Promoting the Use of Native Plant Species in the Home Landscape

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Board of Directors

President – Cheryl Gross

Cheryl Gross is the President of Plant It Wild, a Michigan native plant group based in Benzie County; holds an Advanced Master Gardener certification; has a BS and MA in Organizational Communication; and is passionate about Michigan native plants. She practices her passion at her home just outside Traverse City. Her landscaping practices include: less lawn, full sun, woodland shade, trees, shrubs, clump forming grasses, and an abundance of wildflowers.


Vice President – Russell Smith

Russ moved to northern Michigan permanently in 2012. He has had two careers, one in retailing and another in education with some mixing of both disciplines. He worked in the retail environment at night and on weekends while attending Wayne State University. After obtaining a BS in biology he continued his education receiving a MS in Educational leadership and later a post graduate degree in Organizational Behavior. His last position in education was as an Assistant Principal for a large suburban school district.

The retail experience was first in sales then management before military service. A long-term layoff in education allowed him to hone his retail credentials. That retail experience culminated as the President of a catalogue marketing arm of an industry leading computer retailer.

Today Russ in addition to serving as the Vice President of Plant it Wild, serves as President of the Manistee Chapter of the Michigan Retired School Personnel, Vice President of Friends of the Betsie Valley District Library, a member of the Board of Directors for the Betsie Valley Community and the Chief Cashier for Michigan Legacy Art Park.


Treasurer – Christine Koubek (pic and bio coming soon)


Secretary – Sally Cook (pic and bio coming soon)


Standing Committees

Publicity/Communications – Mary Devon

Programs – Plant it Wild Board Members

Education Outreach – Russell Smith

Meeting Host – Lucy Stopher

Technology Support – Gary Michalek

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