STORE HOURS: Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm | Sun 10am-4pm

At Wasco Nursery & Garden Center we believe that our knowledgeable and loyal staff is our most important asset. Wasco Nursery has a well rounded staff of creative landscape designers, knowledgeable sales associates, professional landscape foreman and hard working, courteous laborers.

Matt Zerby

President / CEO

Matt is a graduate of Judson University where he earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Business Management and Marketing. He has been working in the landscape industry for 20+ years and is an Illinois Certified Nursery Professional with certifications in both woody plant material as well as perennial plant material (currently there are less than 50 ICN Pros with both certifications). Matt started working at Wasco Nursery in 1992 working mostly in the retail sales yard. He took on a management role in the mid 1990’s and purchased a share of the business in 2005 and eventually purchased the entire business in 2012. Matt is a plantsman through and through. He has extensive experience in; plant healthcare / cultural practices, nursery growing as well as landscape design and construction.

Matt currently lives in Saint Charles with his wife Amber and two sons; Caden & Tage. Matt enjoys; spending time with his family, coaching youth sports, traveling, fishing and all things outdoors. Matt served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Green Industry Association (formerly the Illinois Nurseryman’s Association) from 2008-2017 most recently serving as Board President.

Contact Information: Direct Line 630.485.4949 or [email protected]

Dave Zerby

Customer Service & Operations Manager

Dave graduated from DeVry University in 2013, with a BS in Business. He first started at the nursery in 2006, in an entry-level position, and is now our Customer Service Coordinator. Dave loves the outdoors and whether at work or at home, is always the first one to be outside on a sunny day. He currently lives in Lake in the Hills with his wife, child, and three dogs (Tucker, Diego, and Chevy). Some other hobbies include bowling, fishing, and taking the dogs to the dog park.

Contact Information: Direct Line 630.485.4381 or [email protected]

Meagan Provencher

Sr. Landscape Designer

Born and raised in the Fox Valley area, Meagan is no stranger to the quirks of growing plants in the Midwest. She always enjoyed gardening as a child thanks to her parents and grandmother, but didn’t stumble on a career in Horticulture until college. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture/AgriBusiness from Illinois State University. Plants became Meagan’s focus at ISU and she has a massive plant library in her head which has helped shape her design skills (she’s always up for a plant ID challenge and will go head-to-head with Matt often…and win!). For the past 27 years, she has designed and installed thousands of landscapes all over the Fox Valley Area. She is passionate about creating unique designs that function for the client. Clients often say that her attention to detail and keen plant knowledge helped to create beautiful, unique spaces just for them that have brought them joy for many years. Outside of Wasco Nursery, Meagan’s informative articles about gardening can be found in Kane County Magazine and other local publications. She is an active member of the Illinois Green Industry Association and is a Certified Illinois Nursery Professional with certifications in Perennials and Woody Plants – one of only a few in the state with that designation.

Meagan and her husband, Ben, a Biology teacher at St. Charles East High School, recently purchased an new old house in their hometown of St. Charles. The 1927 Dutch Colonial home is a work in progress that they are restoring both inside and out – respecting the vintage qualities of the house and grounds. The gardens were a hot mess but are on the road to recovery already! Their sons, Sam and Henry, are 5 generation St. Charles residents and have zero interest in gardening, though Henry shows some promise after working for a Farmer’s Market. Sam’s only interest in gardening is making sure he’s standing on the grass of a baseball field.

