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Fork Farms is leading a Fresh Food for All revolution

We are on a mission to have more schools, companies and communities join us at the table to provide fresh food to everyone, everywhere.

Our History

Starting with the seed of an idea to change the world, Fork Farms has grown into a revolution.

We started Fork Farms with a simple but earth-changing idea: helping people grow their own food has the power to positively impact individuals, communities and the planet.

During the summer of 2010, our co-founder Alex Tyink volunteered at a rooftop garden in Brooklyn, New York growing food for a neighborhood pantry. At the end of the summer, Alex was given a bag of fresh food to take home as a token of appreciation for his service. He had never grown his own food before. And as simple as it sounds, that bag of fresh produce changed him forever.

Starting with the seed of an idea to change the world
Gardening

That summer of gardening made Alex realize how much involvement and engagement in growing your own food creates a real connection to what you eat. That realization inspired him to break down barriers to fresh food and give everyone the power to grow their own food in a sustainable and transformative way.

Since that time, Fork Farms has transformed from an independent contractor building rooftop gardens, to developing four generations of the Flex Farm, and now into a company with partnerships across the globe. Fork Farms has been involved in thousands of Flex Farm installations across the United States and globally.

Global Reach

Expanding fresh food for all around the world

42 States

States Map

9 Countries

ANGUILLA
CANADA
DENMARK
ISRAEL
NETHERLANDS
ROMANIA
SPAIN
SWEDEN
UNITED STATES

Fork Farms team

The Fork Farms team is made up of passionate individuals from varying and unique backgrounds, united by our collective belief that everyone is a farmer. Together, we work to cultivate a food system that works for all people, focused on hyperlocal fresh food production.

Operations & Warehouse Manager

Hunter Armstrong

Operations & Warehouse Manager

Hunter Armstrong

Hunter is a former telecommunications designer specializing in fiber optic systems within existing and emerging markets. He initially worked for Fork Farms as a Marketing and Communications intern in 2019 and is overjoyed to rejoin the team as the Operations & Logistics Specialist. 

Hunter has had a passion for the environment since his collegiate days. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he co-founded a student organization, Titan Students for a Cleaner Community. The group made it their mission to educate others about environmental issues and they engaged in direct action by collecting trash and refuse around the campus and surrounding areas. During his time at UWO, they removed 200 pounds of trash from the area. 

Hunter is a Wisconsin native who thoroughly enjoys guitar, woodworking, the Green Bay Packers, and brewing small-batch beer with his father.

Partnership Development Leader

Milo Bakos

Partnership Development Leader

Milo Bakos

Milo started a landscaping business in 2016 and juggled his lawn care clients between his duties as the Men’s Basketball traveling manager for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2020 Milo found a skill and passion for sales when he started selling new and used Hondas which led to his desire to work in mission-based sales.

Working in sales at the dealership really opened Milo’s eyes to the possibility of sales becoming his career. Ultimately, he decided he wanted to sell something he could really put his heart into. A good friend introduced him to Fork Farms, which led Milo to work with communities and partners to grow their own food and feed their communities.

He is a Co-Author of Mathematic Formula represented in the National Museum of Mathematics, and Milo enjoys playing basketball, golf and collecting sports cards.

Partnership Development Leader

Ben Block

Partnership Development Leader

Ben Block

After graduating from Wesleyan University with a BA in Philosophy, Ben traveled west to San Francisco where he worked for the largest organic produce distributor in the Bay Area. Immersed in the world of value-driven produce, he applied his systems-oriented mindset toward understanding the ecological and economic impacts of how we produce our food. Life changes brought Ben home to Wisconsin, where he applied this passion for systems toward receiving a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning. He worked as an urban planning consultant for a half-decade, serving municipalities and developers in Southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Spurred by a desire to be on the front lines of change, Ben left the world of planning consulting to join a friend in starting a greenhouse business with a desire to provide healthy, local produce. While this experience was incredibly rewarding, it did not take long for Ben to realize that he would be most fulfilled in a role that allowed him to utilize his strengths better.    

