2023 Annual Report

Frances Munoz

President

Frances has lived in the Reno/Sparks area for the past 29 years. Her professional background is in retail banking and credit union management. Currently she is the branch manager for US Bank – a position she has held for the past ten years. Frances is an advocate for mental health and animal rights issues and her love of travel has found her in countries all over the  world and throughout the US. Through her travels she has become passionate about cultural diversity as well as developing a sincere and strong love of where she has been fortunate enough to live her life – the US. Frances enjoys spending time with family, gardening, reading and visiting sports stadiums to cheer on the local teams as she works toward her goal of visiting every major league baseball park in the country.

Laurel Vickers

Secretary

Laurel Vickers is a fourth generation Nevadan and grew up in Gardnerville. She attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her bachelor’s in business, and then furthered her education by earning her MBA at the University of Texas at Austin. Her career is focused in leading global and domestic companies through complex M&A and HR transformation initiatives. Laurel has a strong passion for traveling and has visited over 40 countries for both work and fun. While traveling, she developed her love for gardening during visits to botanical gardens, parks, and arboretums around the world. She currently serves as the Secretary for the May Arboretum Society.

Debbie Bentley

Treasurer

Debbie was thrilled to discover the May Arboretum Society and has found a home for her passion of gardens with the May Arboretum Society. She is new to Reno, but was a member of the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California for years. She is an accounting professional with more than 16 years of experience in operational, technical and project accounting. She looks forward to putting her skills and her passion to use to help the society reach their goals.

Lane Johnson

Event Sound Coordinator

Lane Johnson, Director, grew up across the street from the current Rancho San Rafael Park. As a boy, he would cross the street, crawl through the barbed wire fence, and play in the fields of the ranch. On occasion, they would find the children playing on the property and would run them off with the sound of a shotgun. In a matter of months, Lane and his friends would find themselves back on the ranch exploring and having new adventures. Lane, who continues to live in the same neighborhood, can be found at the May Arboretum at least once, if not two to three times each day and enjoys taking photos of the wildlife, plants, and trees. A life-long Reno resident, Lane is a middle school counselor for the Washoe County School District, working in education for more than 25 years.

Rod Dimmitt

Director

Rod was born in Denver Colorado, and moved around a lot in his early childhood years, landing in Southern California. He graduated from Villa Park High School, in Orange County, and went to San Jose State University, where he met his lovely wife, Doris. Rod retired from a career in Retailing and Warehousing and Distribution in 2014. Rod has been a Cactus nerd for decades and has an extensive collection of cold hardy cactus that survive the Winters of Northern Nevada. Rod’s goal, since becoming involved with the May Arboretum seven years ago, is to help develop a Cactus and Succulent Garden for the Botanical Garden, where he works as a part-time seasonal and volunteers his time in the off-season. Rod has taken several Eco-tourism trips to see Cactus and Succulents in their native habitats in Mexico and South Africa, not to mention the Desert Southwest.

Carla Mischel

Director
Carla was raised in the deserts of Southern California, where she met her husband, Michael. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. One of her favorite positions was in Human Resources, where she hired workers to test the B-2 bomber at Edwards Air Force Base, California. After her children were school-age, she became an elementary school teacher and the Director of Technology. In this position, she propelled the school to become a “Google Classroom” online school, which left the school in a prime position for remote learning during the pandemic. Carla and her husband moved to Reno in 2017 after falling in love with the area during their many trips to visit their UNR nursing student daughter. She is passionate about traveling, visiting beautiful gardens, photography, and scrapbooking. Carla also enjoys tending to her own garden of vegetables and flowers. Since her time in Reno, she has found the Arboretum to hold many enjoyable surprises on the garden trails with the vast blend of plants and various landscapes the grounds embrace.

Liz Morrow

Director

Liz was raised in the Reno/Sparks area and attended the University of Nevada, Reno
where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree. Liz is also a graduate of The Portland Bible College and is an active member and volunteer in her church. Liz worked in banking since she was a student at the University and retired after 32 years from Wells Fargo Bank. After retiring, she became a Certified Master Gardener through the
Cooperative Extension where she volunteers several hours a month. Her gardening
passions include succulents, growing flowers, fruits and vegetables. Liz also became a
Certified Master Food Preserver through the Cooperative Extension. She and her husband Lance have a son, two beautiful granddaughters and pets which include a dog, backyard chickens and a small fishpond. In addition to gardening, her hobbies include spending time with friends, reading, cooking and traveling—foreign and domestic.