HPSO Board and Staff

Board of Directors

The last election of the board was conducted at the HPSO Annual Meeting on November 6, 2022.

Zoe Nielsen

Zoe Nielsen, President (First Term)

After a career in law and international relations, Zoe returned to an early interest in plants and the natural world. Originally from Australia, Zoe's first degree is in landscape architecture. She has over 15 years experience in the nonprofit world and was a founding board member of two nonprofits. Zoe joined the HPSO board in 2020 and has chaired the Speaker Programs Committee and the Climate Change Committee. She is a lifelong gardener most at home gardening in the subtropics but is enjoying the challenge of establishing a dry garden in the Columbia River Gorge. Zoe is interested in institutional development, strategic planning, and engaging with the best of local, national, and international knowledge and practice around plants and gardening. Zoe is a member of the board of the Portland Botanical Gardens and gardens in White Salmon, Washington.

Vicki Green

Vicki Green, First Vice President (First Term)

Vicki is an active fused glass artist living in Vancouver, WA. She retired from the high-tech industry after nearly 30 years in Information Technology. She brings leadership and project management skills to the board. In 2010 she purchased a home with a shop for her glass work, one acre of grass, and absolutely no plants. She reached out to a friend she knew who gardened and asked her how to get started. Shortly after, she joined HPSO. Since becoming an HPSO board member in 2020, Vicki has chaired the Open Gardens Committee, served on the Hortlandia Committee, and acted as the moderator for the HPSO online Community Forum. Vicki is Co-chair for the HPSO Garden Study Weekend in 2025. Vicki gardens in Vancouver, Washington.

Jeanne DeBenedetti-KeyesJeanne DeBenedetti-Keyes, Secretary (Second Term)

Jeanne DeBenedetti-Keyes works for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Specialist, providing database development, analysis and mapping services to manage BLM public lands in Oregon and Washington. She was a key member of the HPSO Gen(i)us Program Series for years. She serves as Chair of the Nominating Committee. She is a contributor to the HPSO Quarterly and volunteers at various HPSO activities. Jeanne gardens in Southeast Portland.

Eloise Morgan

Eloise Morgan, Vice President (First Term)

Eloise L. Morgan has been a Director-at-Large and the managing editor of the HPSO Quarterly magazine since 2018. She is a member of the Society’s Clark County Interest Group, the Westside Study Group and other HPSO committees. A transplant from New York’s Westchester County, she volunteered to assist with the production of the Quarterly immediately upon moving to the Portland, Oregon area. A retired lawyer, Eloise has extensive volunteer experience in writing and editing, and she has been a member and officer of numerous nonprofit boards, public school organizations, and municipal committees. She was also a municipal historian for two decades. A long-time amateur gardener, Eloise and her husband Bob are creating an eclectic garden at their Vancouver, Washington home.

Karen Palmer, Treasurer (First Term)

Karen Palmer has been a WSU Master Gardener in Clark County for 22 years. She was part of a team to organize the 2010 and 2015 Washington State Master Gardener Conferences held in Vancouver, Washington. She was also on the Board of Directors, serving as Treasurer for two years and as Executive Administrative Assistant for several years. Karen has been a member of HPSO and the Clark County Interest Group since 2006. She has traveled extensively with HPSO and is scheduled for the Wales Tour in 2023. Karen has volunteered at Hortlandia for many years as a cashier’s assistant and in the plant holding area. Karen, now retired from a career as Director of Engineering for a small software company, gardens in Hockinson, Washington with her husband, three cats, and a herd of deer who regularly wander through to sample the “salad buffet”.

Beth Hansen-Winter

Beth Winter, Vice President (Second Term)

Beth Hansen-Winter is a photographer and book designer.  She is Co-chair of HPSO's Botanical Exhibits Committee, and serves on the Nominating Committee as well as the Hortlandia Committee. She has also served as Chair of the HPSO/Garden Conservancy Open Garden Days in recent years. In 2020 she became the Board Liaison to the HPSO Special Interest Groups. Beth gardens in Beavercreek, OR.

John BarkerJohn Barker, Director-at-Large (Second Term)

John Barker has practiced as an architect in Portland since 1979.  He has a lifelong interest in gardening and has designed and maintained landscaping for residential rental properties and his church for many years. He has participated in several HPSO international tours. John has served for many years on the boards of community organizations, including Community Music Center, Oregon Repertory Singers, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. He has served as President and been an active board member of the Belmont Neighborhood Association and Belmont Area Business Association and was an organizer of the Belmont Street Fair for nine years. He is involved in HPSO activities including tours, open gardens, After Hours, and other areas. John gardens in Southeast Portland.

Ruth Clark

Ruth Clark, Director-at-Large (First Term)

Ruth Clark recently retired from 30 plus years in the utility/natural gas industry.  A longtime member of HPSO, she has volunteered at Hortlandia, Plant Nerd Night, and Portland Study Weekend. She is a member of the Open Garden committee and has opened her garden to visitors for many years. She is a member of the Clark County Interest Group where she has been the Program Co-Chair for the last ten years. A fan of the HPSO travel program, she has been on three overseas tours.  She also earned her fifteen-year pin with the Clark County Master Gardener program and volunteered at the Healing Garden at Legacy Salmon Creek.  Ruth gardens on three acres in north Vancouver, Washington.