Contact Information: Direct Line 630.485.4948 or [email protected]

Alicia Legel

Landscape Designer

Alicia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture and Landscape Management from Illinois State University. She started working at Wasco Nursery the day after graduating college in May 2016. Alicia is passionate about helping customers create their dream outdoor space. When she is not at work Alicia and her husband foster homeless pregnant dogs and puppies until they are ready for their forever homes. Alicia loves hiking, gardening and doing just about anything outdoors. She is an avid consumer of true crime podcasts and domestic thriller fiction novels. She lives in Sycamore with her husband Andy in a 100+ year old house that’s always filled with lots of plants and puppers and love.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Amy Parise

Retail Manager

Amy comes from a long line of avid gardeners and has her mom to thank for fostering her love of the smell of dirt. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and a Certificate in Nuclear Medicine, she spent several years working in healthcare before deciding to stay home with her then young children. Years later she set out to explore her passion for gardening and completed the Master Gardener program at the U of I extension, then joined the Wasco team in 2019. She loves growing her own veggies, planting for pollinators, and her Lavender Twist Redbud. When she’s not helping customers at the nursery, she enjoys traveling, teaching yoga, occasional workouts, and sitting with her husband by their pond enjoying a cocktail garnished with some home-grown herbs.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Cheryl Monzingo

Accounting / Back Office Administrator

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois. She is responsible for various accounting & office administration tasks. Cheryl joined the Wasco Nursery team in 1986 and helped drive the Nursery into the computer age by implementing CAD software for landscape design as well as computer applications used for inventory, sales and accounting. Her attention to detail and creative marketing programs have made Cheryl an invaluable asset to the Wasco Nursery organization. Cheryl lives in Saint Charles and has an adult daughter living in Boulder City, NV. Cheryl loves to read, travel and garden, is a lifelong Cubs fan and is actively involved in Women’s Ministry and Bible Study at Lord of Life Lutheran Church.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Brett Mitchell

Nursery Manager

Brett graduated with a Bachelors in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University in 2016. After graduating, Brett traveled and volunteered around the world for a year and a half before landing in San Luis Obisbo, California. There he worked as a Landscape Designer for a small Permaculture Landscape Design/Build company. During this time he fell in love with the plants and the nurseries that he would frequent to supply his landscaping projects. After a few years in California, he decided to move back to the midwest, where he grew up, to begin a career as a plantsman & horticulturist. Over the last few years he has worked at some of the finest garden centers and nurseries in the Chicago land area honing his skills as a plant and gardening expert.

Brett has a deep passion for sustainable gardening and use of native plants in our suburban ecosystem. With his background in design and extensive plant knowledge, he loves to inspire and educate the general public about making smart gardening and plant choices to not only look good, but also perform and thrive in our landscapes. In his spare time you can find Brett gardening and working on his home in Geneva, taking care of his houseplants, and spending quality time with his loved ones.  

He is happy to have joined the Wasco team in fall of 2022 to further develop his knowledge and passions and help the people of the area have outstanding exterior spaces. Contact Information: [email protected]

Caden Zerby

Marketing Manager

Caden has grown up at Wasco Nursery and in the green industry. He started by helping customers load mulch bags into their cars before his Wasco Baseball games. Over time he has been learning the trade and uses his knowledge of plants and design to help assist customers in selecting and laying out trees, shrubs and other plant material. He graduated from Saint Charles North High School in June 2020, studied horticulture at Kishwaukee College, and is currently working on his B.S. in Business Management and Accounting at Judson University. When he is away from the Nursery, he enjoys going to the gym, fishing, playing basketball, as well as building and fixing computers.

Contact Information: [email protected]

Nicole Sponsler

Container Designer / Greenhouse Assistant

Nicole was born and raised in Western Australia, and graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in English (Journalism & Public Relations) before moving to the U.S. in 1999. She worked in the veterinary industry for over 10 years, but developed a passion for gardening and for many years was a frequent customer of Wasco Nursery … until eventually we gave her a job! Nicole designs our pre-planted pots and assists in classes. She loves helping customers and enjoys seeing people get excited about gardening and trying new things, as well as encouraging kids to get their hands dirty! When not at the nursery, Nicole lives in St. Charles with her husband and two sons, and is very active in Boy Scouts of America.

