Staff

Leaders and Growers

Seed St. Louis isn’t just a non-profit organization; we are a family of planters, growers, and educators. Strength and empowerment are our tools, and our desire to educate the community is our goal. We are friends, neighbors, teachers, and co-workers looking to better our neighborhoods by working hand-in-dirt with people like you.

Seeds and seed packet icon

Sara Ashe

Chief Operating Officer

A Michigan native, Sara Ashe has worked to make St. Louis a better place for over 10 years. Before joining Seed St. Louis, she earned a master’s degree in Human Resource Management and served as the director of operations for the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma. While Sara was not hired for her green thumb, she keeps Seed St. Louis growing as the Chief Operating Officer. When she is not busy developing the Land Trust Program, Sara can be found learning to play the fiddle and rock climbing.

Education: Masters of Arts, Human Resource Management, Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

Future Education: Masters in Animal Rescue and Senior Dog Sanctuary

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 113

Jacob Berkowitz

Garden Program Associate

Jacob Berkowitz, from St. Louis, is an artist, carpenter, and gardener. The tangible world is where his heart and hands lie. He believes that the more we know we can physically change the world, the more we know our own power. Spending most of his early 20’s working as a visual artist, over the past few years he’s shifted his focus to building larger and more functionally. You can find him cooking, swimming in rivers, making all kinds of random stuff, and laughing as much as possible. But at Seed Stl it’s mostly building, (and laughing.)

Future Job: Alien Ambassador/River Guide
SEND EMAIL314.588.9600

Dean Gunderson

Director of Education

Dean Gunderson is from Glen Carbon, Illinois about 20 miles east of St. Louis. He attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) where he studied Agricultural and Food Geography. Dean then interned at Cahokia Mounds where he was able to study the prehistoric agriculture practiced at Cahokia. He found his way to Seed St. Louis as a volunteer, then an intern, which led to a seasonal position in the community garden program. He later became the Community Garden Program Manager and started our orchard program, the Giving Grove. He is now the Director of Education, coordinating our adult educational materials and classes, and manages the Giving Grove program. His favorite thing about working at Seed St. Louis is getting to work with and learn from so many different people and getting to help them to grow food for their families and communities.

A few fun facts about Dean, he enjoys doing garden experiments on his family’s property, specifically trialling perennial crops and staple foods like grains and nuts, including almonds. He likes trying unusual edible foods, is a huge fan of Dr. Who, and in 2019 he and his wife welcomed their first child, a baby girl.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Geography. Master of Science in Geographical Studies with a focus on food and agricultural geography.

Future Education: Master of Time from the University of Gallifrey

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 108

Theresa Lopez

Director of Administration

Theresa has been with Seed St. Louis since December of 2005. Theresa is a native of St. Louis and went to Saint Francis DeSales grade school before graduating from Roosevelt High School. Theresa has gained her experiences through several of the for-profit jobs that she has worked over the years. Eventually, she started working for 10 years at a religious non-profit before she made the jump to Seed St. Louis and has been managing the office ever since. Her favorite parts of working here are the variety of duties she has, learning new things in the world of computer programs which keeps the job from getting boring, talking to and meeting people when hey call or come to the office.  Even though she works in the office, she has the joy of knowing that Seed St. Louis is making a difference in the communities of St. Louis City and County and now in Illinois.

When she is not working, she spends time visiting her children and grandchildren in Chicago, California, and New York, which allows for all sorts of fun road trips and family time. She is most excited to welcome the newest granddaughter in March of 2022.

Future Education: Time Traveling / Teleportation

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 101

Megan Moncure

Director of Engagement

Megan Moncure grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska but has lived in St. Louis since 2001. She has led the Florissant Community Garden, where she was introduced to Seed St. Louis, since 2015. Megan joined Seed St. Louis in 2017 to lead our volunteer program and has since added social media, running our store and events to her resume. She has a life-long passion for gardening, as well as music and animal rescue. (Ask her about the one time she rescued feral kittens at Seed St. Louis’s Carriage House!) Her favorite thing about working at Seed St. Louis is meeting fellow gardeners and learning from their experiences..

Education: Bachelor of Arts in English

Future Education: Animal Hugger with a part-time job of cake tasting

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 110

Tonia Scherer

Director of Schools

Tonia has always had a passion for education, beginning her career as an English teacher. Eventually, however, she found herself feeling limited teaching in an indoor classroom setting. Tonia felt inspired to take the school curriculum outdoors and foster stronger connections between her students and the natural world around them.

