Board of Directors

To Educate and Inspire
Find Out More. . . Contact one of our Board Members

Keith Johnston, President

Landscape Design Services

Tony Thom, Vice President

Spring Meadow Nursery

Tony Siemen, Secretary

Seaver’s Lawn Service

Phil Syswerda, Treasurer

Great Lakes Landscape Supply

Elliot Rudert, MNLA Chapter Representative

High Format

Heather Peacock, MNLA Chapter Representative

Northland Farms

Dan Riddle, At-Large Director

Trees Of The Field

Doug Zelenka, At-Large Director

Michigan Turf & Ornamental

Miranda Niemiec, At-Large Director

Great Garden Plants

Darci Szanto, At-Large Director

Superior Wholesale

Eric Nelson, At-Large Director

Weesies Bros Garden Center & Landscaping

About the WMNLA Board Members:

Miranda Niemiec
Hello, I’m the Operations Manager at Great Garden Plants, an e-commerce company based in Grand Haven that sells perennials and shrubs across the contiguous U.S. and Canada. My background is in researching root biology and nutrient dynamics, but decided to leave science for an industry job where I could share my passion for horticulture and gardening with the masses. I hope to use my position on the WMNLA Board to continue those efforts, especially in encouraging young professionals to join our industry.

On a personal note, I have two dogs (Dozer and Finn) who love to destroy my home garden in Grand Rapids, MI. If I’m not gardening (or working), you’ll find me cooking a fancy meal with a glass of wine!

Heather Peacock
Hello, my name is Heather Peacock. I graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in Business Administration and Economics. I am the local and Ohio Sales Representative at Northland Farms and this will be my second spring. I grew up in the Green Industry working for my dad's company, Peacock’s Landscaping and Peacock’s Healthy Lawns. The company was previously in the Port Huron/ Lexington area and is now in Harbor Springs, MI.

I currently live in Grand Haven and love being on the lakeshore. In my free time, I enjoy many hobbies such as skiing, hiking local trails, fishing, and paddleboarding.

Elliot Rudert
My name is Elliot Rudert. I’m a 2011 graduate of the Michigan State University Landscape Architecture program. I spent four years working Design/Sales with Todd’s Services in Southeast Michigan and have been with High Format for almost six years.

I’m currently the Territory Manager for Southwest Michigan and live in Spring Lake with my wife and three kids. When I’m not working, I enjoy running, hiking, boating, golfing and spending time with my family and friends.

Tony Siemen
Hi, my name is Anthony (Tony) Siemen. I’m 42 years old and grew up and reside in Whitehall, MI. I graduated from WMU with a Bachelor degree in Biology. I originally wanted to be a teacher but realized working outside and seeing the transformations of lawns and landscapes truly made me happy. I have worked for Seaver’s Lawn Service now for almost 23 years. I manage both the lawn maintenance and landscaping for the company. In my “spare” time, I coach travel soccer and am the Vice President for WLYSC. I enjoy spending time with my wife of almost 18 years, my two children ages 15 and 12, and our dog.

Phil Syswerda
My name is Phil Syswerda, I am the Nursery Manager for Great Lakes Landscape Supply.
Born and raised in West Michigan, I grew up working a small nursery/farm owned by family friends. I decided right away this incredible industry would make an enjoyable career. Over the last 20 years, I have dedicated my energy to learning all angles of the Green Industry. Throughout my time as a grower, database manager, and production planner; I’ve had the privilege of connecting with great people who share my appreciation for beautiful plants! I am encouraged daily by my loving wife and four boys. Together, we call Allendale home. In my spare time, I enjoy hunting, fishing and playing golf.

Darci Szanto
Hello, my name is Darci Szanto. In 2016, I was serving tables at a brewery when a gentleman I was waiting on asked me if this was my full-time job. I told him that I was also doing some landscaping on the side, and he recommended that I come into his business to fill out an application. I was with Great Lakes Landscape Supply for 5.5 years before I decided that a break from phones and computers was what I needed. Knapp Valley Gardens asked me to work at their garden center, which I graciously accepted and felt at home in the familial atmosphere. The following spring, I received a text from an old coworker who told me that he was starting tomato plants and asked which varieties I wanted for my garden. I was busy and did not respond, but two days later he called and said, “This is not about tomatoes, this is about a job!” His enthusiasm to get Superior Wholesale up on its feet was enough for me to jump on board, plus the two irrigation ponds that I can fish out of anytime! It has been an exciting first year meeting new people, building relationships, and being a part of such an amazing professional community.

Other than a saleswoman, I am also a chef, personal trainer, entertainer, maid, and personal assistant to a Blue Heeler, Isabo and a Long-Haired Calico, Merida. We have a little house in Pierson with our gardens full of “trash pile treasures” and more succulents indoors than we care to mention. My dog and I go fishing every spare second we get and have a few good fishing stories to tell. I am looking forward to 2024 and all of the amazing opportunities that it has in store for me!

Tony Thom
Hello everyone, my name is Tony Thom. I was born and raised in Norton Shores, MI and attended Grand Haven High School. I was a 2006 graduate from Grand Valley State University in general business studies. Since graduation, I have been in a sales role for various different industries but my horticulture journey started 16 years ago as a Territory Sales Representative at Spring Meadow Nursery and Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs. I have held a few different sales roles within Spring Meadow Nursery which has ultimately led to my current role of Sales Manager for the past 10 years. I thoroughly enjoy teaching, coaching and learning the art of sales as it’s a never-ending journey.

My wife Jennifer, 13-year-old daughter Sophia, miniature Goldendoodle Charlie and I still currently call Norton Shores home. We actually live less than 300 yards from where I grew up!

I would like everyone to know that I am very excited to roll up the sleeves to not only continue the traditions of the WMNLA but to build upon the foundations of growing the visibility of our industry, community support and the benefits of what being a member of this Association can and should provide.

West Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association (WMNLA)

Key Annual Objectives

Produce an effective and relevant Educational Program for member firms

  • High caliber presenters to bring truly useful content to our members.
  • Generally offered mid-day in October, November, December, January, and February.
Financial Goal: Cover Food, Facility, and Speaker Costs

Produce an Annual Golf Outing

  • Membership-building event.
  • Promote camaraderie and networking among members.
  • Generate income to support the Association’s scholarship fund or other designated pursuits which strengthen our industry.
  • Generate operational income.
  • Kick-off to the Association’s educational year.
  • Generally held on a Friday afternoon in September.
Financial Goal: Generate $4,500 in Gross Income ($2,100 in costs; $2,100 to Scholarship Fund; $300 to Operational Fund)

Produce an Annual Garden Day

  • Day-long event presented for the the public.
  • Generate enthusiasm for gardening and enhancing one’s outdoor surroundings by providing knowledgeable and effective speakers as well as relevent and marketable topics.
  • Showcase the Association’s retail & service-providing member firms.
  • Generate income to support the Association’s scholarship fund or other designated pursuits which strengthen our industry.
  • Generate operational income.
  • Generally held on a Saturday in March.
Financial Goal: Generate $5,300 in Gross Income ($2,500 in costs; $1,600 to Scholarship or Other Funds; $1,200 to Operational Fund)