Meet the Sonnenberg Team

Kirk Sonnenberg

Kirk is the Founder and CEO of Sonnenbergs Inc. He got his start at an early age mowing lawns when not at school or football practice. Kirk graduated from Southeastern Missouri State University and soon after, in 1983, started Sonnenberg Asphalt sealing driveways out of his pick-up truck. With a big dream and determination….he saved enough money years later to purchase used asphalt equipment and taking on asphalt projects. He eventually added the landscape material supply division and as business grew, added the landscape design- build department out of demand for quality landscape and hardscape installations.

His tireless work ethic continues today as you will find him laying asphalt, loading materials and helping customers. Family is everything to Kirk and, when not running Sonnenbergs, you will find him spending time with Kelly, his beautiful wife of over 30 years, and their 3 sons: Chris, Casey and Carson….2 of the 3 working in the business full time. Kirk has recently embraced the role of Grandpa and has fallen in love with his granddaughter, Avery.

Ray Sonnenberg

Ray has been managing the Columbia, IL location since its opening in 2007. He started with Sonnenbergs since its inception in 1983. As the landscaping company grew in the 1990’s, he began to handle all of the material ordering and store management. As Lead Buyer, his extensive knowledge and experience has helped him cultivate relationships with many landscape contractors in St. Clair and Monroe Counties. With over 30 years’ experience in the Landscape industry, Ray brings confidence and understanding to each of his customer’s landscape project needs.

Ray has been happily married to Theresa for over 40 years and enjoys family time grilling on his Big Green Egg. His 3 Grandchildren keep him busy along with playing Golf and watching SLU Billiken games.

TK Zaring

TK manages the Material Supply division of Sonnenbergs and has done so with dedication since 2004. An Army veteran with over 50 years of retail experience, TK mentors many of Sonnenberg landscaping contractors and homeowners with their landscape projects. He offers his expertise to every customer and is the ‘Go to resource’ for all DIY projects big and small. He is especially skilled and experienced in natural stone materials, hardscape materials and project order calculations.

TK keeps everything running smoothly and when not at his home away from home….he enjoys Golf and spending time with his Grandchildren.

Chris Sonnenberg

As store manager since 2010, Chris has been working in the family business for as long as he can remember. He started sealing driveways and now heads the landscape material division. He received his B.B.A. from Eastern Illinois University. He enjoys working outside but, the ultimate payoff is helping people create their dream landscapes.

Outside of work, Chris enjoys his time with his wife Kristan and daughter Avery. You will also find him playing and watching any sports and hanging out with his friends. As a sports enthusiast, he is an avid St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas Jayhawk fan.

Kelda Abe

As a Landscape Designer with more than 20 years of experience in both residential and commercial landscape design and construction, Kelda offers her clients individualized attention and designs unique and personal to each project.

Her education and professional training in Horticulture-Landscape Design from SLCC, St. Louis University and Missouri Botanical Garden, along with her travels throughout the world, have inspired her to develop a unique approach to landscape design. Her philosophy combines the principles of design with her love of natural elements and plants.

When she is not daydreaming about outdoor spaces or spending time with her family… you will find her in her natural habitat outdoors staying active with running, mountain biking, herb gardening, Latin dancing or martial arts.

Matt Wheat

As Project Manager of Sonnenbergs Design-Build division, Matt joined the Sonnenberg team in 2005. He worked his way up from Job Foreman to lead the department along with the Landscape Designer.

He is a graduate of Kaskaskia College and possesses over 15 years of field experience. He is an NCMA certified installer and takes great care with every project with a discerning eye for every detail. He enjoys working with his clients from the initial phone call to the completion of their envisioned dream landscape.

In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his children and family. He likes attending all of his children’s various sporting events as well as music events. He is an avid golfer, musician and billiards player who enjoys fishing and many other sport activities.