At Wasco Nursery & Garden Center we believe that our knowledgeable and loyal staff is our most important asset. In 2012 Wasco Nursery gave out awards to ten staff members who have been with the company for 20 years or more. There aren't too many companies today that can boast that nearly a quarter of their work force has been employed there for more than 20 years. Wasco Nursery has a well rounded staff of creative landscape designers, knowledgeable sales associates, professional landscape foreman and hard working, courteous laborers.
Matt Zerby President / CEO
Matt is a graduate of Judson University where he earned Bachelor's degrees in both Business Management and Marketing. He has been working in the landscape industry for 20+ years and is an Illinois Certified Nursery Professional with certifications in both woody plant material as well as perennial plant material (currently there are less than 50 ICN Pros with both certifications). Matt started working at Wasco Nursery in 1992 working mostly in the retail sales yard. He took on a management role in the mid 1990's and purchased a share of the business in 2005 and eventually purchased the entire business in 2012. Matt is a plantsman through and through. He has extensive experience in; plant healthcare / cultural practices, nursery growing as well as landscape design and construction.
Matt currently lives in Saint Charles with his wife Amber and two sons; Caden & Tage. He & his family attend Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin, IL. Matt enjoys; spending time with his family, coaching youth sports, traveling, fishing and all things outdoors. Matt served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Green Industry Association (formerly the Illinois Nurseryman's Association) from 2008-2017 most recently serving as Board President.
DAVE ZERBY Customer Service & Operations Manager
Dave graduated from DeVry University in 2013, with a BS in Business. He first started at the nursery in 2006, in an entry-level position, and is now our Customer Service Coordinator. Dave loves the outdoors and whether at work or at home, is always the first one to be outside on a sunny day. He currently lives in Lake in the Hills with his girlfriend and three dogs (Tucker, Diego, and Chevy). Some other hobbies include bowling, fishing, and taking the dogs to the dog park. Dave enjoys his role at the nursery and takes his work seriously. He is currently working towards becoming a certified arborist, which he is very enthusiastic about as it would help him be able to provide even more information to our customers!
Cheryl Monzingo Marketing Manager
Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois. She is responsible for the production of in-house marketing materials, advertising and various accounting tasks. Cheryl joined the Wasco Nursery team in 1986 and helped drive the Nursery into the computer age by implementing CAD software for landscape design as well as computer applications used for inventory, sales and accounting. Her attention to detail and creative marketing programs have made Cheryl an invaluable asset to the Wasco Nursery organization. Cheryl lives in Saint Charles and has an adult daughter living in Boulder City, NV. Cheryl loves to read, travel and garden, is a lifelong Cubs fan and is actively involved in Women's Ministry and Bible Study at Lord of Life Lutheran Church.
Meagan Provencher Sr. Landscape Designer
Meagan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Illinois State University. She has been a Landscape Designer for 18 years. Meagan is an Illinois Certified Nursery Professional with certification in both woody and perennial plants (currently there are less than 50 ICN Pros with both certifications). Her passion for plants is reflected in her unique designs that not only focus on homeowner needs, but also on the end results of the plants chosen. Whether a walk-in consultation or a full landscape plan, each garden is thoughtfully designed and presented. Meagan joined the Wasco Nursery team in 2006 and has been a great addition to Wasco Nursery's well respected landscape design department. Meagan and her husband, Ben, live in Geneva with their two children, Sam and Henry. She enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, and relaxing at the family cabin in Wisconsin.
Kim Schroeder Landscape Designer / Perennial Manager
Kim attended both the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago where she studied Fine Art. After a working in the Fine Art field for two years, Kim took a job in the hospitality industry where she spent several years working for major hotel chains in both the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. After her years in the hospitality industry, Kim got into floral design. She spent more than 15 years working as a floral designer before making her way to the 'Green Industry'. Kim has spent many years in the Green Industry and has worked for wholesale nurseries as well as landscape design firms. Kim came to Wasco Nursery in the spring of 2005. Kim brings a wealth of talent and experience to the Wasco Nursery team. Her background in art and floral design shows through in her creative landscape designs and her years spent in the hospitality industry are evident in the exceptional service that she provides every customer that walks through the garden center doors.
