Pacific Horticulture Staff

Sarah Beck, Executive Director

Sarah Beck is passionately committed to the vision of a resilient world dependent on the thoughtful cultivation of plants. She brings vast experience creating engaging programs that embody the principles of diversityequity, inclusion, and accessibility. 

Most recently she served as Director of Programs & Education at the American Public Gardens Association, the leading professional organization for the field of public horticulture. Previously she managed the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical GardenHer early career was rooted in agriculture, working for the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Berea College in Kentucky and for many years as founder and operator of a 50-acre certified organic farm. 

Sarah has long been enchanted by the wild and cultivated landscapes of the West Coast and has lived in Santa Cruz, California since 2018. 


Noah Froio, Office Manager

Noah Froio is a versatile administrative professional with over two decades of administrative and office management experience in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. His first foray into the non-profit world was in 2007 and realizing his true calling to support mission-based organizations, he has never looked back. He has been Pacific Horticulture’s office manager since April 2019, following a 2 1/2-year career at the USS Hornet Sea, Air, and Space Museum as their IT Manager and Sr. Director of Operations & Facilities.

Noah’s favorite past-times are cycling, mycology, and being an adventurer who has been known to pick up and go to parts unknown to explore the deep wilderness areas of California’s North Coast on a regular basis. He is also passionate about home gardening and ran his own garden blog for 5-years while living in Oakland, CA, chronicling the evolution of his patio container garden.


Board of Directors

Richard Hayden, Board Chair

Richard Hayden lives in Los Angeles and works for the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County where he is Assistant Deputy Director overseeing the Nature Gardens and Capital Projects, including the reimagining of the La Brea Tar Pits Museum and 11-acre landscape. He served as the Garden Director for the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, a 2.5 acre public garden in Palo Alto, California from 2017 to 2019. He previously enjoyed a 25-year career as a Los Angeles-based landscape designer. He is a strong proponent and communicator of resilient, organic garden practices including soil health, wildlife habitat, climate appropriate plants, and water conservation. He has a BA in Theatre and Film from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in Horticulture and Garden Design from UCLA. Richard is also an ISA certified arborist. (Photo: Nadine Priestley) 


Nan Sterman, Encinitas, CA

Nan Sterman is a botanist and educator who is dedicated to helping people garden successfully in California’s dry, Mediterranean climate. Nan designs gardens, speaks to groups around the country, and leads international garden tours. Her public TV program A Growing Passionconnects people, plants, and the planet. Nan has authored three gardening books and founded the San Diego Gardener Facebook group which serves thousands of members across Southern California. Nan Sterman’s Garden School offers a monthly membership as well as stand-alone classes.


Ann Trump Daniel, Davis, CA

Ann actively works to empower others to create sustainable home landscapes that protect and restore our natural environment. She is a volunteer at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden in the GATEways Native Plant Garden and a founding member of the Gardening for Pollinators Education group at the Arboretum. She enjoys engaging with the public about the importance of pollinators and helping homeowners understand how they can attract and sustain a variety of pollinators in their home garden.

As a certified Landscape for Life™ trainer, University of California Master Gardener, and University of California Naturalist, she is able to combine her many interests and passion for education to inform others about sustainable and responsible gardening practices through hands-on workshops, publications, and public demonstration gardens. Prior to her retirement and relocation to Northern California in 2010, Ann gardened in Austin, Texas, and had a professional career in academic publishing and professional fundraising.  When not involved in gardening projects, you will find her with her nose buried in a mystery book. And with any luck, she has a cat at her side.


Allison Pennell, Portland, OR

Allison “Ali” Pennell is a professional horticulturist, employed as a Sales Representative for McHutchison Inc. She has worked in many facets of the horticulture industry from propagation, retail sales, botanical gardens, and marketing. She’s an Oregon State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. After college Allison spent a decade in Seattle, Washington where she became fascinated with zonal denial, often successfully overwintering marginal trees and shrubs in Puget Sound’s unique maritime climate. Her professional passion is sharing the intrinsic and ecological value of horticulture with the public.

She currently gardens outside of Portland, Oregon with her three children.


Katie Hopper, Walla Walla, WA

Katie’s mission is to share the wonders of the botanical world, helping people develop a strong connection to nature. She is the founder of the Fortnight Garden Club that teaches foundational horticultural knowledge via on-line classes and provides horticultural consulting to projects on the west coast.

Katie holds both a BS and a MS in Environmental Horticulture and Restoration Ecology from the University of Washington.  She approaches gardening from the perspective of an ecologist, considering the whole garden environment as an interconnected web of life. Her education and horticultural portfolio includes projects in California, Washington, Australia and Hawaii. When designing or consulting on a project she focuses on reading the unique footprint of each garden very carefully to create plant communities that thrive. Katie currently lives in Walla Walla, WA with her husband and daughter. Her personal horticultural passion is the cultivation of culinary and medicinal plants to support the health and well being of family and friends.


