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 family and enjoys exploring Wisconsin, knitting, bird watching and finding new craft beers. You can contact Darcie at

Darcie Howard, Executive Director

Elise Schuler, Education and Events Coordinator

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 contcat Elise at

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  

The Monk Botanical Gardens Board of Directors

PresidentRobert Reinertson
Vice PresidentHooshang Zeyghami
SecretaryNancy Cedar
TreasurerJen Powers

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

Monk Botanical Gardens Board Committees

ExecutiveBob Reinertson, Chair
FinanceJen Powers, Chair
DevelopmentVickie Richmond-Hawkins, Chair
GovernanceSheila Rossmiller, 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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