Reno nonprofit Urban Roots installs two executive directors from inside, hires to expand team

Reno nonprofit Urban Roots installs two executive directors from inside, hires to expand team

— Leadership Transition Leverages Historical Intelligence of the Organization While Expanding the Educational Team and Maximizing Resources —

RENO, Nevada – After an extensive search for new leadership, Urban roots, a flagship nonprofit organization for the educational community in Nevada and beyond, has installed Jenny Angius as executive director of operations and development and Sydney Callahan as executive director of programs and personnel in a model of shared leadership designed to fit the needs of the organization. The two internal promotions bring historical knowledge of the organization and, in their first joint move for the entity, will add four employees to expand education efforts as the nonprofit’s goal grows. expands to serve a wider range of community members in need of gardening training. Angius and Callahan took office on January 18, 2022.

“The Urban Roots team has consistently proven that their tenacity is a key ingredient in the survival of the nonprofit organization and its ability to deliver to its constituents,” said Frankie Vigil, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Urban Roots. ‘Urban Roots, APR, Head of Business Development at Lumos Associates. “But this particular team coalesced during the difficulties presented by COVID-19. They tweaked the offerings, redesigned how to make the farm benefit the community when individuals couldn’t visit, and dug their heels in to orchestrate logistics so programming was delivered safely. The board has taken a hard look at how we have operated before and what it will take to help more people and are confident that this approach will double their investments while providing them with much needed support.

In this shared leadership model, Angius and Callahan will lead the organization. Although Angius and Callahan have different day-to-day responsibilities, they will work in tandem to create and implement strategic direction and ensure the priorities of the organization are implemented. Together, the executive directors will oversee compliance with local, state, and federal laws while safeguarding the financial health of the nonprofit organization.

As Executive Director of Operations and Development, Angius will oversee organizational and fiscal management, including being responsible for fundraising and revenue efforts.

“The pandemic has illustrated that there is a greater need for Urban Roots services and we need every member of this team in a healthy and secure position to guide this expanded audience to better health outcomes,” said Angius.

As Executive Director of Programs and People, Callahan will oversee planning and execution of nonprofit programs as well as staff development and evaluation of program opportunities.

“This organization has the ability to impact so many people in our area, and I am honored to have expanded the freedoms to assess some of the gaps our community might have and understand what Urban Roots can offer people. affected by these shortcomings,” Callahan said. .

For over 11 years, Urban Roots has offered a blend of programs designed to change the way communities eat and learn. In normal years, the organization hosts Farm Camps for Washoe County School District students of varying ages, Farm School for students enrolled in homeschooling programs, and Little Gardener Classes for young children. who are not of the traditional school age. The educational farm at 1700 E. Second Street often hosts field trips and expects its educational kitchen to complete construction before the summer of 2022. The nonprofit also works in tandem with the Renown Food Pantry, making product donation for Renown Health’s Prescription Pantry program, where patients can redeem “prescriptions” for healthy foods from physicians who believe modified or improved nutrition could improve patient health. Among the innovations born of the pandemic, let us mention the setting up of gardening kits which are made possible for buyers as well as for all the pupils who take part in educational outings. The pandemic has also spurred the creation of general education options, including the Dead Plant Society, monthly classes designed to help individuals improve their knowledge of the basics of gardening, and the Gardening for All initiative, an effort to help people or entities assess their space and set up a garden. beds in their place.

“I was thrilled to hear about the joint leadership model,” said Kathy Kent, Nevada market manager for Farm Bureau Bank – Reno, an Urban Roots financial backer. “After all, the pandemic has taught us to work differently, to be bold, to make changes and to think outside the box. None of the magic of Urban Roots flourishes without the people and [Urban Roots has] a strong team of people already in place who have the knowledge, spirit, positive attitude and passion to lead Urban Roots into the next phase.

To learn more about Urban Roots, visit For media inquiries, contact Rachel Gattuso at [email protected] or (775) 336-9453.


About Urban Roots

Urban Roots is a Reno-based nonprofit that strives to improve the way communities eat and learn through garden-based education. The organization ensures that all students, regardless of age or economic status, foster a connection to local food, creating lifelong learners and healthy eaters. Serving primarily Washoe County, Urban Roots has a history of bringing seed-to-table education to the community through standards-based programming at the Urban Educational Farm and across Washoe County. The organization uses the garden as a lens to teach concepts ranging from math to English and science to philanthropy that help implement the nonprofit organization’s core values ​​of academic achievement, a healthy eating and environmental stewardship.

Norma A. Roth