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.
Lori Hernandez has lived in Oklahoma her entire life. She has been with the Gardens since November 2013. Helping her grandfather with his lawn maintenance and having a summer mowing business with her best friend, she developed a love for gardening. It was a debate between cooking and landscaping in college, landscaping won. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2005 with a degree in Landscape Contracting. She has worked as a landscape designer, account manager, and production manager. Specializing in flower pots and seasonal color, Lori’s favorite flower is the Iris, it may not last long but when they come on in the spring they are show stoppers. Lori is looking forward to working at the Gardens and allowing visitors to share in her passion for the landscape.
Matthew Janda, Lead Horticulturist for the Gardens’ outside ground is originally from Lawton, Oklahoma. A diehard Oklahoma State fan, he found himself in Stillwater, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Landscape Contracting. Since graduation in 2007, Matthew has worked in the landscape industry; designing , installing and managing large commercial properties, including Chesapeake’s main campus, and the Oklahoma City Boathouse District. Matthew’s favorite component of the Garden is the Meinders’ Garden. He loves the tall trees, the shaded meandering paths, and small flowing creek. Matthew is excited to be on staff, and looks forward to placing his mark on Downtown Oklahoma City.
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.