Meet the Board

Taproot is a collection of teachers, community leaders, volunteers, and social advocates, all of whom find themselves united in the common goal of employing the vast resources here in Rochester to implement accessible, sustainable and regenerative food systems.

Leslie KnoxBoard Chair

Leslie strives to be the change she wants to see in the world. She has 15 years of experience in community outreach and social service, and mental health and guardianship for the elderly. She has a Master in Business Administration from the Simon Business School with a concentration in medical management. She now focuses her time on urban farming and community outreach. She also serves on several other community boards, including Friends of the Public Market.

Amber PowersTreasurer

Amber is a passionate supporter of the environmental justice movement in Rochester, NY. She holds degrees in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo and Teaching English as a New Language (ENL) from Nazareth and received a Fulbright Scholarship to work in Nepal from 2011-2012. She works as an ENL teacher and registrar for the Rochester City School District. At home, she is an avid gardener and composter.

Stephanie BenwayBoard Member

Stephanie is an ecological landscape designer, and educator. She earned a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from SUNY Geneseo in 2008 and developed her passion for the environment while doing archaeology fieldwork from 2007-2014. After completing a Permaculture Design Certification in 2014 she returned to Rochester, NY where she began farming and teaching in urban settings. She now works as the Environmental Program Coordinator for the City of Rochester’s Department of Recreation and Youth Services.

Nick MooreBoard Member

Nick is a passionate community activist and a certified trainer/mediator within the field of Restorative Practices. He works to build trust within communities and to provide tools to transform conflict into creative opportunities for connection. Nick is the dedicated events coordinator at Small World Books; a used bookstore that also provides a platform for arts, culture, and social justice in the Market View Heights Neighborhood. He holds a degree in Social Science and is actively learning what it means to disrupt systems that perpetuate injustice.

Samantha OsterBoard Member

Samantha is a Farm to Preschool Coordinator and CACFP Specialist. Originally from California, she has been in Rochester for 8 years, working as a dietetic technician and nutrition educator; supporting families in making healthy choices. She attended San Francisco State University and has a Bachelor’s in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition and Food Service Management.