Staff

Linda Cook
Linda CookDirector of Development & Operations
Christie is the “woman behind the curtain” at Growing Places Indy, working to keep operations running smoothly in support of our many initiatives, people and programs. A native of Chicago, Christie fled the Midwest to pursue her dream of becoming a park ranger, living and working in Colorado and California. A few years later, she was back to get her master’s degree in environmental education at Indiana University. Since then, she has worked for several nonprofit organizations, honing her leadership, adult education and organizational skills. She joined Growing Places Indy’s 2013 Summer Apprenticeship Program and began working for the organization in December 2013. She and her husband, Chris, are avid backyard gardeners and live in Keystone-Monon with their young son, a dog, a cat, five chickens and tens of thousands of bees.
Laura Henderson
Laura HendersonExecutive Director
In addition to founding Growing Places Indy and wearing the Executive Director hat, Laura loves her role creating and evolving the Summer Apprenticeship Program to encompass a multidimensional focus on urban agriculture, food systems, wellness and sustainability. Laura also founded the Indy Winter Farmers Market in 2008, is a registered yoga instructor and teaches multiple classes each week at Invoke Studio. Her training in leadership, community collaboration and sustainable service work with the yoga-service organization, Off the Mat Into the World, has paved her work in Indianapolis. Laura serves on the Butler University Center for Urban Ecology Advisory Committee, the Indy Food Fund Committee and has consulted numerable urban agriculture, food and sustainability related organizations, projects and events. She is a graduate of Butler University.
Sarah Adams
Sarah AdamsPrograms Coordinator
Wearing many hats, Sarah Adams manages the Indy Winter Farmers Market, directs programming for the Summer Apprenticeship Program and the Family Cooking and Nutrition Classes, and is also lead farmer at the Slow Food Garden at White River State Park.  A native Hoosier, Sarah owned her own custom framing business for 10 years, recently closing the shop to pursue her passion for local sustainable food systems.  “I have had the pleasure of visiting, living in and gardening in many places around the United States and world and still always come home to Indianapolis.”  She lives with her partner, Brian Ventresca, three cats and eight chickens at their east side bungalow, replete with raised beds all over the yard, where the grass is constantly being annexed for growing food.  Sarah attended Taylor University and graduated from Ball State University with a BA in Theatre (Directing) and minor in Communications.
Tyler Henderson
Tyler HendersonDirector of Farming Operations
Tyler oversees all aspects of our farming operation, as well as educational components of our Summer Apprenticeship Program related to agricultural systems and food entrepreneurship. Tyler began farming in 2009 by creating micro-garden sites at R-Bistro, Goose the Market and Indiana Humanities and worked as a farmer for Big City Farms for two seasons. Like many farmers, Tyler has an off-farm job and is the Director of North American Operations for the Bocconi University School of Management in Milan, Italy. In late fall and early spring, he travels extensively in North America, Asia and Europe to interview candidates for a Global MBA Program. Tyler has a master’s degree in Education Policy from Universitetet i Oslo (Norway), and his bachelor’s degree is from Baldwin-Wallace College (Cleveland).
Kate Franzman
Kate FranzmanFarm Manager
Kate works directly with local chefs to provide Growing Places Indy’s vegetables and microgreens to restaurants around the city. She manages the Farm U-Pick and Farm Stand at the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center. Kate left a career in advertising to join Growing Places Indy as a farm apprentice and as a farmer in the fall of 2013. She continues to freelance for NUVO Newsweekly and Indianapolis Monthly. Her project, Bee Public, is making Indy a more bee-friendly city with urban beekeeping and community outreach. Kate is also a Slow Food Indy committee member.
Hannah Coots
Hannah CootsMicrogreens Farmer
Raised in Central Indiana with an appreciation for the natural world, Hannah enjoys hiking, catching snakes and climbing trees. She attended Indiana University where she studied Biology and French, but left longing for something that was more meaningful and aligned with her values. When Hannah found her first farm in 2012, she was hooked. Growing Places Indy is the seventh farm she’s had the pleasure of working with. Hannah loves to continually learn about sustainable agriculture.
Liz Wertz
Liz WertzEat Well Leader & SM Strategist
Liz is the voice of Growing Places Indy and the Indy Winters Farmers Market on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She is also the Eat Well Initiative Coordinator, managing SNAP outreach for IWFM and leading GPI’s after school Eat Well Club for IPS students. She is a 2010 graduate of Indiana University with a degree in communication and culture. In 2014, Liz left a career in the banking industry to become a Growing Places Indy summer apprentice. Her experience as an apprentice solidified her love for the Indianapolis community, local food and sustainability, making it an easy decision to join the Growing Places Indy staff in fall of 2014. She lives near downtown Indianapolis with her husband, Will, and black lab, Franny. In her free time, Liz enjoys gardening in her backyard, tinkering with her sewing machine and watching endless hours of Netflix documentaries.

Board of Directors

Laurel JudkinsPresident
Cris PyleVice President
Melanie PriestSecretary
Tonya SiscoTreasurer
Danielle DoveArts Council of Indianapolis
Carol JohnstonChristian Theological Seminary
Angela Smith JonesIndy Chamber
Anthony RoseMeitus Gelbert Rose LLP
Ronak ShahTindley Preparatory Academy
Andrew VahrenkampEli Lilly

Sponsors

We thank our loyal sponsors who help us achieve our mission to empower individuals and communities to Grow Well, Eat Well, Live Well and Be Well.

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We have a diverse range of sponsorships available for companies, families and individuals. If you are interested in sponsoring Growing Places Indy, please contact Executive Director, Laura Henderson, at laura@growingplacesindy.org.

Partners

We could not do the work we do without the generous support of our partners. We thank them for their continuous support and attempt to recognize them as often as possible. Please take some time to visit the websites of our partners to learn more about the work they are doing in our community:

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We have a diverse range of sponsorships available for companies, families and individuals. If you are interested in sponsoring Growing Places Indy, please contact Executive Director, Laura Henderson, at laura@growingplacesindy.org.

Volunteers

We could not do the work we do without the generous support of our Volunteers.

We could not do the work we do without the generous support of our Volunteers.

We could not do the work we do without the generous support of our Volunteers.

We could not do the work we do without the generous support of our Volunteers.

We could not do the work we do without the generous support of our Volunteers.

We have a diverse range of sponsorships available for companies, families and individuals. If you are interested in sponsoring Growing Places Indy, please contact Executive Director, Laura Henderson, at laura@growingplacesindy.org.