October 14-16, 2019

Presenter Bios

Sarah Allred is the Horticulture Coordinator for Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah.  She splits her time between developing and improving the garden volunteer program and acting as the liaison between the gardens and the other departments and museums across the Thanksgiving Point campus. Sarah holds a BS in Horticulture and a minor in business from Utah State University.  She has worked in and out of the horticulture industry for over 15 years. She loves her husband, four children, their two dogs.  

Eryn Hatzithomas has been the Coordinator of Volunteers at Queens Botanical Garden since March 2018. She is responsible for recruiting, onboarding and tracking the over 200 long term volunteers and many of the 2000 event volunteers that contribute their time to the Garden yearly. In the past year, she has implemented volunteer tracking software Garden-wide, taking the former system of paper timesheets and contact forms, and manual Excel reporting, to a fully electronic system. She also developed an advertising program for Corporate Volunteering that increased corporate volunteering revenue 600% from the previous year. Most recently, she has developed and launched a new Garden Greeters/Docent program. She is a professional photographer and enjoys photographing families and flowers at the Garden.

Liza Hawley is Assistant Director of Youth and Visitor Education at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Liza started as the McLean Contributionship Endowed Education Intern at Morris Arboretum in 1997. Upon receiving a William Penn Foundation grant to expand the education staff, the arboretum hired her as the Youth Education Coordinator in 1999. In that and her current capacity, she expanded Youth Education to include eleven curriculum-based, hands-on tours and programs, a seven-week summer camp, a six-week summer bridge program for English language learners, and a day-long career symposium for high school students.

With a commitment to serving others and building bridges of understanding, MaryLynn Mack sits on the American Public Gardens Association Board of Directors, and is the Vice President as well as the inaugural Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee.  She believes in empowerment through mentoring and has a passion for developing emerging professionals to become future leaders of a sustainable and thriving world. 
MaryLynn is the Chief Operating Officer of the South Coast Botanic Garden, a beautiful 87 acres of flourishing green lands and eight  different environment spaces, nestled in the rolling hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County.  
Before joining South Coast in January, MaryLynn served as the Director of Operations at the Desert Botanical Garden and has also enjoyed successful careers as the Executive Director of the Rescue Mission's Women and Children's Center, and as Senior Director at the San Diego Natural History Museum.  
She nurtured her love of giving back and philanthropy as a founding member of the African American Women's Giving and Empowerment Circle and as a Board Member at the Phoenix Metropolitan YWCA.  Her efforts in women's issues and arts and culture earned her the YWCA Tribute to Leadership and Black Philanthropy Institute Leadership awards.
MaryLynn brings 25 years of staff and volunteer management, strategic planning, project development, and board and leadership expertise and is also a past recipient of the Virginia G. Piper Fellowship, a graduate of The Getty Leadership Institute, and a Veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Alice Moore is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the non-profit partner of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. With degrees in Public History and museum management, Alice’s background is in historic preservation and heritage tourism. She worked at several historic homes and gardens in Charleston, SC and Western North Carolina before returning to her native city of Birmingham, Alabama  three years ago. Alice says she has a bit of a black thumb and  jokingly tells her volunteers “My job is getting the people; y’all deal with the plants.” She currently divides her time between her extremely active toddler and her extremely active core of 1600 volunteers at the Gardens. 

Kevin Moss has been actively involved in informal education, program coordination and volunteer management for almost 30 years, and was recently elected to the position of Vice Chair of the Volunteer Engagement Community with APGA.. He currently serves as the Student and Public Engagement Coordinator  at Cornell Botanic Gardens, where he has worked since  2003. His responsibilities include administration of the Botanic Gardens’ volunteer program, and direct supervision of   its volunteer docents. Kevin also coordinates the Gardens’  educational enrichment programs, events and tours for the general public and Cornell student body. 
Kevin holds degrees in Communications and in Natural Resources Conservation. He has worked in a variety of environmental and informal educational positions, serving as naturalist, nature center director, park interpreter, and museum education specialist. He has received accreditation as a Certified Volunteer Administrator, an international certification program offered by the Council on Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA).
A storyteller and musician, Kevin is a lifelong resident of upstate New York, having grown up exploring the local hills and woodlands. 

