Staff

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.

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]

Caden Zerby

IT / 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, attended Kishwaukee College's horticulture program, and is currently working on his B.S. in Business Management, as well as a minor in Marketing. When he is away from the Nursery, he enjoys working out, being outdoors, 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 was raised in Northern, IL with her 4 siblings. She grew up Irish dancing, Swimming, and running Track. After graduating from high school, she attended Joliet Junior College and obtained an Associates of Arts in Nursing. After graduating in 2016, she transferred to Illinois State University where she changed her major to Agriculture. She graduated from ISU in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Horticulture and Landscape Management. After graduating from ISU, she spent 3 years in Plant Health Care. She learned a lot in that field and is glad to be learning a new side of the Green Industry as our Greenhouse Manager. Sheila enjoys hiking, being outdoors, playing baseball, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. Her favorite flower is a sunflower and her favorite trees are Tricolor Beech and Ginkgo. Fun Fact: Sheila is a dual citizen of Ireland!

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 Lipp

Sales Associate

Berrie was born and primarily raised in Maple Park, Illinois, except for a brief stint down in Florida. She studied at Waubonsee Community College and has hopes to pursue her education in the horticulture field. Before coming to Wasco, she worked at Steak n’ Shake for over 6 years. After COVID hit and shut down the service industry, Berrie was forced to stop and reevaluate where she was headed, and we're glad she did! During that period, she happened to find the ad for the Wasco Sales Associate job on Facebook; and as they say, the rest is history. She loves her job here at the nursery because she loves the variety and is constantly learning new things! Currently, Berrie lives with her boyfriend, Jimi, and her Mom on a farm in Maple Park, where she loves to spend her time taking care of her two dogs and three cats. When she's not working, you can find her pour painting, making candles with her mom, or hanging out with friends. Contact Information: [email protected]

Randy Akins

Landscape Foreman

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 and his wife, Beth, currently live in Kingston, IL with their 6 dogs.

Tom Mcilvaine

Landscape Foreman / Giant Pumpkin Expert

Tom is the 'Pumpkin Man'. Tom has been growing giant pumpkins for many years and has placed in the top ten at several giant pumpkin competitions. Tom's giant pumpkins have been featured in numerous newspaper articles in the Fox Valley area and have been featured in several first place scarecrow entries at the annual Saint Charles Scarecrow Festival. Tom has been employed by Wasco Nursery for more than 20 years. You may have heard that James Brown was the 'hardest working man in show business', well Tom would definitely win the title of 'hardest working man in the landscape business'. Because of Tom's amazing work ethic and positive attitude it is not uncommon to hear a Wasco Nursery customer ask, ''Can you send the Pumpkin Guy out to plant my tree?". Tom is a lifelong Saint Charles resident and currently lives on the west side with his wife, Mary.

Julia Barickman

Retail Sales

Julia holds a certificate in Nursery and Garden Center Management from the College of Dupage and a masters degree from Eastern Illinois University in speech/language pathology.  She assists customers in finding and selecting trees and shrubs in the Garden Center and has worked part-time in the industry since 1998.  A member of the Fox Valley Garden Club and a Master Gardener intern, Julia lives in Aurora with her two cats.  Besides gardening, she also enjoys playing golf, reading, knitting/crocheting, sewing, listening to live music, and following the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.