Experienced Arborists and Horticulturists

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Rita Diekemper

President, Founder & Co-owner

Education & Industry Affiliations:

  • - AS Horticulture - Meramec Community College
  • - Certified Arborist -International Society of Arborculture (MW-5725A)
  • - Certified pesticide applicator
  • - BS Accountancy - University of Missouri Columbia
  • - Certified Public Accountant
    - Treasurer of the Landscape & Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis (LNAGSL)
  • Specialties:
    Design, plant selection, maintenance, supervision and client service

    Why I like my job:
    I enjoy the challenge of creating unique gardens to reflect the individual style and needs of each client.

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    Craig Schrock

    Co-Owner & Operations Manager

    Education:
    - Studied Horticulture at Meramec Community College
    - Studied at Missouri Botanical Garden
    - Certified NCMA Installer
    - Certified ICPI Installer

    Specialties:
    - Landscape Design and Estimating
    - Installation of Custom Designed Landscapes, Patios and Walls
    - Landscape Lighting 

    Why I like my job:
    I Love the process of meeting new clients, designing and implementing their new landscapes. Also, helping employees grow their careers in horticulture is always fun to see.

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    Ann Lakin

    Business Manager

    Education:
    - Associate of Applied Science Degree (Horticulture) - STLCC
    - Studied Management Degree Program at Webster University

    Specialties & Interests:  

    Fostering a positive company culture is something I love to do. In a supporting role, I'm able to contribute to the development and team building at Gardens of Grace. I'm passionate when it comes to customer service. Our goal is to delight our customers by exceeding their expectations.

    - Board member of the Landscape & Nursery Association of Greater St. Louis (LNAGSTL)
    - Member of Gateway Professional Horticulture Association (GPHA)
    - Former Habitat Advisor for the Bring Conservation Home Program
    - Volunteer for Master Gardener and Master Naturalist Groups
    - Citizen science member that conducted phenology study at Glassberg Conservation Area
    - Volunteer Lead for the Director of Parks & Recreation for Jefferson County
    - Certified Park aide volunteer for Don Robinson State Park
    - Volunteer of Shutterbee Citizen Science Program led by Webster University

    Why I like my job:
    I LOVE my Job! I get to use my skills, talents and experience from 38 years in the business profession along with my education and passion for plants and design every day! My personal values align with Gardens of Grace and that's important to me. The owners are caring and supportive and the crew members and leads here are the most hard-working individuals I ever met. We continuously push ourselves to exceed our customers' expectations and that is rewarding. We work hard but manage to find the time to laugh and have fun.

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    Zach Guilliams

    Install Crew Leader

    Education:
    Studied Horticulture,­ Nursery and Landscaping at Southern Illinois College

    Specialties:
    - Accounts Payable & Employee Payroll
    - Hardscape and Lighting Installation
    - Equipment and Vehicle Maintenance 

    Why I like my job:
    It is highly rewarding starting an install job from the beginning to the end. The transformations are even better when the client sees the finished product.

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    Mark Brady

    Turf Manager

    Education:

    BS Plant Science, emphasis in Turf Management- University of Missouri, Certified Commercial Pesticide, ApplicatorGCSAA (Golf Course Superintendent Association) class A Certification

    Specialties:
    Plant Selection and Maintenance Practices, Irrigation and Drainage Design, Soil Characterization and Erosion Management, Advanced Weed Management, Integrated Pest Management, and Practices, Buying Smart and Selecting Alternative Methods, Supervision and Client Services.

    Why I like my job:
    I enjoy building client relationships, working with my hands, and having my office outdoors. 

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    Marcus Clayton

    Maintenance Manager

    Education:

    - Associate Degree in Horticulture - Cincinnati State
    - Bachelor Degree in Business Administration - Wilmington College

    Specialties:
    - Plant healthcare, species selection, design, pollinator gardens and mentoring.

    Why I like my job:
    - Creating and maintaining conducive spaces for people is always rewarding. I love client engagement and teaching others about plants, soil science, ecological impact and everything horticulture related. 

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    Gardens of Grace provides the St. Louis area with a broad-range of Landscaping Services.

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