About

Mission

To empower people to connect to food and their community by revitalizing urban spaces and building a resilient food culture.

Vision

We envision a strong network of communities centered around the cultivation of fresh, healthy food.

Our Staff

Katie Nelson, Executive Director (she/her)

Katie comes from a long line of farmers and cooks in rural Nebraska. Growing up, she could see cornfields from her backyard, and across the street from her house, her grandfather owned a restaurant where her mother was a cook. After school, she would spend hours watching her mother prepare and cook food for the evening dinner rush.

It wasn’t until Katie was much older that she realized how much food had shaped her life. Since then, she has become a self taught urban farmer where she has grown over 100,000 pounds of veggies and has taught over 100 people how to grow their own food. She is dedicated to promoting and engaging in local food.

Since joining the Green Urban Lunch Box team in 2014, Katie has played an active role in organizing the community and developing and building the Back-Farms, FruitShare, and Small Farm Initiative programs. Katie has extensive experience in grassroots program development, gleaning, and urban farming. 

When Katie isn’t growing or eating delicious food, she is spending time with her family in the outdoors.                                                                 

Contact: katie@gulb.org

Jessica Collette, Back-Farms Program Director & Operations Manager (she/her)

 

Jessica has been interested in working at the junction of sustainable farming and food justice since spending a few years living in a rural midwestern community that was both a haven for organic farms and a food insecure region. She has worked in various settings, from a food pantry in northern Wisconsin to a homestead in mid-coast Maine to an educational garden in Moab, but her path eventually led her to Salt Lake City to work with the Green Urban Lunch Box. She has spent time working with most of GULB’s programs, but really found her place within Back-Farms. If you find yourself in one of Jess’ gardens, she’ll probably try and convince you that the most exciting garden delicacies are radish seed pods, okra, and nasturtium leaves.

Contact: backfarms@gulb.org & info@gulb.org

Soni Scheig, Community Farm Manager & Small Farm Initiative Program Director (they/them)
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Soni’s interest in the food system began in college in Southwest Colorado while working with their school to offer more local, sustainable, fair trade, and humane foods in the cafeterias. Soni’s areas of interest in the food system involve almost all aspects of it—growing food, cooking, waste management, and so on. They believe that the connection food brings to people in a community is extremely important. To learn more about the food system, they pursued an internship on an urban farm in St. Paul, MN which sparked a huge passion for connecting with community by growing food. Years later, Soni is the farm manager of GULB, teaching the next generation of farmers, running the CSA, and connecting community to our local food.

Contact: sfi@gulb.org

Alysha Carmien, FruitShare Harvest Coordinator (she/her)
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Alysha has been pursuing her passion in horticulture for nearly two decades across the Rocky Mountain west. She has found her niche in homegrown revolution by participating in various community resiliency projects focused in agriculture. She emphasizes the importance of social justice movements that reconnect people to the land and share knowledge across all walks of life. Over the years, Alysha helped establish and expand local food networks between student bodies, private businesses and underprivileged demographics within communities. Her passion projects include herbalism, mushroom foraging, wild medicinal and wild edibles. While on her many adventures, you can find Alysha exploring canyons, rafting rivers, hiking mountains, climbing trees and getting her hands dirty in the gardens!

Contact: pickfruit@gulb.org

Peter Whelan, AmeriCorps Harvest Leader (he/him)
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Peter grew up and went to college in Massachusetts, where the first class he took was on hunger in the global economy. Since then he’s been interested in what drives access to healthy food, and how regenerative agriculture can sequester carbon emissions. After college he worked as a mechanical engineer and a solar panel installer, and moved to Salt Lake this past summer. While not working with the Fruitshare program, Peter is trying to learn computer programming. He hopes to use software to address climate change, or at the very least, afford more avocados. In his free time Peter enjoys climbing on whatever’s in front of him, wandering and biking around aimlessly, going in caves, and cooking. He should not be left unsupervised around caffeine.

Contact: harvester@gulb.org

Our Board

Beth Clifford, Chair

Employee Experience, Adobe

Kate Wheeler, Secretary

Farm to School Specialist,  Utah State Board of Education

Shawn Kintaudi, Treasurer

Audit Manager, Eide Bailly LLP

Matt Mulligan

Assistant Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine University of Utah School of Medicine 

Katie McKeon

Owner, Salt City Kitchen

Britt Jursik

Owner, Challah Back Dough

Marie Cornwall

Professor Emerita, Sociology, Back-Farms Senior, FruitShare tree owner

Natalie Kane

Program Manager, EATS Park City

Mary Lewis

Platform Analytics Lead, BanQu