It is the role of the Board of Directors to determine The Arboretum’s mission and purpose as well as provide the proper financial oversight.  Members serve for a three-year term of office, with a maximum of two consecutive terms.

If you are interested in getting involved with The Arboretum, please email or call the office at (319) 226-4966.

Meet the Board!

Kathy Durham, Board President


Kathy works part time at Hawkeye Community College as a dentist for the Dental Hygiene Program clinics.


Iann Veldhuizen,

Board Secretary


Iann was raised on a farm on E. Orange Road, 3/4 of a mile from the arboretum.  The farm is no longer there, but her interest in gardening, growing and developing things is still there.  When she retired in 2007 from being a floral designer and bookkeeper, she became a Master Gardener and did most of her volunteer hours at the arboretum.  A couple of years later, she and her husband donated the money for the pergola to be built in the Rose Garden in memory of her parents.  Her current project is being on the Master Gardner's Orchard Committee, working on the Orchard at the Arboretum.

Linda Allen, Hawkeye Liaison 


Dr. Linda Allen is president of Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo. Dr. Allen earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of Iowa. Her scholarly research and publications are in the areas of medical anthropology, transcultural psychology, Asia-Pacific Rim relations, and gender studies.

Her community service includes serving on the Allen College Board of Trustees; Greater Cedar Valley Alliance Board of Directors; Northeast Iowa Food Bank Board of Directors; Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens; Waterloo Rotary; Winnebago Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Cedar Valley Arboretum Board of Directors; Waverly Education Roundtable; and Waverly Economic Development Commission.

Chris Beaty

Gary Blonigan


Gary is a lifetime Waterloo resident and East High graduate. He retired in 2001 as Senior Engineer in the John Deere Foundry with 41 years of service. Gary is a Lifetime member of the American Foundry Society. Gary is married to Karin and has four children and six grandchildren. He has been volunteering for Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity since 2001,and has served as a board member, site supervisor, and a construction team member. His Interests include: Hiking the National Parks, Reading: American History, gardening, and building things. 


Gary has been volunteering for the Arboretum since 2013 and has been a Master Gardener since 2013. He has a desire to see the Arboretum continue to improve and grow and to serve the needs and interests of the Cedar Valley.

Steve Buckles


Steve grew up in Waterloo, a '66 graduate of West High.  He got into horticulture in 1972, mainly working with tropical plants in LA for 6 years and in Dallas for 8 years.  He moved back to Waterloo in December of 1999.  Steve started volunteering at the Arboretum on Saturday mornings in 2000 and was able to see it grow.  


Steve took early retirement from Allen Hospital at the end of 2009 and signed up for Master Gardener classes, achieving Master Gardener status in 2010.  He is currently on the Green Scene Board of Directors, volunteers with Cedar Valley Hospice, and rescues critters (he has 4 dogs and 4 cats!).


Steve loves volunteering at the Arboretum's Welcome Center between 9am - 11am because of the peace and quiet, broken only by the Mourning Doves and babbling waterfall outside of the center.  He invites anyone to come out and visit or volunteer at the Arboretum and tap into the brains of the many knowledgeable people that work and volunteer here.  

Howard Craven

Marisa Dolan


Being on the Arboretum board has given Marisa the opportunity to see how the arboretum has grown from the beginning.


The Arboretum is a beautiful place, the volunteers are wonderful.  Marisa is enjoying being on the board and being part of all the great things happening at the Arboretum.


Steve Eilers

Dan Gillen, Hawkeye Liaison

Eliz Guyer

Bob Hoffman

Daniel Lichty

Autumn Miller


Autumn grew up on a farm in South Dakota with eight siblings. Agriculture and horticulture have always been an important aspect in her life. She attended college at SDSU in Brookings, SD with a major in Landscape Architecture and worked at a botanical garden for two summers while in college.  Autumn moved to Iowa last year for a landscape design position with Wapsie Pines Lawn Care and Landscaping in Cedar Falls.


Autumn loves the outdoors - gardening, hunting, fishing, hiking, and cooking are some of her favorite hobbies. She wanted to be involved with the Arboretum because she enjoys planning, community involvement, and public gardens. The CVABG is growing and she believes this is an exciting time to be a part of a place where people can learn, relax, contemplate, and maybe pull a few weeds and eat some strawberries J

Leah Morrison is a small business owner and a tax accountant.  


Outside of accounting and tax work, Morrison has been active in the disability community advocating for education, competitive employment, affordable housing and transportation. Morrison was appointed to the Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council in 2005.


Morrison has been serving the City of Waterloo on the Planning, Programing & Zoning Commission since 2012.  She is motorcycle enthusiast, a member of Abate of Iowa where she served as the District 16 treasurer, and a member of the Sunrise Exchange Club.


Although she is not an Iowa native, Morrison, along with her husband Kevin and son Julian, has called Waterloo home for the last fourteen years. 


George Pfalzgraf

Dianne Phelps


Dianne grew up on a farm in Sheffield, Ia.  She received her RN license from Allen School of Nursing in 1968.  she worked 30 years at Surgical and Orthopaedic Associates (now Cedar Valley Medical Center) and retired in 1999.  Dianne’s husband passed away in 2009, but she has three step children and 6 grandchildren, and a dog named Charlie. 


Dianne has many hobbies and interests, including gardening and other outdoor activities, crafting and movement classes, and also serves on the Cultural Arts and Commission Board at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. She just fulfilled her terms at the UNI Theatre Board and the Allen Foundation Board.


"I hope I can be a valuable member because it’s a wonderful organization that I am proud to have in my community.  I love going to the events here and hope to learn valuable “take home” information as well as contributing what I can to the board and the gardens. I love trees, plants, flowers and grasses and to be surrounded by such will be lovely.  I’m trying to do the same at home as well so we’ll see how I can fit two lovely spots into my life."

Matt Rolinger

Steve Schmitt

Heidi Tietz De Silva

Darryl Torrin


Darryl grew up in extreme Northern Minnesota, where everything was zone 3.  He was drafted into the family gardens , sometimes reluctantly, by age 7.   Projects in horticulture and home beautification in 4-H hooked him on gardening.  Now retired from Lutheran ministry, he is pleased to be a part of the arboretum community.

Become a Member!

Click here to join our circle of friends today!

Like us on Facebook!

Want to receive our monthly e-newsletter? 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

View previous E-Newsletters.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens