Meet Our Team

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Rick Juliusson

Executive Director

A Canadian native, Rick has been driving education, international development and nonprofit consulting projects around the globe. He loves growing food and flowers, and even worked as a farmer for many years, selling peonies, garlic and meat grown on his 5-acre Vancouver Island property. Excited by the many ways leading MSHS brings together his past experiences, Rick is eager to serve and grow our northern gardener community and improve access to the beauty, fun and healthy products of gardening.

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Becky Swee

Communications + Marketing Director

Becky joined the team in 2017. She grew up gardening with her parents in Rochester, MN and spent many summers working for Sargent's Landscape Nursery. After moving to Seattle for nearly a decade to earn a degree in communications and manage the membership program at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, Becky returned to Minnesota to be closer to family. An animal lover, she often brings her very mellow (and very chunky) chocolate lab, Elvis, to work. While he's everyone's favorite co-worker, his work ethic is a bit... lacking.

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Mary Lahr Schier

Northern Gardener Magazine Editor

Mary has been editing Northern Gardener magazine for MSHS since 2005, and is our chief blogger as well. She is the author of of The Northern Gardener, From Apples to Zinnias, 150 Years of Garden Wisdom (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017), which combines basic garden information with horticultural history in the North. She recently started a podcast called Grow it, Minnesota, where she talks with local experts about northern gardening. Mary lives in St. Paul, where she is trying to cram as many plants as possible into an urban lot.

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Diane Duvall

Development Director

Diane has been part of the MSHS team since 2008. What's kept her here for more than a decade? Her love for our members and supporters. Diane grew up with gardeners—she remembers visiting her grandparents in LA when she was a little girl, picking avocados and grapefruit in their backyard. After earning a B.A. in Russian Studies from Mount Holyoke College, Diane performed with the Twin Cities theater community for many years. She's an avid swimmer and, in the summer, you'll often find her in the metro area lakes!

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Courtney Tchida

Community Programs Director

When she was just two years old, Courtney's family often found her out in their garden, munching on peas all by herself. It seems she was destined for a career in growing food! Courtney loves teaching others how to grow sustainably and have success (and fun!) in the garden. With an undergraduate degree in Environmental Horticulture, a master's in Agricultural Education and a certificate in Permaculture Design, she manages our community outreach programs, Garden-in-a-Box and Minnesota Green. Her favorite plant? It's a tie between white Dutch clover (which she calls "magic") and giant ground cherries (because they taste like passion fruit). She loves knitting, canning preserves, pressing apples for cider, cooking outside while camping and playing board games with friends.

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Betsy Pierre

Ad Sales Manager

Betsy is a pro when it comes to all things advertising. If you own a greenhouse, landscape nursery, floral design, landscape design or green service business, Betsy can help you find the most effective channels to market your services to our growing northern gardener community.

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Lara Lau-Schommer

Education + Outreach Director

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Lara is a true, blue Minnesotan—and now she and her husband are raising their own son here. An active supporter of community gardening and beautification of public spaces throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota, Lara embodies the spirit of community, bringing gardeners and green organizations together around growing and sustainability. She oversees our educational classes, events, placemaking efforts and our community calendar.

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Ann Londrigan

Membership Associate

We are thrilled to welcome Ann to our team this fall. She is coming home to Minnesota after a career with the Illinois REALTORS® Association, where she created, managed and staffed the “Welcome Center” as Vice President of Member and Association Engagement. She is very ready to bring that same commitment to professional and friendly member service to MSHS. Ann is an avid gardener, so you will enjoy getting to know her and swap growing stories when you call, correspond or stop by our office.


Sue Hoehn

Administrative Support

Following a career in medical technology, Sue started volunteering for MSHS in 2012. She officially joined the staff in 2017, processing mail, providing accounting and staff support and fielding phone calls. Her favorite thing about MSHS? The staff. Sue's earliest gardening memory is of weeding her mom's perennial garden, so we're glad that didn't scare her away! Now, she's a city gardener, growing Asiatic lilies (her favorite), tulips, peonies and more in her St. Paul yard and boulevard. When she's not working, Sue enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, Norah, rescuing mature dachsunds and playing competitive Scrabble.