About Lorence

Lorence Wenke

Lorence Wenke is a proven business and political leader, and has lived in Kalmazoo County for his entire life. Wenke served for six years in the Michigan House of Representatives until term limits ended his tenure.  Wenke was appointed Chair of the Tax Policy Committee during his first term, Chair of the Higher Education and Career Preparation Committee during his second term, and minority vice-chair of the Labor and Retiree Healthcare Committee during his final term.

Prior to his election to the State House, Wenke was a Kalamazoo County Commissioner for eight years and served as chairman for three years.

Wenke graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High school in 1963 and attended Calvin College for two years, graduating from WMU with a business degree in 1967.
Wenke worked in the family celery and flower farm business and as a manager for Westinghouse Electric Corporation.  He also worked briefly as a licensed realtor and a nurse assistant prior to becoming the owner of Wenke Greenhouses in 1971.  In addition to owning his own greenhouse business, in 1980 he became a partner in Michigan Grower Products.  In 1982, Wenke became the owner of Sunbelt Greenhouses in Douglas, Georgia.
Today, Wenke/Sunbelt Greenhouses has six locations in two states and is one of the top 15 producers of bedding plants in the country.  Sales of over 35 million and 300 employees keep the Wenke family busy and connected to current economic issues.  Wenke/Sunbelt Greenhouses includes 60 acres of greenhouses at six locations and is the 21st largest greenhouse in the USA.
Wenke and his wife, Nancy, have been married 56 years.  They have two children, Lisa and her husband work at Wenke greenhouses and Lisa became the majority stock owner of Wenke/Sunbelt Greenhouses in 2012 and now is the CEO of the company.   Jeff Wenke is ordained in the Reformed Church in America and pastors a church in Portage, MI.  Lorence and Nancy have six grandchildren whom they enjoy very much.



76 years old

Wife of 56 years: Nancy (Boven) Wenke, a nurse at Borgess Hospital;

Father: Chris Wenke, celery farmer and park developer

Mother: Ann Wenke, homemaker and mother of six children

Children: Lisa Ambrosio and Rev. Jeff Wenke

Six grandchildren

Lives in Kalamazoo County (74 years)


1967 – Bachelor of Business Administration, Western Michigan University

1963 – Diploma, Kalamazoo Christian High School

Business Experience

1954-63 – Worked on family celery and flower farm (Comstock, Michigan)

1968-69 – Manager, Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Boston, Massachusetts)

1968-69 – Licensed Realtor (State of Massachusetts)

1970 – Nurse Assistant, Kalamazoo State Hospital (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

1971-Present – Retired Owner, Wenke Greenhouses (Comstock, Michigan)

1980-Present – Partner, Michigan Grower Products (Galesburg, Michigan)

1982-Present – Retired Owner, Sunbelt Greenhouses (Douglas, Georgia)

Leadership and Service (former and present)

Former Director, Bedding Plants International, Inc.

Member, Community Correction Advisory Board

Former Deacon, Haven Reformed Church and North Park Reformed Church

Member, Kalamazoo Christian School Association Development Council

Chairman and Member, Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners

Member, Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce

Member, Kalamazoo County Council of Governments

Member, Kalamazoo County Park Commission

Member, Kalamazoo County Republican Executive Committee

Member, Kalamazoo County Park Commission

Member, Kalamazoo County Republican Executive COmmittee

Member, Kalamazoo Rotary Club

Former Director and Current Member, Kalamazoo Valley Plant Growers Cooperative

Director, Michigan Grower Products

Director, Ohio Florists Association

Member, Richland Bible Church

Member, Gull Lake United Methodist Church