Biographies

FRANK NICCOLI
Founder-Retired-Board Member


Frank has recently retired from the Village Gardener and currently pursues his passion for teaching and public speaking. Currently, Frank is teaching a variety of horticulture classes at Foothill College.

Frank teaches and has written the curriculum for numerous classes at Foothill College — Turf Management, Ground Cover and Vines, Shrubs, California Natives, Landscape Lighting, Integrated Pest Management, Sustainable Integrated Pest Management, Grasses, Bamboos, Palms, and Veggie Gardens. Most recently he developed a water conservation class that will be taught to train other water managers.

Frank has been a past President of the founding chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association. He was voted Member of the Year by his peers in 2001 and 2004.

In his spare time Frank speaks publicly in most parts of the Bay Area advocating sustainable landscape practices and water conservation ideas.

MICHELLE CHU
President, Horticulturist, Operations Manager


Michelle joined The Village Gardener in 2003, and works in the Construction and Operations Divisions. As of 2013 she has become the Owner of The Village Gardener, as Frank is retiring and concentrating on his teaching.

Michelle has a degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Forestry and Natural Resources, with a concentration in Urban Forestry. Upon graduating and working with an Urban Forestry consulting company she became interested in Landscaping, particularly sustainable landscaping.

In 1999 she became a license contractor obtaining her C-27 contractor’s license. She is also a past President of the California Landscape Contractors Association, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Michelle is active on various committees both local and state.

Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, home garden, and photography.

DEE WONG
Maintenance Division Manager, Horticulturist, & Water Manager


Dee joined The Village Gardener in 2004, coming from a corporate environment with a passion for the outdoors and gardening.

Dee graduated with high honors from Foothill College with an A.S. degree in Environmental Horticulture and Landscape Design. Dee is a certified Water Manager with CLCA and EPA Water Sense Partner program, and recently received her Qualified Applicator License (QAL). Dee also lectures for Gamble Garden and Gardening With Natives on California Native Plants. She also  leads botanizing hikes with California Native Plant Society.

She is passionate and advocates using sustainable landscape management practices. She recommends low water use plants and California Native Plants for the garden. She is also an avid wild plant and flower photographer hiking and botanizing all over the Bay Area and California. Dee believes in working with Mother Nature’s seasonal changes and uses Mother Nature’s rhythm of life to her best advantage in managing your garden.

ANTONIA CAZARES
Maintenance Account Manager, Water Manager


Antonia joined The Village Gardener in July 2013. She is also a seasoned landscape professional with over 10 years of experience in mainly large commercial maintenance. She was educated at Merritt College in landscape and horticultural management. She is a Certified Water Manager and Auditor with CLCA and Water Sense EPA. She is a qualified Water Efficient Landscaper. A certified friendly landscape professional, and a certified landscape technician.

Antonia enjoys growing edibles in her home garden and would love to share her experiences of edible gardening to the gardens she manages. She advocates organic and sustainable solutions in managing gardens.

SUZI WEISKOPF
Horticulturist & Account Manager


Suzi has been studying and practicing horticulture and design for the past nine years, and she is an avid gardener at home. She earned her Master Gardener certificate in 2005 before going on to study Landscape Design in George Washington University’s Masters Degree program in Washington, DC. She then transferred to Foothill College when she moved to the Bay Area.

Suzi completed her A.S. degree in Environmental Horticulture and Landscape Design from Foothill College while she was working at The Village Gardener. Suzi has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC.

She has a passion for creating and maintaining beautiful, natural outdoor spaces through sustainable landscape practices.