Lifestyle

Whidbey’s Meerkerk Gardens announces new personnel

From the left are Marfield Sundt, Meerkerk Gardens manager; Susie Reynolds, nursery manager; Joan Bell, operations manager; and Jeanne Celeste, bookkeeper.  - Contributed photo
From the left are Marfield Sundt, Meerkerk Gardens manager; Susie Reynolds, nursery manager; Joan Bell, operations manager; and Jeanne Celeste, bookkeeper.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Meerkerk Gardens has completed its personnel shakeup in an effort to match revenues with expenditures.

Former longtime manager of the resplendent gardens in Greenbank, Kristi O’Donnell, was laid off several month ago to save money, along with other personnel changes.

Thursday, Meerkerk’s board announced the new personnel lineup.

• Marfield Sundt is now the garden manager. Marfield spent much of his earlier career in the sales and executive management arena. When he moved to Whidbey Island a few years ago, he began volunteering at Meerkerk. He said in a news release that he learned a great deal about the caring for the gardens from O’Donnell, Frank Fujioka and Don Lee.

•  Susan Reynolds, a Master Gardener who has spent many years both as a volunteer and part-time employee, most recently assisting the former nursery manager, now heads the nursery area. As nursery manager she is responsible for all phases of nursery operations.

• Joan Bell, a longtime resident of Coupeville, a Master Gardener and a volunteer at Meerkerk, recently became operations manager. Bell spent much of her professional career in the technology consulting arena, part of it managing branch offices of a national consulting practice. Following her professional career, Bell spent 10 years as a volunteer in Borneo with her husband Bob. Bell is responsible for all of the administrative operations at Meerkerk.

Bob Boehm, president of the nonprofit garden’s board of directors said, “We are fortunate to have three outstanding, very dedicated people leading the turnaround at Meerkerk. In just a few short weeks the progress is outstanding, the gardens looking better than they have in years. With this staff we expect to be in a very different place a year from now.”

The next public event is the Harper Taesch concert on Mothers’ Day, May 8, They’re located off Highway 525 just south of Greenbank, off Resort Road.

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