Elisabeth C. Miller Garden Staff Members
- Richard Brown, Director
Richard “Dick” Brown went to work for Betty Miller back in the days when he was just finishing high school. Thanks to Betty, Dick was introduced to the University of Delaware’s Longwood Graduate Program in public horticulture in 1968 and applied for their fellowship and was accepted. After earning his MS degree from the program in 1970, he was hired by the American Horticultural Society to develop and manage the Plant Sciences Data Center at Mount Vernon, Virginia. In 1976, again with Betty’s help, he was hired to be the first director of the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington — a position he held for 32 years.
Dick is a past president of the Northwest Horticultural Society, Pacific Horticultural Foundation, and has served as a founding board member of the E. B. Dunn Historic Garden Trust, Bainbridge Island Land Trust, and Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation. He’s a long-time member and past board member of the American Public Gardens Association.
Semi retired, Dick serves as the Executive Director of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden Trust and as the Executive Director of the Pendleton & Elisabeth Miller Charitable Foundation, now housed at the garden.
- Holly Zipp, Head Gardener
Holly joined the Miller Garden as an intern in July 2009. After serving as Assistant Gardener from July 2010 to May 2011, she was promoted to Head Gardener in June 2011. She moved to Seattle from her hometown of Washington, DC after completing her Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan. Between college and graduate school, she spent several years working on organic vegetable farms on the East Coast. She enjoys traveling to visit gardens whenever she can.
- Richie Steffen, Curator
A well-known personality on the Pacific Northwest horticulture scene, Richie joined the Miller Garden in 2000, bringing with him a variety of horticultural expertise. After moving from Maryland to Seattle in 1989, he worked at Sky Nursery in Shoreline, as propagator/nursery manager for the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and as a part-time instructor for the horticulture program at Edmonds Community College. He currently serves as a board member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation and the Hardy Fern Foundation (past president).
At the Miller Garden, Richie oversees the plant record database, general horticulture and manages the garden’s special collections, including rare plants, ferns, hepaticas, woodland plants, rare bulbs, and alpine plants. Richie keeps ahead of horticulture trends throughout the country by traveling, plant collecting, visiting gardens and networking with other horticulture professionals. He regularly lectures and writes and is always ready to share his enthusiasm for plants and the people who grow them. Richie is a superb photographer and is building an archival image collection at the Miller Garden. His photos can be seen in many regional publications, on this website and on the Great Plant Picks website.
- Rick Peterson, Great Plant Picks Manager
Rick joined the staff of the E.C. Miller Botanical Garden as the Great Plant Picks Manager in October 2009 after working at the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington for 24 years as garden manager, including ten years as co-executive director.
He served on the Great Plant Picks Selection Committee for seven years and feels fortunate to become an even more integral part of the GPP Program and to be working more closely with everyone involved in GPP. He brings his horticulture background and administrative skills acquired at the RSF to the program.