The Conservatory Advisory Council has been been in existence since 2007, and is a multidisciplinary group of dedicated and passionate professionals dedicated to elevating the Conservatory of Flowers. Each member is chosen by the Director for their strategic connections, professional expertise, and overwhelming love for the Conservatory of Flowers. The council advises on a stunning array of issues that help elevate the overall level of efficiency, effectiveness, or excellence.
- Steven has been a fan of the Conservatory since his first visit at the age of 13. He is currently Department Chair of the Environmental Horticulture/Floristry Department at City College of San Francisco. Steven is pleased to support and serve on the Advisory Council.
- Davis is a principal with Living Green Plantscape Design (www.livinggreen.com). Living Green has been creating notable gardens throughout the Bay Area and beyond for over 30 years, and has built solid relationships with landscape contractors, arborists, masons and irrigation specialists. Palms are of particular interest to Davis and he is always on the lookout for interesting specimens for the Palm Court.
- Barbara is a retired elementary school principal and now an active volunteer with the Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley and the Marin Master Gardeners. She enjoys serving on the Conservatory Advisory Council and consulting with the education team.
- Jason is a horticulturalist and palm expert at Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco’s Bayview District. A former member of the California Horticultural Society Council, he is a longtime volunteer and consultant for the Conservatory of Flowers and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. He has written for Garden Design magazine.
- Deb has a long history of spearheading successful fundraising and strategic planning campaigns, and has offered to assist the Conservatory in these areas.
Pat Hanson Thompson
- Pat is an active community volunteer as a member of the San Francisco Garden Club, Bouquets to Art, de Young Museum Auxiliary and the Bouquets to Art committee.
- Stephanie is a nonprofit consultant, digital marketer, and bumbling gardener who is delighted to call San Francisco her home. As a social impact advocate, she enjoys engaging the community & shining a light on local causes (SF SPCA, CuriOdyssey, and Airbnb to name a few). Stephanie is proud to add Conservatory of Flowers to this list, connecting locals and travelers to its mission
- Natasha Hopkinson, a landscape designer and media host, brings many years’ experience working with the Garden Club of America and the American Horticulture Society. As GCA liaison to the Central Park Conservancy, Natasha contributed to the restoration of a high-visibility Fifth Avenue entrance into Central Park, New York to the original Olmsted vision. For 17 years, Natasha has helped create the souvenir DVD of the Chelsea Flower Show for London Royal Horticulture Society. Natasha strongly believes that through a deep understanding and love of nature, horticulture & garden design, we become inspired and empowered to take action in our own lives, our communities, and to protect the planet.
- Saxon Holt is a garden photographer and owner of the PhotoBotanic garden library. (www.saxonholt.com). Saxon assists the Conservatory in many ways, including advising staff on media issues.
- Jean Lee has been a dedicated supporter of the Conservatory as President of the San Francisco Orchid Society for 12 years, on the Conservatory Committee of the San Francisco Garden Club, and a member of the Conservatory Foundation. She also worked as volunteer. Jean maintained the cool-growing orchid collection for six months during the Director’s sabbatical and was working in the greenhouse during the Loma Prieta earthquake.
Nathalie Nagalingum, Associate Curator and McAllister Chair of Botany
- Dr. Nagalingum investigates the evolution and diversification of plants with a focus on cycads. These cone-bearing, palm-like plants comprise the most endangered group of organisms on Earth. Nagalingum’s research delves into the genetic diversity of these ancient seed plants in order to guide conservation priorities, ensuring that the species most under threat in the wild are prioritized in the world’s botanic gardens and in their natural habitat. She serves as Associate Curator and McAllister Chair of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences, where she oversees the institution’s botany collection and regularly shares her research with the visiting public. Nagalingum formerly worked at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney and received her PhD in paleobotany from the University of Melbourne. Her field research brings her across the globe, from the outback of Australia to the rainforests of Malaysia.
- “My association with the Conservatory of Flowers began when I was a little girl and our family would visit the Conservatory quite often. Over the years I would bring my children to visit and now I am blessed to bring my grandchildren for a visit. They loved the butterfly and train exhibit. It such a special place in our hearts.” –Terry Nevin
- “I have always enjoyed my many visits to the Conservatory of Flowers before its closing from the storm in 1995. I was privileged to become a docent at the Conservatory when it reopened in 2003 so that I can share my love of plants, this beautiful building and the marvelous display of tropical plants with our visitors” –Ernie Ng
- Diane is a San Francisco family attorney/amateur florist with a passion for her community and the wonderful world of plants. After living across the street for her first six years of being an SF resident, she fell in love with the Conservatory of Flowers and is proud to share its beauty with others.
Betty Packard Voris
- Betty is a longtime journalist who, among other duties, currently edits the San Francisco Garden Club newsletter. She has been chair of the San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee for the past 10 years and on its committee since 1997. A long-time supporter of the Conservatory, she has continually served as a member of the Gala committee.
- Corinne Quigley is a land use and environmental attorney at Morrison & Foerster, with a passion for transforming public parks and civic spaces through public-private partnerships. Corinne is also an amateur urban gardener inspired not only by the Conservatory’s exceptional plant collections, but by its enduring mission to connect people with the natural world.
- Bruce Rogers has been in the orchid business for over 25 years. He is the owner of Bruce Rogers Orchids (www.brucerogersorchids.com) and author of The Orchid Whisperer (www.theorchidwhisperer.com). Bruce acts as a consultant for the Conservatory’s extensive orchid collection and assists with fundraising.
- Nihar works on the strategy team at Eventbrite. Prior to Eventbrite, he lived in New York City for 15 years where he was a founding member of a live events startup, SeatGeek, for 7 years. As an events industry specialist, he’s excited to help the Conservatory expand its events offerings. His wife, Sharlene, is a garden educator and also volunteers at the Conservatory and the SF Botanical Garden.
- Nancy Stoltz is an architect and planner with a practice focused on historic preservation. She consults on a wide range of historic preservation and restoration projects and served as a member of the FEMA team that evaluated the plans to restore the Conservatory in 1999. She is working toward adoption of a maintenance plan for the Conservatory to help ensure that this unique building will continue to provide shelter and delight for all its occupants, the rooted and the rootless.
- Through the 1990s, Sandra steadily volunteered in the COF orchid greenhouse under Clare Cangiolosi. As a member of the SF Garden Club’s executive committee, she chaired the 1998 kick-off benefit for the COF restoration, helped raise the funds to build the greenhouse to store rare COF plants during the restoration and on September 20, 2003, served as the official greeter at the entry on COF’s opening day. Past Trustee SFBG, Garden Feast Chair, BTA Patrons, Program and Gala chairs, past SFGC president, Garden Conservancy Fellow.
- Muriel shares that it is tremendously rewarding to give tours of the conservatory as a docent, to be able to introduce people from all over the world to the wonders of our tropical plants and to illustrate how “smart” plants are in their various adaptations. To her, the Conservatory is such a sanctuary in many respects and such a rich resource for teaching and learning.