David is a pioneer in the field of vertical gardens

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David Brenner

Founding Principal & Lead Designer

Working at the intersection of botany, architecture, interior design and urbanism, David has applied his passion for plants to a growing list of innovative projects, building a broad variety of modern, human-centric spaces with abundant plant life at their heart.

David is a pioneer in the field of vertical gardens. He holds a degree in Environmental Horticulture Sciences from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. He credits his time spent studying at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, with setting him on the path to living wall design. It was at Kew that he came to appreciate the beauty of epiphytic plants – those which have naturally evolved to grow vertically on trees.

David sees his work as an integral part of a public shift in consciousness towards a renewed desire for closeness with nature and an appreciation of the restorative effect of plants, especially in urban environments. For David, designing living walls affords the chance not only to promote awareness of native and endangered plant species but also to have a direct impact on quality of life.

The Habitat team combines unparalleled expertise in horticulture, botany, design and construction.

Hh team photos billy Billy Rose

Director of Operations

Bio

Billy is a talented horticulturist who constantly pushes the boundaries of what is possible with one of the world’s most valuable and interesting resources: plants! In our ever-changing environment, Billy believes it is necessary to respect plants, while using them to our best advantage. This enthusiasm and intensity for all things green spurred from his roots growing up on a farm.

Billy joined Habitat Horticulture in 2014 and recently was promoted to Director of Operations in 2018. Billy’s primary role is to increase efficiency in all areas of the workplace and to provide guidance and support to our Project Managers. 
Billy also has his certified pest applicators license and works with our maintenance team to develop Integrated Pest and Disease Management Programs for each site to help prevent and control any potential problems down the line.

Billy attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he earned a degree in Environmental Horticultural Science, with a concentration in Nursery & Floriculture Production. He worked at the Cal Poly Plant Conservatory, as Head Curator, as well as at the Horticulture Unit on campus, as an orchid specialist. Billy’s background is heavily influenced by greenhouse systems that can be directly applied to any type of growing situation. Yes, that means living walls!

Hh team photos donna %281 of 1%29 Donna Shibata

Head of Plant Procurement

Bio

Donna works with our trusted nurseries and growers to source only the best plants for our living walls and botanical installations. She is meticulous, organized and uncompromising, and combines that with a broad knowledge of plant species as well as a deep love for everything to do with gardening and greenery. Donna holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Yale School of Management, a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, and a Bachelor’s of Art from the University of California, Los Angeles. She’s previously served as the Director of Finance and Administration for several nonprofit independent schools in San Francisco, and she is a board member of the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association, the Community Garden Coordinator with a community garden in the Mission, and a Collections and Garden Volunteer with the University of California, Santa Cruz Arboretum.

Hh team photos mickey Mickey Mangan

Design Manager

Bio

Joining Habitat Horticulture in 2011, Mickey brings a keen sense of the construction process, formal design training, a professional attitude and a lifelong obsession with plants to Habitat Horticulture. His devotion and meticulous manner is crucial in ensuring all design documents design documents and details are fine tuned before handing them off to our installation team. No matter the scale of the project, Mickey constantly is pushing the envelope and recreating our idea of a “living wall” by shifting form and geometry to blur the lines between architecture and living canvas. Mickey has worked on most of our major and more complex projects including SFMOMA,, Salesforce, 45 Lansing, Tesla, Facebook and the California Academy of Sciences. Mickey is a proud graduate of the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo landscape architecture program.

Hh employees4 Mateo Aguilar

Systems Designer

Bio

As Systems Designer, Mateo helps layout and design our living wall and irrigation systems. He is also responsible for producing producing detailed CAD construction and shop drawings and is paramount in the transition from design to installation.

