|Director of Development & Engagement
|heather AT wacd.org
|jacquie AT wacd.org
|PMC Assistant Nursery Manager
|john AT wacd.org
|Financial Accounting & HR Administrator
|lori AT wacd.org
|PMC Farm Operations Supervisor
|Director of Legislative & Member Services
|ryan AT wacd.org
|tom AT wacd.org
More about our people
Heather Wendt joined WACD in 2023 as the new Director of Development and Engagement. She has worked for conservation districts since 1997. Her conservation career began in Maryland, where she grew up. Before joining WACD, Heather spent over 22 years working for both the Benton and Franklin Conservation Districts as their Assistant Manager. Heather is the co-creator of the Heritage Garden Program and co-author of the “Plant Selection Guide, Heritage Gardens of the Columbia River Basin.” She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Columbia Basin Chapter Washington Native Plant Society and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Washington Conservation Society. Heather spends her free time gardening at the Hansen Park Heritage Garden and hiking with her husband throughout the Pacific Northwest. Heather lives in eastern Washington with her husband Greg, daughter Ally, and their mini-Aussie Flynn.
Jacquie is a graduate from Western Washington University, Huxley College of the Environment, with a focus in Resource Management. Her love of everything nature and outdoors led her to pursue her passion of contributing to conservation and restoration efforts. She has volunteered time for water quality testing and participated in various environmental studies. She has spent time on restoration crews as well as experience developing planting plans with coordination for restoration projects.
You can find her in her 4×4 camper van traveling to new unexplored locations or backpacking to the backcountry to see any serene peaks, valleys, meadows, and high lakes, that her legs will carry her to. She recently took up sea kayaking and is still working on mastering the art of balance. Yoga, gardening, food preservation and art are her other past times when she’s not out exploring with her fiancé and their dog.
She’s excited to be back with the WACD Plant Materials Center and looks forward to helping you with your native plant needs!
Jim has been with the PMC since 1997. He has a degree in Botany from the University of Idaho and previous work experience in horticulture and the US Forest Service as a Wilderness Ranger. Growing native plants for use in conservation projects has been a great opportunity. One of the best perks that comes with the job is working with a dedicated staff and a clientele devoted to conserving and restoring our great natural resources He lives in Burlington with his wife Laurie, a black lab and 2 cats. They have a grown daughter living in Bellingham. Jim enjoys bicycling, hiking, cooking and photography. It is particularly rewarding for him to see plants from the PMC growing in conservation projects and he looks forward to helping others provide homes for more native plants.
John Knox joined the team in 2018 as the Assistant Manager. His conservation background includes growing native grasses and forbs, monitoring vegetation in the sagesteppe, instructing veterans in organic agriculture, and serving in AmeriCorps positions with the US Fish & Wildlife service and Student Conservation Association. He is a Marine Corps veteran, and he graduated from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Outside of the PMC, he owns and operates Holy Basil Farm.
John is currently piloting a project with the Plant Materials Center involving a technique called the Missouri Gravel Bed (MGB). This has been found to extend the bare root plant planting season and would allow the Plant Materials Center to provide customers with plants year-round. More information can be found in our Publications page.
His photo was taken at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Lori attended school at Eastern Washington University and received a degree in Business and Marketing. She and her husband have two sons. She enjoys hiking, traveling and photography. The best thing about her job is working with the people and the flexibility that allows her to spend time with her family.
Oscar serves as the WACD Plant Materials Center Farm Operations Supervisor. Oscar started with the PMC in November of 2022. He came here with a background in farming and has extensive knowledge of mechanics. His experience and skills are a perfect fit for the PMC. He maintains and repairs equipment that ranges from a 1950 Ferguson T 030 tractor to a later model Case 125 Maxxum. Oscar is busy in spring, summer, and fall with many farm activities, such as, but not limited to, prepping the ground for seed beds, transplanting, and tractor work. Oscar runs the lifting crew during plant harvest in the winter and is responsible for bringing all the bareroot seedlings into our packing shed.
Ryan started with WACD in 2017, after three years working in the Washington State Legislature and on various political campaigns. Coming from six generations of Eastern Washington wheat farmers and with a passion for policy and politics, Ryan has found a niche as the Association’s Legislative and Membership Director. He assists conservation districts in achieving their legislative and advocacy goals on topics ranging from biochar to wildlife habitat at the federal, state, and local levels. When not in the state capital or out visiting member-districts, Ryan spends time baking, playing board games, and listening to Seattle Mariners baseball.
Tom serves as the Executive Director of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts, a nonprofit organization formed in 1942 to serve and support Washington’s conservation districts.