Amber Daugs

CEO & Founder

Grow It Forward’s CEO and Founder, Amber Daugs, has worked diligently over the last six years to laying the framework for Grow It Forward to serve as a local food hub within the City of Manitowoc.

She is extensively involved and is a leader in the local food movement. For two years, she participated in the development of Clipper City Co-op (a member-owned grocery), served as an AmeriCorps Farm to School Community Outreach Coordinator, is a member of Healthiest Manitowoc County's Activity & Nutrition Coalition, is the Minority Advisor for Manitowoc, Sheboygan, & Calumet County's Farm Service Agency, and also co-owns Little Sprouts Farm with her husband Brad.

Amber’s professional and educational experience includes urban agriculture, non-profit management, public and business administration, finance, business and project management.

Amber has earned many educational and professional accolades. She was inducted into two honor societies-Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Beta Delta, graduated with highest honors-Summa Cum Lade and achieved a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Franklin University of Ohio, and has earned certificates from:

• Victory Garden Initiative of Milwaukee Food Leader program, and now serves as mentor for this program over the past 2 years,

•  Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture program,

•  Community GroundWorks Growing Minds: Garden-Based Learning From the Ground Up program.


Her hobbies and interests include: agriculture and the local food movement, life-long learning, grass roots organizing, sustainability, art, music, civic involvement and social advocacy, gardening and growing delicious produce, canning, preserving, fermenting, cooking and baking.

growitforward.wi@gmail.com

Tallie Fote

Program Development Intern

Tallie was born and raised in Manitowoc. After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning her BBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship in 2019. This fall she plans to return to school to obtain a law degree.
 

With her time off before law school, Tallie wants to give back to her community. Her passion for health and sustainability began in college. She enjoys cooking with and eating fresh produce and encourages others around her to do the same. Tallie is excited to establish a kid’s program at Grow It Forward where she will do just that, teaching children the importance of nutritious food.
 

Tallie’s hobbies and interests include reading, cooking, sustainability, yoga, watching the Packers and Badger football teams, playing with her dog Gia, and spending time with her family.

Ryan O'Toole

President

Having a broad background and robust knowledge of the food and ingredients industries, Ryan joined Briess Malt and Ingredients in November 2015. He began his career with Kerry Ingredients 20+ years ago, performing various roles throughout the company and country. Starting at Kerry as a Quality Assurance Technician and Production Supervisor, he became fluent in the production processes of food manufacturing. As he continued his career, his roles included Quality Assurance Manager, Technical Manager, Operations Director, and finally Vice President of Operations. His focus throughout these roles included ensuring facility adherence to budget, capital expenditures, customer service, quality and safety--of which he also brings to the Grow It Forward Board.

Eli Steimle

Treasurer

Eli was born and raised in Manitowoc as the youngest of 6 children. After high school, Eli attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he earned his BBA in Accounting in 2016 and his Masters of Accountancy with an Emphasis in Taxation in 2017. Eli was an active volunteer throughout his time in Madison as a Badger Volunteer. Eli took pride in volunteering at food pantries and tutoring in elementary after-school programs.


Upon graduation, Eli moved to Minneapolis to work at a public accounting firm before returning to Manitowoc. It was in Minneapolis that Eli’s passion for health and wellness started to flourish. Understanding the impact that our community has on our lifestyle and overall health and wellness, Eli moved back to Manitowoc in October 2018 with the goal of having a positive impact on the community that he grew up in.


Eli is currently a Business Banking Analyst a Bank First. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Wisconsin and is pursuing his MBA in Finance. He is also pursuing his certificate to be a Transformational Nutrition Coach to inspire clients and help them understand the importance nutrition as a foundation of overall happiness and quality of life.


Outside of work and school, Eli loves to be active. He grew up playing hockey, baseball and football and continues to play as much as possible. Eli is a regular at the YMCA, but he also enjoys spending as much time outside as possible!

Jason Prigge

Board Member

Jason is a local businessman who loves our community. Together, with his wife and partner, he spearheaded the #coolestcoast movement. Jason is passionate about creating positive self-talk within the community and contributing to an overall positive community dialogue. His business is Vagabond Creative Studio where they design creative content for clients with the goal of making them look good, including print, digital and video. 

 

As an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, he produces a weekly Business Minute video for the Chamber showcasing area businesses. Since many other small businesses might benefit from using video and social media in the promotion of their businesses, Jason regularly teaches learning sessions introducing participants to the basics of creating and sharing digital content. A rising tide raises all boats. 

 

Jason's deep dedication to the community includes active involvement on the boards of: 

Lighthouse Community Recovery Center

Grow It Forward

 

Jason is committed to making a difference. 

Patrick Neuenfeldt

Board Member

Chris Able

Board Member

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