Bruce Ritter, O.D. grew up on Long Island, New York. An early love of plants and gardening led him to become a volunteer for the orchid collection at Planting Fields Arboretum, in Oyster Bay, NY. He then joined the greenhouse staff, where he worked for several years, followed by a stint at Seabreeze Orchids in Bayville NY. Dr. Ritter received his undergraduate degree in botany at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, and went on to obtain a doctorate in optometry at SUNY College of Optometry in New York City. He is currently a consultant to the Folsom Chinese Heritage Museum's Chinese Garden, now under construction.
Dr. Ritter has been growing orchids for 45 years, and served on the board of the Sacramento Orchid Society for two years. He has travelled around the world, drawing inspiration from over forty botanical gardens and arboreta that he has visited in Hawaii, Central America, Europe, and even down under, in New Zealand and Fiji. He plans to use this experience and his love of beautiful gardens to create a botanical garden on par with the best in the world.
Dr. Ritter is delighted to be returning to his "roots" as the co-founder of the Sacramento Botanical Garden.
Linda Ching, O.D. was born and raised in Sacramento, and graduated from John F. Kennedy high school. She attended UC Berkeley as an undergrad, before she moved to New York City, where she received her doctorate in optometry from the SUNY College of Optometry.
Dr. Ching’s super-power is her ability to creatively resource ideas and connect people, motivating them to break down their barriers. She is the founder of SUNY Optometry’s Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity organization, which for thirty-three years has been delivering eye care worldwide to underprivileged communities. This legacy continues to be the largest student organization on the campus.
A co-founder of the Sacramento Botanical Garden, she met Bruce Ritter on the corner of 24th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, NY. After decades of practicing as an optometrist, she changed careers to become a life coach, which is how Bruce’s dream of creating a Botanical Garden in Sacramento was born. Dr. Ching is an avid cyclist, yoga instructor, proud mother of two young adult children, and a twenty gallon blood donor. She is a member of Toastmasters organization where she has achieved the status of "Advanced Communicator Bronze".
Dr. Ching is a consultant for the Folsom Historical Society's new Chinese Heritage Museum Project, which is "dedicated to telling the rich and complex history of the Chinese in Folsom and in California." She is particularly thrilled with the idea of creating a Chinese garden, similar to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, which will recognize the great contributions of the Chinese to our city and state.
Jesse Avitia is the Chief Financial Officer, as well as the Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Board. He leads the finance and accounting functions for the Sacramento Botanical Garden. He also provides leadership on budgets, estimated revenue projections, contracts and grants management, organizational strategy, and organizational development.
Mr. Avitia has 20 years of varied experience in business, finance, management, and supervision. He previously held a position with the University of California, Davis, with departmental level financial analysis and budgeting functions in contracts and grants administration. Jesse holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Cielo Sichi, PLA, is the owner of Landfour Landscape Architecture. He has been professionally designing and building landscapes since 2003. He has extensive experience with landscapes of all types, including single and multifamily residential, commercial, institutional and recreational projects.
Mr. Sichi received his degree in Environmental Horticultural Science, focusing on landscape design and construction, from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2003. For the next eight years, he worked in the Bay Area as a Landscape Designer, acting as lead designer, estimator, and general manager. His skills in designing, budgeting, and building landscapes were developed and honed by working with hundreds of landscape projects.
After Mr. Sichi received his license in Landscape Architecture, he founded Landfour Landscape, Inc. His firm works with clients throughout the northwest, creating landscapes that meet their needs, and finding solutions to their landscape challenges.
Mr. Sichi served as guest lecturer on landscape and design related subjects at several colleges and universities. In 2015 he had the opportunity to teach horticulture part time at Merced College. He is currently the Department Chair of Horticulture at American River College where he teaches the Landscape Design and Construction courses.
Mr. Sichi has designed gardens throughout California. He is currently involved in the design of a fifty acre garden in Florida, as well as a thirty acre garden in the foothills of northern California.
Mr. Sichi welcomes the opportunity to participate in this next, great addition to Sacramento.
Marlene Simon is a popular contributor to Good Day Sacramento, appearing bi-weekly on the highly rated weekend edition. Her fans affectionately know her simply as “The Plant Lady.”
Her home away from home is the magical UC Davis Botanical Conservatory in Davis, California where she is the staff Horticulturist. Here Ms. Simon grows and cares for over 3,000 species of the world’s most exotic/rare plants and flowers. In her spare time between appearing on Good Day Sacramento and work at the Conservatory, she guest lectures on all topics of organic gardening. She also writes for the Sacramento Bee, in the home and garden section on Saturdays. As a fervent animal lover, Ms. Simon has donated her expertise to establish a wildlife garden at a regional non-profit wildlife center.
While an undergrad student at UC Davis, she worked as an intern at the Conservatory, and targeted working there professionally as her ultimate dream job. This goal setting, stepwise planning to accomplish, and daily drive to attain success of the plan is a pillar theme in Ms. Simon's message to her followers. Her 1930’s farmhouse sits on 40 acres of walnut orchards in Northern California’s agricultural heartland. This setting often acts as a backdrop for her digital presence on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Live and YouTube.
Copyright © 2019 The Sacramento Botanical Garden - All Rights Reserved.
All photographs are the property of The Sacramento Botanical Garden and were taken by our photographers. No reproduction or other use allowed.
Powered by GoDaddy