Meet the Horticulture Staff
An Oklahoma native, Sharber took on the responsibility of Director of Horticulture last October. She received her bachelor’s degree in public horticulture from Oklahoma State University, after which she went to work in the commercial landscape industry where she oversaw the care of many properties including the Gaylord Texan Resort. She went on to the Longwood Graduate Program and received a master of science in public horticulture management from the University of Delaware. After graduation, she returned to Oklahoma to make a difference in local horticulture. Prior to her current position, she worked for OSU Extension as a horticulture educator for five years. Casey enjoys being a part of a great team that is responsible for the care and maintenance of an Oklahoma City icon.
Joshua Berry moved from Indiana to join the Gardens staff this spring. Gardening has been an interest of Joshua’s since childhood when he would help his grandparents with their vegetable garden. He received a bachelor of science degree in public horticulture from Purdue University. Joshua has interned with several public gardens across the nation including: Smithsonian Institute’s museum gardens; Missouri Botanical Garden; the historic Winterthur estate (Delaware); and the formal gardens of Filoli (Woodside, California). Joshua’s experiences in public gardening have given him a great interest in plant record systems and pruning methods. Joshua enjoys being able to always hear running water anywhere on the grounds from the many water features, especially the hottest days.
Sayre McNeil, the Lead Horticulturist for the Gardens’ outside grounds is originally from Rogers, Arkansas, but received his bachelor’s degree in horticulture turfgrass management from Oklahoma State University. Having done several commercial landscapes around the city, he’s enjoying the atmosphere of working downtown now, and taking on the challenges of the new landscape and likes seeing how it changes almost daily. His favorite plant in the garden (aside from the Patriot Bermuda that he helped install in the Children’s Garden) is the Blazing Star.
Kerry Rapp has been given the responsibility of being the Children’s Garden Manager. She is originally from Charleston, West Virginia, where she earned a degree in journalism and a master’s of science degree in horticulture from West Virginia University. She has worked as a landscape designer, nursery manager, and interiorscaper. For the past seven years, she was the executive director of Clary Gardens, a newly emerging garden in Coshocton, Ohio. Kerry is truly excited to be a part of the Gardens team and is looking forward to working both with the education and horticulture departments to bring plants to life in the hearts and minds of children.
Jessie Sevener is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she received a degree in Conservation and Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has loved gardening since she was a kid. Since moving to Oklahoma City a year ago and working at the Gardens, she learned so much about the plants here, and has enjoyed the experience of seeing the difference between gardening here versus in Wisconsin! Crape Myrtles immediately caught her eye due to their long lasting blooms and variety of colors. She enjoys being a part of such a great organization that’s helping to revitalize downtown OKC and can’t wait to continue watching the Gardens grow.
Conservatory Specialist, Nate Tschaenn is also a graduate of the Longwood Program in Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware. As a Graduate Fellow he had the opportunity to visit and study at dozens of botanical gardens and arboretums in the United States and abroad. Nate previously worked four years as the lead horticulturist for a 10,000 sq. ft. Costa Rica themed conservatory at Cleveland Botanical Garden. He received his bachelor’s degree in landscape horticulture from Ohio State University where he also worked as a student employee in the biological sciences greenhouse. Nate is excited by the tremendous potential of the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory and looks forward to living and working in Oklahoma City.