Ben is thrilled to be working for a company that responds to our pending global crises with a praxis of pragmatic hope. Fork Farms speaks directly to the mission Ben has been chasing (producing healthy, local food) while providing a role in which he can more naturally apply his strengths. As a Partnership Development Leader, Ben is eager to build relationships with educators, foster alignment among stakeholders, and help instill resilience into our communities through the deployment of the Flex Farm. He is honored to work alongside other motivated, value-driven individuals to help improve the landscape of possibility.      

Ben loves making and eating soup, playing piano and bass, and dominating board games. He and his wife enjoy camping with their giant dog and taking road trips with their two cats. When the weather gets warm, you will most likely find Ben playing disc golf.

Technology & Project Execution Director

Kevin Boyle

Technology & Project Execution Director

Kevin Boyle

Kevin’s roots hold true to Prairie Crossing, the small conservation community he grew up in in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. The fragility of our natural ecosystems and the cause & effect relationship of human impact on the planet was instilled at an early age.

With an itch for entrepreneurship, he ran his own landscaping business in high school and started a vintage Wisconsin apparel resale business in college. This itch ultimately led him to join Fork Farms in late 2020. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in ‘18 with a degree in Environmental Economics, Kevin was able to combine his eye for analytical thinking with his passion for the environment. He currently resides in Milwaukee with his girlfriend and Agility Aussie, Aspen.

Partnership Development Director

Abigail Brown

Partnership Development Director

Abigail Brown

Abby is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science and she is passionate about building an equitable food landscape and youth nutrition education. With her 6.5 years of experience working in marketing and sales in the food manufacturing and consumer packaged goods industry, she is well equipped to marry her passion and education with her career at Fork Farms.

Abby resides in Waukesha County, Wisconsin with her family and enjoys attempting to save the small apple orchard her husband started. She is hoping within a few years her daughter will have healthy apple trees to climb.

Operations and Logistics Specialist

Jack Buchinger

Operations and Logistics Specialist

Jack Buchinger

Jack graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a Bachelor's degree in environmental science. While at UWO, Jack interned at an urban agriculture project called Growing Oshkosh where he maintained a small 2-acre urban farm and did community outreach on behalf of the project. This is what initially sparked Jack’s interest in working in sustainable agriculture.

He is excited to be part of Fork Farms, as the company’s mission to provide fresh food to those who need it the most resonates with his personal morals. He knew he had found the next step in his career.

In his spare time, Jack reminds people his full name is Jonathon, but he prefers Jack.  



Partnership Development Director

Kit Collins

Partnership Development Director

Kit Collins

Kit earned her B.S. in environmental studies and sustainability from Northern Michigan University in May of 2021. Fresh from her undergrad education, Kit has an intense passion for environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

She discovered Fork Farms when President Alex Tyink gave a guest lecture to one of her classes two months before graduation. After hearing his story and the mission of Fork Farms, she knew that this was the place for her. When she’s not tending to her Flex Farm, Kit is likely walking her Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy Phoebe, playing with her kitten Feyre, enjoying some time in her favorite place, Marquette, Michigan, or curled up on the couch with a good book.

Partnership Development Leader

Reiz Cotton

Partnership Development Leader

Reiz Cotton

Before Fork Farms, Ferreiz was primarily focused on Human Resource recruiting, onboarding, and staffing. However, he is, at heart, a community and youth advocate, and he served as a Social Worker for several years. Ferreiz completed his undergraduate degree at Philander Smith College in Sociology and his graduate program at Webster University in Human Resource Management.

Helping and teaching others how to grow food to become healthier, decrease food deserts and insecurities, and increase fresh food access to families led Ferreiz to work with Fork Farms, as his passions align with the company's mission and values.

Ferreiz’s first job ever was in his church youth garden program, KWTS: Kids Working to Success, where he planted, grew, and harvested produce from ages 8 to 15. His favorite TV show is The Office; his favorite character is Dwight. He likes to watch stand-up comedies and make fresh fruit juices!

