STAFF

Elizabeth  Lumbert
Director

Elizabeth Lumbert serves as  Director for the Dow Gardens. She has been part of the Dow Gardens team since 1992. She earned a Masters of Business Administration from Northwood University and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science/Biology from Michigan State University’s College of Lyman Briggs.
Brianne Alexander
Tour and Rental Coordinator

Brianne Alexander is the Tour and Rental Coordinator for Dow Gardens.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Horticulture at Michigan State University with a concentration in Landscape Design, Construction, and Management. She is responsible for coordinating approximately 300 yearly rentals, weddings, and tours in a garden setting. She is enthusiastic to help continue and create a world-class experience for customers with her horticulture knowledge and communication abilities.
Abbey Claerhout
Horticulturist

Abbey Claerhout joined the Dow Gardens staff in 2008 as a Horticulturist. She graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Horticulture (emphasis in Landscape Design, Construction and Management) and is licensed as a Michigan Certified Nurseryman. Abbey spent three years with the City of Midland as the Horticulturist for the Downtown area and currently maintains the Welcome Areas of Dow Gardens which include the parking lot islands and the areas surrounding the Midland Center for the Arts.
Melissa Eddy
Horticulturist

Melissa Eddy is the Children’s Garden Horticulturist. She is a graduate from Michigan State University and has a degree in Horticulture. Her responsibilities include design and maintenance of the dynamic Children’s Garden where interaction with plants is encouraged, leading children’s programming, and assisting with greenhouse production. In 2010 under her direction the Dow Gardens Growin’ Gardener Program received a national award from the American Horticultural Society. Currently 84 families participate in Growin’ Gardeners with over 300 participants experiencing hands-on gardening.
Samantha Engel
Historian

Samantha Engel is the Historian for The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Samantha earned her B.A. in History from Ferris State University and her M.A. in Early American History from Western Michigan University. For the past four years Samantha worked as the Executive Director of the Whaley Historic House Museum in Flint, where she discovered her passion for creating entertaining, educational, and accessible history programming through the use of an historic site. As Historian for The Foundation, Samantha will manage the family archives, care for the Dow Gardens historical collections, and work to make the home of Herbert and Grace Dow, known as The Pines, active and lively.
Michelle Holmes
Gift Shop and Visitor Center Guest Services Manager

Michelle Holmes is the Dow Gardens gift shop manager and visitor center guest services manager. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Central Michigan University. Her responsibilities include managing and marketing a profitable and appealing Gift Shop, ensuring high quality guest services, and creating a welcoming environment for over 100,000 visitors each year. She also manages and hires Dow Gardens Visitor Center staff.
Audra Hynes
Associate Horticulturist

Audra Hynes discovered her passion for plants while growing up on 40 acres of trees and fields. She attended Michigan State University and earned a B.S. in Landscape Horticulture. After leaving college she worked a myriad of jobs within the scope of horticulture. These jobs include landscape installation crew member, team leader of a lawn maintenance crew, indoor plant care service technician, assistant grower of a greenhouse and nursery, and Lead Horticulturist and Facilities Manager of a large private estate. Her most recent move to Dow Gardens as Associate Horticulturist has completed a long time dream of returning to the place that captured her heart as an intern. She intends to further her knowledge under the leadership of the upper level Horticulturist at Dow Gardens and continue the work set forth by Herbert H. Dow.
Kristen Inman
Marketing Manager

Kristen Inman joined Dow Gardens in 2012 as the Event Services Manager.  In addition to media relations she directs branding, advertising, social media marketing strategy, and website development. She studied journalism at Grand Valley State University before earning a degree in Graphic Design from Central Michigan University. She launched her career at LandVest in Boston, MA where she maintained communication as lead designer for 20 offices throughout the East Coast.  Her work helped facilitate several record-breaking Timberland sales. 
Karin Johnson
Curator and Collections Manager

Karin Johnson is the Curator and Collections Manager at the Dow Gardens. She graduated from the University of Minnesota at Morris with a Bachelor’s degree in English and from the University of Minnesota with a Master’s Degree in Horticulture. In addition to curating the plant collection of over 1800 taxa, Karin also maintains the database of plants, updates the map of the garden in GIS and labels over 1,000 seasonal plants each year. She also supervises the maintenance of the Herb Garden, Secret Garden and the area around the Dow Foundation’s office.
Roy Lefevre
Senior Horticulturist/ Pond Manager

Roy Lefevre is a Senior Horticulturist/Aquatic system specialist at the Dow Gardens. He started a the Dow Gardens as a summer intern in 1981 and became a full time staff member in 1988. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan Technological University and a Master of Science in ornamental horticulture from Michigan State University. His responsibilities include managing the conservatory and its varied displays, maintaining the Dow Gardens pond system, assists in the production greenhouse, and taking care of the vast irrigation system.
LuAnn Levasseur
Nighttime and Weekend Grounds Manager

