Liliana Flores-Amaro - Board Chair

Liliana is a proud northeast Denver native and daughter to a family that immigrated to the United States from Mexico in search of the American Dream. She graduated from Colorado College with a BA in Anthropology and a double minor in Spanish and American Cultural Studies. Liliana is completing her Master’s degree in Education and Human Development with emphasis in Early Childhood Education. Her passions include education, food justice, and the immigrant and Latin@ movement. She is a systems thinker who uses permaculture principles to inform her practice as an educator and leader. Liliana currently lives in Swansea, the neighborhood she grew up in, alongside her husband, Jose, and their two dogs. Both Liliana and The GrowHaus were putting down roots around the same time and she jumped at the chance to grow alongside an organization that shared many of the same values and kept the community at the heart of their mission.

elizabeth wittemyer

Elizabeth Wittemyer is a Mexican-American attorney who has lived in Colorado for over 30 years and has a life-long commitment in helping low income communities access services.  Her love of gardening started as a child, helping her grandfather grow vegetables on his East Texas farm, and has grown throughout the years with the challenge of tending to her own vegetable garden in the Colorado mountains' short seasons.  The mission of The GrowHaus is a perfect fit for her twin passions; growing local, organic food and facilitating communities in accessing and achieving healthy nutrition.  


Kevin is a local business owner who brings expertise in marketing, communications, advertising, fundraising, public relations, event management and planning to the board. Kevin sits on multiple nonprofit boards including Smart-Girl, Inc. and Colorado University President’s Leadership Class Advisory Board.



karl hiesterman

A proven, certified Lean Six Sigma Black-Belt Executive with extensive hands-on experience in process improvement initiatives designed to optimize organization capabilities, improve revenue growth, and reduce cost structures. A Business Transformation leader recognized for ability to identify key issues and generate innovative solutions to complex problems through cross-functional, team-based problem solving methodologies, creating customer-focused organizations that are better, faster, and have the quality tools and motivation necessary to continuously improve their processes and people.

Victor Galvan, Board Secretary  


Victor is a Rocky Mountain native, born in Chihuahua, Mexico and a graduate of North High School in Denver. He began organizing in the immigrant community in 2008 at age 16 through Padres Y Jóvenes Unidos. In 2012, Victor joined the CIRC (Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition) team to help mobilize Latino and immigrant voters in the general election and was instrumental in the campaign to win ASSET in-state tuition equity in 2013. Victor’s voice helped to ensure that ASSET included state-funded scholarships for undocumented students. Victor proudly calls himself a DREAMer and continues to fight for federal reform that would give him and his family fair access to an earned path to citizenship. Victor dreams of one day finishing his college education, as he qualifies for ASSET.


Cheryl Kelly, PhD, MPH, MA           

Cheryl Kelly is an Evaluation Investigator with Kaiser Permanente's Institute for Health Research. Her expertise is around public health outcomes research and evaluation, specifically on the community level. She has done some work in GES in the past as well.  She also brings strong experience in teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level, and grant writing. Her multiple degrees are in Behavioral Science, Health Education, and Sport Psychology.  She is interested in helping us ensure that our strategy is connected to measurable outcomes. This is her first board experience and she is excited to learn and contribute.

Joseph Matta, Board Treasurer

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Joe Matta is the VP of Operations & Finance for Sunrise Strategic Partners, a Boulder, CO based Venture Capital fund focused on emerging brands in the natural food & beverage sector. Joe began volunteering with The GrowHaus during 2017 as a Financial Architect in the Uncharted Accelerator program. He brings 7 years of financial expertise to the team having worked in prior roles in Investment Banking (Barclays), Private Equity (Trilantic Capital Partners), and now Venture Capital (Sunrise Strategic Partners). He also brings 3 years of non-profit board experience having served as the co-chair of the Young Leaders Board for New Jersey Needs You (now America Needs You) from 2012-2015, a program that fights for the economic mobility of first generation college students.

Joe has a strong passion for food, technology, and sustainability - particularly how all of these areas intersect. In addition to his role at Sunrise, Joe spends time working as a Recruiting Associate for the recently launched Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator based out of Minneapolis, MN. In addition, beginning in August 2018, Joe will be pursuing a Masters Degree in Sustainable Food Systems within the Environmental Studies department at CU Boulder. He is excited to continue learning and pursuing his passion to create a more equitable and sustainable food system alongside the GrowHaus team!

Joe received a bachelor’s degree from Boston College in Finance and Accounting. Joe grew up in New Jersey, and recently moved to Boulder, CO in April 2017. He enjoys the outdoors, hiking, traveling, and Triathlon. Prior to moving to Colorado Joe spent a year traveling through Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America as a participant in Remote Year - a program that allows participants to travel the world and work remotely for one year! Joe now passionately pursues Triathlon and competes in both Half distance and Full distance Ironman races, having completed 3 Half distance and 2 Full distance races so far!

Lori Casillas 


Lori has a wealth of knowledge and experience working in the nonprofit sector and deep connections to the GES community. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Hunger Free Colorado and previously served as Program Officer at Buell Foundation, Head Start Health, as Mental Health Director at the Denver Office of Children's Affairs, and as Executive Director of Colorado Youth Matter. Her husband is the principal of Swansea elementary, where her daughter is a student, regularly attending The GrowHaus' afterschool programming. It thrills her to hear her daughter speak about animal and plant caretaking.

Lori is excited to contribute to our mission and work towards food justice and health equity in addressing basic human rights that families need to thrive. Even more, she recognizes the importance in cultivating leaders from within the neighborhood as she witnessed this problem first hand as a nonprofit executive of color where she became aware of voices that are often missing at decision-making tables and the importance of representation in our community.

Jeff Vaden


Jeff is a leader in Denver’s fitness sector and worked to build a space where people from all backgrounds and walks of life can focus on their fitness in a friendly, open and inclusive community resulting in the creation of Dynamic Fitness Co. His unique approach stems from hearing people of color say fitness, whole-foods nutrition, and healthy living is “not for us” because living a healthy lifestyle is inaccessible and not culturally responsive to the needs of our community. The diverse training studio, takes pride in demonstrating that eating great food, and living a healthy and active lifestyle is for everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic class.

His own beliefs about wellness directly align with the core values of The Growhaus. He believes the work being done is invaluable to the long term health and wealth of the community and believes that every person has a right to thrive and build strong and diverse communities focused on “social, environmental, and economic sustainability” and will be the way we create real and lasting change for the future.

Sherry Johnson

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Sherry is a senior manager of a cooperative bank and has focused on development and implementation of national corporate citizenship strategies. Emphasizing in corporate communications for the financial services industry with media relations and crisis communications, Sherry has led efforts in the bank’s existing giving programs and created strategic giving platforms aligned with the banks efforts to service rural communities across America. Sherry holds a degree in communications from Regis University and a certificate in corporate citizenship management from Boston College. She is a self-described amateur gardener and knows the therapeutic values it can bring along with benefits of being self-sustaining and eating healthier. She looks forward to the next phases of our mission and working together.