New Members of DBG Advisory Council


Ray Sander, President of the Delaware Botanic Gardens (DBG) and David Small, Chair of the DBG Advisory Council, announced two community leaders and one former DBG Board Member have joined the DBG Advisory Council.

Jeremy Hager, former DBG Board Member; Dan Barbato, Vice President, Pennoni Associates; and Dan Levin, Director of

Operations at SoDel Concepts have joined the DBG Advisory Council. David Small said, “The DBG Advisory Council is a group of distinguished thought – leaders who have brought their extensive knowledge, insights and experience to the DBG mission of creating a world class public garden in Delaware.” Ray Sander said,” We are very proud that these three proven leaders have joined the DBG Advisory Team and expect them to bring new creative ideas to the table as we continue to grow the Delaware Botanic Gardens.”

Jeremy Hager served with distinction for three years as a DBG Board Member and Special Advisor on the safety and health of the woodlands. He is President and Founder of the Land Care Advisory Group and Coastal Plant Care in Ocean View, DE. Jeremy is Sussex County’s only ISA Certified Master Arborist and has demonstrated a passion for educating the public about tree and environmental stewardship. Jeremy holds a Master of Science Degree (Entomology) and Bachelor of Science (Environmental Resource Management, Horticulture) from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.

Dan Barbato is a Civil Engineer at Pennoni [Engineering] Associates and is Office Director of their Newark Office. He has 27-years of experience in Civil Engineering, habitat restoration, and water resource projects. Dan has a record of distinguished community service in various leadership positions at the Delaware Nature Society (DNS) including over eight years of service on the DNS Board of Directors and served as Vice President of the Board. He is a Mentor of STEM students and young environmentalists. Dan does “pro-bono” project design work for non-profits and advises non-profit boards. He has been actively involved in several Delaware Botanic Garden Projects since its inception. Dan said, “I am well aware of the important conservation and wildlife preservation role that Delaware Botanic

Gardens plays in Sussex County. I am proud to continue my active role in this amazing non-profit public garden enterprise.”

Dan Levin was born and raised in Wilmington, DE. He attended Ithaca Art Institute in Philadelphia where he received an Associate’s Degree in the Culinary Arts. He is also a Certified Human Resources Professional through George Mason University. Dan began his career at SoDel Concepts in 2012 working his way through various capacities from Line Cook, to expeditor, and is a member of the HaleyKammerer Consulting and Highwater Management Team. Dan said, “I am honored to join the Delaware Botanic Garden volunteer team and follow in the footsteps of SoDel Chef Ronnie Burke.

Sheryl Swed, DBG Executive Director said, “The dedication and inspirational Leadership of the Advisory Council have helped DBG become a reality. We are honored that Jeremy Hager will continue to serve DBG and that Dan Barbato and Dan Levin have agreed to share their proven leadership talents as we continue this adventure to build a flagship public garden on Delmarva.”

The DBD is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided Tours are available at 10 a.m.

The Delaware Botanic Gardens is located at 30220 Piney Neck Road, Dagsboro, DE 19939. Go to

The mission of the Delaware Botanic Gardens is to create a world-class, inspirational, educational, and sustainable public botanic garden in southern Delaware for the benefit and enjoyment of all.

Editor’s Note:

Photo cover: DBG Piet Oudolf Meadow Garden (By Ray Bojarski)