Mateo studied Industrial Design in Mexico City where he then specialized in recycled plastic composites for sustainable construction for 8 years and developed among other products materials for vertical garden companies. Mateo also obtained is Masters Degree in Advanced Sustainable Design at Edinburgh University in Scotland. His material and sustainable design expertise has helped Habitat Horticulture refine our products so they are not only the most efficient, but are the most sustainable meeting even the most stringent green building requirements set my the Living Building Challenge.

Mateo lives in San Francisco blocks away from Ocean Beach where he likes to surf in his free time.

Hh employees kim Kim Sibbernsen

Office Manager & Administrative Coordinator

Bio

Kim keeps the wheels in motion at Habitat Horticulture using her seamless coordination skills to work with Contractors, Architects, Sub-Contractors and Owners, ensuring all insurance and workers compensation documentation is up to date and compliant. Her attention to detail can be attributed to her experience working as Office Manager for Osborne Partners Capital Management.

Hh employees raphael Raphael Mora

Maintenance Foreman

Bio

Bio coming soon...

Hh employees mike Mike Casalegno

Installation Manager

Bio

Michael,​ our most heavily bearded plant lover, brings creativity, fun, and thoughtfulness to Habitat Horticulture. With a background that combines landscape and succulent design, urban farming, interior plant-scaping, construction and wood-working, Mike is a “jack of all trades”. Before joining the team, Michael was the horticulture director for public spaces in downtown Oakland and got his early start in the field at local nurseries.

Michael holds a degree in landscape architecture from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. He is indebted to his parents, professors, and mentors who all instilled in him a love for the natural world and the ways in which plants enrich people’s lives and spaces. Don’t be surprised to bump into Michael at the occasional craft fair or rolling around in the dirt with his two dogs.

Emil Emil Meek

Maintenance Manager

Bio

As maintenance manager, Emil is focused on keeping our living walls thriving and healthy. Emil also ensures that the maintenance crew is able to work safely and efficiently. With over 15 years of Landscape Management experience, Emil is well versed in the complexities of his role - performing each task with poise and a positive attitude. Prior to joining Habitat Horticulture, Emil owned and operated a Landscape Construction company in Seattle and later went on to become Maintenance Manager for Fox Landscaping in the Bay Area.

Collin Collin Spencer

Project Manager

Bio

Collin joined Habitat Horticulture in 2017. His previous roles included Construction Estimator for a high-end stone mason and Site Supervisor for Americorps where he led crews on residential construction projects.
Collin is able to see the big picture while also focusing on the details, ensuring that all projects are executed smoothly and within budget.

Zack leeser compressed2 Zack Leeser

Southern California Regional Manager

Bio

Zack manages all of our projects in Southern California, where he’s responsible for making sure the jobs get done as planned and within budget. No small task – but it’s one he handles with surprising ease. Zack is known for bringing a great energy to the work site, making friends with everyone but still making sure everything stays on schedule. He has a background in environmental sciences, with a BA in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a Master in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Brooklyn College, and before joining Habitat he worked as Field Project Manager for GeoComp Engineering and as Project Manager for the Morgner Construction Management.

Paul heiman coompressed2 Paul Heiman

Maintenance Site Manager

Bio

Bio coming soon...

Zack silva compressed2 Zack Silva

Installation Site Manager

Bio

Bio coming soon...

Matthew skofiled2 Matthew Skofield

Horticulturist

Bio

Bio coming soon...

Phil1 Phil Greenberg

Senior Horticultural Technician

Bio

As horticultural technician, Phil is tasked with keeping our plants happy and healthy. His expertise is utilized on a daily basis whether it’s troubleshooting an existing living wall system or overseeing a new installation to make sure that all growing parameters are met and the system is functioning at peak performance. Phil has a deep understanding of plant nutrition and works closely with our design team to formulate a nutrient program for each of our living walls. We can feel confident knowing he’s making sure the plants continue to thrive long after their initial installation. Before moving to the Bay Area, Phil worked in greenhouse production in San Diego County growing hydroponic vegetables.

