Our Board of Directors is made up of a group of dedicated and experienced individuals from several of the industries touching Portland Botanical Gardens. We’re still looking for more board members, so if you’re interested in becoming one, please contact our Executive Director, Kate Bodin.
Sean’s objective is to popularize the unlimited joys of the plant world through education, outreach, example, and contagious enthusiasm. Currently, his focus has been on the introduction of new and appropriate plants to Western North America, and specifically, the popularization of under-used and unknown plants for summer-dry climates.
Sean served as the Director of Collections at the Hoyt Arboretum and a Horticulturist at the University of California Berkeley Botanical Garden strengthening existing collections, designing new collections, and drawing larger audiences to the gardens.
Sean is the owner of Cistus Design Nursery, a small firm specializing in public and private garden design, planning, public space planting design, nursery consultation, and the collection and introduction of new and appropriate plants. With over ten thousand taxa on site, Cistus furthers a nearly two-decade-long commitment to testing plant performance in the Portland area and providing interesting and unusual, climate-appropriate plants for the Pacific Northwest, the West, and beyond. Through extensive speaking and plant-collecting throughout the world, Sean continues to exchange his knowledge with diverse communities.
Dan fell in love with plants when they were 11 years old at a summer camp in Northern Connecticut, but it wasn’t until they moved to Portland to study English at Reed College that it became an obsession. At Reed, Dan honed their writing skills as they looked towards a future in marketing and advertising as a copywriter.
In a hand-built greenhouse in their backyard, Dan amassed one of the largest collections of Passionflowers in the United States and served as a trade hub for the vulnerable Amazonian plants. Unfortunately, two no-cause evictions crippled their collection and their ability to properly care for their rare plants. This inspired them to start the PBG project with a dream to finally build and display the US National Collection of Passiflora at a safe botanical institution.
At heart, Dan is a writer and content strategist who’s been working with words and brands for over seven years now; when it comes to creative marketing and all of its facets, they’re your person. But after two years of working for Chinook Book, they opened a different door as they merged their dream of creating Portland’s premier botanical garden with Sean’s to establish one, cohesive project.
Kate is leading the effort to build our garden in partnership with the co-founders and founding staff. Not only does Kate bring years of leadership and management experience, but she also has a passion for building programs and loves working with people and plants. Before becoming a registered horticultural therapist, she spent eleven years as the academic leader at two art colleges. She currently teaches horticulture at Portland Community College. In addition to her horticultural education, Kate holds an MEd in Creative Arts and Learning, and an undergraduate degree in visual art.
Kate grew up on the coast of Massachusetts and fell in love with Portland’s temperate climate when she moved here in 2005. Kate is an avid and experienced gardener, photographer, and outdoorswoman, and she loves to travel anywhere there are plants to be studied. Most importantly, she brings her smile wherever she goes.
Board Member, Treasurer
Board Member, Treasurer
As a finance manager, Matt thrives on opportunities to help address complex business issues with solid analytics and creative problem solving. He developed a love of plant and animal life during his childhood in the Blue Mountains and is passionate about building an appreciation for nature in his community. He also cares deeply about fighting climate change and hopes that PBG can help inspire people to act and preserve threatened species, as other major botanical gardens have done.
Matt studied finance and economics at Washington State University and later obtained an MBA from the same institution. He also maintains a Financial Planning & Analysis certificate from The Association for Financial Professionals.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys being in his garden watching the bees, butterflies, and birds; paddleboarding; and dabbling in music. Though admittedly, he often has trouble making enough time for hobbies with his six affectionate cats constantly vying for his attention.
After a career in law and international relations, Zoe has returned to an early interest in plants and the natural world.
Originally from Australia, Zoe has a degree in landscape architecture and over 15 years experience in the nonprofit world. She has been a founding member of two nonprofit boards. Zoe is excited to use her skills and experience in institutional development, strategic planning, negotiation, and research to help make Portland Botanical Gardens a reality.
Zoe is also a member of the board of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon where she chairs the Speaker Programs Committee.
Ben is a native Portlander, the youngest son of Chinese immigrants. He grew up in SE Portland and attended University of Oregon achieving a degree in Landscape Architecture. He worked for two firms in Portland before co-founding Nevue Ngan Associates in 1993. The firm made a transition to NNA Landscape Architecture in 2017 and focuses on projects creating public open spaces in park and urban settings, restoring natural areas, revitalizing urban main streets for multi-modal transportation goals and economic growth, and developing sustainable stormwater management infrastructure.
One project that stands out in Ben’s career is Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Garden, a classical Chinese garden designed and built in the Suzhou style. The idea of the garden began in the 1980’s when Portland began a sister city with Suzhou. Ben became involved with the project in the early 1990’s and helped orchestrate the design effort with the Suzhou Institute of Landscape Architectural Design (SILAD) and the local design team. It was this time that Ben met Sean Hogan who became instrumental in acquiring plants for the garden and working with the SILAD designers during the design and construction phases. It was quite an effort to get the garden ready for opening night, a special evening in Portland in September 2000. Ben is honored to be part of another dream to create a botanical garden for Portland.
Education: University of Oregon, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, 1977
Professional: Principal, NNA Landscape Architecture
Registration: Registered Landscape Architect No. 102, Oregon, 1982
Registered Landscape Architect No. 332, Washington, 1981