Kelly NorrisName:  Kelly Norris

Title and Company:  Director of Horticulture, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Hometown:  Bedford, Iowa

Major and Graduation Date:  Horticulture; B.S. in December 2008 and M.S. in July 2011

Major Job/Position Responsibilities:  I direct and manage a team of horticultural professionals in all aspects of design, curation, programming, and garden management.  I am also the editorial director for the organization’s award-winning member magazine Bloom and the artistic director of the Spring Garden Festival, a four-day pop-up retail plant sale and garden show.  I liken myself to a conductor.  I may have a baton, but an orchestra is a bigger collaboration each time it assembles.

What you like most about your job/position:  I never lack for something to do and the opportunities to watch a garden evolve from schematic design to living product amounts to the pleasure of a lifetime.  Even on the toughest days, it’s still rewarding.

What advice would you give to current students:  Dreaming is only half of the adventure.  Without a plan or a scheme, a dream is just a dream.  The plan can change (as it often should), but looking ahead, moving forward and hatching great schemes are what really matter most.