PlantSense Team

Matt Glenn Matthew Glenn
Founder and CEO, PlantSense

Matt founded PlantSense to solve a very common problem - figuring out what plant will grow in a given location. Matt was first introduced to gardening by his Grandfather, who built a hydroponic vegetable garden in his back yard. If you go to Matt's place in San Francisco, you will find a lot of flourishing houseplants. He wishes his back yard was a bit more sunny so that he could have a vegetable garden. Matt is a veteran of multiple startup companies including Xircom, Xylan, Packet Engines, Allegro Networks, and Airespace. Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, and getting out for a surf now and again.

Favorite plant: Hibiscus
David Wilkins David Wilkins
Chief Technologist & Engineering Manager

A co-founder of the company, David focuses on the technical foundation of the product, leading a technical development group of hardware, software, web, and quality assurance engineers. Additionally, he has strategically folded a top-notch horticultural team into the traditional engineering framework, enabling PlantSense to develop its unique product line. With over 20 years of engineering experience, David held management and system architect positions at Allegro Networks, where he was also a co-founder. Previous significant contributions were made at Packet Engines and NCR Microelectronics, amongst others.

He enjoys the startup company experience, culture, and pace. Urban gardening and amateur photography allow him a little relaxation between product delivery milestones.

Favorite Plant: Anything Carnivorous
Greg Banks Greg Banks
Software Engineer

Greg is responsible for a variety of things, from keeping the website running smoothly to writing software that aids in the manufacturing process. He graduated from UCSB with his M.S. in computer science in 2008 and started working at Plantsense shortly thereafter. Greg enjoys the startup environment and the opportunity it affords him to work on many different projects.

When Greg is not navigating the digital aether, he tries to get a healthy dose of sun while riding his bike in the Oakland hills, taking advantage of his backyard garden plot, or barbecuing in the park.

Favorite plant: Habanero
Melinda Byerley Melinda Byerley
Vice President, Marketing

Melinda is responsible for all things website and marketing related. She has nearly twenty years' marketing experience; with the last ten spent successfully managing a variety of internet businesses at eBay, PayPal, CheckPoint Software, and Linden Lab/Second Life. After accidentally killing her beloved dwarf Meyer lemon tree, she knows the helpless feeling new gardeners have trying to make sense of all the information on plant care. So she came to PlantSense for the opportunity to work on solving a real life problem using the internet. Because she loves to eat organic veggies, and has PlantSmart to help, she is now diving deep into kitchen container gardening on her downtown San Francisco patio. Melinda earned her MBA from Cornell University and holds a BFA in Theatre from Illinois Wesleyan University.

When not working, Melinda serves on the board of the San Francisco Playhouse; and visits health care facilities with her miniature poodle Fozzie, who is a certified therapy dog.

Favorite plant: Heirloom Tomatoes, Meyer Lemon, and flowering plants of all kinds, especially Jasmine and Roses
Carlos Cuadra Carlos Cuadra
QA Team Lead

Carlos is responsible for testing PlantSense's Client and Website Applications. Carlos really enjoys the excitement of the startup environment and has been a member and leader of several QA Teams at different companies over the last 10 years...there is just something very fulfilling about how your everyday efforts help an organization grow. In addition to testing current and upcoming products, Carlos will be responsible for building a QA team.

Carlos enjoys soccer (both on the field and watching on television), music, photography, and spending time with his wife and very active daughter.

Favorite plant: Money Tree
Madeline Duva Madeline Duva
Chairman of the Board

Ms. Duva, an embedded software entrepreneur with over 20 years experience (18 years in Silicon Valley), has been instrumental in developing and executing strategic initiatives throughout her career. After a few years at Fidelity Investments, she moved to Silicon Valley where she has held senior managerial posts at Communication Intelligence Corp, PenOp, Dejima, and Revere Data. Before starting her own consulting firm advising start-ups, Madeline was CEO of China MobileSoft, which developed a complete Linux platform for mobile phones. In 2005, PalmSource successfully acquired CMS, where she held the position of VP Silicon and ODM partners. PalmSource was then acquired by ACCESS. In addition to her role at PlantSense, Madeline sits on the advisory boards of a number of companies in the mobile industry, including 3jam (, Eye-Fi (, DeviceVM ( and Nexage (

Madeline is a passionate gardener who admits to crushing slugs with her bare hands, as she hates using chemicals.

Favorite plant: depends on the time of the year but if pressed, Gingko gets the billing
Matt Eckerle Matt Eckerle
System Architect, Team Lead

Matt's job is to apply the latest horticultural technology to make plants thrive in your space. To take the guesswork out of growing, Matt develops algorithms to recommend proper planting and care in your specific environment. Matt's background is in Agricultural Engineering and Computational Biology, and his last project was a similar track, signal processing fetal heart rates non-invasively for Prenatek, Inc.

Favorite plant: California Live Oak
Chris Foo Chris Foo
Senior Software Engineer

As a senior software engineer, Chris is responsible for any PlantSense web-related assets including Prior to joining PlantSense, Chris worked as a consulting software developer for various software companies in the Ottawa-area (Canada). With over 10 years of online development experience, Chris has been a software developer, web application developer, user interface designer and on occasion a web surfer.

Chris enjoys all things outdoors including soccer, ultimate frisbee, hiking, skating, photography, and biking and is slowly catching the gardening bug.

