Sabina Carr
A seasoned marketer with more than twenty years of experience ranging from consumer products to media to nonprofit, Sabina Carr is Vice President, Marketing for the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Since 2002, she has been responsible for leading the development of the Garden’s brand identity, introducing blockbuster exhibitions, driving visitation, increasing membership and expanding its image via public relations, website and online development, promotions, advertising, and market research.

During her tenure, the Garden has doubled visitation and membership. In 2009 she was given the added responsibilities of the Visitor Services increasing her exposure in impacting the guest experience. A New York native, Carr previously held key positions at American Express Publishing, Condè Nast and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide. 

Bill LeFevre
Vice President

Bill LeFevre is executive director of Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University.  His education includes a B.S. in Landscape Design from the University of Connecticut and a M.S. in Public Horticulture Administration as a fellow in the Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware.

Since being named as Duke Gardens’ first full-time director in 2007, the Gardens have completed over $6,000,000 in capital projects including the Durham Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion and Japanese Garden in the Asiatic Arboretum, relocation of the century-old Roney Fountain from East Campus to the re-designed Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden and completion of the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, a pilot project of the national Sustainable Sites Initiative.

In 2013, the Gardens was named one of the top 10 public gardens in the country by and received Horticulture Magazine’s Award for Garden Excellence from the American Public Gardens Association.

Bill previously served as executive director of the John Bartram Association at Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia, established by botanist, naturalist, and explorer John Bartram in 1728, and managed Philadelphia’s Parks Revitalization Project at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society following a successful career in commercial landscape construction and service in the United States Navy as a carrier-based air traffic controller. 

Kara Newport

Kara has served as Executive Director for Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, a developing public garden, since June 2006.  In 2008, the Garden opened the Orchid Conservatory and this year plans have been announced for the newest addition, Lost Hollow, a children’s garden.

Before serving in this capacity, Kara’s career was focused in fundraising at organizations including Winterthur, Philadelphia Zoo, and Outward Bound.  Kara has a BS in botany, and a graduate degree from the Longwood Program.  She was named one of Charlotte Business Journal’s top 40 Under 40 professionals and was featured in Today’s Charlotte Woman magazine.

Ray Mims

Ray Mims oversees the ongoing development and implementation of sustainability efforts, conservation partnerships, and threatened plant collections at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG).  Additionally he represents USBG in the development of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) and Landscapes for Life.

Prior to joining USBG, he served as the Director of Horticulture at Denver Botanic Gardens, Director of Horticulture and Grounds at the Washington National Cathedral, and Horticulturist at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.   After working as an engineer manager for the Dow Chemical Company, Mims returned to school in 1994 to study horticulture, a passion learned from his maternal grandmother. He also completed a Botanic Garden Management diploma at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew. 

Kenneth J. Schutz

Past President
The Dr. William Huizingh Executive Director for Desert Botanical Garden, Ken Schutz has held executive leadership positions in cultural institutions for more than 25 years.  He has been with the Desert Botanical Garden since 2001 and during his tenure he has managed construction of $22 million in new facilities, more than doubled local attendance, initiated a number of exciting new education and research projects, and raised more than $10 million in gifts and pledges for the Garden’s endowment.

Ken currently serves on the Boards for the American Public Gardens Association and the Center for Plant Conservation.  Prior to moving to Phoenix, he served as the Executive Director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia, and before that he was Director of Marketing and Development for the Baltimore Zoo. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Virginia, an MS degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS degree from Bucknell University.

Grace E. Chapman

Director at Large
Grace Chapman is Director of Horticulture at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which is comprised of 83 acres with 50 acres of developed gardens in Richmond, VA. Chapman has a strong public horticulture background with experience at premier gardens in the United States and United Kingdom. She was horticulture supervisor and adjunct professor at the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University in Ambler, Pennsylvania.  
As a recipient of the prestigious Martin McLaren Horticulture Scholar award presented by the Garden Club of America, Chapman studied botanic garden education, practical horticulture and landscape design in England at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Royal Horticulture Society Rosemoor, the Eden Project, and the Chelsea Physic Garden; and in Scotland at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Chapman has served as lead horticulturist in award-winning group efforts at the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show and the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Shows. 
 Chapman has a Master of Science in public horticulture with a certificate in museum studies from the Longwood Graduate Program, University of Delaware. Her Bachelor of Science degree is in environmental horticulture with a public gardens management specialization from University of Florida.  Chapman was honored as a “Richmond Top 40 Under 40” for Style Weekly Magazine in 2013.  Her hobbies include backpacking, organic vegetable gardening, quilting, and beekeeping.

