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Board of Directors

Meet the Forest Avenue Outreach board members who help make this organization possible!

Ben Spellman, President. A jack of all trades, Ben is well known as a yoga instructor with all the good vibes.

Emmett Phillips, Co-Vice-President. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing FAO programming in action through my work with Children and Family Urban Movement so I am especially excited to contribute to the growth of this organization. My passion for empowering youth and building community through the arts and education will align well with our mission to “grow community, one seed at a time”. I plan to introduce performance arts focused programming to FAO that will add value to the services we provide and give young artists a direct pathway to contribute their talents to our efforts.

Jenetta Hargrove, Co-Vice-President. I’m an Iowa transplant all the way from Wisconsin and a local foods chef. I served for two years as a FoodCorp service member in Des Moines Public Schools, teaching garden and nutrition education. Forest Ave Outreach is a celebration of community! I’ll be out in the gardens and orchard cooking with the kids, growing great food, and building community.

Tim Jestice, Treasurer. It’s my privilege to be working with an inspiring new team through Forest Avenue Outreach to our community. I’m elated to help cultivate learning, creativity, exploration, and connectedness within our neighborhoods. I particularly look forward to being involved with the urban garden and orchard at Forest Avenue.

Chelsea Krist, Secretary. I’ve got deep love for this city and believe that food is an important way to take care of each other. I first learned of FAO in 2014 through my role as a FoodCorps service member in Des Moines. The FAO Orchard stands as a space that brings people together around food and community, and that’s the kind of place I want to be. I coordinate farm to school programs across the state, and look forward to applying my energy and work to FAO summer programming and partnerships.

Julia McGuire, Grant Administrator. I am happy to be a part of Forest Avenue Outreach’s Board of Directors! The Outreach definitely fits into my passions for just and local food systems and the arts. After learning about FAO in 2013, my son and I have been involved in various tasks at the garden and orchard. I am looking forward to the Outreach expand its apiary activity — hosting bee hive tours for non-beekeepers, holding small group inspections for teaching newer beekeepers, and supporting healthy colonies for pollinating the orchard this season.

Ralph Chiodo, Founder. I was lead to start Forest Ave Outreach in 2013 when my family and I moved into the King-Irving Neighborhood, recognizing the need to agricultural teaching in the urban core. I am excited about the new board and the continued work of Forest Ave Outreach. I will continue to work closely with the new board in an advisory role.

2018 FAO Board of Directors