Director of Community Engagement

Maggie Dauss

Director of Community Engagement

Maggie Dauss

Maggie has 15 years of experience within the nonprofit world and throughout that time she has been dedicated to uplifting others and creating equitable opportunities for individuals and communities to thrive. Maggie is passionate about creating long-lasting positive change, fostering collaboration, and contributing to the growth of innovative projects. As a part of Fork Farms, she will leverage her experience in nonprofit management, relationship building, and strategic planning.

Maggie was drawn to Fork Farms’ purpose-driven approach to leveraging technology to create access to locally grown, fresh food. She will help support this work as she oversees the development and launch of the Clock Tower Farms project, in partnership with Rockwell Automation.

Maggie earned her degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from DePaul University, followed by two years of AmeriCorps service in Chicago, IL and Duluth, MN. Maggie lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two kids. When she’s not chasing around her kiddos, she is cooking, getting outside, reading, spending time with family, and on the hunt for her next favorite Milwaukee restaurant!



Partnership Development Leader

Steph Evrard

Partnership Development Leader

Steph Evrard

In joining the Fork Farms team, Steph is excited to provide the knowledge and resources to help people grow fresh food. She is energized to work alongside others who share the same passion and to help make a difference in our communities. 

Steph studied Business Communications, Marketing, & Graphic Design in college. Most recently she worked at a local promotional items company doing Inside/Outside sales. Steph has 20+ years of working in Customer Service and is a former Girl Scout Troop leader. Additionally, she has developed skills including leadership, team building, and customer engagement while working in the transportation industry.

In her free time, Steph enjoys spending time with family, baking, trying new recipes, and shopping. Steph loves going on new adventures and creating memories with her fiancé, Kevin, and her daughters, Belle and Sadie.

Partnership Development Leader

Cameron Flynn

Partnership Development Leader

Cameron Flynn

Cameron’s career journey has taken him through diverse roles, ranging from software sales, working at a bakery, and building homes for a year serving with AmeriCorps through Habitat for Humanity Milwaukee. Most recently, he’s been creating photo and video content for local nonprofits and restaurants in the Milwaukee area. From these experiences, Cameron found that fostering relationships and creating positive community change is a passion of his.

He wanted to work in a mission-first company and represent a product that creates real, positive impact for people, which led him to join Fork Farms. Cameron completed his undergrad in Business Administration in 2021 at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

In the beginning of the pandemic, Cameron started WWOOFing for maple syrup production, snowshoeing in Northern Wisconsin, and maintaining tree tap lines to secure sap collection. He also enjoys road trips, hiking, food photography, and cooking.

Warehouse Associate

Delo Harris

Warehouse Associate

Delo Harris

Delo was drawn to Fork Farms due to his love of cooking and growing food. Having the opportunity to help feed people worldwide was a major driver for Delo in wanting to join the team. His professional history includes over 10 years of leadership and management at various jobs, primarily at Culver's. He also has over 12 years of entertainment experience playing in a band called Doozey.

Delo loves to cook as much as he can in his spare time and is excited to share his passion with the partners of Fork Farms and his coworkers. He enjoys cooking everything and likes to play with various cuisines which helps him marry flavors of multiple foods and fuse different cultures. 

Delo also has the utmost love for music and has played in his band, Doozy, for over 12 years. He enjoys participating in musical projects and seeing live music as much as possible. Basketball is also one of his loves, both playing and watching as a fan. As a tried and true Wisconsinite, he’s a fan of the Bucks, Packers, Brewers, and Badgers.

Partnership Development Leader

Jerry Garcia

Partnership Development Leader

Jerry Garcia

Born and Raised in the city of New York, the prospect of a career in agriculture and agriculture-adjacent industries seemed distant during Jerry’s childhood. Following his undergraduate studies at SUNY Fredonia he was employed at a financial firm. However, a pivotal experience working on a farm in Burlington, VT served as the catalyst, sparking a newfound passion for growing food with an emphasis on sustainability. 