Sheila McCafferty

Greenhouse Manager

Sheila is a skilled professional with a diverse range of interests and experience. She grew up in Northern, IL, alongside her four siblings, and spent much of her childhood participating in Irish dancing, swimming, and track. After graduating from high school, Sheila attended Joliet Junior College, where she earned an Associates of Arts in Nursing in 2016.

From there, Sheila transferred to Illinois State University, where she discovered a passion for agriculture and changed her major to pursue a Bachelors of Science in Horticulture and Landscape Management. After graduating from ISU in 2018, Sheila spent three years working in Plant Health Care, where she honed her skills and gained invaluable experience.

Now, as our Greenhouse Manager, Sheila is excited to continue her growth in the Green Industry and bring her expertise to our team. In her free time, Sheila enjoys hiking, playing baseball, spending time with loved ones, and traveling. Her favorite flower is the sunflower, and she has a special appreciation for the Tricolor Beech and Ginkgo trees.

A fun fact about Sheila is that she is a dual citizen of Ireland! Her diverse background and experiences make her a valuable asset to our team. Contact Information: [email protected]

Carolyn Stahl

Sales Associate

Carolyn grew up in San Francisco and later lived in both Pittsburgh and Atlanta before settling in Northern Illinois. She attended San Francisco State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Kishwaukee College. She received an A.A.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from Kishwaukee College in 1995, and she has been actively involved in the horticulture industry since that time. She is certified by the Illinois Green Industry Association in both woody (1999) and perennial (2000) plants. Prior to earning her degree in horticulture, Carolyn worked as a veterinary technician. In her spare time Carolyn enjoys caring for her various animals, quilting, and of course, gardening. Contact Information: [email protected]

Tamara Hughes

Sales Associate / Aquatic Expert

Tamara is a graduate of Kishwaukee College and Southern Illinois University, where she earned an AS in Horticulture and a BS in Plant and Soil Science. Growing up on her family’s Illinois farm gave her a lifelong love of vegetable gardening and rural living. After college, Tamara worked for many years in the tropical plant industry before getting her feet wet in the world of water gardening. Tamara lives on 1 ½ acres in Campton Hills with her husband, Scott, where together they’ve created a gardener’s oasis, complete with a large vegetable garden, greenhouse, water garden and plenty of landscaped areas for relaxing and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Tamara has travelled extensively and, along with gardening, enjoys cooking, reading, decorating and crafting. She joined the team at Wasco Nursery in 2013. Contact Information: [email protected]

Berrie Wilson

Sales Associate

Berrie was born in Clearwater Florida, and moved up north when she was three years old. She completed her general education at Waubonsee Community College and started a Horticulture program at Kishwaukee College in spring of 2022.  Before coming to Wasco, she worked as a server for almost seven years. After COVID hit and shut down the service industry, Berrie was forced to stop and reevaluate where she was headed, and we are glad she did!  She loves her job here at the nursery because she loves being able to work outside through every season and is constantly learning new things! Currently, Berrie lives with her husband in DeKalb. She loves to spend her time taking care of her three cats, and cute baby Crue. When she’s not working, you can find her outside, pressing flowers or hanging with her friends & loved ones! 

Contact Information: [email protected]

Derek Haaf

Derek was born in the Illinois area, spent 5 years in Texas, and he is now back in the area to be close to family. He has enjoyed learning many valuable skills at the nursery, and he is a highly versatile employee with a strong work ethic. Derek is currently studying at Judson University to receive a degree in biology. With this degree, he will pursue dental school and eventually open up his own dental practice. When he is not working at the nursery, he enjoys going to the gym, detailing his car, and spending time with his friends.

Randy Akins

Randy can fix anything! His ability to deconstruct and rebuild engines, carburetors and just about anything mechanical is amazing. He is a master welder and can fabricate or repair almost anything. Randy has been working for Wasco Nursery for more than 20 years. You can find Randy installing trees at customer’s homes all season long and fix machinery all winter. His hard work, friendliness and attention to detail make him a favorite of Wasco Nursery customers. Randy enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his dogs. He currently lives in Kingston, IL.