They say it takes a village, and our village is full of amazing people who use their gifts and ability to help keep our Iowa Arboretum a place for everyone to enjoy! Scroll down and meet the team.
Mark Schneider – Executive Director
Mark became the Executive Director of the Iowa Arboretum in the fall of 2011, after working for 32 years at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia. One of his accomplishments there was to work with his staff to develop the zoo into a botanical garden. He also focused on creating educational garden spaces, establishing environmental conservation projects and starting garden programs for people with special needs.
He earned an undergraduate degree in horticulture from the University of Delaware and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development from George Washington University. He also has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
Mark lives in Ames with his wife Phyllis. They have two children.
David McKinney – Curator of Collections and Grounds
David graduated from Colorado State University with two undergraduate degrees in horticulture and a master’s. His work history includes coordinating demonstration gardens with CSU, working with Colorado Extension, and being a horticulture specialist with the Denver Zoo. He has been working in this industry for over ten years and is a very active member of the Perennial Plant Association, AmericanHort, and various other groups.
David joined the Iowa Arboretum and Gardens in 2022.
Kevin Lantz – Horticulturalist
Kevin has spent the past 41 years with the Iowa Arboretum working as a horticulturist, taking care of the grounds, and overseeing weddings. He graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College with an AAS degree in Horticulture. He grew up in Pomeroy but now resides in Boone. His family continues to be big supporters of the Iowa Arboretum and spend as much time as they can volunteering. In his down time, Kevin enjoys going fishing, nature, and traveling.
Heather Bass – Membership Manager
Heather graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. degree in Horticulture and worked at a few different locations before joining the Arboretum in 2001. Heather began working at the Arboretum as a horticulture specialist, managing the greenhouse and working on the grounds. She moved on to work as the gift shop manager and office manager before becoming the membership manager in 2024. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys at their home in Ames.
Doug Lang – Bookkeeper
Kim Anderson -Venue Coordinator
Christina Pitts –Marketing Specialist