This led him to commit himself to empowering individuals in the realm of farming back home and advocating for independence from a food system in need of improvement. After managing an indoor hydroponic farm in BedStuy, Brooklyn for several years Jerry’s passion for playing my part in furthering an equitable food system continues.

Jerry joined the Fork Farms team due to a desire to perpetuate his enthusiasm for indoor farming and equipping potential future farmers with the knowledge and resources to be inspired themselves.

He is currently in the process of learning the Japanese language, and in his free time you'll find Jerry in the ceramics studio or growing a variety of plants hydroponically in his apartment in Brooklyn.

Partnership Development Leader

Jared Holan

Partnership Development Leader

Jared Holan

Jared has had exposure to a multitude of industries. Whether it was warehouse work with Weyco Group, ticket sales with the Lakeshore Chinooks Baseball Club, or serving tables at Toast Milwaukee, he has always been passionate about serving his community.

Due to his desire to join a mission-focused, impact-first organization, Jared jumped at the opportunity to join the Fork Farms Partnership Development team. He holds a B.S. in Business from Concordia University Wisconsin. 

Jared is a native of Milwaukee Wisconsin, and despite his 23 years in Milwaukee, he still enjoys finding new activities around the city. He enjoys every season the Midwest has to offer by partaking in activities from fishing to skiing, hiking to snowshoeing. 

Executive Vice President of Social Innovation

Michael Hostad

Executive Vice President of Social Innovation

Michael Hostad

Michael has 20 years of experience in the non-profit and education industry. He is as passionate about growing communities as he is about growing vegetables. Michael puts his skills and interests together as the Executive Vice President of Social Innovation, which has a primary focus on enabling Fork Farms’ partners to grow fresh food, nourish communities, and heal our planet.

Michael has extensive fundraising and philanthropic experience, including having raised over $3.5M to install interactive LED lights on Milwaukee's iconic Hoan Bridge. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife, pup, and many plants.

Partnership Development Leader

Marisa Jacobs

Partnership Development Leader

Marisa Jacobs

Marisa has a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability from Northern Michigan University. Her post-graduate career led to her working in the hydroponics industry for two years. Marisa had the opportunity to be a panel member at the Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: 2023 Farm Bill Perspectives from Michigan, where she spoke to members of Congress about sustainable environmental agriculture. 

As Marisa expanded her passion for growing plants, sustainable food systems, and educating youth about the importance of fresh food, she found herself wanting to work at a mission-first company focused on these passions. She stayed connected to a former professor at NUM, which led to the opportunity to work together again at Fork Farms. 

Marisa has two rambunctious dogs, a house full of plants, and a love for crafting and crochet.

Partnership Development Leader

Kyle Jacobson

Partnership Development Leader

Kyle Jacobson

Kyle got his start in the hardware and software distribution industry over a decade ago. His primary focus was supporting 21st-century classroom initiatives in K12 schools and districts throughout the US and Canada. 

Kyle left the city life for a rural property in south central Wisconsin where he maintains a home garden of more than 1,500 square feet, as well as pasture-based systems for producing eggs, poultry, and beef. Fork Farms combines his passions for locally produced food and K12 technology. 

In his free time, Kyle likes to collect axes, play with his two kids, and watch farm videos on YouTube.



Partnership Development Director

Alex Kussler

Partnership Development Director

Alex Kussler

Alex came to Fork Farms to work with good people, represent a product with an impact, and live out an authentic mission. Fork Farms is the company he was looking for, and now his work is truly about helping people access fresh food.

Alex has worked in the software and professional training industries as a sales manager and sales producer. His primary focus was on team-building and helping others grow professionally, skills which he now brings to the Fork Farms team as a Partnership Development Director.

Alex lives in Milwaukee with his golden retriever, Rizzo, and recently became a first-time uncle to his nephew Jack.