Carmia Feldman
Director at Large
Carmia Feldman has held the position of Assistant Director at the UC Davis Arboretum (now UC Davis Arboretum & Public Garden) since 2006 and previously served as the Education Director since 2001. She has helped develop and implement the UC Davis GATEways Project (GATEways stands for Gardens, Arts and The Environment), which is transforming the Arboretum and other campus landscapes into physical and programmatic gateways for the public to engage and share in the riches of the university. She has worked with many stakeholders and audiences over the years to bring teaching gardens and educational programs to fruition.

Carmia has been PI on many regional and federal grants at the Arboretum and has led interpretive and educational projects throughout the collections. Carmia has also led leadership training programs for both staff and students, focusing on a strengths-based model of leadership and management. She received her undergraduate degree in integrative biology from UC Berkeley and worked in the education department at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley as a student and then staff member before becoming education director at the California Institute for Biodiversity. She went on to receive a master’s degree in plant ecology and a Ph.D. in science education from UC Davis. She was honored in 2013 as “Non-profit Leader of the Year” by the California Institute for Biodiversity.

M. Patrick Griffith

Director at Large

Patrick has worked in leadership, living collections management, herbarium curation, rare plant survey, floristic inventory, laboratory research, and land management for botanic gardens, universities, government, and private interests. If asked about his experience, Patrick would say he has “used most every botanic garden tool, from the shovel to the sequencer.”  Patrick is the Executive Director of Montgomery Botanical Center in Coral Gables, FL.  He is also a Host Committee Co-Chair for the 2016 APGA Annual Conference in Miami.

Paul Kuenstner
Director at Large

Paul Kuenstner is a vice president at the Fidelity Foundation outside of Boston, working with nonprofit organizations around the country. The Foundation encourages strong management and self-reliance in non-profits. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2000, Paul was in corporate real estate for 15 years, at four large companies up and down the East Coast, managing people, projects, and properties.

A registered architect, Paul has a degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, a MArch from Columbia University, and an MBA from New York University. He is on the board of, an international gap-year program for students. Paul has worked with many gardens over the years on restoration projects, new gardens, technology projects, etc. He is inspired by those gardeners who can blend art and science to create always-changing beauty. 

Jane O. MacLeod
Director at Large

Jane O. MacLeod brings decades of marketing, museum and public garden experience to her role as President and CEO of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee. Since joining the nonprofit organization in September 2010, Jane’s leadership and vision have been instrumental in transforming the historic estate into one of the Southeast’s premier art and garden destinations.

Under Jane’s leadership, Cheekwood has more than doubled its annual gate revenue and continues to steadily increase admissions and membership, setting new records for the institution with large-scale art exhibits such as Bruce Munro’s Light (2013) and Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape (2015). Jane has also led the development of a five-year Strategic Plan and long-term Master Plan to advance the historic institution as one of the finest American Country Place Era Estates in the nation.

Jane previously served in leadership roles at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, as well as the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. She received her Master’s in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She is affiliated with the American Association of Museums and serves on the national Board of Directors of the American Public Garden Association. She is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Nashville and was named the Nashville Business Journal’s 2014 Woman of Influence Nonprofit Award winner.

Mark Runciman
Director at Large

Mark Runciman was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in 2006 after twenty two years as Director of Physical Plant, Operations and Corporate Projects and several stints as Acting CEO. Responsible for leading the Gardens in its mission to be a living museum which serves local, regional, and global communities while developing and promoting public understanding between the plant world, humanity, and the rest of nature.

For over 80 years Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) has been an ecological jewel at the western tip of Lake Ontario. Patterned after Kew Gardens in England, RBG was created to serve as both a regional tourism site and an environmental agency. RBG is a designated national historical site and is revered world-wide for its extensive 400 acres of display gardens and over 2,300 acres of environmentally sensitive lands and diverse ecosystems that connect the Niagara Escarpment.

Mark oversees the operation with a staff of 128 FTE’s; 350 volunteers, including a Board of Directors with 20 members. Over the years he has been responsible for approximately $40M in capital projects.  Mark has also taken the lead in an award winning Land Use Master Plan from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects as well as receiving, on RBG’s behalf, many tourism and environmental related awards in the last 5 years.

Prior to joining RBG, Mark was a Project Coordinator for a major contractor that worked on hydro electrical generating stations as well as water treatment and sewage treatment facilities. Mark is a graduate of Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology (1977) in Architectural Technology. He also successfully completed many courses for the National Certificate in Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector Management at McMaster University.

