Carlo A. Balistrieri
Carlo has held numerous prestigious positions within the industry such as the President and CCO of The Botanical Gardening Group, Vice-president of Preservation for the Garden Conservancy, and Head of Horticulture at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG). He went to RBG from a stint as Executive Director of the Gardens at Turtle Point in Tuxedo Park, New York where he developed a private botanical garden. He began his public garden career as Curator of the Rock Garden at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York. He is a professional garden photographer, writer, speaker, …and a lawyer with nearly two decades of private practice experience including a specialty in the international trade in rare plants.
Director of Administration
Tamra has been with Moore Farms Botanical Garden since 2003. As Office Manager, she is responsible for all payables and assists at events. Tamra is happy to work in a beautiful environment and enjoys interacting with garden guests. She makes her home in Lake City, SC with her husband and two children, Ansley and Aaron.
Interim Director of Horticulture
Katie is a Charleston native and graduated from Clemson in 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Horticulture. Favorite courses included arboriculture, turf science, propagation, entomology and landscape design. She is particularly fascinated by xeric plants and ephiphytes – the more bizarre, the better! Passions include traveling, beekeeping and floral design.
Originally from Pinehurst, NC, Robert grew up exploring the woods under the longleaf pines. After graduating from Clemson University with a Business Management Degree, Robert began working at South Carolina Botanic Garden under Dr. Patrick McMillan. There he expanded his knowledge of native plants, carnivorous species in particular. Robert began working at MFBG in May 2016. Here he manages the carnivorous plant bog along with the native areas. Robert spends his free time paddling rivers throughout the Carolinas and Georgia and jumps at any opportunity to get on a golf course.
Laura Del Vecchio
For Laura, gardening has always been a passion, but it didn’t become a profession until later in life. After several Master’s degrees, post graduate studies and a career that took her around the world, she decided to go back to her passion and pursue a Certificate in Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden where she also taught Plant Science workshops. She owes a debt of gratitude to Wave Hill Public Gardens where she took her first steps in her new career. She is particularly fascinated by fragrant plants. Her interests include vermicomposting and vegetable gardening.
Bennett graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a B.S. in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture in 2004. Raised in Arizona, he discovered his passion for horticulture while living in Ohio. Post-graduation, he interned at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, worked in garden center retail for a number of years and then went on to lead the horticulture program at the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati. Bennett has an interest in a wide array of plants from herbs to trees and loves expressing himself in his garden areas. In his free time, he enjoys running on local trails, reading and writing. Joining the Moore Farms Botanical Garden staff in April of 2017, he is excited to experience the long growing season of the Southeast.
Maxine graduated from Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in 2017 with a degree in Biology. While at Rutgers, Maxine spent her time working in the floriculture greenhouse and spending her summers as a research intern, sparking her love of plants. After graduation, she completed an internship with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, working in the Native Landscape and Garden Center. Maxine was born and raised in New Jersey and loves to hike and fish.
Erin found her passion in Horticulture after graduating with a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Niagara University in 2012. She explored various fields in public history, college advancement, and even traveled to Greece to teach English. Once she began working in a large garden center and greenhouse in 2014, she quickly realized that working with plants was the career she had been looking for. In 2015, she went back to school to pursue an A.A.S. in Horticulture from Finger Lakes Community College. Erin enjoys learning and exploring new ideas. Her free time is spent outside, often visiting new places. Whether hiking with her pup or going out on the water, she wants to be outside.
A native of Youngsville, North Carolina, Evan graduated from NC State in 2016 with a B.S. in Horticulture. During undergrad, he discovered a particular passion for display and botanic gardens in his internships at Longwood Gardens and Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Evan furthered his horticultural studies by spending a year doing post-grad work at Texas A&M under Dr. Mike Arnold. After some great horticultural experiences as a plant breeder and production assistant at Pine Knot Farms, Evan is thrilled to return to the world of cultivated gardens here at Moore Farms. When not working or obsessing over succulent plants, Evan enjoys hiking, playing guitar, raising fire belly toads and oil painting.
Brian joined the Moore Farms Botanical Garden team in October of 2017. He brings years of turf management experience to the garden, most recently as the superintendent of The Palms Golf Course in Florence, SC. Although he is originally from Syracuse, NY, Brian has made his home in South Carolina for many years. He enjoys sports, especially soccer and golf, and spending time with his cat, Lucky.
Amanda grew up in the gardens of her family’s rural home in Camden, NY. She graduated from Mohawk Valley Community College with an A.A.S in Science and Math and continued her education in environmental biology at Utica College (UC) and SUNY ESF. During her time at UC she worked in the green house and assisted with research under supervision from Sara Scanga Ph.D. Amanda shares a loving home in Galivants Ferry, SC with her husband Mike, son Deacon, and 2 dogs.
Lori joined the MFBG staff in 2018 as our grower. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the garden from her previous 18 years of work for Grandiflora Nursery in Gainesville, Florida. She’s grown just about everything, but is especially interested in specialty crops, combinations, and beautiful annuals/perennials. In her spare time, Lori enjoys volunteering, teaching guitar lessons, giving rustic items a modern twist, and spending time on the water boating. She and her husband, Lamar, make their home near Hemingway with two cats, Boogie and Roxy.
Director of Land Management
Calvin has been a member of the team since 2012. He is a certified master service technician with over 5 years of experience as a mechanic and equipment operator. He is a lifelong resident of Lake City and enjoys doing anything outdoors in his free time.