Partnership Development Director

Josh Mahlik

Partnership Development Director

Josh Mahlik

Josh has a passion for innovative design, experiential learning, sustainability, and health. Prior to joining Fork Farms, Josh managed laboratory, facility identification, and water filtration product lines for Brady Corporation and Pentair. Josh became passionate about food issues when he was awarded an “Indians for Collective Action Scholarship” to support the Self Employed Women’s Association in Ahmedabad India, where he spent one month developing a business plan for environmentally responsible solar cookstoves. This experience fundamentally impacted his perspective on food production and distribution systems.

After a few health scares of his own and growing awareness of the critical flaws in our food distribution system, Fork Farms became the perfect path to meld these passions into a personal and professional lifestyle that creates change.

Josh is a Milwaukee native, first-time father to an amazing little boy, a creative writer, wilderness camper, Big Brother, and a very average accordion player. You will often find him with a good bourbon arguing the merits of Tolkien’s works around a campfire.

Partnership Development Director

Sam Malesa

Partnership Development Director

Sam Malesa

Sam is an avid outdoorsman with a deep background in biology and plant diseases, which brought him to take an early interest in Fork Farms. While Sam had Fork Farms in mind as an employer, he gained work experience as a former Senior Territory manager for a Fortune 100 CPG company, in addition to other work in Product Safety Science at Kimberly Clark, and lab work involving environmental analytics.

Sam joined the Fork Farms team in 2022 and is now the company’s New England Partnership Development Director working out of Concord, New Hampshire. He is beyond excited to be a part of an organization that perfectly aligns with his interests, education, professional experience, and most importantly; his values.

Originally from Wisconsin, Sam met his wife while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2019. This is also when they fell in love and knew New England would be their future home. He is passionate about hunting, fishing, conservation, camping, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Associate Vice President, Culinary & Food Service

Sue Malesa

Associate Vice President, Culinary & Food Service

Sue Malesa

Sue has dedicated over 20 years in contracted food service, self-operated food service, and retail food settings. During this time, she had the great responsibility and privilege of ensuring school age children at eight Menasha Wisconsin district buildings received high quality, nutritious meals through the food service program.

Sue is passionate about providing kids with healthy meals and has lived the mission through operating a 12 system Flex Farm while at the Menasha Joint School District. Sue embraced the operational and logistical challenges of managing a school nutrition program and viewed it as a wonderful opportunity to be creative to encourage kids to develop healthy eating habits.

Sue has been a School Nutrition Association member for over 20 years and was recognized as the SNA Midwest Regional Director of the Year. She has served on the School Nutrition Association of Wisconsin Executive Board and currently sits on the Fox Valley Technical College Culinary Advisory Board. Sue is also Servsafe Certified.

Sue is a proud graduate of UW Stout with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two dogs and spends her spare time visiting with her two sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, gardening, cooking, boating and fishing.

Partnership Development Director

Anne Rogerson

Partnership Development Director

Anne Rogerson

Anne’s first job at a family-run farm at age 14 and the neat rows of beautiful veggies in her family’s garden sparked an early love of farming, and she has always found ways to grow her own food ever since. Her love of growing food made her a natural fit for the Fork Farms team, which she now represents as a Partnership Development Director, based in Ohio.

Anne has over 15 years of experience leading interdisciplinary teams and implementing federally-funded research projects. She founded and directed a company in the apparel industry for which she oversaw product design, manufacturing, web development, fulfillment, and business and financial management.

Stepping into the world of green things, indoors and out, puts her to rights, and her tiny yard is packed with native pollinator-friendly and edible plants. She built a monarch butterfly enclosure where neighbors can peer in on caterpillars and chrysalides in all their stages and release monarchs to begin their journey to Mexico.

Partnership Development Leader

Lis Schmelzer

Partnership Development Leader

Lis Schmelzer

Lis’ experience in the supplement industry ignited her curiosity to investigate, study, and champion using plants and nutrition for preventative health and therapeutic healing. During her graduate program for Clinical Nutrition, her comprehension deepened in learning the connectedness of socioeconomics and environmental impact on food availability and quality.

As a nutrition warrior, nothing makes Lis more fulfilled than advocating health and wellness through innovative agricultural solutions, to provide nutrient-dense food to all individuals. This shared passion is what drew her to the Fork Farms team. 

