ABOUT US

 

The Conservatory of Flowers is a Victorian wood-and-glass greenhouse in Golden Gate Park, filled with exotic tropical plants and flowers. Come and see us!

Staff

Acting Director Eric Andersen
Name: Eric Andersen, Superintendent of Golden Gate Park and Acting Director of the Conservatory of Flowers
Started at the COF: September 2012
Primary responsibilities: Primary spokesperson and community connection for the Conservatory, financial management, staff and volunteer motivator and fund development
Email: Eric.Andersen@sfgov.org

   
Lau
Name: Lau Hodges, Director of Operations and Exhibitions
Started at the COF: 2007
Education/certifications: B.A. from the University of San Francisco; B.A. from Universite de Grenoble; Merritt College, Landscape Horticulture
Favorite thing at the COF: Its historic relevance to San Francisco, Golden Gate Park and worldwide plant communities.
Email: lhodges@sfcof.org

   

Name: Jane Scurich, Director of Development and Administration
Started at the COF: 2007
Primary responsibilities: Manage fund development initiatives and membership program, collaborate with dedicated volunteers to plan fabulous events, coordinate foundation grant proposals, cultivate corporate sponsors and business partnerships.
Education/certifications: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Marin County Master Gardener, Association of Fundraising Professionals
Favorite thing at the COF: Whatever is in bloom at the moment. My favorite moment is when the Clerodendrum thomsoniae (Tropical Bleeding Heart) is in bloom.
Email:
jscurich@sfcof.org

   
Erika Name: Erika Frank, Director of Volunteers and Education 
Started at the COF:
2010
Primary responsibilities:
Recruiting and managing volunteers. Providing educational materials for volunteers, school groups, and visitors.
Education/Certifications:
B.F.A. from the University of Michigan. Studied Floral Design at City College of San Francisco.
Favorite thing at the COF:
The smell! The intoxicating nectar of the citrus blossoms during Lunar New year and the fragrant orchids in the Highlands Gallery take me on a trip to the tropics each time I enter the Conservatory's galleries.
Email: efrank@sfcof.org
   

Name: Eric Imperiale, Nursery Specialist
Started at the COF: 2007
Primary responsibilities: Highland Tropics gallery, Pleurothallid orchid collection, cool-growing orchids, special exhibit gallery
Education/certifications: B.A. from San Francisco State University
Favorite thing at the COF: One of my favorite things about the Conservatory of Flowers is the way in which its aesthetic beauty seamlessly interconnects education and conservation, people and plants, and the past and present.
Email: info@sfcof.org

   

Betsy

 

Name: Betsy Nichols, Membership and Development Associate
Started at the COF: July 2012
Primary responsibilities: Manage the Conservatory's membership program, coordinate social media, edit monthly enews, assist with grant writing and other development-related projects, create and promote Public Programs events, assist with website maintenance
Education/certifications: BA from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Master's in Library Science from Simmons College, Boston, MA. 
Favorite thing at the COF: I love to walk through the galleries on sunny mornings, just after the hort staff have watered the plants.
Email: bnichols@sfcof.org

   
Annie

Name: Annie Abernethy, Weddings and Special Events Manager
Started at the COF: August 2010

Primary responsibilities: Manage all private event rentals; coordinate with weddding clients and vendors to create a special and seamless celebration.Education/certifications: B.A. Mills College

Favorite thing at the COF: It's always changing, and always in bloom. I walk through the building many times a day and love being surprised by a new burst of color or fragrance.
Email: aabernethy@sfcof.org


   
 Guest Services and Gift Shop Manager, Vanessa Fajardo

Name: Vanessa Fajardo, Guest Services and Gift Shop Manager

Started at the COF: October 2010

Favorite thing at the COF: I love coming into the Conservatory in the mornings when the rain function is on. It creates the most soothing sounds and smells in the city. There is no place in all of San Francisco more appealing to all five senses than the Conservatory of Flowers.

Email: vfajardo@sfcof.org

   
Mario Name: Mario Vega, Nursery Specialist 
Started at the COF:
2007
Primary responsibilities:
Chief horticulturalist for the Aquatics Gallery; assists with maintenance of Lowlands Gallery, Special Exhibits and the Vestibule.
Education/Certifications: City College of San Francisco
Favorite plant at the COF:
Impatiens niamniamensis, also called "Parrot Impatiens" and "Congo Cockatoo", was one of the first to catch my eye here at the Conservatory. The flower's colors are bright and striking, reminiscent of a candy treat or a flock of parrots.
Email: mvega@sfcof.org
   
Janet Spellman
Name: Janet Spellmann, Gardener
Started at the COF: 2010
Primary responsibilities: Cultivate, pot and maintain the beautiful begonias, orchids and thousands of other plants in the Potted Plants Gallery.
Favorite thing at the COF: Like the hundreds of people who flock to the Conservatory every time it blooms, I particularly love the Amophophallus konjac (shown at left). The stench of the A. konjac's inflorescence, while repugnant to humans, is a seductive lure for the beetles and flies that pollinate this beautiful plant.
Email:
jspellman@sfcof.org

   
Puccini
Name: Puccini, Official COF Pooch
Started at the COF: 2010
Primary responsibilities: Ground-level inspections, assistance with elimination of leftovers, chief stress reliever.
Favorite thing at the COF: Janet Spellmann (i.e. Mommy)
Email:
Puccini has proven to be difficult to contact via email.