Josh Stoltz was born in Traverse City, Michigan and raised in the nearby woods, waters, and dunes of Benzie County. After opening several companies throughout Arizona and Florida before turning age 30, Josh spent a short “retirement” traveling and living in his school bus named "The Future," eventually planting himself back in Benzie when he married the love of his life. In October of 2014 he was hired as Grow Benzie's first, full-time Executive Director where he continues developing the non-profit as a thriving community center with event center, commercial kitchen, incubator farm, bee apiary, co-working office space, a farmers market, makerspace, sewing studio, edible trail system, and community gardens. He has also transformed Grow Benzie into a backbone organization supporting dozens of local clubs, collaborative bodies, and non-profits with program space, administrative support, marketing resources, and volunteer recruitment. In 2018, Josh was awarded the Systems Changemaker Fellowship by Rotary Charities of Traverse City, accepted into Forum for the Future’s School of Systems Change based in London and traveling to England and Russia. He was also the recipient of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange program in 2019 and spent time studying food systems in Mozambique and South Africa.
Here is Josh's story from the January 2022 event in Traverse City, MI
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