LuAnn Levasseur joined the Dow Gardens staff in 2008 as a seasonal grounds person and as of October 2014 was promoted to nighttime and weekend Grounds Manager.  In 2003 she completed Michigan State University Advanced Master Gardener courses. Previous to her employment at Dow Gardens LuAnn spent 25 years self-employed in the landscaping industry. LuAnn’s horticulture knowledge has been utilized through her maintenance of the wedding areas.  She especially enjoys working with the public by giving tours and helping make the visitors feel welcome.
Chuck Martin
Senior Horticulturist / Whiting Forest Grounds Manager

Chuck Martin is a Senior Horticulturis and Grounds Manager of Whiting Forest. His areas of expertise include: Woody Plants, Perennials, Rose Care and Culture, Native Plants of Michigan, Vines, Invasive Plants, Ground Maintenance, and Pruning. Chuck has been with the gardens since 1984. He received his Bachelors Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. During his time at the University of Wisconsin, Chuck was selected to do an internship at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts. To continue his education, Chuck earned an MBA from Northwood University. Chuck also serves as a Garden Journalist for the Midland Daily News. Through his numerous lectures and presentations, many schools, gardening clubs and civic groups have been enriched by his passion and enthusiasm for his work in horticulture.
Elly Maxwell
Entomologist

Elly Maxwell has been the entomologist at the Dow Gardens since 2006. She earned a M.S. from Auburn University and a B.S. from M.S.U., both in entomology. Her responsibilities include Integrated Pest Management, beekeeping, tending the pollinator garden and coordinating turf care. A favorite component of her job is Butterflies in Bloom an event which, under her care, has evolved from displaying native-only butterflies to showcasing butterflies from around the world. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with the public, volunteers, and garden clubs. Most of all she wants to engage and interest children. She created a summer insect collecting class and a summer bug club to inspire youth. She teaches many classes to all ages, both at the gardens and throughout the state.
Dale McFarland
Maintenance Mechanic

Dale McFarland is the Maintenance Mechanic for Dow Gardens. He has 22 years of experience in the field, has his Millwright Journey card as well as a certificate in Criminal Justice. Dale handles much of the maintenance needs of the Dow Gardens, including repairs and upkeep on all machinery. He also handles parts ordering for repairs and replacements.
Carolynn Paten
Special Events Manager and Volunteer Coordinator

Carolynn Paten joined the Dow Gardens team in 2011 as a college intern of events and marketing. In 2013, after graduating from Saginaw Valley State University with a B.A.S. in communication and business she joined the Dow Gardens team full time. In her role as Special Events Coordinator, she plans and oversees special events within the gardens including the Lunchtime Concerts and Outdoor Movies. As Volunteer Manager, she directs the gardens 150+ volunteers to assist in garden maintenance, specialty exhibits, and educational programming.
Scott Schultheis
Senior Horticulturist

Scott Schultheis has worked at Dow Gardens since 1991. He is a graduate of Ferris State University and holds degrees in both Ornamental Horticulture and Applied Biology. His work roles include various aspects of Floriculture, Horticulture, Greenhouse Management and Plant Production for the Gardens. Those greenhouse responsibilities include both the planning and producing the more than 28,000 annual bedding plants which our visitors enjoy each summer, as well as, growing numerous specialized seasonal crops for Conservatory display and Gift Shop. Some of these plants include visitor favorites like festive poinsettias, spring Easter lilies, Cyclamen and the numerous colorful annuals for the yearly Butterfly House. Scotts outdoor horticultural role on the grounds, includes management of the gardens surrounding the Pines Estate and Color Garden. In those areas, he designs, installs and manages the seasonal flower beds, as well as maintaining a host of trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses. During his tenure, Scott has also played a key role in our Annual Bedding Plant Evaluation publication.
Brian Siler
Whiting Forest Canopy Walk Manager / Arborist

Brian Siler is an ISA Certified Tree Worker with ISA Aerial Rescue Certification and is currently working towards his ISA Aerial Lift Specialist Certification. He graduated from Midland High School and obtained an advanced certificate in Welding Engineering Technology from Delta College. His responsibilities include managing the grounds of Whiting Forest as well as tree maintenance for the entire facility.

Anna Swartz
Informal Program Coordinator

Anna Swartz began her work at Dow Gardens as a summer intern in 2011. After graduating from Hope College with a B.A. in Studio Art, she returned to Dow Gardens as a Program and Event Intern in 2015. Following her internship, Anna was hired full time in 2016 as the Program Assistant. She is thrilled to incorporate her love of the arts with the development of adult and children programs involving literature, art, music and more.
 

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