Amanda Bradshaw-Burks, Movement Manager
Amanda transplanted to Evansville from northern Minnesota in 2009. She currently resides on the west side with her husband, three children, and a menagerie of rescued pets. Previous to her move she completed a bachelors of science at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens point, majoring in forest management and minoring in soil science. Decades spent working in the natural resources field helped to shape her view on the importance of food as a way to not only keep our bodies healthy but also our environment. With the addition of children to her family, one with extensive food allergies, the importance of the access to abundant, nourishing food really came into focus for her. She became aware of the barriers that can be present in the pursuit of gathering nutritious food and started doing what she could to help break those down. Amanda is very excited to be on the Urban Seeds team and to serve the community in a much deeper and meaningful way. Please do not hesitate to contact her if she can assist you in any way at email@example.com or 812-213-7241.
Robin Mallery, Director
Robin is passionate about food! As a full-time community volunteer, Robin is active in implementing programs that increase access to fresh, nourishing foods to those who are nutrient-insecure, thereby elevating the Food Justice conversation. Robin loves preparing cooked-from-scratch meals, shared with others around her own dining table or in cooking classes! As well, she is committed to supporting locally-grown, clean food as one of the many opportunities to create a vibrant local foods economy. Her professional experience as a cardiovascular and diabetes nurse provides the platform for her teaching a “Food as Medicine” philosophy. Robin is also active with the Healthy Communities Partnership initiative, sponsored by Welborn Baptist Foundation and Purdue Extension.
Andrea Rodenberg, Nourish
Andrea serves as Coordinator for the Nourish Community Food Buying Club. As a mother of three, Andrea understands the many challenges to eating well and creating healthy meals, particularly when faced with limited resources– be it time, money or ingredients– not to mention appealing to diverse food preferences. A chief interest in life includes, but is not limited to- what’s for dinner?
She has a particular affinity for local, seasonal food and cooking from scratch. Through her work with Nourish, Andrea hopes to help other families and community members source and prepare nourishing, vibrant foods.
Our Board of Directors
Casey Williams, Board Chair
Casey serves as a Community Wellness Coordinator for the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program, working to improve food access for low income families in Vanderburgh and Warrick County, as well as working to create policy, systems, and environmental change in a variety of healthy eating and active living initiatives. Casey previously worked in tobacco prevention and control with the non-profit Smokefree Communities, working to create smoke-free air policies and educating youth on various tobacco related issues. Casey has lived in Evansville for ten years and holds a B.S. degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Southern Indiana and a Masters degree in Public Service Administration from the University of Evansville.
Tommy Housman, Vice-Chair
Tommy is the Senior Creative Associate at Kitch & Schreiber and a freelance Artist at Tommy Art & Design. He is passionate about using art and design to make a difference in our community. Evansville has been home his whole life. While attending the University of Evansville he became aware of how serious of an issue access to fresh and healthy food is to some that live in our area. This is also when he discovered the unsustainability of our current food system which inspired him to become vegan in an effort to be more environmentally conscious. Tommy aspires to bring about positive change towards a more sustainable and inclusive food system. “If you want to make difference in the world start with your city, your community, and your neighborhood. My vision is to project balance, inclusion, social responsibility, empathy, and compassion into the world around me.”
Kathy McMurray, Treasurer
Kathy works part-time as an accountant at the Welborn Baptist Foundation. She is also a very active volunteer in the Evansville, Indiana community. She became acquainted with Urban Seeds through her work at Welborn and thoroughly supports its mission. She loves to plant flowers and was a Master Gardener. Kathy has lived in Evansville for 19 years, and resides on the North side with her husband, son, dog and cat. Kathy is excited to work with the Urban Seeds organization.
Blythe is a lifelong Evansville resident who currently lives with her husband and house full of rescued dogs and cats. Blythe is a freelance digital storyteller, assisting local businesses and nonprofits in creating their voice through social media, videos, and print graphics. Blythe’s interest in Urban Seeds evolved from her experiences living below the poverty line with a disability; and her calling to turn her past into a way of helping others in similar circumstances.
Julie holds key roles at the University of Southern Indiana as the Chair of Food and Nutrition Program, and as an Associate Professor of Nutrition and the Assistant Dean of Health Services. Julie has been involved with various successful studies and program implementation in the Evansville area having to do with childhood nutrition, and increasing the access of fresh produce to those that are food-insecure in our community.
Serah is an Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Food and Nutrition Program at University of Southern Indiana. She is a Registered Dietitian and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a member of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Her research focuses on food access, chronic disease, nutrition assessment and interventions among underserved populations.
Jahmel (Jay) is currently a Master’s of Health Administration student at the University of Southern Indiana. He is originally from Nassau, Bahamas. Prior to his move to Evansville, IN, he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the historic Fisk University in Nashville, TN. He is a dedicated and hardworking individual who is eager to learn and is always willing to put others before himself. One of his main goals in life is to ensure equity within the healthcare arena as it relates to access to healthcare services, educational attainment, food access issues and other social determinants of health. It is his hope to use his experiences to better both the Evansville and global communities as a whole.
Lorie Van Hook
Lorie serves as the Executive Director for the Evansville Trails Coalition (ETC) and describes herself as an advocate and life-long volunteer—for the past 7 years, she has worked to increase opportunities for our community to live healthy, active lives. Lorie is a graduate of the University of Evansville (UE), and she has personally adopted UE’s mission as her own, “to think critically, act bravely, serve responsibly, and to live meaningfully in a changing world.” Lorie’s passion is to support the initiatives that facilitate quality of life improvements for everyone. Places for active living and access to healthy, fresh foods provide a great quality of life foundation to individuals, families and people of all ages, young and old. Urban Seeds’ work to increase access to healthy, nourishing food is important to her because she has seen firsthand the challenges of family members and individuals in our community circles that experience the lack of opportunities and challenges of access to nourishing food sources. Through interrelations, partnerships and collaborations, Lorie believes that together we will have a profound positive impact in our facilitating a healthy, happy community.
Ashley serves as the Market Manager for Market on Main EVV, helping to connect our local growers and producers to the larger community of Vanderburgh Co. Ashley also serves as the lead instructor and owner of Wild Thing Yoga & Boutique, where she teaches that the most subtle of movements can create the biggest impact in our bodies and beyond. Most of her free time is spent in her kitchen creating nourishing meals, learning about herbal medicine, meditating, and growing an array of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Her life’s focus is on educating others on how to be fully intune with their bodies and how to heal themselves through movement and food.
Anna Blessinger, Student Board Member for 2021
We are so pleased to introduce Anna Blessinger, the awardee of our Story Challenge event. Anna says, ” I am a current senior at Signature School. I will be pursuing a degree in Dietetics and Nutrition at Purdue University next year and I am excited to work with Urban Seeds and grow with their organization. After writing an essay surrounding the food insecurity within our community, I was given the opportunity to serve as the student Board member. As my family helped establish a food ministry and community garden for our church’s parish, I have learned the importance of providing healthy and equitable food for all in need and I would love to use this experience to aid Urban Seeds by offering a new perspective. Thank you all!”