Shane Smith
Director at Large

Shane Smith has a BS in Horticultural Science, and he attained his registration as a “Horticultural Therapist, (HT)” from the American Horticultural Therapy Association. In 1989-90, he served as a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

Since its inception in 1977, Smith has been the director (and a founder) of the Cheyenne Botanic Garden, Wyoming's only public botanic garden. The operation includes 9 acres of developed grounds, one of the nation’s oldest and largest solar-heated and solar-powered greenhouses, and the recently opened Paul Smith Children’s Village, which is the nation’s first public children’s garden to receive LEED Platinum designation. In August of 2012 Cheyenne voters approved a $16 million renovation and expansion of the Cheyenne Botanic Garden’s solar heated greenhouse/conservatory on an optional sales tax. Additionally, Smith is currently in the early stages of developing the 62-acre High Plains Arboretum sited on the site of a former USDA horticultural research station. The Gardens have received recognition awards from Presidents Reagan, Bush (senior) and Clinton. He is the author of the “Greenhouse Gardener's Companion”, released in 1982 and now in its 3rd ed. In 1982, he also wrote “The Frost Free Greenhouse,” one of the first books on “high tunnels”. He has had a continual involvement in bringing gardening to the public via radio. Since 1978, he has the longest continually running regularly scheduled radio program in the Cheyenne on KFBC AM. He has lectured nationally on gardening, horticultural therapy, greenhouses, public garden design and community greening in 27 different states, Mexico, Venezuela and Canada

Smith is the recipient of The Community Hero award from Wyoming Governor Geringer; the Wyoming Business Council Award of Excellence; the 2011 Award of Merit from the American Public Garden Association; the 2012 Great Gardener Professional Award from the American Horticultural Society; and the 2012 National Garden Clubs Award of Excellence for his contributions to gardening and horticulture.

Brian Vogt
Director at Large

Brian Vogt has been the CEO of the Denver Botanic Gardens since April 2007.  His 25 years of community leadership and an extensive background in fundraising, organizational management, communications and branding, cultural development and volunteer coordination, have proven invaluable as the Gardens engages in a historic capital campaign and the subsequent build-out of its new Master Development Plan.  In the past five years, over 50 construction projects and over $60 million dollars worth of investments have been completed, including the Mordecai Children’s Garden, the new parking complex, the Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center and the Greenhouse Complex.
Previously, Brian served in three Cabinet positions for the State of Colorado from 2004 through January of 2007, including all three years as Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, which includes the Colorado Tourism Office.

Brian also served for over a year as the Secretary of Technology and as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and was a member of the Governor’s Homeland Security and All-Hazards Senior Advisory Committee. He is on the Board of Porter Adventist Hospital and Plant Select, co-founded and chaired for five years the Greater Littleton Youth Initiative, and managed the incorporation movement that created the City of Centennial. Prior to working for the State, Brian spent 14 years as the President of the South Metro Chamber of Commerce.  He holds a BA from the University of Colorado with a double major in Classical Antiquity and Political Science.

Sharon VanLoon, CPCU, LIC

Director at Large
Sharon VanLoon is passionate about supporting APGA Public Gardens.  Since joining Berends Hendricks Stuit (BHS) in January of 1999 she has spent the past 15 years applying her broad insurance risk management experience to the unique needs of Public Gardens.  Creating safe spaces, assuring positive guest experiences, executing appropriate risk transfer and reducing the costs of risk and insurance are her primary goals. 
Her understanding of public gardens evolved through her personal interest in gardening, her completion of the MSU Master Gardener program and leadership in urban garden projects. 
She spent several years working for national insurance companies.  Her experience in program development, drafting policy language and risk management have been instrumental to her success at BHS.  Sharon’s key strengths are communication, negotiation and strategic planning.
When not working Sharon enjoys spending time with family, gardening in West Michigan and reading.

Scott Lafleur
Member and Council of Sections Chair

After a national search, Scott La Fleur was appointed as the new Gardens Director of Sherman Library & Gardens in 2014. With more than 20 years of experience in horticulture, Scott is accomplished in the field of native plants and conservation as well as a strong advocate of public gardens as cultural, educational centers. Most recently, Scott was Director of Horticulture for Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California. Prior to that position, Scott served as Director of Horticulture and Senior Horticulturalist for the New England Wild Flower Society.

Educated in horticulture at the University of New Hampshire, Scott owned and operated a high-end perennial garden design company for ten years. Elected to the American Public Garden Association’s Board in 2009, he has traveled extensively and is well acquainted with horticulture professionals across the country. Scott is an accomplished public speaker, appearing in several episodes of a web-based video series at and he has appeared on several episodes of the Discovery channel’s show 
PLANET GREEN. He is passionate about and often publishes articles on horticulture and ecological gardening. When not in the garden Scott spends time with his wife of 11 years Kara, their 9-year old daughter Lilly and their two dogs Zoie & Toni.