including Next50, Project Angel Heart and Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. In addition to all of her other responsibilities, she’ll be bringing DUG’s individual giving to life, inviting our broader community to support our work through monthly or yearly contributions as well as legacy gifts. Amy reports to Linda Appel Lipsius, Executive Director.

Kristi Hatakka – Compost Manager

Kristi is a Garden Leader at Greenway Community Garden and a Community Composter (formerly a Master Composter). She came to DUG in 2023 to support DUG’s compost education efforts as Denver’s Pay-as-you-throw compost program came online. In this new role, Kristi will continue supporting the Community Composter Training Program and will continue to elevate composting education and communications at DUG. Kristi reports to “Jungle” Judy Elliott, Community Education Director.

Taylor Kibble – Garden Projects Manager

Taylor came to DUG as a DUG Corps Member in the class of 2022. She stayed on as Physical Infrastructure Coordinator throughout 2023, implementing our HDR grant which installed sustainability features at 20 DUG gardens, leading workdays, and answering garden requests for maintenance and improvements. In her new role, she’ll continue to define what a DUG workday looks like, set procedures for responding to garden requests and needs, and welcome and train a 2024 DUG Corps Member. Taylor is on the Gardens Team and reports to Lara Fahnestock, Director of Garden Operations.

Niko Kirby – Director of Education Strategy & Engagement

Niko has been with DUG for 3.5 years as Director of Marketing & Communications. When we identified a juicy opportunity to do more with our education and skill-building across all programs, Niko was the perfect fit. This role combines Niko’s demonstrated comms prowess with her years of prior experience designing curricula. Niko reports to Linda Appel Lipsius, Executive Director.

Marisa Loury – Volunteer Projects Manager

Marisa also came to DUG as a 2022 DUG Corps Member. She stayed on in 2023 as Volunteer Coordinator to refine and enhance DUG’s volunteer program, giving greater structure and support to her teammates and the volunteer community. Notably, Marisa also launched the long-anticipated SPOT (special projects) volunteer program which activates community members for ongoing engagement with DUG. It’s been a runaway success! This year, she’ll onboard a new volunteer management software and continue to build out the overall program. Marisa is on the Development Team and reports to Nessa Mogharreban, Director of Corporate Partnerships.

Osiris Mancera – Bilingual Marketing Manager

Osiris will be overseeing external marketing and communications to support the success of all DUG programs. Osiris brings years of experience managing digital marketing with a sustainability and climate action lens as well as in academic translation inspired by their cultural upbringing. While newer to the world of gardening, Osiris is eager to get their hands dirty and learn all that a gardening season has to offer. Osiris reports to Amy Daly, Senior Director of External Affairs.

Sue Mathison – IT & Salesforce Manager

Sue’s been working with us throughout 2023 in support of our Salesforce/Data project and will now be officially joining the DUG staff. Sue’s experience with IT and systems management combined with her years of Garden Leadership at Samuels Elementary makes her a one-of-a-kind solution for DUG as we optimize our systems and double down on our commitment to highly responsive support for our gardeners and garden leaders. Sue is on the Operations Team and reports to Brit Pimentel, Director of Operations.

Daniel Maynard – Office Coordinator

Many of you have had the pleasure of interacting with Daniel on the phone or as you walk into the office. As he comes on as a full-time staff member, Daniel will continue to be “the face of DUG,” while diving deeper into operations and program support. He’ll be on-site at all Friday workdays too! Daniel is on the Operations Team and reports to Brit Pimentel, Director of Operations.

Shay Moon – Food Access Manager

Shay came to DUG in 2023 to support our Grow a Garden Program and Plant Sales. The year saw exciting growth in both programs in terms of people served and sophistication. Grow a Garden added a mentorship program and Culturally Inclusive Seeds were added to our overall “resource” offer. As Food Access Manager, Shay will continue to support all of DUG’s Food Access Programming while refining and expanding our reach. Shay is on the Food Access Team and reports to Linda Appel Lipsius, Executive Director.

Justin Evans – Advisory Council

Justin Evans is an expert on using data to generate growth. He is the author of the forthcoming The Little Book of Data: The Nine Ways We Unleash Our Data Superpowers(Harper Leadership), and is the leader of award-winning innovation teams that access companies’ untapped data and create value. Currently the Head of Analytics & Insights for Samsung Ads, a division of Samsung, Justin’s team has generated hundreds of millions in revenue by helping Fortune 100 brands achieve success in streaming TV advertising, using data and insights. Before Samsung, Justin held roles at Effectv, a division of Comcast, where he supported a $2.5 billion advertising business with responsibilities spanning analytics and product management; as well as the Nielsen Company, and at venture capital-backed startups. A frequent conference speaker and regular contributor to industry publications, Justin serves as an advisor to Infosum, a data “cleanroom” technology company, and Denver Urban Gardens, a nonprofit dedicated to better local outcomes in food, community, and climate. Justin received a Master of Business Administration degree from NYU Stern and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn.

Please join us in congratulating all of these incredible changes at DUG as we start the new year. We are beyond thrilled about the immense changes and growth to come with the support of our team.

Meet the rest of our team on the DUG Meet Our Team Page!