Staff And Board Members

Meet the staff and board members that are dedicated to the creation and celebration of beautiful and environmentally friendly landscapes!

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Raingarden Workshops

Unseasonably warm weather, long droughts and flooding rains are the new normal for spring and summer in Minnesota. Learn how your yard can adapt to and even help mitigate threats posed by these extreme weather events.

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Lori Anderson

For 25 years Lori led economic development and training programs in the US and overseas for Land O’Lakes, traveling to many developing countries in the process. She later became executive director of a nonprofit charity with the same goals. Today Lori solicits business support for activities that benefit job seekers for HIRED. As a child, Lori learned gardening from her grandmother and became a Master Gardener in 1999. Her city yard reflects her love of trees, shrubs, and flowers and features a large raingarden, the result of a Metro Blooms workshop in 2005. Lori joined Metro Blooms’ board the same year and has held positions of Secretary (current), Vice Chair, chair of the personnel committee, and co-chair of Minneapolis Blooms Day 2007, and has worked on countless Blooms committees. Each season Lori spends as much of her spare time as possible in the yard with her dog and cat, in blissful gardening pursuits.


Ava Tamis McKnight



Jessica Miller

Susan Nelson

Vice Chair

Susan Nelson combines Feng Shui and personalized coaching to guide her clients to create positive and profound shifts in their lives. She is the first certified coach of Alpha Element Training Programs, which she shares with her individual clients, in corporate team-building events, and coaches’ training programs. rnrnIn her live workshops, Susan inspires audiences to tap into their innate creative genius. Her topics include “The ART of Change”, “Dream Big!” and “Shift Happens: The Power of Intention and Feng Shui”. She is the author of Thin Begins Within. rnrnSusan has been a member of Metro Blooms for over a decade. Her vision for Metro Blooms includes promoting the Raingarden Workshop program to other cities along the Mississippi River watershed, cleaning our waterways one community at a time. rnrnSusan’s other interests include reading, gardening, dancing and photography. She and her husband, Gregg Kubera, enjoy music, laughter, travel and spending time with friends.


Jon Olson


Jon Olson is a graduate of Minneapolis Washburn, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where he earned his master’s degree. His travels during his 25-year career in the U.S. Navy took him all over the world where he witnessed firsthand the effects of environmental destruction and the failure to conserve our natural resources and to protect our environment. Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy and returning to Minnesota, Jon sought out opportunities to give of his time to organizations that pursue initiatives to improve and protect our environment. Metro Blooms was it for him. Jon and his wife, Melissa, make their home in Webster, MN, where they are building their hobby farm and also care for their six rescue dogs – all of whom are miniature pinschers


Douglas Owens-Pike


A recent addition to our board, following two years on the Blue Thumb Steering Committee, Douglas Owens-Pike is no stranger to our organization. An early recipient of a Blooming Boulevards Award and Area-Wide Beautification Awards in the 1990’s, his firm, EnergyScapes has received many awards since, including Best Congregation Raingarden in 2014 for Plymouth Congregational Church.

Douglas founded EnergyScapes in 1989 with a goal of creating beautiful landscapes that improve habitat and water quality while decreasing carbon emissions. He joined the board to continue building on the vision of our founders toward a more inclusive community seeking environmental justice. He is the author of Beautifully Sustainable.

Rebecca Reyes

Rebecca is a Digital Marketing Consultant and founder of Spring Media Strategies. She helps nonprofits and social enterprises analyze their marketing channels, create digital marketing campaigns and strategies, and trains people to use new technologies. Rebecca is also the Communications Manager at Everyday Democracy, currently managing all the organization’s communication needs on her own including the website, social media, outreach campaigns, videos, stories, and editing. She graduated from Smith College with a major in Portuguese-Brazilian Studies and a minor in Engineering.

Rebecca joined the board in 2015 to connect with her local community and contribute her time to environmental issues. Growing up, she always had a garden and currently does container gardening and vermicomposting. She also spends her time doing photography, ballroom dancing, and traveling.

Pat Sillerud


Pat has a lifetime love of gardening, concern for the environment, and enjoys volunteering making Metro Blooms a perfect fit for her. Her garden has been recognized through Metro Blooms Garden Awards program for the past 10 years, and She has volunteered as a garden evaluator since 2009. Pat also completed and served as a Hennepin County Master Gardener for three years. Pat recently retired from Excel Energy, having worked for 28 years as a Regulatory Analyst. In addition to gardening, she and her husband, Van, love traveling, biking and music.


Joyce Vincent

Board Member Emeritus

Joyce is a retired director and founder of the Courage Cards program where she worked for almost 30 years. She is also recently retired as board chair after serving for close to 30 years. She remains committed to the mission of Metro Blooms and an active member.



Your donation is an investment in the future of our shared legacy, and will help us improve the health of our urban landscapes.

If you love gardens, clean watersheds and working with your community, join hundreds of others and enjoy the fun!

Metro Blooms Blue Thumb program is a public-private partnership promoting the use of native plants, raingardens and shoreline stabilization to improve water quality.