Billy Polansky (email@example.com, Ext. 811) works as the Executive Director of Columbia’s Center for Urban Agriculture, leading the day-to-day operations. He moved to Columbia in 2008 to be with his now-wife and fellow CCUA team member, Carrie Hargrove. Before coming to Columbia, Billy spent time working at the Heifer Ranch educating people about agriculture and global poverty. He also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Missouri River Communities Network, where he worked on local foods projects. Billy holds a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and an MBA from Columbia College. When Billy isn’t working, you can find him at home reading, petting kitty cats or working in his garden.
Carrie Hargrove (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 803) is CCUA’s Operations Director. She has worked with CCUA first as a volunteer in 2009 and 2010, and later as an employee since 2011. Carrie manages the Program Team which operates the Opportunity Gardens Program, PLANTS Program, Agriculture Park, Urban Farm, Kilgore’s Community Garden, Lucky’s Crates to Plates Garden, and numerous backyard and school gardens. She loves being outside, and wishes she could spend most of her time identifying the myriad of insects found at the farm. In addition to bugs and the outdoors, Carrie loves her husband, Billy, and Martin Scorsese movies.
Tony Minnick (email@example.com, Ext. 812) is the Urban Farm Manager for CCUA and is a recent transplant to the city of Columbia. With several seasons of diversified farming experience in rural Missouri, Illinois, and New Hampshire, and a BS in Environmental Science from Loyola University Chicago, Tony facilitates volunteers in implementing the crop plan for the Urban Farm, Kilgore’s Community Garden, and Lucky’s Crates to Plates milk crate garden. From perennial fruit care to rotational livestock grazing and beekeeping, Tony is interested in producing all sorts of colorful, quality food and hopes to continue his path in outdoor educating. When his hands aren’t deep in the soil, he enjoys playing music, cooking with his wok, and watching films featuring morally ambiguous detectives.
Adam Saunders, (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 806) as the Development Director, conducts outreach and promotional talks with local social groups, businesses, and potential partners. He also helps coordinate CCUA’s online outreach presence, strategic planning, and fundraising efforts. Adam has been involved in community, agriculture and environmental organizing in Columbia, MO, since 2005 as a student with Sustain Mizzou. He has been gardening since a young age, and, being the son of two teachers, Adam has considered himself an informal teacher his whole life. Within CCUA, Adam is able to combine these passions to connect the dots within the local food system – an exciting place to be working!
Trish Woolbright (email@example.com, Ext. 804) is CCUA’s Opportunity Gardens Manager. Trish has always had a love for growing her own food and being an environmental steward while also helping people live happily with the natural world. Trish’s previous experience includes serving as a social worker and conservation biologist in many different areas such as Namibia in sub-Saharan Africa; Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Michigan; Chattanooga, TN. She has spent time in the Peace Corps and worked for a few other non-profit organizations. Trish received her bachelor’s in psychology from Washburn University; she is a Master Gardener. In her free time, she likes to garden, draw, cook, and read.
Kristin Frazier, (firstname.lastname@example.org, ext 805) shares CCUA’s mission with the community as the Development Associate. Having grown up as a farm girl, she is passionate about healthy food, the environment, and education, and she believes everyone should have green growing things in their life. In her role with CCUA, she focuses on annual giving campaigns, community outreach, and grant writing. Kristin graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in English, and has since used her degree to help build relationships and tell stories. In addition to previous development work for Missouri Girls Town, Kristin comes to CCUA with a background in public speaking, writing, customer service, and volunteerism. In her free time, Kristin enjoys running, reading, knitting, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Lori McCurdy (email@example.com, Ext. 807) currently serves as the PLANTS Program and Outdoor Classroom Network Manager, helping organize educational events with schools and agencies. Lori supports teachers as they plan their location’s outdoor learning space, and likes to collaborate with community members and educators to better integrate nature into the curriculum, into the school yard, and into the daily experience of today’s nature-starved kids. She previously worked with CCUA’s GardenPro Service, consulting clients on ways to improve their landscapes by integrating native plants as well as edibles. Throughout her career, she has had a strong interest in connecting others to the natural world around them, because she believes understanding the ways in which we are interconnected to the earth is imperative to our success as a society. Lori acquired her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University, and in 2009, was certified as a Missouri Master Naturalist. When she’s not working, she can be found playing outside with her husband and their two kids.
Justin Gregory, (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 802) as the Office/Volunteer Manager, Justin manages the general office operations, public relations, visual presence and CCUA’s volunteer coordination. Previously Justin was the Membership Coordinator at Columbia Access Television where he worked with non-profits and community members to help share their voice through digital media. His interest in the community has led to volunteering for Columbia Access Television, True/False Film Festival, Clean Up Columbia, Friends of the Library, KOPN and helping to form a local moped club. Outside of CCUA Justin enjoys music, watching and creating films, painting, disc golf and spending time outdoors morel hunting and hiking with his dog Martha. Justin looks forward to working with CCUA’s staff and volunteers in helping CCUA grow in the future.
Matthew Dolan (email@example.com, Ext. 810) currently serves with AmeriCorps as one of CCUA’s Urban Farming AmeriCoprs. Having graduated with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from MU he spent two years working in Panama for a nonprofit that provides mentoring in aquaculture and agriculture techniques. He loves cross-cultural experiences and enjoys getting to know the diverse group of people that CCUA works with. In his free time Matthew likes playing his accordion, having esoteric conversations with his brothers and friends, and visiting the swimming hole.
Clint Brinkley (firstname.lastname@example.org, Ext. 809) is a fifth year AmeriCorps member, formerly serving with the National Civilian Community Corps as well as Southern Boone Learning Garden. He is excited that his adventures have led him to CCUA as the PLANTS Educator! Clint is a Missouri native hailing from the northern half of the state, and loves his Missouri roots. He moved to Columbia in 2015 to pursue a career in outdoor education and to attend college. His goal is to complete a Natural Resource Management degree and use that to educate people on the plight of the prairie, a rapidly disappearing ecosystem native to Missouri. Clint is a lover of food, dusty books, and autumn.
Megan Tyminski (email@example.com) currently serves as one of CCUA’s Urban Farming AmeriCorps. She is originally from Oswego, Illinois, but has called Columbia home for a few years because of its vibrant community. Her relationship with agriculture stemmed from a curiosity of beekeeping, environmental stewardship and a love of food. Megan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in science and agricultural journalism and a minor in sustainable agriculture from MU. In her free time, Megan can be found hiking, cooking, going on an art crawl or tending to her plants and lizard at home.
Gabriel DeCicco (firstname.lastname@example.org) is serving his first year as an AmeriCorps member with CCUA’s Opportunity Gardens AmeriCorps. After completing his degree in Social Work, Gabe worked in homeless services in the Springfield area for a little over 3 years as well as volunteered regularly at the Springfield Community Gardens. He has an affinity for closed loop systems whether it be in the realm of returning nutrients back to the soil, or empowering individuals to use resources for becoming self-sufficient. Gabe enjoys mushroom cultivation, fire spinning, and archery.