Jemma Peterson has been the Volunteer Services Database and Communications Coordinator for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden since January 2018. With a program of over 2,000 annual volunteers, she plays an active role in maintaining the volunteer database, running analytics, recruiting volunteers, and acting as liaison with local colleges. She also trains and supervises Fairchild’s Conservation Student Scholar teen program, focusing on conservation and public speaking, and supervises the bimonthly community Group Volunteer horticulture program. Jemma formerly worked for the Zoo Miami Foundation in various roles, including supporting the CEO and other departments such as Development, Human Resources, and Volunteer Services. In her spare time, she rehabilitates wildlife and collects rocks. 

Marty Petillo, Olbrich Botanical Garden’s Volunteer Services Manager since 2001, works with 35+ staff to ensure 600+ volunteers are matched to work that needs to get done and that it’s done right. And, she manages to have a smile for each of the volunteers (and staff!), a positive attitude that is key to Olbrich’s 80% volunteer retention rate. In 2018, Marty initiated Dementia Communications Training for staff and volunteers and is facilitating Olbrich’s new Community Engagement & Inclusion Working Group. She’s a lifelong learner with natural curiosity and a willingness to try new things, learning as much from failures as successes.

The Dr. William Huizingh Executive Director of the Desert Botanical Garden, Ken Schutz has held executive leadership positions in cultural institutions for more than 30 years. He has been with Desert Botanical Garden since 2001. During his tenure, he has managed construction of $35 million in new facilities at the Garden, more than doubled local attendance, initiated a number of exciting new education and research projects, and raised more than $15 million in gifts and pledges for the Garden’s endowment.
Prior to moving to Phoenix, Ken served as the executive director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia, and before that he was director of marketing and development for the Baltimore Zoo.
He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. from Bucknell University. 

Kim Slager joined BHS Insurance agency in April 2012 as part of the Public Gardens Team.  Prior to BHS, Kim worked for a Fortune 100 Insurance company as the Underwriting Manager for the state of Michigan.
With over 25 years of industry experience, Kim brings a strong knowledge of underwriting, insurance policy structure and pricing.  The public garden’s team at BHS works with over 80 public gardens across the United States.  Our insurance and risk management program is customized for public gardens and proprietary to BHS.  Our unique approach to risk assessment, compliance, contractual risk transfer, and human resource issues help to identify areas of opportunity to improve the institutions we serve.  
Kim graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and psychology.  She is a native of Grandville, MI and currently lives in the city with her husband of 23 years and their two teenage children.  She sits on the board of directors for Camp Geneva in Holland, MI and is active with the American Public Gardens Association.  Kim enjoys gardening, exercise, traveling and spending time with her active family.
BHS is Michigan Based, Nationally Recognized and a Preferred Partner with the American Public Gardens Association for over 20 years.  Kim can be contacted at kslager@bhisns.com or 616-261-7322.  www.bhsins.com 

Nancy White is the Program Director for Volunteer Services and currently Interim Director of Education at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ. She is responsible for recruiting, training and overseeing the activities of 700 volunteers. She has a degree in Education, is certified in Nonprofit Management, is a certified trainer for the National Association of Interpretation, a master gardener and has a passion for environmental education. She has worked with many non-profits in a variety of positions such as Director of Development for a Hospice, Executive Director of a Girl Scout Council and she has been a volunteer all her life. 

As Director of Volunteer Services at San Francisco Botanical Garden, Chlo√© Wieland recruits, trains, and supports more than 1,800 volunteers at the Garden each year, including 1,200 volunteers who participate in group projects. Chloe also manages the tour program and leads biannual docent trainings. Chloe has been involved with APGA since 2015, and is currently Chair of the Volunteer Engagement Community, after serving as Vice-Chair from 2017-2019. 
Chloe has a M.S. in Community Development & Applied Economics from the University of Vermont, and a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia. Her experience includes winery management and development finance, and she is very happy to have found her way to public horticulture. She has been involved with San Francisco Botanical Garden since 2013, starting as a volunteer, and has been in her current role since October 2014. Chloe loves seeing the many ways volunteer’s personal interests become intertwined with their role Garden, from teaching to bird watching to cartography.