2525 4th Avenue Rock Island, IL 61201
ACCOUNTING: Sarah Balkovek
Sarah joined the Botanical Center in May 2016. She studied Accounting at Saint Mary's College, and continued her education while studying Political Science at The University of Notre Dame. She was born and raised in the Quad Cities, and after a brief stint working in the accounting department for Shasta County in California, she made her way back to home to start a family. She has 2 wonderful children and a husband. Sarah is mostly looking forward to gaining knowledge of plants and gardening at the Botanical Center so she can start her own home garden.
EDUCATION DIRECTOR - Greg Wolf
Greg Wolf joined the Botanical Center as Education Director in January 2016. He brings over 15 years of environmental education experience with him. As a Davenport native, he grew up playing and interacting with nature. Greg comes to us with a Bachelor degree in Biology/ Wildlife Management from University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point and a Master’s in Education from Northern Illinois University.
BRIDGES CATERING: Banquet and Beverage Manager - Mark Karstens
Bridges Catering is our official Catering service and has been actively involved in the Quad City Botanical Center since day one.
“We were involved in the initial planning stages of the Quad City Botanical Center. To be able to be a part of such A Quad City Treasure from its inception to what we are now, is very rewarding to us. As Bridges Catering we have served over 100,000 guests since the Center opened and are looking forward to doing our part to insure the continued growth of the Quad City Botanical Center.” Bill Healy ~ Bridges Catering
ASSISTANT GARDENER: Max Rensberger
Max came on board in August 2010 through Americorps, to aid and assist the grounds Gardener. He gained a lot of his landscape and horticulture experience from his time managing the yard at Meyer Landscape and Design, in Moline, and planting at their Taylor Ridge growing division. The past couple of years he's worked with local landscape and plant companies in many different capacities.
GARDENS, EDUCATION, AND PROJECT SUPPORT: Kate Mapes
Kate Mapes is an assistant gardener and office project coordinator. She enjoys overseeing the Children’s Garden river maintenance and watching children and families enjoying the water! Kate grew up on a dairy farm in Port Byron, where the outdoor world inspired her to pursue a career in plants. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Ornamental Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville, she interned at the Living with the Land ride in Epcot at Walt Disney World. Kate has been with the Center on a part-time basis since 2007 and was excited to join the staff full time in 2014.
MEMBERSHIP & MEMORIALS: Marilyn Pulford
Marilyn joined the Botanical Center in November 2013. Marilyn retired from Deere after 33 years and wanted to continue to be around people. Being the membership and memorial representative is a perfect fit as she strives to find new ways to meet our members needs and to grow our memberships and expand our tribute brick path.
BANQUET RENTAL AND SALES - Kari Campbell
Kari Campbell applies her highly refined customer service skills and positive attitude assisting with rentals, memberships and weekend event coverage. Kari is a hands-on participant in all major events at the Center. She has portrayed the Cowardly Lion from the “Wizard of Oz” at the Pumpkin Extravaganza
MARKETING & SPECIAL EVENTS MANAGER- Ryan Wille
Ryan joined our team as Assistant Educator in April 2016, and has since moved into the role of Marketing & Events Manager. A transplant from Palatine, IL, Ryan has a diversified background which includes studying at Bradley University in Peoria, IL and moving on to work at multiple landscape design firms across the state in many different capacities, which eventually landed him here in the Quad Cities. He lives in Davenport with his wife, Stacy and they are expecting their first child in the Spring of 2017.
HEAD GARDNER - Dave Searl
Dave Searl has been the head gardener for the QCBC since 2000 bringing with him over 27 years of job related experience. Growing up on a farm in rural Port Byron, IL, he developed an early interest in nature and plants. Working at the QCBC has given him the opportunity to share his interests and knowledge with others. Dave enjoys traveling and assists in planning the many bus trips the Center offers each year. Dave is a long standing member of the Moline Horticultural Society.
Meet the Quad City Botanical Center Staff!
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - Ami Jenkins
Ami Jenkins has been honored to serve as Executive Director of the Quad City Botanical Center for the past four years, having begun her career there in 1998 as the rental facility manager. She is a Moline native, and graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in English Literature. Ami has a love of gardening and a passion for promoting interaction with the natural world, so she greatly enjoys serving the Quad Cities by bringing people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways.