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

Matthew Stephens Garden Director Name: Matthew Stephens, Garden Director
Started at the COF: March 2016 
Primary responsibilities: Leader and driver of future success for the Conservatory. Staff/volunteer motivator and primary spokesperson. Director of financial management and fund development.
Education/certifications: B.S. from Illinois State University in Horticulture and M.S. from the University of Delaware in Public Horticulture in the Longwood Graduate Program. Museum Studies Certificate, certified as an Arborist, and certified as a professional facilitator.
Favorite thing at the COF: Our visitors! Our visitors come from down the block and from the other side of the planet. We are so honored to have each and every visitor, and the team at the Conservatory works tirelessly to ensure the Conservatory is open, the plants look great and our visitors have an amazing experience.
Email: mstephens@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 
Primary responsibilities: Managing and supporting the Guest Services team, purchasing locally sourced gift shop items, design and management of the gift shop
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
   
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 spicy fragrance of the Stanhopea orchid is intoxicating, and even the pungent corpse flowers are wonderful in their own way.
Email: efrank@sfcof.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: Eric Imperiale, Nursery Specialist
Started at the COF: 2007
Primary responsibilities: Highland Tropics Gallery, Pleurothallid orchid collection, cool-growing orchids, special exhibits
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: eimperiale@sfcof.org
   
Name: Samantha Ordway, Weddings and Special Events Manager
Started at the COF: July 2015
Primary responsibilities: Manage all private event rentals; coordinate with wedding clients and vendors to create a special and seamless celebration.
Favorite thing at the COF: The Conservatory at night, both inside and out. The way the lights shine on the building highlighting the Victorian accents and the uplighting throughout the planter beds create a truly majestic ambiance.
Email: sordway@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
   
Janet Spellman
Name: Janet Spellmann, Nursery Specialist
Started at the COF: 2011
Primary responsibilities: Potted Plants Gallery, special exhibits, 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: jspellmann@sfcof.org
   
Tim Tyson
Name: Tim Tyson, Assistant Guest Services Manager
Started at the COF: 2011
Education: UC Berkeley, B.A., Rhetoric
Primary Responsibilities: Managing and supporting the Guest Services team, supervising gift shop and admissions operations, and contributing as a member of Exhibits Team.
Favorite thing at the COF: Walking through the greenhouses on a cool or rainy day. The smell of our tropical magnolia (magnolia liliifera) and coconut orchid (Maxillaria tenuifolia). Our collection of begonias, and our ficus triangularis in the Aquatics gallery.
Email: TTyson@sfcof.org
   
Mario Name: Mario Vega, Nursery Specialist 
Started at the COF: 2007
Primary responsibilities: Aquatic Gallery, Lowland Gallery, lobby, special exhibits
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