Saxon Holt, Marin County, CA,

Saxon Holt is a professional garden photographer and Fellow of the Garden Writers Association. He owns PhotoBotanic.com a self-publishing site for garden photography and Summer-Dry.com an online resource for gardeners in summer-dry regions. As a photojournalist, Saxon seeks out sustainable agricultural and horticultural best practices and focuses on ways we can harmonize with nature.  He lives and gardens in an Oak-Madrone woodland in Marin County.


Randi Herman, Berkeley, CA

For nearly thirty years Randi has actively engaged, and participated in the East Bay Horticultural community, advocating, among other things, the benefits of soil health and sustainable gardening. She has partnered with landscape designers to advocate for creating, enjoying, and fostering the social responsibility of home gardens.

After years in the NY fashion industry, Randi set her sights on greener more environmentally friendly pastures and together with two friends, opened an indoor plant retail/warehouse in Manhattan. Randi eventually headed West, studied at Merritt College, volunteered at Western Hills, Berkeley Botanical Garden, Garden Conservancy, learning about plant diversity and the various climes of the East Bay. She managed an East Bay nursery and had an indoor plant consulting business (Floral & Hardy). She served on the development committee of the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Foundation and the Board of the Late Show Gardens. If the garden is not beckoning, she is sewing, creating, or having fun sourcing props and consulting for catalog shoots.


Ellen Zagory, Davis, CA

Ellen Zagory is a professional horticulturist specializing in beautiful, heat tolerant, reduced-irrigation plantings that thrive in landscapes in the Central Valley of California. Most recently she has been exploring her passion for pollinator gardening and how it can contribute to biological diversity in urban and suburban California landscapes. 

Recently retired from the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, she loves plant identification, the outdoors, wildflowers, travel, and sharing her knowledge through education programs about horticulture and more sustainable landscapes. Also, she’s always happy to speak Latin when discussing a plant!


Donald Baldocchi, Colma, CA

Donald Baldocchi is the owner of Pacific Nurseries in Colma, CA. He studied at UC Davis, graduating with a BS in Environmental Horticulture and has training in and practices Holistic Resource Management on his family’s property. He is active in the local rodeo as well as other outdoor sports


Content Committee

Chloe Wieland, San Francisco, CA

Chloe Wieland is the Director of Volunteer Engagement at San Francisco Botanical Garden, where she has participated in, supported, and developed volunteer programs since 2013. She especially enjoys leading the docent program and the many hours it requires her to spend observing and exploring the Garden’s collections.

Chloe worked as a professional horticulturist before joining San Francisco Botanical Garden, and her gardening preferences are inspired by the wildflower meadows and rock gardens found in remote alpine regions. Although raised on the East Coast, her curiosity and love for the wild spaces of the west have led her to create her home (and garden) in California.


Adriana López-Villalobos, Vancouver, BC

Adriana has been studying and working with plants in one way or another for over 25 years. She is passionate about plant diversity and thinks that unlocking people’s inner primitive connection with plants, through horticulture, gardening, and public outreach, could be the key to solving some of the most pressing problems in society today.

She is originally from Mexico, where she completed her BSC and MSc, studying plant ecology and mating systems evolution, before migrating to Canada to pursue a PhD focusing on the genetics of species across their geographic ranges. As part of that work, she had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the Pacific Coast, from Southern Oregon to Baja California, and completely fell in love with the landscape and its biodiversity. Adriana currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia where she works as Curatorial Coordinator for the UBC Botanical Garden.


Merrill Jensen, Corvallis, OR

Merrill loved his work as the first director of the Jensen-Olson Arboretum.  Upon accepting the position in 2007, he was tasked with opening this historic garden to the public and growing Caroline Jensen’s (no relation) gift to the City and Bureau of Juneau.  While establishing policies, building infrastructure, growing partnerships, and developing visitor services, he also used his curatorial skills to create the Nationally Accredited CollectionTM for the genus Primula accredited in 2012.

In 1982, he followed his abiding interest in plants, and later graduated Cum Laude from Washington State University with a BS degree in Ornamental Horticulture.  Merrill’s career in public horticulture included posts at Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise; The Oregon Garden in Silverton; and Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto. He currently serves as a reviewer for the Plant Collections Network of the American Public Gardens Association. He couldn’t have dreamed a better job in which to close his professional life than at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum where he worked for 14 years, retiring in 2020 to his bicycle and camera as well as his own personal garden.


