E.C. Miller Garden

Board Members & Staff

Board Members

Edward W. Andrews III
Seattle, Washington
Susan Ashmun
Seattle, Washington
Highlands Community Representative
Tanya DeMarsh-Dodson
Lynnwood, Washington
Stephen Fisher
Medina, Washington
C. David Hughbanks
Seattle, Washington
Steve Lorton
Seattle, Washington
Frank Minton
Seattle, Washington
Sue Nevler
Seattle, Washington
Geoffrey Revelle
Seattle, Washington
Burnley Snyder
Seattle, Washington
Highlands Community Representative
Richard G. Turner Jr.
San Francisco, California

Miller Garden Staff

Richie Steffen, Executive Director

Anyone who is acquainted with Richie knows he has horticultural exuberance! He loves plants and he willingly shares his vast knowledge of the plant kingdom. 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, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, and as a part-time instructor for the horticulture program at Edmonds Community College before beginning work at the Miller Garden. In May 2017 Richie became director of the Miller Garden and he oversees all aspects of the Garden, including the plant collections, educational programs, and staff.

He also currently serves as a board member of the Northwest Horticultural Society as well as board member and president of the Hardy Fern Foundation.

Richie is always on the hunt for what is new in horticulture throughout the country by travelling, plant collecting, visiting gardens and networking with other horticulture professionals. He regularly lectures and writes and is always ready to share his love for plants. Richie also enjoys photography and his photos can be seen in many regional publications as well as the websites for the Miller Garden and Great Plant Picks.

Del Brummet, Head Gardener

In July 2015 Del was hired as one of two part-time, year-long student interns which led to a permanent position as assistant gardener two years later and then head gardener in October 2019. Del grew up in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle and he graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Biology. With a strong interest in plant propagation Del also oversees the Garden’s nursery where seed & spore are sown along with taking cuttings from plants in the Garden.

Mike Coussens, Gardener

Mike started work as an intern at the Miller Garden in the summer of 2018; and, at the end of his internship, he accepted a position as a full-time gardener. An Oregon native, Mike moved to Seattle in 2002 to begin a career in physical therapy. After 15 years in the health care field, a strong desire to work outside and experience the regenerative powers of gardening prompted him to pursue a new career in horticulture.

Mike formally began his transition into horticulture in 2016-2017 by attending and graduating from South Seattle College with a Landscape Horticulture – Sustainable Land Management Certificate. In addition to his horticultural education, Mike spent time working for Seattle University Grounds and Landscaping, King County Parks, and the Washington Park Arboretum as a seasonal gardener before joining the Miller Garden crew. Mike’s experience at the Miller Garden has intensified his love of plants exponentially, and he relishes the opportunity to continue to learn how to best care for the Garden’s exceptional collection.

Rick Peterson, Education & Events Manager

Rick became the Great Plant Picks Manager in October 2009 to oversee the primary educational program of the Miller Garden. In 2017 he assumed the additional responsibilities for garden events and scheduling garden tours. Prior to working at the Garden he spent 24 years as garden manager at the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington, including ten years as co-executive director.