In her spare time, Lis could listen, learn, and share about naturopathic medicine for HOURS. She and her husband cherish memories made exploring the outdoors with their three-spirited children, and live by the famous words of Aldo Leopold, “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.”

Partnership Development Leader

Josh Schmidt

Partnership Development Leader

Josh Schmidt

Service and food have always been in Josh’s background; from volunteering at church, to his work in restaurants/catering; as food brings people together and leaves fond memories. After earning dual Bachelor's Degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management and Service Management, Josh was blessed with the opportunity to become a Foodservice Director of a small rural school. While there, a passion grew within him for student health through nutrition and exercise. Coaching high school sports he was able to impact student lives through teaching them not only about physical wellness but also about nutritional wellness. Knowing the lifelong impact of eating right motivates Josh to teach others about all of the benefits.

When his school started farming with the Flex Farm, he couldn't believe how awesome and easy it was! Josh instantly became an advocate for growing hyperlocal food. Learning about and growing lettuce and herbs for our students increased this passion within him. When they started engaging students in the classroom, he could see how effective and contagious this process of learning and growing can be for everyone. Josh is excited for the opportunity to share this innovative solution of growing and supplying local and nutritious food to more communities so that more people can build healthy relationships with the food that they grow.

In his free time, Josh loves to play any sport or game and spending time in the outdoors at any time of the year. He loves to play acoustic guitar at his church. He is a girl dad and proud of it; their spontaneous dance parties that break out at home with his beautiful family are always his favorite moments.

Service Specialist

Rylee Schubert

Service Specialist

Rylee Schubert

Rylee worked in the food service industry as a busser, server, barback, hostess, expo, etc. during her high school and college years. During her senior year of college, she transitioned to her role as Indoor Agriculture Assistant Lab Technician managing and taking care of over 10 different hydroponics systems, and one of those systems was the Flex Farm! Rylee graduated in May of 2023 from Northern Michigan University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Botany with an emphasis in Sustainable Indoor Agriculture and Ecological Conservation so as to further her role in protecting our planet's precious biodiversity and resources.

Thanks to both sets of grandparents, Rylee has always loved working with plants. Growing her own food and sharing her harvest with others has always been very rewarding. The best way to someone's heart is through their stomach. In high school, she was a member of her local FFA and a botany/horticulture enthusiast. After her ecology and conservation-focused college academics, sheI reignited her love for horticulture and community-focused farming with the new Indoor Agriculture program at NMU, which allowed her to share the food she grew in class with her friends and roommates! While using the Flex Farm in our labs, her instructor encouraged Rylee to apply for a summer internship position with Fork Farms. The rest is history!

Rylee enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, swimming, kayaking, and foraging. She can identify 200+ plants and mushrooms found in the surrounding Marquette County area of the beautiful Upper Peninsula! 

People Operations Director

Alyssa Scriven

People Operations Director

Alyssa Scriven

Alyssa is a dairy farm-raised Wisconsinite with a passion for growing vegetables and sharing them with others. Her love of agriculture and feeding people nutritious food made Fork Farms the solution to combine her interests and professional experience to make an impact on hunger relief around the world.

Alyssa began her career as a newspaper reporter in Northeast Wisconsin with the USA Today Network, where she covered topics including, agriculture, business, and local government. After three years, she pivoted to corporate marketing for H.J. Martin and Son, where she gained further communications and project management skills. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Alyssa and her husband live in Oconto County, Wisconsin with their daughter and two dogs. When she’s not photographing her garden, you will find her reading fantasy novels, spending time outside with her family, or enjoying a plate of tacos while watching The Office.

Partnership Development Leader

Malik Shagosh

Partnership Development Leader

Malik Shagosh

Malik started cooking in the kitchen with his dad the moment he could stand. His earliest memories include being propped up on a step stool, side-by-side in the kitchen cooking fresh Libyan food. His personal and professional journeys have taken some different directions, but the one passion that has remained the same is his love for food. Beyond just the taste, he cares about the quality of food he brings to the table, using as many fresh ingredients as possible. Over the years, he has come to appreciate the process and innovation behind those ingredients, too, and resonates with the work at Fork Farms to address food and nutrition insecurity in a forward-thinking, revolutionary way.