Hh employees2 John Donovan

Construction Manager

Bio

John’s work is crucial to Habitat Horticulture’s success even though it doesn’t directly involve plants. He’s in charge of managing our installation crews, performing quality control on what we build, and making sure our installations are built according to drawings, following the designs exactly. He is also in charge of construction safety – he conducts routing safety training, performs job hazard analysis and leads monthly Tool Box Safety Topics presentations for the team. We wouldn’t want anyone else watching our backs when it comes to construction – John was previously a union masonry foreman, and has worked on some of the largest construction sites in San Francisco.

Jose rafael2 Rafael Dominguez

Buyer

Bio

Rafael is in charge of purchasing all of our building materials – a very important responsibility when we have multiple projects going at once, each with their own specific needs in terms of construction, and all demanding the highest quality and attention to detail. By handling the buying side of things, he makes sure our installations run efficiently. He is also tasked with working with suppliers, creating partnerships that mean we have access to the materials we need when we need them, and that we get only the best materials for the highest quality final product. Rafael has over 20 years of experience in purchasing. He is also an avid ballroom dancer, taking part in competitions around the world.

Rueben2 Reuben Neugass

Head of Fabrication

Bio

Rueben is key to the work we do in our Berkeley fabrication center, a 5,000 square foot space in which he leads the fabrication team, ensuring we maintain the highest levels of craftsmanship as well as innovation. We take great pride in our ability to create custom installations that are unlike anything else, and to continuously improve on what we do, and Rueben is key to all of that, working with prototyping and testing new ideas, and then seeing through the fabrication process so that it’s faithful to our designs and optimized for its mission. Rueben previously worked as Fabricator for Museum Exhibits at the Oakland Museum of California, as well as at the Guggenheim Art Museum.

Robert1 Robert Zacks

Sales Manager

Bio

Robert previously ran a living wall company of his own by the name of Z Living Systems before joining Habitat Horticulture to head up our Business Development department. Robert works with new and potential clients to help them better understand our services and systems and how we can best help them to realize their goals. An alumnus of Cal Poly Business School, he fits the role perfectly – combining his broad experience in living walls alongside his business know-how. He can not only identify the best new opportunities for us, he can also speak with conviction and understanding about what a living wall or botanical installation can bring to a space, meaning that for our newest clients he is not just a salesman but an adviser as well.

Romeo2 Romeo Brenner

Chief Happiness Officer

Bio

Hh employees jason Jason Moon

Regional Manager

Bio

Jason manages operations for our Southern California branch from Los Angeles to San Diego. His background in Industrial Technology and Business Management has equipped him with the ability to oversee large installations with efficiency and skill. Before joining the team, Jason worked as the Operations Manager at Good Earth Plantscapes where he oversaw all living wall installations and acted as their sustainability consultant.

Hh employees lucia Lucía Lamm

Architect

Bio

Lucía plays a vital role in our design process, helping to determine how we incorporate our living walls into the buildings and spaces they form a part of. That can mean working an installation into an existing building or helping to place it seamlessly into plans for a new construction. Her detailed 3D renders and architectural drawings give our clients the chance to see how our installations will transform their space, and later they guide our installation team as they build. Lucia holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. For her, the most inspiring spaces are those that evoke emotion by melding the built environment and the natural world. With her experience in large-scale commercial projects and residential buildings, she has an acute understanding of proportion and a keen spatial intelligence. She is also a true plant lover, creating botanical illustrations and artwork in her spare time.

Hh employees3 Avi Jacobi

Controller

Bio

Avi has a fanatical attention to detail and that’s exactly what’s needed as Controller of our growing company. He keeps us moving ahead so we can focus on delivering the best results, and he leads by example, showing us all the importance of discipline and commitment in every aspect of what we do. Avi joined Habitat Horticulture in 2015 after stints at Playtech Services in Tel Aviv as their Corporate Controller, and as an Auditor at Deloitte.