Carole Colter

Executive Director


Carole currently serves as the Executive DirectoR of Memphis Tilth and also serves as a consultant working on food systems issues related to: increasing community access to healthy local food, addressing issues of food equity, social justice, and economic disparities, as well as connecting rural and urban agriculture initiatives for sustainable food systems change.

Aside from her academic career and community work, Carole maintains a home garden with a backyard flock of chickens. “I am committed to natural and sustainable growing practices and hope to encourage my community in becoming more knowledgeable about food sources and food security through urban agriculture. I think this message starts at home.” As a Memphian and as a mother, Carole feels very strongly about public service and commitment to community. 

Melissa Dison

Operations Manager

Melissa currently serves as the Operations Manager of Memphis Tilth, focusing on implementing and overseeing Memphis Tilth’s operational systems, processes, and policies to support strong organizational reporting, information flow and management, business processes, and organizational planning.

Before working at Memphis Tilth, Melissa lived in the Pacific Northwest for 5 years working for prominent environmental nonprofits in both Portland and Seattle.

Melissa originally hails from Memphis, Tennessee, and is excited to be back in her hometown to be a part of the founding team of Memphis Tilth.

Jennifer Marshall

GrowMemphis Community Garden Organizer

Jennifer was introduced to gardening at home as a child and those skills manifested themselves in the cultivation of her own home garden with her husband. Living in a food desert inspired collaborative work with her neighbors in Orange Mound to purchase and farm a vacant lot, which developed into a small-scale farm and farmer's market for the neighborhood. As the Community Garden Organizer with Memphis Tilth, Jennifer is a member of the garden team and assists with garden planning and management, teaches the garden Elective for Advance Memphis Students, Assists with farmers market operations and coordination, and continued multi-site community garden maintenance.

Mary Carnes

GrowMemphis Community Garden Site Coordinator

Mary serves as the site coordinator for the garden program at our hospital institution community garden in the pinch District. after Returning from a year of teaching in France, Mary discovered an unexpected love of growing plants. Her focus, since then, has been on the growing process and how it can feed and engage individuals and communities. She has volunteered on several farms and gardens, worked as a farm assistant on two local farms and expanded her knowledge of horticulture and home gardening by working at a plant nursery. She hopes to promote the importance of urban agriculture in the city of Memphis and to teach locals how to love good food, green spaces, and the community that grows there.

Ashley Atkins 

GrowMemphis Community Garden Associate

Ashley began her professional career at GrowMemphis in 2013 as the Garden Program Manager. ashley currently helps the growmemphis program manage special community projects and grants. She also oversees a hummingbird and butterfly garden at our hospital institution site in the pinch district. Ashley has successfully developed an annual urban agricultural themed workshop series and established the first seed library in West Tennessee.

Dallas Holland

GrowMemphis Community Garden Associate

dallas holland serves on our team of growmemphis community garden associates, assisting in our hospital institution community garden in the pinch District. dallas is a native of north alabama, with a bachelor of science in biology and earth science. She has an extensive background studying tropical plants, wetland ecology, plant ecosystems, and public health. since moving to memphis in 2007, dallas has worked for the memphis botanic gardens, and has been actively involved with the mid-south peace and justice center and various growmemphis community gardens. when she is not working at memphis tilth, dallas spends her time consulting as a residential landscaper. 

Devan Del Conte

GrowMemphis Community Garden Associate

devan Del Conte serves on our team of growmemphis community garden associates, assisting in our hospital institution community garden in the pinch District. Devan is a native Memphian who learned a love of gardening from her grandfather. Devan studied material physics at University of Memphis where she assisted on research in solar technology development. She went on to pursue graduate studies in Creative Writing, specifically socially and ecologically conscious fiction that examines the interplay between people and place. She hopes very much to one day have chickens and a goat or two in her backyard. 

