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.

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 an active member of Community United Methodist church and is a board member of the Ogden Community Scholarship Foundation.  Sally and her husband, Chuck, live in Ogden.

David McKinney – Curator of Collections & 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.

Amber Schmidt – Events Specialist

Amber graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Event Management. Her work history includes coordinating weddings, conferences, and county fairs. She has been working in the industry since high school where she worked as a wedding coordinator and since graduating from ISU has worked in the Arboretum Garden industry.


Officers of the Board of Directors

Don Draper, Ames, President
Donald Lewis, Ames – President-Elect
Kathy Law, Des Moines, Vice President
Bob Shaw – Member At Large
John Jordan, Boone, Member At Large
Tom Jordan, Ames, Secretary
Wayne Koos, Boone, Treasurer
Jamie Beyer, Ames, Past President

Board of Directors

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

Gabbi Edwards, Ames
Randy Elder, Nichols
Paula Flynn, Alleman

Bob Getschman, Boone

Linda Grieve, Ankeny
Kris Jurik, Ames
Duane Kent, Aurelia

Jan Thompson, Ames
Doug Van Dyke, Boone
Jamie West, Des Moines