Mark Levandoski Sales Associate / Landscape Design
Mark has been working in the Nursery and Landscape Industry since 1980. His career path began in South Florida working at small retail nursery that specialized in Pams, Fruit Trees and Flowering Trees. This experience led him to pursue a degree at Colorado State University where he majored in Biological Science. Following college he lived and worked in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands before moving to Illinos where he started working in landscape design & construction as well as large-scale nursery production. Working in nursery production as a grower for the last 25 years has helped Mark to develop a great working knowledge of plant pests and disease as well as the cultural requirements of various planst. This knowledge and experience is invaluable when planning landscapes and selecting what the best plant selections are for your particular growing environment. Mark lives in Batavia with his wife, Beth and their Pug dogs. They travel annually to Oaxaca, Mexico where they have been helping support a rural one room school. Mark and Beth love travelling anywhere warm and tropical with a beach. Mark joined the team at Wasco Nursery in 2015.
Tamara Hughes Sales Associate / Aquatic Expert
Tamara is a graduate of Kishwaukee College and Southern Illinois University, where she earned an AS in Horticulture and a BS in Plant and Soil Science. Growing up on her family’s Illinois farm gave her a lifelong love of vegetable gardening and rural living. After college, Tamara worked for many years in the tropical plant industry before getting her feet wet in the world of water gardening. Tamara lives on 1 ½ acres in Campton Hills with her husband, Scott, where together they’ve created a gardener’s oasis, complete with a large vegetable garden, greenhouse, water garden and plenty of landscaped areas for relaxing and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Tamara has travelled extensively and, along with gardening, enjoys cooking, reading, decorating and crafting. She joined the team at Wasco Nursery in 2013.
Lauren TRUE Sales Associate
Lauren is a true lover of the great outdoors. She graduated from Saint Louis University in 2011 with a BS in Environmental Science. During her undergraduate study, she was hand selected to be involved in research relating to Geocarpon, a federally threatened plant. They discovered that Geocarpon was genetically similar in all of the populations tested. This means that it is important to focus on conserving what little genetic difference there is left. The findings of this study were then published as “Conservation Genetics of Edaphic Endemics in Naturally Isolated Habitats: A Case Study with Geocarpon Minimum(Caryophyllaceae).” Besides all that fancy, impressive "sciency" stuff, Lauren's interests reside in gardening, conservation and finding clever ways to help the environment. She is an animal lover, a serious foodie and enjoys running. She’s also into reading and of course, plants.
Randy Akins Landscape Foreman
Randy can fix anything! His ability to deconstruct and rebuild engines, carburetors and just about anything mechanical is amazing. He is a master welder and can fabricate or repair almost anything. Randy has been working for Wasco Nursery for more than 20 years. You can find Randy installing trees at customer's homes all season long and fix machinery all winter. His hard work, friendliness and attention to detail make him a favorite of Wasco Nursery customers. Randy enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his dogs. He and his wife, Beth, currently live in Kingston, IL with their 6 dogs.
Julia Barickman Retail Sales
Julia holds a certificate in Nursery and Garden Center Management from the College of Dupage and a masters degree from Eastern Illinois University in speech/language pathology. She assists customers in finding and selecting trees and shrubs in the Garden Center and has worked part-time in the industry since 1998. A member of the Fox Valley Garden Club and a Master Gardener intern, Julia lives in Aurora with her two cats. Besides gardening, she also enjoys playing golf, reading, knitting/crocheting, sewing, listening to live music, and following the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.
Tom McIlvaine Landscape Foreman / Giant Pumpkin Expert
Tom is the 'Pumpkin Man'. Tom has been growing giant pumpkins for many years and has placed in the top ten at several giant pumpkin competitions. Tom's giant pumpkins have been featured in numerous newspaper articles in the Fox Valley area and have been featured in several first place scarecrow entries at the annual Saint Charles Scarecrow Festival. Tom has been employed by Wasco Nursery for more than 20 years. You may have heard that James Brown was the 'hardest working man in show business', well Tom would definitely win the title of 'hardest working man in the landscape business'. Because of Tom's amazing work ethic and positive attitude it is not uncommon to hear a Wasco Nursery customer ask, ''Can you send the Pumpkin Guy out to plant my tree?". Tom is a lifelong Saint Charles resident and currently lives on the west side with his wife, Mary.