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.
Director of Horticulture
A 2009 Graduate of the University of Delaware, Brendan has interned at the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens, Longwood Gardens and the National Tropical Botanic Gardens. After his internships completed, he began working at Greenwood Gardens, in Short Hills, NJ, serving in various horticultural department positions. Brendan joined Moore Farms Botanical Garden in December of 2015.
Katie graduated from Clemson in 2011 with an Environmental Horticulture degree. 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. A Charleston native, she uses any excuse she can to visit the Lowcountry to fish and be on the water.
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.
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.
Evan D. Cook
Evan D. Cook holds a BS in Geography, an MS in Geographic Information Science (GIS), and an MS in Environmental Studies from Florida State University and Florida International University, respectively. Evan has 10 years of experience collecting, processing, analyzing, and managing spatial data. He is interested in the integration and interoperability of GIS platforms with plant curation and natural resource management. Evan is currently researching the use of volunteered geographic information (VGI) in public gardens and the development and implementation of open source, web based, mapping applications. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, volunteering and spending time outdoors.
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.
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 dogs Gaia and Hazel.
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 new home. In her spare time, Kelli loves to explore new places, practice yoga, and play with her giant dog Bodhi.
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.