Board of Directors

Neil Sperry

  • CMT Board Treasurer
  • McKinney
  • Horticulturist
  • Joined CMT Board: 1998

“I am involved because I want to help our city and its residents celebrate the special nature of McKinney. I see CMT as showcasing the premier flowering shrub in the South in a way that no other city has done.”

Lynn Sperry

  • CMT Board Member
  • McKinney
  • Volunteer, M.I.S.D. Board of Trustees
  • Joined CMT Board: 1998

“I am involved because I see this as a very worthwhile project. It provides beautification and potential for strong economic impact. I especially enjoy watching M.I.S.D. youth get involved through our fifth grade Mother’s Day program.”

Bram Franklin

  • CMT Board Member
  • Richardson
  • TechsScape, Inc.
  • Joined CMT Board: 2004

“I am involved because I love McKinney and the CMT project. This not only improves the beauty of McKinney, but it also creates a national scientific achievement in the study of crape myrtles that has never been seen before.”

Carolyn Skei – Secretary

Carolyn Skei joined the CMT board in 2009. She is the editor of Neil Sperry’s GARDENS magazine and e-gardens newsletter. She is also a Collin County Master Gardener and an active member of several area art associations. A Tyler-born native Texan, Carolyn has lived in several other states, including California, where she was publications director at California State University, Fresno for 18 years (and where she planted her first crape myrtles). Carolyn moved here in 2000 and says she loves “the vibrant blend of old and new that is McKinney – with lovely trees like crape myrtles tying it all together. ” She believes CMT can help the community “beautify everything from parks to business areas.”

Susan Shuttleworth

  • CMT Board Member
  • McKinney, Texas
  • Volunteer, local business owner
  • Joined CMT Board: 2014

“As a CMT Board Member, one of my first assignments was coordinating delivery of more than 2000 crape myrtle trees during our annual fifth-grade CMT Mothers’ Day program. Since I was coordinating efforts to ensure the right number of trees where loaded in the right volunteers’ trucks and headed to the correct McKinney ISD elementary school – I missed seeing the children’s reactions during the tree deliveries and school presentations. But as luck would have it, as I was driving home – sore, tired and still pulling crape myrtle tree sprigs from my hair – I spotted a group of five boys nearing an intersection who appeared to be on their way home from school.  Each were “walking their bike” along the sidewalk while oh so carefully clutching a crape myrtle tree as if they were carrying a newborn baby home. I’ll never forget the look of those young boys’ faces.  And that’s why I am dedicated to CMT and to help keep McKinney an amazing place to live.”


Phil Wheat

  • President of CMT Board
  • McKinney
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Joined CMT Board: 2006

“I am involved because I want McKinney to be recognized as a great place to live and do business. It is my feeling that citizens who get involved can make our city something truly special.”

Barbra Dutton

  • CMT Board Member
  • McKinney
  • Branded Floors, Inc
  • Joined CMT Board: 2013

“I am excited and proud to be part of such a “unique by Nature McKinney project” beautifying the parks, medians and schools with colorful drought tolerant Crape Myrtles. This effort truly supports why McKinney is one of the best places to live in America.”

Kerry Cassuto

  • CMT Board Member
  • McKinney
  • Owner, PRO Marketing Links
  • Joined CMT Board: 2012

“I am involved because I have a passion for helping people. I love McKinney, and I love servant work that enriches the community in which my family lives and plays.”

Melanie Hedrick

A Dallas native and full-time Realtor in Collin County, Melanie currently serves as Secretary for the CMT board.  She has co-chaired the CMT 5K Fun Run fundraiser (2011, 2012) and assisted with several other CMT projects.  Melanie has been an active community volunteer in some capacity her entire adult life.  Some of her other volunteer endeavors include establishing the McKinney Teen Mothers of Preschoolers organization in 2003, serving on the boards for McKinney’s Stonebridge Ranch Ladies Association and YMCA of Richardson, as well as teaching English as a second language. Melanie says of the Crape Myrtle Trails, “I love being part of this effort.  The trees we have planted in our parks, schools and medians are already bringing distinction and tourism to McKinney.  The trails will grow even more beautiful with time and will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come!

Rodney Haynes

  • CMT Board Member
  • McKinney
  • Haynes Landscape and Maintenance, Inc.
  • Joined CMT Board: 2011

“I am involved because I want to have an impact on our city. City beautification, community involvement and a spirit of vitality represent the variety and vigor of our town.”



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