Senior Staff

Ken Schutz

The Dr. William Huizingh Executive Director

Ken Schutz has held executive leadership positions in cultural institutions for more than 20 years. He has been with the Desert Botanical Garden since 2001 and during his tenure he has managed construction of $17 million in new facilities at the Garden, more than doubled local attendance, initiated a number of exciting new education and research projects, and raised more than $10 million in gifts and pledges for the Garden’s endowment. Prior to moving to Phoenix, he served as the Executive Director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia, and before that he was Director of Marketing and Development for the Baltimore Zoo. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. from Bucknell University.


Beverly Duzik

Director of Development

Since 2000, Beverly Duzik has lead the development team in planning, developing and managing the Garden’s philanthropy programs and relationships, contributed income and membership activities. During her tenure, Beverly recruited significant community support and marketing resources which helped the Garden double local attendance and has quadrupled membership. Beverly has 30+ years of experience in nonprofit management. Beverly holds a bachelors degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and did graduate work at Arizona State University.

Marcia Flynn

Director of Event Services

Marcia Flynn is Desert Botanical Garden’s Director of Event Services, and has been with the Garden since 2000. Prior to her arrival, Marcia held a similar position at Denver Botanic Gardens from 1995-2000. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. degree in International Relations and International Business.


During the past 10 years at the Garden, Marcia has provided leadership in the development and growth of the Event Services Department. The department includes Adult Group Tours, Facility Rental, Special Events, Concerts and Fundraisers, as well as the Gardens Food and Beverage programs.

Brian Kissinger

Director of Horticulture

Brian Kissinger brings to the Garden 24 years of experience and knowledge as well as being a published horticulturist and landscape designer. His work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset Magazine, Traditional Home and Phoenix Home and Garden to name a few. His work has been featured on HGTV,  “Secret Gardens”, KCTV5 “In The Garden”, and recently his work on the ‘Belleview Estate’ was documented by the Smithsonian Institution’s  Archive of American Gardens.


Brian holds a bachelor of science in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Missouri in Columbia. His client list of large estate gardens and smaller gardens is extensive, and his personal garden in Paradise Valley was on the Patrons Circle Spring Garden tour as well as Phoenix Home and Gardens Grand Tour of Gardens. Brian brings to the garden a “new set of eyes” to create a new world class vision for the garden and it's future.

MaryLynn Mack

Director of Operations

MaryLynn Mack came to the Garden in 2004. In collaboration with the Executive Director, she serves as co-leader in all aspects of the operation. She is responsible for the vision, planning, and growth of the visitor-based aspects of the operation, including event services, guest services, retail, food services, information technology, site operations, security and human resources. MaryLynn has over 20 years of staff management, strategic planning and project development in the areas of social services, gardens and museums. She was the founding Director of the San Diego Rescue Mission Women’s and Children’s Center, a program recognized nationally as one of the most innovative and successful long-term residential programs for women. Before moving to Phoenix, MaryLynn was the Director of Volunteers/Intern at the San Diego Natural History Museum and served in the U.S. Navy. She was the recipient of a Piper Fellowship, a Chanticleer Scholarship and a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute.

Dr. Joe McAuliffe

Director of Research

Dr. Joe McAuliffe has been with the Desert Botanical Garden since 1990 as a Research Ecologist. His current research focuses on plant-soil relationships in desert regions of the American Southwest. Ongoing projects include the study of long-lived creosotebush clones in the Mojave Desert of California, landscape and vegetation changes in the Painted Desert region on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, and the ecology and conservation of desert grasslands in southern Arizona. In 1995, Joe received the W.S. Cooper Award from the Ecological Society of America for his research contributions in plant ecology.

Elaine McGinn

Director of Planning and Exhibits

Elaine McGinn has been with the Desert Botanical Garden since 1997. As Director of Planning and Exhibits she is responsible for leading the planning, exhibit development and design process for permanent and temporary exhibits at the Garden. She has extensive experience in exhibit development, design, strategic planning, and education. During her tenure with the Desert Botanical Garden, she has led the exhibit development of major exhibit initiatives including: The Sybil B. Harrington Cactus and Succulent Galleries, The Ottosen Entry Garden, The Berlin Agave Yucca Forest, and The Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Trail. Temporary exhibitions include seasonal butterfly exhibits and art installations by Arizona artists John Waddell and Mayme Kratz, and internationally recognized artists Patrick Dougherty, Pablo Picasso, Allan Houser and Dale Chihuly. In 2009, McGinn received a Virginia G. Piper Fellowship to study garden design and the exploration of place-making.

Michael Olson

Director of Finance and Adminstration

Michael Olson joined the Garden in 2011 and manages the finance administration of the Garden’s $12 million budget. Before moving to Phoenix, Michael served as Vice President for Financial Services/Controller at the Missouri Botanical Garden and he worked as an auditor. He holds a bachelors degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University.

Tina Wilson

Director of Education

Tina Wilson came to the Garden in 2005 and is responsible for the Sonoran Desert Adventure school program, Garden volunteers and adult and family programs. She guides the education department in the development and management of innovative programming to promote environmental literacy. Prior to her arrival she taught at Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and served as the Horticulture Extension agent for Woodford County in Kentucky. She has more than 18 years of science education experience and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a master’s degree in plant science.