We’re passionate about eliminating food insecurity and food waste

Our Team

Any organization is only as good as their people. Luckily, our people are wonderful.

At Urban Gleaners, we believe that everyone should have equitable access to opportunities in a safe and positive working environment. We hold each other accountable and lift each other up by celebrating our core values in our warehouse and in our community when we are out doing the work. We understand the deeply rooted systemic causes of inequitable access to resources like nutritious food and employment. Equity and equal opportunity are crucial to the success of our team and our program.

Tracy started Urban Gleaners in 2006 with the simple observation that there were hungry people in the Portland community who could be fed with good, edible food that was being thrown away every day in our city. Tracy was previously the owner of a catering company in Los Angeles and sold a packaged food product in local grocery stores. Her love of food and interest in community activism was a natural combination that led to the founding of Urban Gleaners. 

Born and raised just a few tributaries to the north along the I-5 corridor in Kelso, WA, it took Nico 6+ of her recent years living in the Sierra Nevada’s to realize that the Pacific Northwest is truly her home. With 8 years of prior non-profit experience, Nico brings significant financial savvy, a determined work ethic, and a deep passion for the environment and food justice to the table. Spending most of her free time snowboarding, surfing or eating, Portland was the perfect place to settle down and find work that immersed her in the community. 

Luca is a Portland raised, queer activist and artist. They have been dedicated to serving the community the last four years through the efforts of Urban Gleaners. They are a sexuality, gender and queer studies major at PSU where they are developing a deeper understanding of systemic injustice and the importance of collective liberation.

Amber grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s in Northern CA. She studied Geography at University of Nevada, Reno where she completed her undergrad and is currently back in school studying Sustainable Food Systems and Leadership for Sustainability Education at PSU. She is passionate about seeking food justice and ensuring equitable access to healthy food for all. In her free time, expect to find her mountain biking, hiking, foraging for mushrooms, making earrings, camping or hot springing. Nothing makes her happier than some time spent outside.

Joining the Urban Gleaners team in 2018, Jason has experienced both the growth and upheaval of recent years (looking at you 2020) for our organization with a positive outlook and a smile. As the UG head chef, Jason’s decades of experience in the local food scene has helped with our transition to producing healthy meals out of the newly upgraded UG kitchen while also dedicatedly remaining to be one of our Community Support Associates delivering that very same food to the community. He loves seeing happy people go home with a full bag of awesome food.

Wesley hails from the great white north (Canada, eh) where they found a love for people and the outdoors. They’ve been rescuing food for Urban Gleaners for 5 years and have found that bringing care and joy to the community is incredibly rewarding work. Outside of work, you can find them studying to become a Licensed Massage Therapist, building things in their woodshop, climbing at the rock gym, or cuddling their cat, Kevin.

A writer by nature, Jeff ironically has a hard time talking about himself. Suffice to say, he spent his younger years jumping out of the very first airplane he got into, tobogganing down a glacier and bartending into the wee hours too, too many nights. Surviving all that, he is now ecstatic to be a part of an organization dedicated to making a difference. Change begins with each one of us.

Lizz is a Portland native, recently returned to the city after some years of bouncing around the West. She is thrilled to be working for Urban Gleaners and giving back to the community where she was raised. While studying anthropology and environmental policy at the University of Puget Sound, Lizz fell in love with food for its place at the center of community, the environment, and social justice. She is deeply passionate about urban agriculture and the power of reconnecting people with land and local food systems. Outside of work, you can find her gardening, baking sourdough, climbing, making things, and asking to pet your dog.

Katy grew up in East Tennessee and found her way to the PNW chasing good community and abundant nature. She is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Leadership for Sustainability Education focusing on Sustainable Food Systems and Community Resilience at PSU. Katy is passionate about equitable access to fresh, nutritious food and the power of relationship building. When she’s not at work, you can find her at the climbing gym, biking around town, or on the trails with her dog, Albert.

Cait has been working in the restaurant, farm, and food system world of Portland for the past six years in a variety of roles. She started working at Urban Gleaners after receiving a master’s degree in Food Systems and Society from OHSU. When they aren’t spending time working with food and community, Cait enjoys just about anything in the outdoors, especially rock climbing.

Carson grew up in Southern California, where he worked farmers markets with his mom on the weekends and learned through her the importance of good, local food. He later moved to San Diego for college, where he worked in food recovery and waste management at a composting collective. Carson recently moved to Portland, and appreciates the PNW for its abundance of trees and greenery. Outside of Urban Gleaners, he spends his free time biking, drawing, climbing trees, playing with his cat John Joseph, and making friends with local crows. He is super excited to be part of an organization that combines his passion for food and people!

Emily was born and raised in San Francisco and moved to Portland spontaneously at the beginning of COVID. She studied biology at UC Santa Cruz where she fell in love with food systems, food justice, and sustainability. She has spent the last 3 years working in different capacities in the food world in Portland – bartending, catering, cooking, and serving seniors in the community. She is stoked to be interacting with the Portland community through Urban Gleaners and a shared love of food. 

Miguel is a born and raised Portlander. He is passionate about fighting against food insecurity and has joined Urban Gleaners to help better connect food resources to community members. Outside of work, he is an avid Pokémon collector, horror movie fan, and grinder of video games. Although a home body, he also enjoys being outside playing basketball and BBQing with the family.

Parker grew up in the California bay area before heading to the East Coast so he could attend college in a place that snowed. He spent a couple of years traveling around the middle of the country while working in politics before heading back to the West Coast to be closer to friends and family. He’s passionate about reducing food waste and helping the community feed itself. When Parker is not at work, he enjoys playing discgolf with friends, biking, eating new foods, being in nature, and going on adventures. 

Zia is a passionate queer Jewish community organizer. Being raised with Jewish and Italian family, she carries into her community the impressed value of the importance of food and making sure everyone gets fed. Before joining Urban Gleaners, she helped facilitate a pantry that supplies culturally competent food and other supplies to local immigrant communities. She has a strong love for the PNW and its natural beauty since she grew up in Seattle, so she tries to get out to nature whenever she can. Other than that, she loves to spend her free time sharing good food with friends, trying out new crafting hobbies, and going for little walks in her neighborhood.

Granola baker, cruciverbalist, pluviophile, cryptid enthusiast. Amanda went to culinary school kind of on a whim, has been in baking for over ten years, and is really happy with how it ultimately turned out. She has technically seen a UFO, and she wasn’t even alone at the time, ask Shawn if you don’t believe her.

Our Board

Urban Gleaners Board of Directors

Kate Barker

Board President

Gregory Gourdet

Founder of Kann

Tyler Malek

Co-Founder of Salt & Straw

Kathryn Williams

Director of Government Affairs at NW Natural

Clare Stager

Internal Community Manager at SEED

Lena Braun

Board Secretary

Michelle Allen

Free Food Market Host

Lindsay Funston

Editor in Chief at The Kitchn

Jennifer Chi

Director of Digital Experience CareOregon

Robin Snyder

Volunteer at Urban Gleaners

Urban Gleaners Ambassador Board

Dougal Williams

Board President and Principal & Chief Investment Officer at Vista Capital Partners

Kate Barker

Principal at Cherry Park Elementary

Karen Brooks

Food Critic at Portland Monthly Magazine

Michael Doherty

Creative Director at Nike Inc.

Gregory Gourdet

Director of Culinary Operations at Departure

Chris Israel

Chef and Local Legend

Mark Law

Chief Operations Officer at New Seasons Market

Tyler Malek

Co-Founder of Salt & Straw

Kathryn Williams

Director of Government Affairs at NW Natural

Tracy’s TED Talk Video