Director of Horticulture

Director of Horticulture
Organization Memphis Botanic Garden
Location Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline Jan 3, 2022

Memphis Botanic Garden is a 96-acre garden located in the heart of Memphis whose purpose is to enhance lives by connecting people with plants and by increasing awareness and appreciation of the environment.  Open 363 days a year, Memphis Botanic Garden hosts 225,000 annual visitors to engage with over 30 display gardens and plant collections in year-round recreation, environmental education, entertainment, and tranquility.

In 2016, current Executive Director Mike Allen was hired and, since then, he and the Board have reinvigorated the Garden and its stakeholders to develop a strategic plan that will strengthen the organization’s capacity for excellence in horticulture, operations and community outreach.  In 2018, the Garden launched the Nourish Greenprint: 2021 Capital Campaign with the goal of raising $6M to support upgrades in Garden infrastructure, expand educational opportunities, and support stronger financial reserves  This campaign was successful with many of the planned projects underway if not completed, and with savings and investment funds being managed appropriately.

The Memphis Botanic Garden has an operating budget of $3.1M and a staff of 50. Owned by the City of Memphis, the Garden is managed via an evergreen operating contract on the City’s behalf by the Memphis Botanic Garden Foundation, Inc., a 501C 3 non-profit, which is governed by a 22-member Board of Directors.  The Horticulture Department has 21 staff and an additional 7 interns and contract staff, who directly and indirectly report to the Director of Horticulture.

The Director of Horticulture will have the rare opportunity to significantly enhance the Garden’s reputation and recognition as distinguished by the plant materials, ornamental displays, innovative designs and features indigenous to the region.  They will work closely with the Executive Director and all key stakeholders and will be responsible for cultivating and executing the horticulture vision and strategy for the next decade.  They will drive the further development of current gardens and expand the scope of horticulture activities throughout the Garden and within the community.

The Director of Horticulture will also be a key participant in the development of adult-centered educational programs and potential collaborative research initiatives with schools and universities in the area. They will be responsible for producing results that advance understanding of native plants and healthy ecosystems, further conservation efforts, and effectively engage the public and professional community in the Garden’s mission and vision. Research would be a new initiative of the Garden, if undertaken.  As a member of the senior leadership team, this individual will collaborate in leading the organization in carrying out the mission and strategic goals of Memphis Botanic Garden.

The Director will lead all horticultural initiatives in collaboration with the senior management team and various Board committees in order to ensure an integrated and strategically focused outcome.  The Director will assist with identifying, soliciting and cultivating individuals, philanthropic foundations and corporations to support funding horticulture initiatives.

The qualified candidate will demonstrate proven expertise in horticulture, ornamental plants, garden design and sustainable landscape management. They will possess strong communication and personal presentation skills that are effective with a wide range of audiences including major donors, foundation professionals, corporate executives, elected officials and key governmental administrators.  The ability to speak extemporaneously and to write clearly is essential.  This person must be highly organized and skilled at advanced planning, and resourceful and creative in addressing unforeseen problems that require changes to plans.  Leadership traits such as adaptability, resilience, and open-mindedness are essential.   Experience working with a diverse team of contractors such as landscape architects, equipment vendors, nurseries, tradesmen and project managers is a must. Experience working in a public garden that is known for its best practices in horticulture would be highly desirable.

An advanced degree in a relevant discipline such as horticulture, landscape architecture, ecology, public garden management or related academic tracks is desirable. We seek a minimum of ten years of progressive supervisory experience and demonstrated success in a similar role at another public or private garden.

Memphis Botanic Garden is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse pool of candidates

Applications and nominations are being received by Kittleman & Associates, LLC. To apply, submit a current resume and letter of interest to https://bit.ly/3mVjac3 (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page).

For more information about Memphis Botanic Garden, visit https://www.memphisbotanicgarden.com/

Application Link