Michelle Dobbs, Executive Director
I am the owner of Sugarfoot, a consulting house specializing in Creativity, Community, and Culture. My professional experience spans working as an educator, nonprofit executive, author, and playwright and I have a degree in Communications and French from Howard University.
In pursuit of unearthing my family narrative, I began living the foodways and pathways of my people. I traveled to Senegal, the Gulf of Mexico, The Shawnee National Forest and The Badlands of South Dakota to explore and live my culture that it may be known and preserved. This search gave birth to my first novel, The Rock Island Line: Conversations over Chicken and Dumplings. As well as a play based on the novel, JUST A CONVERSATION OVER CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS, which was produced in the spring of 2019.
In addition to writing and consulting, I am an ardent foodie who raises vegetables, fruit, nuts and herbs at home with my husband, daughters, cats, dog and four chickens. I blog about all of it at thanksamen.wordpress.com/.
Grian Hollies-Maxwell, Food Outreach Coordinator
Grian, (pronounced gree-on) is affectionately called Gee, brings 20 years of professional cooking to the table.
A real foodie, G has many years of production cooking as well as 5 star dining. The farm is a natural addition to her resume, which includes many gardens around Milwaukee and urban gardening. My motto is love people, cook great food!
Lexie Mullhern, Chief of Operations
Lexie first got involved with VGI as a Community Events and Outreach intern in college. She spent this time learning about VGI’s mission, tabling events, and offering support during the BLITZ. In 2021, Lexie led our 13th Annual BLITZ and has enjoyed every moment since.
Lexie has been living in Milwaukee for the past six years and has always had a knack for working with her hands. While she hasn’t had much opportunity (or space) to have her own garden yet, she hopes to buy her first home within the next few years and put her newly acquired gardening knowledge to the test. Until then, she has 44 houseplants to tend to.
Aaron Wynn, Farm Manager
Aaron comes to VGI with 18+ years experience as a farm manager in both vegetable and hemp production. Originally from Milwaukee, Aaron spent many years out in Colorado and California managing hemp farms before returning to Milwaukee to begin his own farm business. He joined VGI in 2020 as the new Farm Manager and is looking forward to giving food away for free to the community and helping build an equitable food system in Harambee.