Before becoming the Executive Director of Groundwork Indy in August 2015, Phyllis was a landscape architect and urban designer focused on sustainable design and planning and dedicated to working with diverse communities to transform their built environments into meaningful, relevant, and life-enhancing places. After eight years in the field, she decided to transfer her skills and passion for working on community-oriented revitalization projects to the non-profit sector and joined Groundwork Indy. Her experiences during her teen years working on Student Conservation Association trail crews in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico and in Baxter State Park in Maine were transformative. Phyllis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Indiana University in Bloomington and is a two-time alumna of The University of Texas at Austin where she received her Master of Arts in Botany in 1997 and her Master of Landscape Architecture in 2006.
Focused on the redistribution of resources and elevating the voices of those directly impacted by societal inequities, Elizabeth Wallin has spent most of her career creating and developing a community-based program for women impacted by the justice system. NYC born and raised and having spent time traveling and living in South America, Elizabeth has a knack for bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds and cultures. She hopes to create more opportunities of engagement for the community to become stewards of the environment and is excited to expand program opportunities for Groundwork Indy youth.
Youth Programs Manager
Montell’s work in nutrition and food education began while working in a rooftop greenhouse in the science department at the University of Southern Indiana. While studying at USI he was also able to help mentor local elementary students through the university’s college mentorship program. This work led to a passion in nutrition and working towards improving food conditions and access especially throughout urban communities. Montell joined the GroundWork Indy team in the summer of 2016, coming on as a Green Team Crew Leader responsible for leading youth and volunteers during projects. He is now a program coordinator with responsibilities including coordination and daily operations of the Green Team program as well as community outreach and engagement within Northwest Indianapolis and surrounding neighborhoods.
GroundCorps Program Manager
As an Indianapolis native, Zackary Reed has set himself apart as a proven leader. Having worked at the Flanner House garden and taking on small jobs “Zack” as he is fondly called, honed his skills as a talented urban gardener and landscaper. Zack also developed an exceptional ability to multitask which he uses daily at Groundwork as the program manager. Because of his extensive knowledge of landscape techniques and machinery, Zack now serves as our Field Operations Coordinator where he oversees our GroundCorps crews in the field.
Garden Manager & Bike Program Coordinator
Ian Oehler is a reluctant yet delighted farmer compelled toward work in ecosystem carrying capacity. Ian studied environmental science and ultimately earned a B.S. in environmental management from IU where he discovered a passion for the way water moves through landscapes. After 5 years of active observational learning and independent research in the central Indiana forest landscape, Ian began work as bicycle program coordinator and lead mechanic at Groundwork Indy, taking on the role of garden manager after achieving success with the Three Sisters Foodway. Ian finds fulfillment establishing self sustaining systems and through the arts in a variety of media, primarily the written and sung word.
Youth Programs Assistant
Jasmine’s work in community development began while studying Nonprofit Management and Africana Studies at IUPUI. While at IUPUI, she was able to start a fellowship in 2018 that introduced her to Groundwork Indy. When she joined Groundwork Indy as a staff member, her responsibilities were to assist in the Green Team Program and coordinate various projects that Groundwork is involved in, such as days of service, annual fishing events, artist opportunities, etc. In addition to her love for community development, youth, and the environment, she is also an artist and owns a business that specializes in plant-based skincare.
Community Outreach Organizer
Kay (she/they) is a programming assistant focused on community engagement and youth development. Indianapolis born and raised, she is a Purdue grad trained in anthropology and public health with interests in archives, education, and medical humanities. In her work, she’s involved in community healing and progress through storytelling and incorporation of nature into everyday life. Kay manages the Green Team’s partnerships with local organizations meant to expand their skills, and assists neighbors with a variety of community-led environmental justice actions. When not at Groundwork, she’s learning more about the Blues, running, bartending, or spending time with family.