For over twenty years Amanda has served as a leader in many capacities, through board service from the local to national level (beginning at age 16 on her local school board), and leadership roles in organizations (including co-founding a nonprofit in St. Louis, MO at 18) of all types. She is the founder and executive director (since 2003) of nonprofit Growing Hope, dedicated to helping people grow and access healthy food. Growing Hope believes in giving people-- across lines of class and race and ability that usually divide us-- that chance to participate in positive change. Amanda is a twice alum (B.S. and M.S.) of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment. She has served as a policy leader both as a gubernatorial appointee to the Michigan Food Policy Council and as Vice Chair of the Washtenaw Food Policy Council. As former chair of Ypsilanti's Downtown Development Authority, she helped this body develop vision and strategy to most effectively support our invigorated commercial districts. In November 2014, she was elected as Mayor of the City of Ypsilanti.
Previous board service includes as chair of the Washtenaw County MSU-Extension Advisory Council, many years of service on the Ypsilanti Parks & Recreation Commission, on the leadership team of the Ypsilanti Health Coalition, and six years on the bi-national board of the American Community Gardening Association, among others. Amanda is very engaged in statewide strategy and advocacy work through Growing Hope, and travels nationally as a speaker, trainer, and consultant in organizational development, community change, food systems, and farmers markets.