Michelle interest in teaching stems from what she has learned as a new set of skills in advanced classes, workshops and study groups. She explains "I see how much faster I could have progressed if I had known then what I know now." She has been interested in bonsai and a member of MBS since 1990. She has taken workshops and/or private lessons from Mas Imazumi, Colin Lewis, Roy Nagatoshi, Jim Doyle, Gary Marchal, Rheiner Goebel, Suthin, Kathey Shaner and many other artists. She has traveled extensively to conventions in the United States and internationally including conventions in Japan, China, Europe, Australia and Canada and has seen some of the world’s best bonsai and watched some of the world’s best artists at work. Michelle's personal collection numbers over 30 trees in all stages of development. She has won awards locally and at the Chicago Midwest Show, peoples choice at MABA in Michegan although she prefers not to competes. Her personal interest is in hardy trees which are American natives, especially collected trees. Michelle strengths include her ability to “find the tree”, knowledge of rules of classical design and display, teaching and verbal skills. Her technical skills are solid and include wiring, pruning, foliage management, soil construction and transplanting, jin and shari creation and maintenance.
Michelle currently works with the curator of bonsai at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. She also works with curator of bonsai at the Lynden Sculture Garden. She has written several articles for the newsletter.