Adrienne St. Clair, Portland, OR

Adrienne is a botanist working with Metro, a regional government in Portland, Oregon where her work spans conservation to restoration. She protects uncommon species within publicly owned natural areas, specializing in the habitat of oak prairies.  As well, she helps procure between 500,000 and 1 million native plants each year for agency-wide restoration efforts. This involves close collaboration with producers to consider the most ecologically and genetically appropriate material for long-term restoration success. Adrienne managed a native plant nursery for almost a decade before pursuing a graduate degree. She received her Master’s in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University and Chicago Botanic Garden where she studied the effect of horticulture techniques on native-plant genetics. While the Midwest had the most incredible thunderstorms, she is thrilled to live in her hometown of Portland surrounded by her favorite people and flora.


Aaron Anderson, Corvallis, OR

Aaron Anderson is a PhD candidate in the Garden Ecology Lab at Oregon State University, and is broadly interested in how ecological function can be incorporated into urban and suburban landscapes. After dabbling in entomology, restoration ecology, and biological control, he became interested in studying urban systems. Aaron is fascinated by native beneficial insect conservation, especially in understanding how these species use urban green spaces as habitat to better inform how we manage these landscapes.


Frédérique Lavoipierre, Sebastopol, CA

Frédérique Lavoipierre was the director of education at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, before which she was the founding director of the Sonoma State University Sustainable Landscape Professional Certificate Program. Frédérique holds an MSc in biology, with an emphasis on ecological principles of sustainable landscapes. Prior to her graduate work, she founded and operated an organic nursery. She currently lectures and works as a consultant, and serves on the editorial advisory group for the American Public Gardens Association. She authored a ten-year series, Garden Allies, for Pacific Horticulture Magazine, and continues her contributions to Pacific Horticulture’s publications. 


Jodie Anderson, Palmer, AK

Jodie Anderson is the Director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center. She taught chemistry and many life sciences at the high school and college levels for 11 years in North Carolina. She moved north in 2003 and worked for UAF where she began and managed the Alaska Community Horticulture Program as well as research that focused on soil building, organic nitrogen soil supplements, compost development, and community gardening. Her work throughout Alaska afforded many opportunities to travel around rural Alaska and develop collaborations and relationships with many teachers, growers, and communities.


Allison ‘Ali’ Pennell, Portland, OR

Allison “Ali” Pennell is a professional horticulturist, employed as a Sales Representative for McHutchison Inc. She has worked in many facets of the horticulture industry from propagation, retail sales, botanical gardens, and marketing. She’s an Oregon State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. After college Allison spent a decade in Seattle, Washington where she became fascinated with zonal denial, often successfully overwintering marginal trees and shrubs in Puget Sound’s unique maritime climate. Her professional passion is sharing the intrinsic and ecological value of horticulture with the public.

She currently gardens outside of Portland, Oregon with her three children.


Ann Trump Daniel, Davis, CA

Ann actively works to empower others to create sustainable home landscapes that protect and restore our natural environment. She is a volunteer at the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden in the GATEways Native Plant Garden and a founding member of the Gardening for Pollinators Education group at the Arboretum. She enjoys engaging with the public about the importance of pollinators and helping homeowners understand how they can attract and sustain a variety of pollinators in their home garden.

As a certified Landscape for Life™ trainer, University of California Master Gardener, and University of California Naturalist, she is able to combine her many interests and passion for education to inform others about sustainable and responsible gardening practices through hands-on workshops, publications, and public demonstration gardens. Prior to her retirement and relocation to Northern California in 2010, Ann gardened in Austin, Texas, and had a professional career in academic publishing and professional fundraising.  When not involved in gardening projects, you will find her with her nose buried in a mystery book. And with any luck, she has a cat at her side.


Saxon Holt, Marin County, CA,

Saxon Holt is a professional garden photographer and Fellow of the Garden Writers Association. He owns PhotoBotanic.com a self-publishing site for garden photography and Summer-Dry.com an online resource for gardeners in summer-dry regions. As a photojournalist, Saxon seeks out sustainable agricultural and horticultural best practices and focuses on ways we can harmonize with nature.  He lives and gardens in an Oak-Madrone woodland in Marin County.


Ellen Zagory, Davis, CA

Ellen Zagory is a professional horticulturist specializing in beautiful, heat tolerant, reduced-irrigation plantings that thrive in landscapes in the Central Valley of California. Most recently she has been exploring her passion for pollinator gardening and how it can contribute to biological diversity in urban and suburban California landscapes. 

Recently retired from the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, she loves plant identification, the outdoors, wildflowers, travel, and sharing her knowledge through education programs about horticulture and more sustainable landscapes. Also, she’s always happy to speak Latin when discussing a plant!