Tonia joined the Seed St. Louis team in 2017 as an Educator where she provided direct garden-based education to youth in St. Louis school districts. Since 2020, Tonia has worked as the Director of Schools, providing professional development and support to teachers and garden leaders in areas such as capacity-building, garden maintenance, and academic engagement.  Through Seed St. Louis, she has found that giving a child the responsibility to nurture living plants in the garden has numerous academic, physical, and socioemotional benefits, which in return has the potential to improve the overall health of a community.

When not working, you can find Tonia getting lost in nature, going to concerts, upcycling thrifted finds, and dabbling in different forms of art.

Education: Bachelor of Sciences in Secondary Education, Missouri Master Naturalist Certified

Future Education: Professional Air Guitarist

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 114

Matt Schindler

Chief Executive Officer

A native of St. Louis, Matt Schindler has been with Seed St. Louis since 2015. Through meaningful partnerships, creative programming, and educational opportunities, Matt has successfully led the organization in support of sustainable community development through community gardens, school gardens, urban orchards, and urban farms.

Throughout his career, Matt has worked to support and create a better community in both St. Louis and internationally.  His experience in St. Louis includes Downtown STL, Inc. and the International Institute of St. Louis.  During this time, he initiated various programs that included public improvements, transportation studies, as well as business consulting and development. Internationally, Matt volunteered with the US Peace Corp in Armenia as the Advanced Business Development Volunteer.  In 2018, Matt was elected to the Parkway School Board and is on his second term.

Education: Master of Arts in International Relations, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, and German

Future Education: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Flying class

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 102

Abbey Schumacher

School Educator

Born and raised in St. Louis, Abbey recently moved back from the Chicago area where she worked as the “Garden to Table” instructor for the Ridgeville Park District. Abbey first fell in love with gardening as a college student when she tended a community garden plot for a friend and discovered the joys of pulling carrots, making salsa, and digging in the dirt surrounded by flowers. Since then, Abbey has tended a number of community garden plots, worked with a variety of food distribution and food salvage operations, and volunteered with gardens at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago, the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, and her son’s preschool. Abbey received her Master Gardener Certification through the University of Illinois Extension in 2018, and is passionate about environmental justice, food sovereignty, and community-based, experiential education. She loves that Seed St. Louis exists to encourage and support the creative energy around urban agriculture already thriving in St. Louis and looks forward to building that energy among our youngest citizens in school communities. When she’s not in a garden, you can find her in the kitchen, woods, or with family and friends.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Spanish, Master of Arts in Theology, Illinois Master Gardener Certified

Future Education: Professional Folk Singer

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext.116

Lucy Swan

Director of Projects

Lucy Swan is originally from the Boston area, but has lived in St. Louis for 10 years now. She attended Washington University in St. Louis for an undergraduate degree and a masters degree in social work. Lucy has been consistently trying to find a way to merge her belief in the power of community building with a personal love for working outside and growing food. She started at Seed St. Louis as a summer intern at the urban farm in 2015 and came back this year as a Community Projects Associate and now as Director of Projects.

Lucy strongly believes that growing your own food and making use of otherwise vacant or capitalized properties are both effective ways of redistributing power into the hands of the people who live in the greater St. Louis area. What Lucy loves about working at Seed St. Louis is being able to provide this city’s community members with some of the resources and information to start, strengthen, and continue their own projects. In her spare time, Lucy enjoys cooking, being in the park, and spending time with close friends.

Education: Bachelor of Science in English Literature and Writing, Master’s in Social Work

Future Education: Master Chef

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 103

Howard Warth

Community Projects Associate

Howard grew up in St Louis. He taught math in Rolla and returned to St Louis in 2011. Since then he has been involved with several volunteer organizations including the Audubon Society removing invasives and planting trees and Forest ReLeaf helping to pot up and care for trees grown to be provided to parks and schools throughout the Missouri area.

Howard was hired in 2020 as an AARP intern for one year and then hired in 2022 as a Community project associate helping build and install hardscaping materials and installing them in local community gardens. When he is not working or volunteering he enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren including the newest baby girl born 2021.

Future Education: Lunar landscaper

SEND EMAIL314.588.9600 ext. 115

Volunteer at a Garden or Orchard

Are you ready to volunteer at a Seed St. Louis garden? Volunteering with Seed St. Louis is a great hands-on way for individuals and groups to support their community.

Learn More

Want to Learn with Us?

Seed St. Louis hosts over 40 free virtual classes throughout the year. Our staff provides a wide variety of classes for all gardening enthusiasts.

Learn More