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 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

Editor of Northern Gardener

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. We also love her podcast, Grow it, Minnesota, with local northern gardening experts. Mary lives in St. Paul, where she is "trying to cram as many plants as possible into an urban lot."

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EMMA KRASKY

QVS Fellow

Emma joined our team in September 2021 as part of an 11-month Quaker Voluntary Service fellowship. She is working across all departments to support our mission. A Minneapolis native, she left the Midwest to attend college on the east coast. Having recently graduated, she's returning to her hometown roots this year. Welcome, Emma!

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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 a toddler, Courtney's family often found her munching on peas in the garden. It seems she was destined for a career in growing food! With a degree in Environmental Horticulture, a master's in Agricultural Education and a certificate in Permaculture Design, Courtney loves teaching others how to grow sustainably and have success (and fun!) in the garden. 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).

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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

Ann joined the Hort team following 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 loves serving our MSHS members and followers, and connecting daily with so many of you is one of her favorite parts of her day. Ann is an avid gardener, daisy fanatic and loves swapping growing stories with our friends and visitors who call, email and drop by our Roseville office.

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JOEL HOEGER

Bookkeeper

Joel joined MSHS in July 2021. He comes to the us from Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Housing Service in St. Paul, where he served as the business office manager. The South Dakota native lives in New Brighton with his wife and enjoys biking, traveling, birding and pick-up basketball. Gardening? Not so much, though he does help water and enjoys his wife's green thumb, "especially her homegrown fruits and vegetables." Welcome to the team, Joel!