While studying chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Malik had the opportunity to pursue restaurant management. After working several years in the food industry, he ultimately pursued the aspect of working in a restaurant that he enjoyed the most: customer service. He then spent the following six years in the automotive industry as a service advisor and most recently, shop manager until he decided to return to the food space and work to make a positive difference. Everyone deserves access to fresh food and Malik believes that through Fork Farms, he can spread the love of fresh food to others.

Fork Farms is a revolutionary company that is filled with amazing people and an even better mission. Malik is thrilled to be a part of this team in fulfilling the mission. In his spare time, Malik enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes. He also loves playing games, watching the Packers win, and spending life with his wife, two boys and all three of their pets in De Pere, WI.

Vice President, Partnership Excellence

Gil Shaw

Vice President, Partnership Excellence

Gil Shaw

Gil is a self-proclaimed recovering attorney with more than three decades of management, partnership development and hydroponics experience.

Hailing from the Southwest, Gil farmed and gardened in the Arizona Highlands for over 30 years. He says he primarily started gardening to keep his sanity while practicing law.

Associate Vice President, Partnership Development

Dr. Kim Smith Kolasa

Associate Vice President, Partnership Development

Dr. Kim Smith Kolasa

Kim co-founded Northern Michigan University's Indoor Agriculture program and served as the core faculty member and program coordinator. She has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University, with her research focusing on plant biology education and women’s experiences in the newly emerging STEM field of indoor agriculture. Kim has taught biology and science education and served as a STEM education consultant for the Glenn T. Seaborg Math and Science Center. She also owned a specialty cut flower farm and flower shop.

Kim is passionate about addressing food insecurity and increasing health and well-being by empowering people to grow their own food and localizing food sourcing community by community. Before joining the team, Kim worked with the Fork Farms team as an educational institution partner for two years. The Flex Farm provided students in her labs with their culminating commercial crop production experience. Kim believes all people benefit from working directly with plants.

Kim embraces any time spent with family, friends, and in the outdoors. She loves gardening, hiking, snorkeling, playing tennis, doing artwork, reading, cooking, playing euchre, and traveling. She married her husband, Michael, in her favorite place, Hawaii, and has two grown children, Abby and Seth. A fun fact is that Kim has been practicing yoga for 35 years.

Chief Operating Officer

Andy Trygstad

Chief Operating Officer

Andy Trygstad

Andy is the Chief Operating Officer of Fork Farms and is responsible for worldwide operations, including end-to-end management of the Fork Farms supply chain and fulfillment, product development, technology, and other organizational administration functions.

Before joining Fork Farms, Andy spent over 20 years leading operations, driving innovation, and executing technology solutions for start-up and mature organizations. He spent many years in the financial services industry in multiple leadership roles, including operations, technology, continuous improvement, and project management. With an eye for aligning strategy and execution, he is an architect for emerging business needs and a catalyst for customer value.

Andy has a long-time passion for sustainable agriculture and locally sourced food. He has done business consulting and volunteering for local farms and is using his broad business experience to help drive the Fork Farms mission forward. Andy is originally from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area but has called Wisconsin home for over 20 years. He lives with his wife and two sons and is an outdoor enthusiast and avid home gardener.

President & CEO

Alex Tyink

President & CEO

Alex Tyink

Alex is the co-founder of Fork Farms and the inventor of its farming technology and methods. He is a former opera singer with 10 years of leadership experience in the social service sector, who works to inspire vast food system change across communities.

He began his urban agriculture career in Brooklyn, New York where he first worked on rooftop gardens and then started building indoor growing systems of his own for educational and food security purposes. This eventually led to the development of Fork Farms intellectual property, and the rest is history.

