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ABOUT OUR BOARD

Board Members of The Maple Society of North America are responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing the mission and goals of our all-volunteer organization, during a typical three year term.

Interested in joining our Board? Send us a message:

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Bill Hibler

Seattle, Washington

From his initial passion for dwarf and miniature conifers, Bill became fascinated by the number and variety of Japanese maple cultivars while working as the tree and shrub buyer at West Seattle Nursery, which led him to increase the nursery's number of maple varieties from 80 to over 200. In 2015, during his first Maple Society conference, he began obtaining cultivars that he'd never seen in nurseries before—the start of an obsession with collecting that continues to this day. By buying small and keeping them in pots to help restrict size, along with some creative landscaping of the steep slopes on two sides of his property, his garden is now home to over 150 varieties of maples within 19 species, including 12 stripe barks.  And that's not including seedlings... 

After serving three years on the Board of Directors, Bill became the current president of the North American branch. The most rewarding part of the position? "Meeting and getting to know more members throughout North America and helping them find greater value and enjoyment from their membership."

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Robin Gardner

Tsawwassen, British Columbia

In addition to serving as the current Vice President of the Maple Society of North America, Robin is a Founding and Life Member of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, with a particular interest in tree phenology and photography. For the past four years, he's been growing maple species from seed, and currently has roughly 500 seedlings of varying origins all sourced from seed he collected in British Columbia. He and his wife enjoy gardening on their 1/3 acre and in their a 20 x 15 dutch glass house, where they are proud of their collection of roughly 80 maples—including striped barked, grafted palmatum, japonicum, and shirasawanum maples as well as various species maples. 

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Marielle Eykemans

Port Angeles, Washington

Marielle and her husband Bart have been members of the Maple Society since the second year after the organization was founded in England. The moment Bart attended his first Maple Society meeting in Ukiah, California, he was hooked on Japanese maples.

In 1977, they bought a home that had 3 acres and soon purchased their very first maple, "Scarlett," from Forest Farms in Oregon. Ever since, their yard has continued to change and grow more beautiful. Marielle loves watching their trees grow and always gets excited for Bart when his grafts are successful, or when he discovers a leaf coming out that is different from anything he has seen before.

Both Marielle and Bart have attended nearly every Society meeting or symposium, both here and in Europe, where they've made many friends and connections with maple enthusiasts over the years. In 2010, when Jan Kelley asked Marielle at the meeting in Dallas, Texas if Marielle would be interested in taking over the secretary/treasurer role, she jumped at the chance. Says she, "I truly enjoy being part of this group as much as I enjoy learning about maples!"

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Lynn Swanson

Raleigh, North Carolina

Lynn was first recommended to The Maple Society several years ago, and since her and her husband's first meeting, they taken advantage of nearly every opportunity to be involved, to learn from and visit growers, and meet fellow enthusiasts and industry professionals.

Although she loves all kinds of plants and has been gardening for about 25 years (including the past 10 years as an independent Landscape Designer), Lynn and her husband Jim have taken a special interest in Japanese maples. Currently their collection stands at about 180, tagged and cataloged with name, acquisition date, and source, and either incorporated in beds, decorative pots, or in the landscape around their 1.3 acre lot. 

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Alan Tabler

Sandy, Oregon

After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Forest Management, Alan decided his interests skewed more towards growing plants than counting them. In 1986, he moved to the Pacific Northwest and began serving as the Production Manager at Don Schmidt Nursery in beautiful Boring, Oregon. Working for 34 years in a 200-acre wholesale nursery with over 350 varieties of Asian maples in field production ignited his passion for growing Japanese maples. Thankfully, he grew up in Oklahoma in a family that encouraged their children to follow their passions. Alan's additional interests include photography and Mayan archeology. 

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Jennifer Tucker

Manchester, Tennessee

As the sole owner and operator of Jensfarm Maples in Middle Tennessee, where she grows three hundred different varieties on five acres with eight greenhouses, Jennifer has become widely known as a highly reliable source of Japanese Maples in the Southeast United States. She has over twenty years of self-taught horticulture and gardening experience, a member of the International Plant Propagator Society, has been an active volunteer and speaker in the Tennessee Master Gardener Program, and is one of the first graduates of the Tennessee Master Nursery Program in 2012. With a focus on grafting and growing Japanese Maples for wholesale buyers, Jennifer is always eager to find new and rare maples to add to her collection, and is equally passionate about educating and learning from other growers.

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Mena Milad

Greenville, Texas

Mena is a self-professed, life-long plant lover who considers maples in general and Japanese maples in particular to be his favorite plants. He owns and cares for more than 250 different cultivars (all potted) in the challenging Texas environment. Mena has a fondness for preserving the past, as reflected in his collection of cultivars dating from the 1700’s-1800’s. A true collector, he is always on the lookout for any unusual maple species. Besides being a gardener, he is a physician and a family man, with a 3 year old boy (Maximus) and an 8 week old girl (Layla). 

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Susan Martin

Branson, Missouri

Susan has served as executive director for Mountain Country Homes of Hope, Inc (formerly a Habitat for Humanity affiliate) for almost thirty years. She holds a master’s degree in Non-Profit Organization and Fundraising, and an associate degree in Landscape Design. She became a Master Gardener in 2001, and is active in Master Gardeners of the Ozarks as well as University of Missouri’s Taney County Extension.  Susan became a serious collector of Japanese maples after a visit to Portland’s Japanese Gardens in 2008, and now has 141 trees and 77 varieties (with more on the way).

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