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.
2525 4th Avenue Rock Island, IL 61201
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.
Meet the Quad City Botanical Center Staff!
Marketing & Events Manager- Ryan Wille
Ryan Wille, a Palatine, IL native, joined the QCBC in April of 2016 after 7 years in the Landscape Design/Lawn Care industry. Having fallen in love with everything plant related through his summer job while attending college at Bradley University- he began to work in the Green Industry permanentely shortly after. He and his wife currently live in Davenport, with their 2 dogs- Maggie and Finley, along with their 6 month old son Easton. Ryan enjoys being able to help put families in touch with the Botanical Center and loves seeing the same faces time and time again come through the door.
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.
MEMBERSHIP & MEMORIALS: Marilyn Pulford
Marilyn joined the Botanical Center in November 2013. Marilyn retired from Deere & Company 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 has been a hands-on participant in all major events at the Center in her 15 years working here. When not at the center, she can be found spending time with her grandchildren, baking, or shopping!
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.