Josh Conley 

Bring It Food Hub Manager

Josh Conley grew up surrounded by agriculture in Northeast Arkansas and developed an early love for local food in his father’s garden and his mother’s kitchen.

Josh serves as the Manager of the Bring It Food Hub, an aggregate distributor of local produce and products, where he oversees the operation of a year long 400+ member produce subscription, develops new wholesale relationships with restaurants, institutions, and other wholesale outlets, and works to keep farmers farming, their businesses flourishing, and the Mid-South’s local food system thriving.

Rob Coleman

Bring It Food Hub Assistant

Rob is a proud Memphis native who graduated from Christian Brothers High School and studied biology at the University of Memphis. Rob worked for many years in retail where he discovered that he was a natural salesman, and his aptitude for working with people. Rob also worked for several years in a genetics lab studying crop carrot, the endangered Whorled Sunflower, among other plant species. He was a founding member of the University of Memphis Botany Club, where he had several opportunities to do service work around the university and the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Rob is an avid gardener, naturalist, and chef, actively maintaining a large vegetable garden and a backyard flock of chickens.

Asuka Taga Yow

Community Kitchen Coordinator

Asuka is the Kitchen coordinator and instructor for the Community kitchen elective, serving advance memphis students and food insecure communities in Memphis, through the tennessee department of health, project diabetes grant.

Asuka is a native of Osaka, Japan and is the mother of 2 wonderful boys. she has an undergraduate degree from University of Memphis and a Masters degree from Michigan State. She is excited to share her knowledge of food, her beliefs about the importance of home cooking and bring changes in how we eat, one table at a time.

Sara Swisher

Food Policy Coordinator, AmeriCorp VISTA member

Sara is an AmeriCorps VISTA Member with the City of Memphis, serving as the Food Policy Coordinator for the Food Policy Program for Memphis Tilth. Sara also facilitates and provides resources to the Food Advisory Council working group projects that promote food access and the local economy through policy work.

Sara provides research, resources, and facilitation for Memphis Tilth's outreach projects like the Farmer's Market Guide, the Local Food Guide, and Good Food For All. She is also working with Memphis Tilth's Bring It Food Hub program on Group GAP Certification for farmers and a food recovery program. Sara graduated Magna Cum Laude from Christian Brothers University (CBU) in May 2016 with a Bachelor's of Arts in English. During her time at CBU she obtained a minor in Sustainability and was involved with the University's food system. She was the founder of CBU's Food Pantry, president of the Student Sustainability Coalition, and member of CBU's food committee.

Michelle Gross 


Michelle serves as a programs intern for Bring It Food Hub and GrowMemphis, where she assists in community gardening, food packing and distribution, and research. Michelle is a Psychology major and Sociology minor at Christian Brothers University. Before Memphis Tilth, she was a crisis counselor for the Memphis Crisis Center. after graduation, michelle hopes to pursue a masters in political science. 

Janna Lipford

public health fellow

janna is a current graduate student of the university of memphis's public health program. she also works as a clinical research assistant at st. jude children's research hospital, focusing on nutrition research of cancer survivors. Janna has lived in memphis all her life, and is personally passionate about nutrition, mental health, and breastfeeding. Janna's practicum at Memphis tilth focuses on analyzing data and statistics collected from our community kitchen and garden elective.

Ainsley Stephens


ainsley stephens manages the church health "garden-at-the-gate" farmers market at the new crosstown concourse. before managing this market, ainsley served as an operations intern for memphis tilth. ainsley is a current student at the university of memphis, seeking a degree in political science, with a certificate in nonprofit management. upon completing school, ainsley plans to study environmental law. 

Noah Herman

public health fellow

Noah is a current graduate student of the university of memphis's public health program, with a concentration in social behavioral sciences. Noah earned his bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and went on to be a graduate assistant teacher, instructing classes in Health Advocacy, which included assisting in Church Health cooking and exercise sessions. noah's practicum at memphis tilth focuses on community recruitment for our year-round community kitchen and garden elective.