STAFF

Josh Stoltz

Josh Stoltz

My roots run deep in Upper Lower Michigan; born in Traverse City, I spent my first ten years growing up in downtown Lake Ann, playing basketball and riding bikes to swim at the boat launch. Our family moved near the fish hatchery where my Dad would teach me how to hunt, my Ma would teach me how to grow and store food, and my perpetual chore list included weeding the garden, feeding the chickens, and stacking firewood. By the time I graduated Benzie Central I was involved with every sport and extra-curricular activity possible, all while graduating with honors and preparing for college at Central Michigan University.

It took me one semester there to get involved- joining intramural sports, acting, directing and producing television shows with CMU television, and hosting the campus’ morning radio show. I graduated with my degree in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts and minored in both Marketing and Advertising before moving out West where I honed my knack for building relationships.

A “Midwest work ethic”, Michigander attitude, and the deregulation of the telecommunication industry all provided me an ample opportunity to shine in the sales and marketing field, opening several companies throughout Arizona and Florida before turning age 30. After the boon passed, and taking a short “retirement” of traveling and living in a school bus named “The Future”, I eventually decided to plant myself back in Benzie County where my love for the area was renourished. In 2007 I married my soulmate, purchased a home in Frankfort, and became the proud step-father of a now teenage boy.

My recent employment with SEEDS After School program provided me an opportunity to work with youth, rekindle and spark professional relationships in the community, and meld my prior experience in the private sector with the goals of a non-profit organization.

In my spare time I like to be outside, share stories, and make Things.

Britt Uecker

Britt Uecker is passionate about growing good food and eating well. Britt turned a passion for gardening into B.S. in Horticulture at Michigan State University. She was employed by the MSU Children’s garden while attending college. Britt believes deeply that education is the key to getting communities excited about healthy food choices. Before coming to Grow Benzie, Britt worked with Calvin Lutz Farms in Kaleva for five years. Here, she was given the opportunity to develop, manage, grow, and market a 10-acre vegetable garden. She facilitated the distribution of produce to local restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, and farm-to-school programs. For Britt, the reconnection of people to their source of food is of the utmost importance.

At Grow Benzie, Britt is the greenhouse manager, where she is responsible for growing, teaching gardening and food preservation classes in conjunction with Grow Benzies community gardens and Incubator kitchen. In addition, Britt serves as the manager for the Grow Benzie Farmer’s Market. When she’s not in the garden, Britt and her daughter Lauren enjoy the abundant and natural beauty that is rich in northern Michigan. They spend time hiking, camping, biking, swimming, cooking and eating local seasonal foods, and attending musical events.

Tracey Scheifele

Tracey Scheifele has been a part of Grow Benzie since 2013 when she started her small food business “In Great Taste.” She started out as an entrepreneur using the commercial kitchen and taking advantage of the resources Grow Benzie has to offer.

As Facilities Manager, Tracey incorporates a variety of her life experiences into her job. Her background in sales and marketing has been helpful to those considering starting up a small food business, along with her experiences of being the owner of a small food business.

Tracey also helps in the planning and implementing of special programs that the community can attend. As part of Grow Benzie’s effort to reach out to the youth of the community she mentors a group of students from Benzie Central High School. They spend time at Grow Benzie cooking, preparing the community center and studio house for events and special field trips.
Tracey is the go to person for those interested in booking an event at Grow Benzie whether it be a small business meeting or a large party.

In addition to her responsibilities that allow her to interact with the community she also helps with the bookkeeping at Grow Benzie.

Tracey relocated to Michigan three years ago after living in St. Augustine, Florida for sixteen years. She’s enjoying being back home closer to family and friends.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Scott Harrison: President

Mike Zielinski: Vice-President

Mary Weishaar: Treasurer

Betsy Evans

Rory Heckman

Jackie Hice

Justin Keillor

Bernie Ware