Stephanie Finklea, Education Coordinator
Stephanie joined The Big Garden in September of 2017. She teaches many of The Big Garden's classes in OPS middle schools. Stephanie has lived most of her life in Bellevue, graduating from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a degree in General Science. She has many passions including comedy and acting, but gardening gives her the most joy. You can find her pondering over the ecology of plant systems, exploring the outdoors, or shopping Farmers Markets with her dog Dash.
Contact Stephanie at sfinklea@BigGarden.org.
Matt Freeman, Director of Operations and Development
An Omaha native, Matt started with The Big Garden as a seasonal intern in 2010. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Matt continued his studies and holds a Certificate in Fundraising Management from his alma mater. He has served as Director of Operations and Development since September of 2015. Outside of work, Matt stays busy with his young family, and he is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors of The Community Bike Project Omaha.
Contact Matt at mfreeman@BigGarden.org.
Erin Higgins, Giving Grove Coordinator
Raised in Council Bluffs, Erin studied psychology and neuroscience at Grinnell College in Iowa. Erin fell head-first into the world of farming while interning at The Big Garden in 2015. She went on to work on small-scale, diversified vegetable farms in southeast Iowa and near Lincoln, Nebraska, before accepting the position of Education Manager at City Sprouts, one of The Big Garden's main partnering organizations. She rejoined The Big Garden team in 2017 and loves to share her passion for good, healthy, sustainably-grown food with youth and adults alike. In 2018, Erin began coordinating The Big Garden's Giving Grove program and is excited to help partnering organizations all over the city incorporate perennial fruit trees and brambles into their gardens. Outside of work Erin loves to read, make music, work in her own garden, explore the natural world near Omaha, and spend time with her friends and family.
Contact Erin at ehiggins@BigGarden.org
Alajia McKizia, Education Assistant
Born and raised in Omaha, Alajia first fell in love with plant based food and herbal medicine when she stopped eating meat in 2015. Her first gardening experience was as a New Roots summer intern in 2018 at The Big Garden. She has worked at The Big Garden as a part-time educator since 2018, joining the staff full-time in 2019. Alajia has a growing interest in community herbalism. She has worked locally as an artist, dancer, and community advocate through projects, art shows, and events. She loves all forms of art, cooking, reading, and event planning, and dance parties with friends and families.
Contact Alajia at amckizia@BigGarden.org
Nathan Morgan, Executive Director
A native of south Alabama, Nathan has lived in Omaha for nearly 15 years. After learning to drive in snow, he has come to love "The Good Life." His background includes organizing faith communities around poverty issues and helping rural schools integrate gardens and greenhouses into their science curricula. Nathan is a graduate of The Nonprofit Executive Institute Class Seven and Leadership Omaha Class 40. He and his wife, Sheri, have two daughters, Lucy and Clara. In his theoretical spare time he enjoys gardening, tinkering with old pickup trucks, and sleeping.
Contact Nathan at nmorgan@BigGarden.org.
Mioux Stabler, Education Coordinator
Mioux is from Walthill, Nebraska on the UmoNhoN Reservation. She joined The Big Garden staff full-time in February of 2019 after serving as a 2018 summer intern. She has an Elementary Teacher Certification from UNL and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Special Education. Mioux has taught students, mostly indigenous, of all ages for 15+ years. Outside of work she likes to cook, bead, hike, play board games, and hang with cool garden people. Mioux has an 8-year-old daughter named Ruby Skye and a 4-year-old husky named Jayna.
Contact Mioux at mstabler@BigGarden.org
Jaimee Trobough, Director of Communications
Jaimee began working with United Methodist Ministries/The Big Garden in 2010. She was born and raised in Omaha, where she studied Theology and Justice & Peace Studies at Creighton University. She has worked with migrant farmers in New Mexico and Florida, and has spent significant time in the Dominican Republic as well as shorter stays in Mali and Haiti. Prior to working at The Big Garden, Jaimee was a bookseller for 17 years. She is married to a United Methodist pastor and has a beautiful 8 year old daughter.
Contact Jaimee at jtrobough@BigGarden.org.
Kay Wilwerding, Education Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator
Kay began at The Big Garden as an intern in 2015. She remained on staff, fulfilling various roles, until beginning full time in 2017. She teaches gardening classes, coordinates volunteers, and is production manager of The Big Garden's greenhouses. Kay previously worked in the food service industry while earning her degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The simultaneous immersion into these two fields sparked an ongoing interest in how the current food system affects public and environmental health. Outside of work, Kay enjoys art (she also holds a degree in Studio Art), hiking, baking, and hanging out with her boyfriend and cats. Contact Kay at kwilwerding@BigGarden.org.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Dwayne Brown, Slate Architecture
Vice President: Brad Christian-Sallis, Civic Nebraska
Secretary: Melissa Taylor, Mutual of Omaha
Treasurer: Mike Ramsey, Mutual of Omaha
Pat McGill, Great Plains Conference United Methodist Women
Marcia Ghali Bergren, LIMHP | MSW
Amanda Bogner, President at Energy Studio
Jay Lund, Greenslate Development
Carly Wegner, University of Nebraska Foundation
Burke Harr, Houghton Bradford Whitted Law Firm
Alex Wolf, Koley Jessen
Rev. Kent Little, First Untied Methodist Church Omaha