About the State Coordinator’s Office

The Virginia Cooperative Extension State Coordinator’s Office is responsible for developing programming material, resources, and training materials for Master Gardener Units across the state. This website, as well as the Master Gardener Handbook, Coordinator’s Manual, video series, and webinars are all products of the State Coordinator’s Office.

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State Master Gardener Coordinator

Dave Close

M.S. Southern Illinois University, 1996

B.S. Cumberland College, 1993

Background: Urban Forestry and Forest Ecology

Extension Areas: Dave has worked with the Extension Master Gardener program for more than 11 years. Prior to coming to Virginia, he was the Community Forestry Coordinator for the southern 36 counties in Illinois, a role he filled for nearly seven years. He was also an instructor in the Department of Forestry at Southern Illinois University where he taught classes in tree identification, forest ecology, forest ecosystems, and urban forestry. After leaving Illinois and taking on his role as the State Coordinator for the Extension Master Gardener Program, his interests have evolved into volunteer management and leadership development of volunteers. He also works closely with Extension Agents statewide and the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association.

Contact: dclose@vt.edu

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Assistant State Master Gardener Coordinator

Coming soon…

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Communications Project Coordinator

Devon Johnson

M.A. Virginia Tech, 2017

B.A. Virginia Tech, 2014

Background: Professional and technical writing, digital communication, and nonprofit administration

Extension Areas:  As the EMG Communications Project Manager, Devon is responsible for managing the publication process for program-related publications in support of the Extension Master Gardener program in Virginia. She is also responsible for developing and implementing a marketing strategy in support of the EMG program and provides administrative support in the office on an as-needed basis.

Contact: dvj@vt.edu

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Program Development

Sue Edwards

M.S. UNC-Wilmington, 2001

B.S. Penn State University, 1998

Background: Water Quality, Turf, Soil Science, Nutrient Management, Local Master Gardener Program Coordination

Extension Areas: Before joining the State EMG Office, Sue worked for 10 years at the local level with Virginia Cooperative Extension. As an ANR Technician and local EMG Coordinator, Sue became very familiar with the daily ins and outs of the Master Gardener program.  Sue is also a DCR certified nutrient management planner and wrote over 350 nutrient management reports annually for the local VCE turf nutrient management program.  In her current role as Master Gardener Program Developer, Sue works in collaboration with agents across the state and other State EMG staff to create and edit documents and training materials for the Master Gardener program. She also creates and maintains pages for the State EMG website and assists with Master Gardener College preparation.

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Additional Staff

Gabrielle Sanderson

Student at Virginia Tech

Background: English Pre-Law / Environmental Policies and Planning

Extension Areas: Gabrielle has been volunteering with the Extension Master Gardener program in Henrico County since 2008. She participated in various volunteer opportunities that include the Junior Master Gardener booth at the State Fair of Virginia, the Junior Master Gardener Booth at other events, helped to prepare for 4H camp, and assisted with nutrition food programs in elementary schools around Henrico County. She was also a judge for the 4H Regional Talent Show in North Carolina and started working at the Virginia State Extension Master Gardener Office in 2015. As the Program Support and Implementation Assistant, Gabrielle is responsible for completing edits on projects, sending out certificates and pins to counties, and updating the social media networks.