Instructor Information

GARY ESMONDE, Library Director, has worked in libraries for over 20 years. Esmonde earned his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University and his Master’s in Library Science at Kent State University. He has worked at various public libraries as well as manager of the Willowick Public Library for six years.

SIFU RIKK MAYR, Director of The Neijia Academy, has studied martial arts, Taoism and Buddhism for 18 years. Sifu Rikk holds a 3rd degree Black Belt in Chinese Boxing and the title of High Instructor from Grandmaster Hu Wei-Yue. In 2007, he was ordained as a Buddhist Monk in the Nien-Fo Ch’an Order by Venerable Shih Ying-Fa of CloudWater Zendo. Along with Grandmaster Hu, he has participated in demonstrations for Mayor Michael White’s Community Relations Committee. Rikk has earned medals in regional, national, and international competitions and now judges for those organizations. He has held teaching positions at Lorain County Community College, The Ireland Cancer Center and EMH Health and Fitness Center. Mayr is a member of the United States Kuo Shu Federation and the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association.

SUSAN GRAY BÉ, Director of the School of Art at Fairmount Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, earned her M.A. in painting at the State University of New York at Albany, a B.A. of Studio Art at Hamilton College and studied at National Academy School of Fine Arts, University of Vermont and The Rhode Island School of Design. She also taught oil painting and drawing at the Fairmount Center for five years.

SUSAN MORSE holds degrees from Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, and has been teaching community classes and workshops in drawing, watercolor and watercolor pencil for the past ten years. She exhibits with the Guild of Nature Artists and had a group show at the Cleveland Botanical Garden in 2015.

GUNTER SCHWEGLER is a fiber artist specializing in silk painting. His work in watercolor, acrylic and oil painting formed the basis of his style and technique. His recent work includes framed silk paintings, wearable art, banners, stage and set design, home furnishings, CD covers and public art space. His work is featured in “Creative Silk Painting” by Jan Janis and Diane Tuckman.

BETH SCHREIBMAN GEHRING is a successful Life/Wellness/Health coach, becoming Board Certified by The institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC . She is also about to be fully certified to teach David Wolfe’s Principles of Raw Nutrition, Superfoods and Longevity and is Board Certified by The American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Beth is a Reiki Master, a practicing Herbalist and Aroma-therapist as well as a registered healer with The International Natural Healers Association. Beth is currently busy helping to establish new horticultural protocols in the Western Reserve Herb Gardens based upon organic best practices including bio-dynamic gardening, permaculture & phenology. She is the Education Chairman for the Western Reserve Herb Society and sits on the Public Relations Committee of WRHS.

IAN ADAMS is an environmental photographer, writer, and teacher specializing in natural, rural, historical and garden areas in Ohio. Since 1985, more than 7,000 of his color photographs have been published in books, posters, calendars, magazines and other publications. Ian has published 19 photography books and conducted more than 200 photography workshops and seminars. His books include The Holden Arboretum (University of Akron Press, 2000), Backroads of Ohio (Voyageur Press, 2006), Our First Family’s Home: The Ohio Governor’s Residence & Heritage Garden (Ohio University Press, 2008), Missouri Botanical Garden: Green For 150 Years (Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2008) and A Photographer’s Guide to Ohio (Ohio University Press, 2011) He lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his tabby cat, Fuji.

KELLY BARRETT, Green Corps Farm Manager, at Cleveland Botanical Garden, is responsible for the program’s agricultural components, planning the urban farms for production and coordinating the weekly farmers’ markets and neighborhood farm stands, and oversees the Agricultural Intern Program. Prior to becoming Green Corps’ farm manager, Ms. Barrett was a Green Corps Site Manager at an urban farm in Slavic Village. She also successfully started Green Corps’ first community, on-site farm stand and the first Green Corps CSA. Ms. Barrett was an AmeriCorps Volunteerism Administrator for Atlanta, Georgia’s Habitat for Humanity, and an AmeriCorps VISTA in western Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University.

DEYAMPERT GILES, horticulturist at the Cleveland Botanical Garden since 2013. Giles maintains the interior plants collection, the Mary Ann Sears-Swetland Rose Garden, the Paula and David Swetland Topiary Garden and White Oak Walk garden path. Giles is also a steward for the high school vocational program Excel TECC. He is a graduate of Cuyahoga Community College with a degree in plant science.

ROBIN JOHANSEN, Horticulturist at the Botanical Garden for 11 years and prior employment at Elizabeth and Nona Evans Restorative Garden, C.K. Patrick Perennial Garden, Western Reserve Herb Society Herb Garden. Johansen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture Brigham Young University

DARLENE KELBACH, RYT, completed her yoga teacher training through Namaste Yoga in 2007 and began teaching shortly there-after. Darlene seeks to blend yoga with her passion for plant-based nutrition and healthy eating and share that with her students. With her dedicated focus, she feels she is now “living her yoga” which in turn, she hopes to inspire others to “Live Their Yoga” so they also can be the creative expression of their own passions and inner truth and live inspired, joyful lives each day!

INGRID LUDERS attended Ohara School of Ikebana, First Degree Master 1997 and Grand Master Degree 2001, also received Meiyo Ichijiken, Award of Honor 2015. Luders has 45 years teaching experience. She has conducted workshops and demonstrations in the United States as well as Santiago Chile, Buenos Aires Argentina, Shigaraki, Kobe, Tokyo Japan, and Toronto Canada. Luders has also conducted workshops and demonstrations for Ohara School Chapters, Ikebana International Chapters, Garden Club of America, Federated Garden Clubs, Detroit Art Institute, The Allen Memorial Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

SCOTT ROBERTSON, owner and creative director of STEMS FLEUR has been in the design business for over 25 years, Robertson spent eight years living, learning, and designing in New York City. Scott loves to see design with flowers as an art form–Botanical Art. You may have seen some of his designs at the 2016 Cleveland Botanical Garden Orchid Show, and previously helping to re-design “Glow”.

LUKE VISNIC, a passionate and self-taught fermentor who co-founded and runs his own fermented foods company, Cleveland Kraut. Started in 2014, Cleveland Kraut brings a fresh energy to fermented foods.

JONATHAN SCHNUPP is the owner of Divide and Culture, a plant nursery dedicated to understanding and educating others about carnivorous plants. With over 10 years experience in retail and cultivation, the company strives to provide the healthiest plants and helpful service. All of their nursery stock is sustainably grown, sourced, and distributed by licensed growers. In 2016, they started and completed the construction of a micro-propagation lab.