Favorite Plant: Red Maple
Ian Hall Ian Hall
Plant Expert

Ian Hall, a master landscape designer with roots in Napa, California, is our in-house horticulture expert who handles the upkeep and further development of the Plantsense database. He answers all plant questionsfrom our clientele regarding plant health, plant choices, and general gardening and environmental horticulture. He also authors all plant interest articles posted on the website and keeps our clients updated throughout the year with 'plant alerts' reminding them of maintenance and care required to keep their plants in top shape. Ian's education includes Botany and Environmental Horticulture study along with an award winning career in landscape design that has refined his love and knowledge of plants. He has been the featured designer on multiple episodes of the nationally-syndicated TV show 'Yard Crashers'.

Ian enjoys spending time with his children, camping, hiking, fly fishing, cooking, wine tasting, and of course gardening, harvesting vegetables and fruits for local farmers' markets and fine dining restaurants.

Favorite plant: Dahlia...complex and diverse as we all are. But ask me again next week!
Andrew Hill Andrew Hill
Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Andy is responsible for all PlantSense Manufacturing, Logisitics, and Customer Support activities and for management of the Accounting, Human Resources, and Facilities organizations. Through Senior Operational Management positions at several technology start-ups including: Diamond Lane (Nokia), Anthology Solutions, and BRN Phoenix, Andy has developed a strong background of experience in all facets of electronic product development and manufacturing outsourcing. As GM of Operations for Nokia Networks USA, Andy was responsible for a $150M global manufacturing outsourcing program. Andy relishes the excitement and dynanicism of start-up companies and gains personal fulfillment from the successful design and implementation of manufacturing and logistics outsourcing models and critical operational processes and procedures.

Andy enjoys Coaching Little League Baseball, Golfing, Barbecueing, and occasional bouts of gardening (Though Andy is better at grilling vegetables than growing them).
Cheryl Hozid Cheryl Hozid

Cheryl handles the Bookkeeping and assists with the Facilities Operations at PlantSense. She has been in Bookkeeping and Office Management for over 10 years, working in a wide range of industries from Promotional Products to Banking.

Cheryl recently moved to the Bay Area from her home state of Rhode Island. She has also lived in the South and the Midwest but has been drawn to the San Francisco area since her first visit. She loves the mountains, the ocean, the diversity of people and never, ever tires of the view of the Golden Gate Bridge!

Favorite Plant: Jasmine
Chris Jewell Chris Jewell
Software Engineer

Chris is an experienced and well-seasoned Java Software Engineer currently responsible for enhancing and developing the EasyBloom web and application infrastructure. Chris moved with his family from the United Kingdom to California in 1991, and is now an American citizen. Chris obtained his first degree in applied physics at the University of Durham and has a post graduate diploma in computer science from the University of London. Chris lives in beautiful Marin country and enjoys a variety of activities, including 'geeking out' on technology, tending to his home aquarium, trying to run as fast as possible(!), and being with family and friends. Chris admits he is a novice gardener but is very keen to gain a green thumb or two; he is finding it fun and instructive using his EasyBloom sensors.

Favorite Plant: English Bluebell
Laurel Lee Laurel Lee
Director of Product Management

From software setup to sowing seeds, it's Laurel's responsibility to make the experience delightful and lead to millions of happier gardeners and healthier plants. After a dozen years in technology by week, and gardening by weekend, she's thrilled to be combining the two. As product manager, she relies on the experience and insight of the "real people" that need and use her products. After 10+ years at Intuit interviewing users about accounting, and a couple more at caring for aging parents, she's happy to add some "fun" to important subject matter.

She's found "home" in the fast and furious start up world: where "we're-all-in-this-together," inventing solutions for yet unsolved challenges, to make people's lives better! At her other home, she enjoys the slightly more common activities: raising 2 kids, reading, trying to exercise and her ever-improving gardening endeavors.

Favorite Plant: Angel's Trumpet
Ben Newman Ben Newman
Senior Software Engineer

Ben is a Java developer tasked with writing the next generation architecture for the PlantSense site. With 15 years of industry experience he has worked on a wide variety of projects for many businesses including Wells Fargo, E-Loan and Organic Online. He recently graduated with his MBA from SFSU where his focus was on environment business practices. When not in the office Ben enjoys a variety of home improvement projects (including gardening), video games and playing with his son.

Favorite plant: Dahlia
Jerome Sicat Jerome Sicat
Interactive Designer, Front-end Developer

Jerome has enjoyed his role on the PlantSense team for several years and is now the interactive designer and front-end developer. His eye for design and acute understanding of social interaction enables him to develop the website user interface- making it easier for customers to read and understand PlantSense's vast directory of information. As a graduate from the Academy of Art University with a BFA in Web Design and New Media, he also applies his skills by freelancing web design work and photography.

Jerome lives in the urban environment of San Francisco where conditions for plant growing are not always optimal. He makes up for this lack by enjoying the park on sunny days- either biking or napping along the greenery.

Favorite Plant: Giant Sequoia
Geoff Smith Geoff Smith
Director of Software Engineering

Geoff is responsible for the software design and coding of the client application and firmware of the EasyBloom product. Geoff hails from the United Kingdom, and recently became an American citizen. He came to the U.S. in 1994 to work for Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, in a think-tank focused on developing consumer electronics products. Geoff has a computer science degree from the University of Westminster College, and an MA in design from the Royal College of Art, both in London, allowing him to work on both the art and the science of consumer products. As a new American, Geoff loves American Pinot Noir, barbecue and football, and is an active vegetable gardener and composter.

Favorite Plant: Tomato