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.
Shannon retired after a 25-year career as a Senior Manager in a human services agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was raised in South Lake Tahoe and returned home to the Sierra Nevada six years ago. As an outdoors enthusiast, she enjoys hiking, gardening, and kayaking. Her passion for travel is never ending and she is always on the lookout for the next adventure, whether close to home or in another country. Shannon has served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the May Arboretum Society for the past two years and enjoys volunteering at events when not traveling.
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 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, 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 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.
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.
Luke was born and raised in the Reno area. He spent many hours walking the arboretum as he grew up and now finds himself as the horticulturist in charge of maintaining the grounds.
Luke graduated Cum Laude from Brigham Young University, Idaho with a BS in Horticulture and Plant Sciences. His certification as an arborist was obtained through the International Society of Arboriculture. He is skilled in Arboriculture, Tree Identification, Soil Management, Pruning, Irrigation Management, Lawn Care and the German Language.
Prior to coming to the arboretum, Luke worked for Brightview as a Tree Care Manager, Reed Landscaping as an Operations Manager/Arborist and worked an internship at AgReserves, Inc. as an Agronomist Assistant.
Hannah grew up in Elko, Nevada. She found a love for all things science, but especially biology, in high school. She attended the University of Montana and graduated Summa Cum Laude in spring of 2023 with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and a B.S. in Ecological Restoration, as well as becoming a University Scholar through the Davidson Honors College. In her time in Montana, Hannah worked as a science educator and camp counselor at the SpectrUM Discovery Area, teaching elementary age students about topics such as robotics, engineering, biology, and chemistry. She also completed research on small stream river restoration and riparian vegetation using beaver dam analogues. Hannah loved her time in Missoula but was ready to return to Nevada. Hannah is a fan of the outdoors, choosing to spend her time bird watching, hiking, and spending time on the water. She also loves taking pictures of her adventures. Hannah joined the arboretum team in May of 2023 as an environmental educator.