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 botanical garden. He also focused on creating educational garden spaces, establishing environmental conservation projects and starting garden programs for people with disabilities.

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.

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.

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.

Megan Mariotti – Special Events Coordinator

Megan graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Event Management in 2018. She was the arboretum’s summer intern in 2017 coordinating the first ever ArbFeast. Megan is originally from the Chicago Suburbs. She enjoys dancing, yoga and hanging out with her friends.

Officers of the Board of Directors

Jamie Beyer, Boone, President
Donald Lewis, Ames, Vice President
– Member At Large
John Jordan, Boone, Member At Large
Tom Jordan, Ames, Secretary
Wayne Koos, Boone, Treasurer
Linda Grieve, Ankeny, Past President

Board of Directors

Alex Andrade, Ankeny
Matthew Bailey, Ankeny
Mike Bevins, Woodward
Tom Brumback, Alleman
Steve Bush, West Des Moines

Don Draper, Ames
Gabbi Edwards, Ames
Randy Elder, Nichols
Paula Flynn, Alleman
Doug Gustafson, Boone
Kris Jurik, Ames
Duane Kent, Aurelia
Kathy Law, Des Moines
Bernie Mouw, Des Moines
Mike Overton, Boone
Bob Shaw, Des Moines
Jan Thompson, Ames
Keith Thorton, Des Moines
Doug Van Dyke, Boone
Jamie West, Des Moines