After relocating back to Wisconsin, Alex continued his work as program director at Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin and as director of innovation and programs for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. In 2018, he was a Fox Cities Future 15 winner and featured as Fox Cities Magazine’s ‘Big Idea’.

Alex currently lives in Appleton, Wisconsin with his wife, son and their dog Maya.

Partnership Development Director

Steve Tyink

Partnership Development Director

Steve Tyink

Steve is widely known for his work with experience-based design methodology and for creating thought-leading, innovative customer experiences in a wide variety of industries. After 35 years in the business world, Steve saw the light and the need for fresh food in communities across the world and joined Fork Farms as one of the Partnership Development Directors. His role positions him to act on his personal beliefs, that everyone should have access to fresh food and the ability to live a balanced life.

His professional experience includes vice president of business innovation at Miron Construction, founder of Attach (a nationally recognized industrial design firm), vice president of Saturn operations and leadership development with Bergstrom Corporation, and general manager of numerous private country clubs.

Steve is an Appleton, Wis. native, husband, and grandfather. He loves the outdoors and anything to do with his kids and grandkids.

Associate Vice President, Partnership Development

Terry Wetzel

Associate Vice President, Partnership Development

Terry Wetzel

Terry has more than 20 years of rewarding experience in the education profession as a teacher and administrator at various districts in Northeastern Wisconsin. When he left his teaching career at the end of the 2022 school year, he was looking for a new challenge and specifically wanted to be part of a value-driven company with a positive culture. Fork Farms and its mission and connection to TitletownTech proved to be the perfect fit for him.

Terry taught business subjects including business management, finance, and economics, and also taught college-level courses to high school students through the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Terry enjoys outdoor activities including kayaking, winter camping, hiking, and running. He also has been a track and cross country coach and has worked with many incredible young athletes.

Partnership Development Leader

Kat Wians-Bixby

Partnership Development Leader

Kat Wians-Bixby

Kat has a background in financial services and insurance, with specialties in leadership, process improvements, data analytics, and strategy planning. Kat is a Lean Six Sigma black belt with a passion for ops.

Kat personally experienced the healing power of food when she woke up with peripheral neuropathy in their right foot in 2016. Using food to reduce inflammation in their body, she amazed the doctors with their healing. Kat believes that everyone deserves access to fresh nutritious food, and loves the sense of community that hyper-localized food creates. Kat’s family has been a member of community-supported agriculture (CSA) with Park Ridge Organics for more than a decade and they do most of their shopping and eating at locally-owned and operated establishments.

Kat is married and has a teenage daughter. True to her roots, Kat loves spending time with her family and handsome dog Jack camping in the woods up north. Kat has many hobbies, but her favorites involve plants, primarily gardening and cooking plant-based meals.

Partnership Development Leader

Alex Ziebell

Partnership Development Leader

Alex Ziebell

Alex is driven by the Fork Farms mission to revolutionize food growth. He's particularly passionate about educating youth, hoping to inspire the next generation towards healthier, greener futures. 

He pursued higher education at Iowa State University, laying the groundwork for a future in entrepreneurship. Post-graduation, Alex remained in Central Iowa, where he successfully led a residential painting business and a real estate acquisition company, demonstrating his knack for innovation and leadership. 

Alex is a Green Bay local and was raised in the heart of De Pere. Outside of work, he is a sports enthusiast, enjoying volleyball, basketball, and flag football. He also loves board games and traveling with his wife!

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Fork Farms Foundation

Serving up awareness, solutions, and opportunities to grow goodness

Children go hungry in America every day, in every community. While it seems almost impossible that this can be true, it is a reality that has only worsened in recent years. Today, there are an estimated 17 million children struggling with hunger in America – 6 million more than before the pandemic. And this year, 2.7 million more families are going hungry.

We created the Fork Farms Foundation to work tirelessly and strategically to end hunger and promote awareness of solutions to help vulnerable populations address food insecurity by making fresh food accessible. By investing in the Foundation, we can more broadly and intentionally convene strategic partners in the communities we serve to further this vision, together.

Fork Farms Foundation