Staff & Board of Directors
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 develop the zoo into a zoological garden. He received many awards and recognition for his contributions to the Norfolk area in terms of landscaping and environmental work and developing gardening programs for people with disabilities. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware in plant science and a graduate degree in human resource development at George Washington University. He also has a graduate degree in public administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Mark lives in Ames with his wife Phyllis. They have two children.
Kevin Lantz – Horticulturist
Kevin has spent the past 30 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 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 – Office Manager
In 2001, Heather began working at the Iowa Arboretum as a horticulture specialist, managing the greenhouse and performing grounds work. Before joining the Arboretum, she graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Horticulture and worked at a few different locations before settling down at the Arboretum. Several years ago, Heather decided to make a change by transitioning to office manager. She now manages everything indoors including memberships, office work, and the volunteers. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys at their home in Ames.
Leah Worth – Horticulture Project Manager
Leah has been with the arboretum since the fall of 2016. Originally from Willey, Iowa, she currently resides in Ames with her husband, Jesse and their dog, Frosty. Leah is a graduate of Iowa State University (B.S. and M.S. Horticulture). Leah gained public garden and nursery experience while employed by Reiman Gardens and Country Landscapes in Ames, Iowa, and Gertens Greenhouse and Garden Center in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Leah was an agricultural specialist of horticulture crops at Iowa State University’s Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis, Iowa until she returned to Ames to pursue her M.S. degree, with a focus of small fruits. Leah has a strong background in teaching and extension; serving as an interim instructor for the ISU Horticulture Enterprise Management course during her M.S. degree and as the Agriculture/Horticulture Program Coordinator for Jasper County Extension prior to coming to the arboretum. In her free time Leah enjoys the outdoors, whether that means biking with her husband on their tandem, running, camping, and traveling the world.
ShyAnn Sherer – Event Specialist/Administrative Assistant
ShyAnn has opened a new chapter of her life and is excited to have the Iowa Arboretum be a part of that journey. As an Iowa State graduate, she has decided to stay in Ames with her two pups, Charlie and Tucker. Paired with event planning, ShyAnn has a passion for the wedding industry and other social events. She is a Certified Wedding Planner through The Bridal Society. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, styling for Stella & Dot, traveling, and watching sports. ShyAnn also has a slight obsession with Tropical Sno and owns the one in Ames.
Sally Good – Bookkeeper
Sally graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Business Administration and a specialization in Accounting. She has worked in many areas of the banking industry during her career. She continues to perform accounting services for nonprofit organizations and businesses in the area. Sally is active in Community United Methodist church, and is a Board member of the Ogden Community School District and the Ogden Community Scholarship Foundation. Sally and her husband, Chuck, live in Ogden. They have four children.
Abby Hoffman-Carlson – Education Coordinator
Abby earned a degree in Social Science teaching and minor in English teaching from the University of Northern Iowa. She was a student teacher in the Dallas Center-Grimes and Des Moines school systems and has worked in other central Iowa schools. Abby previously worked as a camp counselor at Living History Farms. She lives in Polk City with her husband, David, and their cat, Patches.