A Farewell Letter from Executive Director, Victoria Beaty

Dear Growing Places Indy Community Members,

Over the last two and a half years, I’ve had the pleasure of serving as Executive Director of Growing Places Indy (GPI). Having grown acquainted with GPI first as a volunteer over 4 years ago, this journey has been nothing short of fulfilling.  

Many of you may know my story. After years of working for a large fast-food brand and learning how the food industry works, I decided to resign from my corporate leadership position and enroll in an urban farming program. Growing Places Indy is where I found my passion for urban farming and educating my community on the importance of eradicating food deserts that plague communities of color. 

Over the years, I’ve worn many hats, from volunteer to Farm Manager, SNAP Outreach Coordinator, Market Manager, and most recently, Executive Director. Yet, regardless of the title, my commitment to serve our community, overcome food insecurity, and battle food injustices have remained the same. 

Although July 18 will be my last day as Executive Director of this impactful organization, it doesn’t mark the end of my community involvement. I’ll be moving on to serve as Founder & CEO of The Botanical Bar – a plant shop where I’ll continue putting an emphasis on wellness while also enhancing community members’ well-being through greenery.

As I continue to serve as a plant and garden enthusiast, I would be remiss if I didn’t share that I am so proud of what we have accomplished at Growing Places Indy these last few years as a team. 

Some of my fondest memories include:

  • Expanding our signature programs, Grow Getters and Young Grow Getters, which help train and develop the next generation of urban farmers while exposing the youth and adults to the importance of urban agriculture. 
  • Responding to the community during the pandemic by donating 50% of all the veggies we grow to local hunger relief efforts. During my time, we’ve donated more than 4,000 pounds of locally grown produce.
  • Creating the Indy Night Market, helping to enhance and create an equitable food system in our community while fostering local entrepreneurship.
  • Developing the Plant it Forward program, providing individuals and families the tools, training, and resources needed to start their own home or community garden. To date, we’ve provided hundreds of free plants, seeds, and tools to help people to grow food at home.

I’m hopeful about the future because while we await the appointment of our next Executive Director, the organization will be left in caring hands. Laura Henderson, the founder of GPI and board member, will be returning to serve as Interim Executive Director. In addition, Shalise Lee was also recently named Community Impact Director and will oversee day-to-day operations across our farms. As a result, I am convinced that GPI will continue to be an increasingly strong force in Indianapolis’ urban farming space while helping to increase food access.

Again, I am exceedingly grateful for all the long hours and hard work GPI’s employees have put in to boost the company’s production and reach new fundraising goals. These are not accomplishments an Executive Director makes alone. These are achievements that require a committed team of gifted, tenacious individuals who come together to work relentlessly for a common goal. The pleasure has been all mine!


Victoria Beaty

Executive Director

Growing Places Indy


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