Board of Directors

Johanna Ellis Reisinger

Founder / Board member

My perspectives as a business owner, investor, community activist, and now most importantly, a wife and mom, have taught me two things. First, business can be used for the betterment of our communities and our planet. The environmental challenges the earth faces are too big for the government to fix on its own. The private sector must be an active participant in efforts to build sustainability.


Second, there are actions we can take in our everyday lives that can, and will, positively impact the long-term health of our planet. I like to think we can all be pollinators for change, through education and a commitment to a healthier world for all citizens.

Butch Whitfield

Founder / Board member

I have always viewed the planet as our most precious and fragile resource and my path to becoming an active conservationist has developed over time. Through my degree and subsequent first career in horticulture, I have a deep love and appreciation for all things flora. In my current career as a top performer at Harry Norman, I’m passionate about finding ways to make easy lifestyle changes that can have a big impact, like installing solar panels, driving an electric car, using earth-friendly products, and by reducing the use of plastics and consumption of meat.


Community connection is also important to me- I am an advisory board member of Open Hand Atlanta, member of Midtown Alliance, former board member of the Decatur Business Association and the Luxury Marketing Council of Atlanta, former president of the Oakhurst Business Association, twice co-chaired the Decatur Beach Party, and – I also channel my years as an Eagle Scout and experience as the auctioneer for the Oakhurst Elementary School live auction for two years.


I believe that if you’re not going to roll up your sleeves and be a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem. To that end, with Johanna and Liz, we founded Root Local to be connectors and conveners in an effort to create long-term and measurable solutions.

Liz Lapidus

Founder / Board member

I came to environmentalism straight out of college, as an intern monitoring environmental legislation at Georgia’s state capitol. Getting to know the many elected officials, lobbyists and conservationists who were invested in positive change made me keenly aware that if enough people use their voices, you can make a difference.


While my career pivoted to public relations, I remained actively involved in the community. For more than 25 years at the helm of Liz Lapidus PR, my firm promoted some of the most anticipated brands. Yet my passion remains with our nonprofit clients and through board positions I’ve held and committee work I’ve done with the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, The Hambidge Center, Dad’s Garage, the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, AID Atlanta, Jerusalem House and Community Farmers Markets.