Meet the Instructors for our Adult Programs and Classes
|Michael A. Andruczyk||Mike Andruczyk began working at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in July of 1993, first as the Nursery/Greenhouse Supervisor, then Supervising Horticulturist and lastly as the Curator of Plant Collections. Mike became Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent in Horticulture for Chesapeake in January of 2005, where he gardens on 1 acre of property. Mike loves sharing his extensive knowledge of horticulture through classes and public outreach programs throughout Hampton Roads.|
|Ed Bradley||Ed is a Chesapeake Master Gardener who volunteers at the Chesapeake Arboretum. He studied Horticulture in college receiving his Masters in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. His interests include horticultural therapy, coastal plain ecology, tree identification and maintenance.|
|Don Brown is a Norfolk Master Gardener. Since retiring from the Military as an officer, Don has served Norfolk Botanical Garden as a Gardener and Nursery Technician.|
|Marie Butler||Marie Butler has been participating in the Norfolk Master Gardener Program for 19 years. She holds a degree in landscape horticulture from N.C. State University, and also traveled to Asia to study and teach ikebana. Marie is a landscape designer in Virginia Beach, and is deemed worthy to be the tigers’ personal gardener at the Virginia Zoological Park, where she is the Landscape Coordinator.|
|Crystal Cameron||A former broadcast journalist, public relations executive and political consultant, Crystal Cameron, founder and president of Crystal Palate, LLC., knows what it takes to make a good impression. She is a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, wine consultant, wine educator, and freelance wine writer. Crystal also has an advanced certification with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
Crystal Palate brings the ultimate wine experience to you. Crystal Palate specializes in private wine events for personal, non-profit and corporate functions led by Sommelier Crystal Cameron along with wine education, public relations and consulting services for the hospitality industry.
When Crystal is not exploring the world of wine, she keeps busy volunteering. Crystal currently serves as the Virginia Chapter Board Chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Crystal also loves to travel and spend quality time with family and friends including her amazing husband Tom Schaad and their golden retriever Sophie.
|Diana M. Davis||An award winning artist, Diana grew up on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, a place of tranquil beauty. Drawing and painting were very much a part of her life as a child. At the age of 10, she began taking lessons with Emily Daugherty. At 18, she began painting watercolors. Now after more than 30 years of experience, Diana’s originals can be found in businesses and private collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. She loves the freedom and excitement of watercolor and uses the traditional style along with different techniques to express herself. Diana also finds joy as a watercolor teacher, which she has been doing for over 12 years. She hopes to share her passion for painting and help her students develop their knowledge of the wonderful art of watercolor. For more information: www.watercolorbydianadavis.com|
|Laurie Fox, Ph.D.||Horticulture Associate (research & extension responsibilities) at Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research & Extension Center (AREC)PhD in Horticulture from Wageningen University, The Netherlands – Emphasis on phytoremediationBS & MS in Horticulture from North Carolina State University – Emphasis on landscape design, ornamental plant production, & weed science. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service County Agent 3 years. Virginia Tech – Hampton Roads AREC Weed Scientist 1 year. Virginia Tech – Hampton Roads AREC Horticulture Associate – currently working in the areas of Water Quality; phytoremediation – cleaning water with aquatic plants, aquatic weed management in ponds, storm water management in the landscape, floating treatment wetlands and Sustainable Landscapes; sustainable landscape practices, BayScaping with native plants, buffer zones, rain gardens. Author and publisher of the book Best Plants for Hampton Roads A Landscape and Garden Companion.|
|Randy Gore||Randy is a lifelong resident of Norfolk, graduate of ODU and passionate outdoor enthusiast. He is a National Outdoor Leadership School Graduate, and is a certified American Canoe Association Kayak Instructor. Randy, President of Kayak Nature Tours, and his wife, Bonita, organize and lead kayaking trips all over the Southeast. In addition to their top-notch safety record and professional staff, they pride themselves on having more fun than anyone else.|
|Paper Artist, Rich Gray, began teaching origami as a student at the University of Massachusetts, where he developed an interest in Japanese art and culture and minored in Asian Studies. He spent five years in Japan during his Navy career, and origami provided an ideal pastime for the long days in cramped quarters at sea. Rich is a member of OrigamiUSA, and shares his passion for the art by helping students progress from just following traditional folding patterns to creatively adapting them in ways that express their own artistic visions.|
|Irene Hinke-Sacilotto||Since 1979, Irene has shared her photographic experiences and love of nature with thousands of individuals through more than 200 photo classes, workshops, lectures, and tours in both the U.S. and abroad. Program sponsors have included zoos, museums, nature centers, camera clubs, and conservation organizations such as National Wildlife Federation, Watchable Wildlife, and the National Association of Interpretation. For more than 19 years, she has taught photography classes at Johns Hopkins University and other educational institutions and has written “How To” articles on nature photography for national publications such as Shutterbug’s Outdoor and Nature Photography, Outdoor Photographer, and Birding. Her images have appeared in magazines, posters, calendars, and books published by National Wildlife Federation, Natural History Society, National Geographic, Audubon, and Sierra Club. Her book, “Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, an Ecological Treasure,” is sold in bookstores nationwide.|
|Rida Kennedy||Rida Kennedy has been studying dance for over 25 years in styles such ballet, Afro Belly and jazz. Her study of dance and culture lead her to Egypt, where she discovered her passion for Middle Eastern dance. She loves sharing this passion to others no matter what their age.|
International photographer Cory Langley offers a fun and casual approach to his Mac and Photoshop classes: no manuals, just easy to follow demonstrations that will have you creating your own projects after only one lesson. His 2000+ published pictures can be found in over 50 school library book titles throughout the US and Europe.