Madeline Forsyth

Madeline Forsyth, Director-at-Large (Second Term)

Madeline was a Registered Nurse for 23 years, mostly at Adventist Medical Center, until her retirement in 2005. Upon her retirement, she took the Master Gardener program and began volunteering at the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. She volunteers there weekly during the growing season and serves as a tour guide as well as Vice-President of their Friends Board of Directors. While her children were growing up, she was very active in a variety of parents’ groups. She is an active participant in HPSO’s Open Garden Program. She is the Co-chair of the Garden Travel Committee and has been on many HPSO garden trips. Madeline gardens on a quarter-acre lot in Gresham, OR.

Barbara FrisellaBarbara Frisella, Director-at-Large (First Term)

Gardeners and dog owners seem to be some of the best people in the world. After a 34-year career, Barbara is now an empty nester except for her beloved companion brindle dog Charlie. A member of HPSO for several years, she has frequently volunteered at Plant Nerd Nights and Hortlandia. Her love for gardens and gardening began in the far northeast of Portland, where her parents introduced her to growing and nurturing the flora and fauna on their half-acre suburban yard. She currently gardens at her home in Beaverton, OR. 

Harry Landers, Director-at-Large (Second Term)Harry Landers

Harry Landers has a degree in Horticulture from North Dakota State University.  After working in horticulture in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he moved to Portland and worked for 28 years at the International Rose Test Gardens, where he was named curator in 2015. During his time at the Garden, Harry increased its number of roses from around 3,500 specimens to just under 11,000, and the Garden gained recognition as one of the top 100 rose gardens in the world and top 10 public gardens in the U.S.  Representing the International Rose Test Garden, Harry joined the board of the Portland Rose Society in 2005 and served as program chair until 2018. He is an active Royal Rosarian and the Royal Gardner for the second time. He's also active with Clackamas Master Gardeners. Harry's diverse experience is an asset to HPSO activities. Harry gardens in Clackamas, OR.

Marcia SparlingMarcia Sparling, Director-at-Large (First Term)

Marcia Sparling comes from a long line of devoted and creative gardeners. After studying systems theory and the interface between human and biological systems, she worked for the BC Forest Service, helping establish work in forest genetics. Marcia then studied medicine and moved to SW Washington, where she worked as a physician. She has extensive board experience, with a focus on strategic planning and change management. Marcia joined HPSO in 1994. Over the years she has volunteered at Hortlandia and shared her garden, which is part-native forest and part-restoration project, through the Open Gardens Program. Marcia is interested in science and how the changing climate is impacting plants. She gardens in La Center, Washington.

Janet TapperJanet Tapper, Director-at-Large (First Term)

Janet retired after 15 years as Dean of Library Services at University of Western States in November of 2019. She has twice served on the board of directors for the Oregon Association of College and Research Libraries and as Chair of the Chiropractic Libraries Consortia. She joined HPSO in 2020 and the pandemic allowed her time to study and enhance her suburban garden with the help of the HPSO resources and online courses. She is in the certification process for Backyard Habitat, she is planting natives for pollinators and to reduce water requirements. Janet gardens in the Rock Creek /Beaverton area.

Randi ThomasRandi Thomas, Director-at-Large (Second Term)

Randi is retired from the Bonneville Power Administration after 35 years. She started as an engineer and eventually worked her way up to various management and leadership positions. She is a dedicated volunteer, most notably as the Volunteer Coordinator for Hortlandia. Other organizations she has volunteered for include the Master Gardeners, the Rogerson Clematis Society, her local Watershed Council, and her local food pantry. Randi describes herself as more of a plant geek than a designer. She is currently working on making her Gladstone, OR garden lower-maintenance and more drought-tolerant.

Seth WilliamsSeth Williams, Director-at-Large (First Term)

Seth is a Clinical Psychologist, specializing in geriatrics since 2003. He has prior experience as a retirement and career counselor. He is a proud father of two college-aged children. Seth has been gardening since he was 16. He is a member of the Home Orchard Society and California Rare Fruit Gardeners and has traveled extensively in pursuit of his interest in edibles. He has been a Master Gardener since 1990. He is a 5-year Portland Fruit Tree Project Volunteer, with experience as a harvest team leader and tree care instructor. He brings experience in event planning and board membership in various organizations to the board. He has been gardening for 12 years developing a food forest with herbal and perennial underplanting in his Beaverton garden.

Linda WisnerLinda Wisner, Director-at-Large (Second Term)

Designer and author Linda Wisner brings a great deal of experience to the HPSO Board, having served as Director from 2010–2012, Vice-President from 2012–2014, and President from 2014–2016. She also co-chaired our 2015 Study Weekend and was highly involved in Study Weekend 2019. In addition, she is the designer of the HPSO Quarterly. Linda gardens on Sauvie Island. Her “Flicker Farm” consists of over an acre of ornamental gardens, edibles, and meadows.

Barb ChristopherBarb Christopher, Immediate Past President

Barb was museum curator, director and an appraiser for almost 30 years. She has also offered garden coaching and design services. A Master Gardener since 2011, she joined the HPSO board in 2012. She served as HPSO President from 2020 to 2022 and as an HPSO Vice President from 2016 to 2020. She has served as Chair of the Garden Travel Committee and as Chair of the Membership & Development Committee. She is active in the Hortlandia Committee and is a former member of the Speaker Program Committee. She serves as an HPSO tour planner and escort, and has led HPSO tours to Wales, Devon/Cornwall, Spain/Portugal, Netherlands/Belgium, and Paris/London. Barb is Co-chair of the HPSO Garden Study Weekend for 2025. Barb grew up among gardeners in Kansas City. She now gardens in Northeast Portland.