Staff & Board

Darcie Howard, Executive Director

Darcie Howard has been managing environmental education facilities for 17 years. She was the first director of the Montana Audubon Center in Billings, responsible for directing strategy, raising funds and implementing programs involved in the restoration of that facility. Her experience includes grant writing, donor development, capital campaigns, volunteer involvement, and community partnerships.

She holds an MS in Conservation and Biodiversity Biology from the University of Leeds and a BS from University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Wildlife Conservation.  She has spent her career connecting people with place through transformative experiences.  Passionate about conservation, sustainability and environmental education.  She lives in Wausau with her husband, three cats and two dogs. She enjoys exploring Wisconsin, knitting, bird watching, gardening, and finding new craft beers. You can contact Darcie at dhoward@monkgardens.org.

Darcie Howard, Executive Director


Elise Schuler, Education & Events Manager

Elise grew up in Illinois and attended school at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she earned a degree in Wildlife Ecology with a focus in environmental education. After graduation Elise spent a summer in Jackson, WY at the Teton Science Schools as a field instructor, spent a year as the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association's Volunteer Coordinator, and most recently was the Director of Education at the Raptor Education Group Inc. Elise loves being able to connect people to nature in new and inspiring ways through environmental education. 

 Elise lives near Wausau and enjoys camping and canoeing with her husband and dog, running, and knitting. You can contact Elise at eschuler@monkgardens.org.


Kaytie Roettiger, Environmental Educator

Kaytie started her journey with Monk Botanical Gardens as the Environmental Education intern in the summer of 2019. After a summer of sunshine, smiles, and lots of learning, she truly fell in love with environmental education. Later that year she graduated with a degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh. Growing up in rural Crivitz, WI, Kaytie spent her days playing outside and exploring the world around her. She hopes to help provide that experience for others and foster a lasting relationship between people and nature.  She is currently working on a graduate degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin- Stout. 

Kaytie lives south of Wausau with her partner and dog. She enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and-most of all- exploring! You can contact Kaytie at kroettiger@monkgardens.org


Marissa Ashbeck, Horticulture & Grounds Manager

Marissa grew up in Central Wisconsin where she learned the landscape and found her passion in Horticulture. She attended college at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture-Landscape Design and Management. After earning her degree, she returned to the area to take on the position as Nursery Manager at Schalow’s Nursery after 3 years of interning in the Garden Center.  As she gained experience growing and mastering the plants in the nursery, she was able to educate the community through classes and seminars.  By working with customers to find solutions to plant issues and designing residential landscapes, Marissa has developed a well-rounded knowledge of plant diversity in the area. Finding new ways to spark an interest in Horticulture is Marissa’s passion.  She wants to bring Horticulture practices and beauty back into our landscapes.

 Marissa lives outside Wausau and enjoys spending time with her husband and family, gardening and crafting. You can contact Marissa at mashbeck@monkgardens.org.  


Melissa Sullivan, Development Director

Melissa Sullivan has over 20 years of experience in development and fundraising for nonprofit organizations. After obtaining a BA degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, she began her nonprofit career as the Member Events Coordinator for the Channel 10/36 Friends, Milwaukee Public Television’s fundraising arm. Before joining the Monk Botanical Gardens team, Melissa worked for the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund (WEJF) for twenty years, first as a Development Associate and then as Executive Director. At WEJF, Melissa carried out nonprofit administration duties, planned the annual Howard B. Eisenberg Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner, and executed multiple annual fundraising campaigns to raise money supporting pro bono civil legal aid organizations in Wisconsin. 

Melissa enjoys spending time outdoors and is passionate about the educational and restorative opportunities Monk Botanical Gardens offers to the Central Wisconsin community. Melissa lives in Wausau with her husband, two children, and three cats. She enjoys reading, knitting, and spending time with her friends and family. You can contact Melissa at msullivan@monkgardens.org.


The Monk Botanical Gardens Board of Directors

PresidentHooshang Zeyghami
Vice PresidentJen Powers
SecretaryNancy Cedar

Treasurer

Past President

Liz Guzman

Robert Reinertson

Members:   Sandi Cihlar,  Tom Monk, Vickie Richmond-Hawkins, Sheila Rossmiller,  Paul Whitaker, Julie Bollmann, Mallory McGivern, Chumpot Ratanawong

Monk Botanical Gardens Board Committees

ExecutiveHooshang Zeyghami, Chair
FinanceLiz Guzman, Chair
DevelopmentVickie Richmond-Hawkins & Shelley Wells Co- Chairs
GovernanceSheila Rossmiller, Chair
IDEAChumpot Ratanawong, Chair

Interested in joining our Board or one of our Committees? Click here to volunteer.

The Latest
Mar 05
Bloom Where You Are Planted

Bloom Where You Are Planted

As a little girl, I was always itching to get into the gardens. Whether it was collecting blossoms from perennials growing in the yard, exploring the woods, or harvesting vegetables from the garden, I had my dirt-covered fingers in it. I grew up in Mosinee, Wisconsin, observing the surrounding landscapes (more)

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