July 20, 2018
CHARLESTON, S.C. – As the organization approaches its ninth year serving the community through farm-to-school programming, The Green Heart Project prepares for the next chapter of its history under new leadership. After eight years of service as the Executive Director of the Green Heart Project, Drew Harrison has stepped down from his role as the Executive Director and welcomed Jesse Blom into the position. The Green Heart Project is excited about the bright future for the organization thanks to the strong foundation built by Drew and the founding members.
Drew’s tenure with the Green Heart Project started as a volunteer at Mitchell Elementary’s flagship garden program, founded by restaurateur and neighbor Karalee Nielsen Fallert. With the financial support of Fallert’s restaurant group, Taco Boy, Drew took the lead as Executive Director in 2009. Harrison grew the volunteer organization from the ground up, expanding it from one school garden program to a thriving 501(c)3 non-profit organization that currently works with six school partners reaching over 1,200 students annually and 8,000 students to date. The organization boasts both in-school and after-school program models incorporating volunteer mentorship to carry out the organization’s mission of growing minds and community through food. Thanks to Drew’s leadership, the Green Heart Project is poised for continued growth, expansion and impact in the Charleston community in the years to come. “I am proud and grateful to be a part of growing the Green Heart Project from seed to the non-profit it is today,” says Drew Harrison. “And I’m honored to remain involved moving forward to support our new Executive Director and the Green Heart Project Team as we continue to grow Green Heart Buddies in our community.” The entire community is full of #GreenHeartGratitude for Drew’s years of service, leadership, and his big Green Heart.
After a rigorous national search, the GHP Board of Directors has hired a new Executive Director to lead the organization forward and is proud to formally introduce the new Executive Director of the Green Heart Project: Jesse Blom. Jesse is thrilled and honored to serve the Green Heart Project as its new Executive Director, bringing with him more than a decade of experience managing experiential education programs in the non-profit and academic sectors. Throughout his career, Jesse has used urban gardening and farming as a tool for building community and for inspiring curiosity and learning in people of all ages. Most recently, he managed an educational urban farm project for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD and prior to that, led urban agriculture, education, and training projects for Sweet Water Foundation in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI and in Chicago, IL. Jesse holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Freshwater Sciences from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He makes the journey to Charleston with his wife, Eileen, his son Moses, age 7, and his daughter Miriam, age 4. Jesse’s story is longer than this, but you will have to introduce yourself to him to hear more details!! He looks forward to meeting everyone in the extended Green Heart family in the weeks and months to come.
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The Green Heart Project is a 501©3 non-profit organization that builds school gardens and farm-to-school programs in the Charleston area. With a high value placed on health, education, and community, GHP pairs local volunteers with students to grow school gardens through in-school & after-school programming. In doing so, it looks to educate students about the value of healthy food, while reinforcing academic standards and building community. For more information on how to get involved, please visit our website, www.greenheartsc.org