Board Members

GROW La Crosse is a non-profit organization formed by enthusiastic parents and community members who connect children to health food and nature through school gardens and farm experiences.

These amazing individuals guide our organization.  

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Liza Ware - President

Liza is eager help GROW provide youth in our region with healthy food and nature experiences. Liza has a background in developmental psychology and recognizes the importance of healthy food knowledge and access to lifelong development, and the impact of connecting with nature on mental health and eco-friendly lifestyle practices. As a parent, Liza is passionate about engaging her child in food cultivation, food preparation, and nature experiences, and is grateful for the opportunities that GROW provides to children in the community. She is thrilled to apply her passions with GROW to serve the community and help the environment.



Ester Tierney - Vice President & Interim Treasurer

Esti is happy to be helping GROW reach families living in our community. After having children and raising them in the La Crosse area, Esti has seen the great work GROW has done first hand with her own children's involvement. She feels strongly that the entire community benefits from healthy food and healthy environments, and GROW is helping our local community do just that. By educating and exposing children to nourishing food and lifestyles, we are preparing them for the future. She has her undergraduate degree in Economics and her Masters in Business Administration, and is currently working in the HVAC industry.



Secretary - Sarah Pember

Sarah's original career path was in elementary education, and taught in Northern and Central Virginia schools, as well as north of Austin, Texas. Now she is a professor of School Health Education and has experience working with teacher candidates and lesson planning.

Other previous jobs have included working as a “Foodie” in a small grocery store, teaching cooking classes for their plant-based eating program and writing a food blog.


Lindsey Rushford

Lindsey Rushford has an undergraduate degree in soil science and master's degree in crop science. With this background she has worked in agricultural plant breeding as a research associate and currently works with the UW-Extension. She loves to share her passion for science by engaging young people in learning. Her favorite way to do this is with simple experiments and work that allows youth to get their hands dirty.

In her free time Lindsey enjoys gardening at home and growing plants she's not yet familiar with. Most recently she tried growing loofah and tomatillo!

She is eager to continue to set roots in the La Crosse community that has been her home since 2015 by engaging in community service. She appreciates lending her expertise and experience to help GROW continue to thrive.


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Erica Rytilahti

Erica brings her experience and knowledge of supporting nonprofit organizations from her role in Wealth Management at Trust Point, Inc. In addition to her financial background, she is mom to two young children and understands the importance and value in connecting all children to the natural world and healthy living. Erica is excited to be a part of GROW and continue her involvement in the community.


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Kathryn Oslund

Kathryn brings a passion for gardening and professional experience as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.  As a food and nutrition expert, Kathy brings perspectives on the value of introducing youth to their food systems and healthy food options to the GROW board of directors.


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Bree Moore-Lawrence

Bio coming soon.



Potential Board Member 

Are you interested in becoming a member of the GROW team?  We are looking for individuals who are passionate about making a positive impact on the health of youth in our region.

Please follow this link to the interest survey to help both you and the current board determine how your time and talents might best fit into our organization.

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