Land Management Technician
Josh joined the Moore Farms Botanical Garden team in February of 2018 to support our land management efforts. He brings welding and equipment repair expertise, as well as construction experience. Josh is excited to work with and learn from our Director of Land Management Calvin Porter. In his free time, Josh enjoys hunting and fishing.
Education and Events Department
Director of Education and Events
Rebecca graduated with her Master of Science degree in Horticulture from North Carolina State University in 2012 and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, focusing in horticulture, from Stephen F, Austin State University in 2010. She discovered her passion for public horticulture and teaching through her mom and her various employments at the SFA Mast Arboretum, “Nacogdoches Naturally” Education Program, Missouri Botanical Garden and the JC Raulston Arboretum. She has a strong passion for educating the community and sharing her love for the outdoors. She and her husband Christopher love their shared interest of horticulture and enjoy every moment outside with their baby girl Emilia and fur children Gaia, Hazel and Daphne.
Youth & Outreach Coordinator
Kelli grew up in southern California and received her B.A. in International Studies from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. After graduating, she accepted a position with the Montezuma School to Farm Project as an AmeriCorps service member in Mancos, Colorado. As a School Garden Coordinator she grew to love edible education and how it helped create curious and empowered students. Kelli joined the Moore Farms Botanical Garden team in 2016 to help enrich and expand the youth and family programs. She is passionate about building community through outdoor education and land stewardship, and is proud to call South Carolina her home. In her spare time, Kelli loves to explore new places, practice yoga, and play with her giant dog Bodhi.
Nina is a 2016 graduate of East Carolina University with a BS in Biology. During undergrad, she was an intern for the Biodiversity Outreach program where she mentored local, underprivileged kids in scientific experiments and community gardens. After graduating, she has been an Environmental Educator at camps, teaching youth about their environment and other scientific topics through fun activities. Nina joined Moore Farms Botanical Garden in 2018 to help expand the education team and the youth/outreach programs. In her spare time, she enjoys movies, climbing, and traveling.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
A native of Knoxville, TN, Haley graduated from college in 2006 with a degree in Mass Communications. She was a reporter and editor for newspapers in both Georgia and South Carolina before working in public relations and marketing at a medical center in Augusta, GA. She joined Moore Farms Botanical Garden in 2018. In her spare time, Haley loves working in her yard, especially with her ever-growing collection of German bearded irises, reading, participating in community theatre and cuddling with her cats.
Leigh grew up in Pamplico and still resides there with her husband, Cliff, and their 3 children: Hoyt, Graham and Gillian. She received a degree in Corporate Communications from The College of Charleston and gained experience working for the Charleston and Raleigh Chambers of Commerce in her early career. Leigh and her husband are big fans of the South Carolina state dog, the Boykin Spaniel – so much so that they have 3 of them: Ellie, Pinckney and Hunley. Her hobbies include chauffeuring her kids to activities; reading; traveling with family; and enjoying a quiet morning fishing at her family’s pond.
Education and Events Assistant
Alexis will soon graduate from Lake City High School and continue to work at MFBG through the summer before entering college in the fall of 2019. She hopes to major in athletic training. She began working at the garden in June 2018 as an intern. In her spare time, Alexis plays basketball and video games and loves to dance and study. She is a native of Olanta.
Guest Services Coordinator
Patsy has worked at Moore Farms Botanical Garden since 2009. She provides warm hospitality for all our visitors and keeps the Fire Tower Center in tip top shape. Also responsible for the care of our farm animals, Ms. Patsy can be heard calling the dogs in every evening at 4:30. Her favorite parts of the job are the animal care and being part of the Moore Farms family. She is a native of Lake City, SC and enjoys shopping, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family in her free time.
Director of Maintenance
Tim McElveen joined the staff in October 2012. He has worked as a carpenter for over 25 years and is a certified welder and Art Handler. Tim enjoys the serene surroundings of the garden and feels privileged to be able to showcase his love of creating custom wood work and furniture in his job. He resides in his hometown of Turbeville, South Carolina with his wife and three children.
Jeremy, a Lake City native, joined the Moore Farms Botanical Garden staff in 2012. He holds a B.S. from South Carolina State University and an A.A.S. from Florence Darlington Technology College. He is a certified Art Handler and a member of the Artfields installation team. When not working, he enjoys watching a good movie or just relaxing with his family and friends.
Maintenance Technician- Mechanic
Cody joined the Moore Farms Botanical Garden staff in August of 2016 is originally from Olanta, SC. He has worked as a mechanic for over 10 years and discovered his interest in this career from his dad as a teenager. In addition to mechanic work, he is also a welder and fabricator. In his free time, he loves everything involving the outdoors, especially hunting and spending time with his daughter Heidi.
Brandon “Bird” Davis
Maintenance Technician- HVAC/Electric
Originally from Timmonsville, SC, Brandon discovered his interest in HVAC at 15 years old working with his dad’s heating and air business. He joined the Moore Farms Botanical Garden team in February 2017 with many skills predominately focused on HVAC but also electrical and mechanical work. In his spare time, he enjoys any type of hunting and especially running dogs.
Maintenance Technician- Carpenter
Lloyd joined the Moore Farms Botanical Garden staff in April of 2018 and is originally from Cades, SC. He worked for the family carpentry business for over 25 years which is where his love for carpentry began. He has also received a certificate in Residential Electricity from Williamsburg Technical College. In his free time he loves spending time with his wife Danielle and son Evan as well as hunting and fishing.