|Marissa is a native of Virginia Beach. She is a nursing student at Sentara in hopes of becoming an RN soon. She has been involved in various forms of dance since she was a little girl, which helped her decide to become certified in Zumba. She loves to dance and hopes you will come join the party!|
|Captain Ward Masden||Captain Ward Masden USN (ret.) has traveled the world extensively during his 30 year Navy career and collected and studied butterflies as a hobby for over 60 years. He recently retired after 15 years as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of the Navy. A Naval Academy graduate in 1968, he has master’s degrees in Management and National Security.|
|Randy McKinney||Randy McKinney; a Virginia native has over forty-five years of horticulture and fine arts experience. Raised on a family orchard and vegetable farm; McKinney was exposed to horticulture at an early age. As a young adult, he studied painting, sculpture, pottery, and batik textiles. Although gaining an appreciation of the fine arts and working with sign and portrait painters, his heart returned to growing plants.“My eureka moment was reading Yogi Yoshimura’s book on bonsai,” said McKinney. The combining of a fine arts education with a family history of farmers made for a strong set of skills to pursue bonsai. He joined the Virginia Bonsai Society in 1975, which introduced him to Society founders George Baker and Bartow “Pat” Bridges at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Their mentorship and encouragement further developed his talents in propagation and styling.Since 2004, Randy McKinney has been teaching and demonstrating bonsai for other garden clubs, organizations and workshops from Titustown Recreation Center to Northeastern NC Craft to the Courthouse Museum. He participates in shows throughout Virginia and North Carolina; consistently wining awards since 2007. He has been awarded the American Bonsai Society Award of Excellence of 2012.McKinney is the sole proprietor of Rondulfr Design specializing in Japanese gardening techniques located in Hampton Roads, Virginia.|
|Jane Montagna||Jane Montagna, certified Taoist T’ai Chi instructor, has 8 years experience in Taoist internal arts and methods. She welcomes all who are interested in learning this gentle meditation in motion.|
|Dr. Alex Niemiera||Dr. Alex Niemiera has been on the faculty in the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech for 21 years. His area of teaching expertise is woody landscape plants. He is actively involved in seeking out new landscape plants as part of Virginia’s plant introduction program, Beautiful Gardens™.|
|Julie Paddock||Julie has held a passion for yoga for nearly two decades. She believes in the joy and transformational qualities of a yoga practice, and was inspired to share its benefits with others. Julie completed her teacher training at Breathe Yoga Center, and also teaches yoga to children as a certified Rainbow Kids and YoKid instructor.|
|Bonnie Primm||Bonnie Primm is a recognized Feng Shui consultant, teacher, speaker and published author. Bonnie teaches Feng Shui at Tidewater and Blue Ridge Community Colleges as well as Old Dominion University, where she helped construct an Introduction Certificate Course in Interior Design. Her professional and personal experiences give her the ability to distinguish and integrate the revered customs of an ancient art to present day needs and culture.|
|Garrett Ross||Garrett Ross is a portrait and wedding photographer based out of Virginia. With a passion for people and the outdoors, Garrett has focused primarily on outdoor portraiture. Garrett also has extensive experience as a commercial instructor and lecturer in photography, design, software, and business.|
|Rebecca Suerdieck||Rebecca Suerdieck is a Living Historian and Educator on many Subjects. She enjoys exploring the different aspects of her Research with self-initiated Projects. Her love of Perfume began in College when she first started blending fragrances and exploring the emotional connections people have with Smell and Memory Recollection. In 2010 she began hosting “Perfume Making Workshops,” where she taught the Natural History of Perfume and showed her Students how to create a personal scent. She is currently pursuing Advance Studies in Natural and Antiquarian Perfume Making.|
|Ross Taylor||Ross Taylor is a staff photographer for The Virginian-Pilot, and is a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate. Taylor has worked as a photojournalist in America and abroad. He was recognized by the National Press Photographers Association as New England photographer of the year when he lived in Connecticut, and has won numerous national photojournalism awards.|
|Frances Thrash||Frances Thrash, FTD Master Designer, National Garden Clubs Design Instructor, and lifelong professional floral designer is originally from Mississippi, but has lived all over the world with her retired military husband. She grows many flowers and foliages that she uses for her floral designs such as pittosporum, holly, peonies, and iris. Frances will challenge you to learn the perfection of floral designs, botanical names, and many tricks and secrets of the florist industry.|
|Frank Walker||Frank is the President of Tidewater Beekeepers Association (TBA) and also the Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA). Frank believes that you don’t have to keep a hive in your yard to be a beekeeper. He states, “Beekeepers educate others by promoting and protecting a vital natural resource, the amazing honeybee.”|
|Ken Wright||Dr. Wright holds a Ph.D. in Metallurgy from Case Western Reserve University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University. He spent his professional career as a material engineer at General Electric Aviation where he developed life prediction methods and new materials for jet engines, resulting in 11 patents and several technical contracts and publications. Since retirement he has devoted his time to promoting solar and renewable energies, building a passive solar home and leading the Hampton Roads Solar Tour for the past two years.|