Patrick McNeal A life-long student of botany and ecology, Patrick McNeal has operated a successful wholesale nursery in Austin for more than 30 years, a career that allows him study plants in cultivation. Pat was born in California and began growing native plants shortly after moving to Texas, a state whose climate is far less forgiving. In addition to his passion for native plants, Pat seeks out and collects species from the wilds of Texas, Mexico, and Arizona that will thrive under Texas’s challenging climatic conditions. Pat’s work in ecological restoration helped him develop the philosophy that a site should drive all aspects of landscape design, from urban landscaping projects to large-scale ecological restoration efforts. Driven by a desire to expand the places where plants can grow, Pat partnered with John to form Vertical Growing Systems. He applies his vast experience in growing thousands of plants species under just about every type of circumstance to making sure that VGS products fulfill their potential.
John Swyers has a passion for plants and landscape design and a desire to develop solutions to the many challenges of growing plants in the highly variable conditions of Texas. He helped launch VGS to create innovative products designed to maximize the benefits of plant communities in our living spaces while minimizing the impact to scarce environmental resources. A 25 year veteran of the Semiconductor manufacturing industry, John has a solid background in product development, volume manufacturing, and remote service, which he intends to apply in order to produce practical and affordable living walls for mass consumption and utilization. He has published on advanced metrology for Semiconductor manufacturing and holds several patents. VGS represents Mr Swyers second major entrepreneurial endeavor.