Staff & Board Directors

Mailing Address

The Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati
2715 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45206

Contact by Phone

To reach a member of our staff, please call our main line, 513-221-0981 and ask for their extension or by name. Fax Number: 513-221-0961

Staff Directory

Karen Kahle
Executive Director
Ext 30 |

A native of a rural farming community in northwest Ohio, Karen has spent more than 30 years writing grants and working in development for a variety of good causes in southwest Ohio. Karen worked previously as the Director of Development and Community Relations for the Corporation for Findlay Market, SUMA and as a Development Specialist for the Butler County Community Grant Consortium.  She has worked in a variety of development and management positions with the Children’s Defense Fund, Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, and the Northern Kentucky Welfare Reform Task Force and is a past Executive Director of the Northern Kentucky Housing & Homeless Partnership. From 1995 to 1996, she managed one of two Silverglade’s stands at Findlay Market.  Karen has a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Xavier University.


Michelle Ratterman
Admin & Facilities Manager
Ext 18 |

Michelle joined the Civic Garden Center in July of 2021. Michelle has many years of experience working for small nonprofits and shares with us a genuine enthusiasm for building community. She attended the Art Academy of Greater Cincinnati and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts.

Michelle’s position requires that she manages CGC donor database, provides support to development, special events, membership and related fund raising activities.  Assists with financial recording of income and other financial activities for special events, facilities rental and classes.  Supervises the front desk and cleaning staff. Prepares bulk mailings. Provides administrative support to Executive Director and staff.


Greg Potter
Community Gardens Coordinator
Ext 11 |

Greg is responsible for supporting the community gardens in the Civic Garden Center’s Community Garden Network and training interested public in the steps needed to start and maintain a community garden. He draws on his diverse background of experience to inform his role. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Miami University, teaching at the university level, experience in museum display and residential and commercial construction supervision. It wasn’t until he started volunteering at the Civic Garden Center and working with garden education that he found his true calling.

Greg’s goal in his work is to connect the community gardens and gardeners together. Focusing locally in the Greater Cincinnati area, but also laying the groundwork for regional networking through attendance and presentations at national and statewide conferences and events.

Greg finds helping people come together to grow food and community a challenging and rewarding experience. He feels that the community gardening effort gains strength and resiliency with the inclusion of as many voices as possible. From his immersed experience in assisting the Pleasant Ridge School Garden in getting started to casually sharing favorite fermenting recipes, he feels that the goal is the same – ti root people to what is important, their food and each other.


Erin LeFever
Sustainability and Ecology Education Coordinator
Ext 14 |

Erin manages all aspects of the Green Learning Station program: details related to construction and maintenance, website and signage, orchestrating field trips and follow-up curriculum resources, overseeing research being conducted on the site, managing green infrastructure and food gardens, leading adult educational tours, coordinating the Green Learning Team program for secondary students, collaborating with local schools and organizations around stormwater management, food waste, and food production education and implementation.

Erin joined the Civic Garden Center staff in August 2021. Erin was the Assistant Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati where she also earned her Masters of Community Planning and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Erin built numerous cross-campus and community partnerships while at UC and launched the Environmental Literacy Certificate program.


Ellie Falk
Youth Education Coordinator
Ext 24 |

Ellie worked a Imago for the past three years teaching outdoor education at their partner school, Pleasant Ridge Montessori and leading youth summer camp. Ellie’s passion for combining gardening, education and supporting local food growers was fostered while living in Brooklyn and being a part of a community garden in her neighborhood. After four years there, she returned to Cincinnati to pursue this interest further at Turner Farm and then followed an opportunity to manage a small farm in New Zealand for one year.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Earlham College in Human Development and Social Relations and German.


Sam Settlemyre
Community Engagement Coordinator
Ext 17 |

From the day to day operation of our gift shop to educational programming in local schools, we rely on volunteers to help us in everything we do. As the Volunteer Coordinator, Sam is responsible for recruiting, training, organizing, and communicating with our network of volunteers. Our volunteers come to us from all walks of life and Sam works hard to make sure everyone feels right at home while working with the Civic Garden Center. Sam first started with the Civic Garden Center as an intern during the summer of 2018 and continued to volunteer until coming on as a full time staff member in the fall of 2019.

Sam is a graduate from Xavier University where he received bachelor’s degrees in Xavier’s Philosophy, Politics, & the Public program as well as their Economics, Sustainability, & Society program. As a student, Sam worked with a number of organizations in Cincinnati to further urban sustainability policies, including his role as an author of the 2018 Green Cincinnati Plan. Sam is passionate about connecting people with their local environmental and educating them on the importance of preserving and protecting our natural resources. He believes volunteering should be an educational experience that allows you to meet new people and challenges you to broaden your horizons.