Job Listing: Chief Operating Officer Lewis Ginter

Job Postings,

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Richmond, VA

Closes - Open until filled

Position Title – Chief Operating Officer

Salary - 80,000 – 100,000/ year Exempt

Job Type - FT 37.5 hours per week

Apply: Please submit cover letter, resume to Human Resources at

Garden Overview


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s mission is connecting people through plants to improve communities.


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, including the Lewis Ginter Nature Preserve, reveals the unity and integration of human and plant life, celebrates the fundamental significance of the natural world, and enriches communities through horticultural and educational excellence and innovative outreach activities.


Responsibility, Innovation, Integrity, Hospitality, and Inspiration

Founded in 1984, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a non-profit garden located in Richmond, Virginia’s Lakeside neighborhood. The Garden encompasses 82 acres, four lakes, 5,500 unique taxa of plants within 15 distinct outdoor gardens, 11 major buildings including a conservatory and greenhouse, plus an 80-acre branch site, the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. Annually, Lewis Ginter engages over 17,000 students in innovative and exciting education programs. This cadre of identified learners is just a fraction of the more than 400,000 annual visitors to the garden. In recent years, the Garden has been honored with inclusion in several top ten lists for botanical gardens in North America.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the ground of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin in the hiring, retention, or promotion of employees. We support the diversity and inclusion policy adopted by The American Public Gardens Association: to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture where the contributions of all community members are valued, respected, and appreciated.

Job Summary

The Chief Operating Officer provides visionary leadership of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to support daily operations for visitation, events and guest amenities. As a member of the Garden’s Leadership Team, the COO works collaboratively to advance the organizational culture of the Garden in alignment with the mission, vision, and goals.

The COO oversees the Guest Services Departments, including Admissions, Garden Shop, Facility Event Rentals, Public Safety, and Food and Beverage offerings. This proactive, empathetic leader ensures support staffing and department structures to amplify an excellent guest experience, as well as accomplish revenue goals critical to supporting the organizational mission.

Job Responsibilities:


· Serves on Leadership Team and participates in strategic planning to advance the accessibility and relevance of our Garden    for the Community.

· Demonstrates collaboration with other Garden Departments for progressing our culture of Guest Services, Safety,                  Leadership, and Communication.

· Proactively anticipates needs of their team, ensures Guest-facing divisions have the resources needed to excel at their            role,  and plan for future growth.

· Actively participates with the Board of Directors, Board Committees, Garden sponsors, and constituents.

· Partners with the Advancement Team for fundraising and stewardship initiatives in support of Garden priorities.

· Fosters collaboration with Marketing Team to share and promote Garden/Reserve accomplishments and aspirations.

· Serves our local community through meaningful engagement opportunities.

· Pursues leadership opportunities in regional and national cultural associations, societies, and/or groups.

· Serves as a champion and advocate for volunteers participating in guest-facing divisions.

Guest Services

· Provides leadership to Guest Services, Public Safety, Facility Events, and Garden Shop Staff and Volunteers to ensure the        highest level of guest service indicative of a nationally recognized botanical garden.

· Promotes and implements best practice standards of Guest-Centric Hospitality.

· Provides KPIs for Admissions, Garden Shop, Facility Rental, and Public Safety, using available databases to ensure Garden      wide access for reporting, communications, and strategic planning purposes.

· Oversees Free Community Days planning logistics and staffing needs.

· Oversees the Gardens food and beverage services, communicating with CEO/CFO on subsidy/agreement terms impact on      the budget, and serves as POC for guest and rental client issues.

· Represents the Guest Services Departments during the planning and execution of Garden-wide events and exhibitions           (like GardenFest) in order to elevate the guest experience and achieve revenue goals.

· Participates in Garden Gatherings as needed and appropriate to the subject matter.

· Provides support for oversight of public safety efforts and manager-on-duty needs.

· Leads and supports efforts to drive Garden-wide efficiency of systems, processes, and procedures.


· Supports staffing needs that allow for the strategic growth and resourcing of the Guest Services Departments, including        interviewing, hiring, training, supervising, and performance assessment, with the ability to coach counsel and transition          staff.

· Supports volunteer management efforts by appropriately assisting with placement, training, coaching, and transitioning,        as well as developing meaningful ways to nurture and recognize volunteers on an ongoing basis.

· Empowers directors/managers in the recruitment and development of their teams within their sections.

· Works collaboratively with directors/managers to determine annual budget needs, authorize expenditures, manage                assigned budgets, and provide reports.

· Creates a positive work environment through effective and regular communication, being an approachable leader, and          actively seeking input and suggestions.

Skills and Abilities:

· Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

· Excellent interpersonal, negotiation, and conflict-resolution skills.

· Proactive and responsive, ensuring anticipation of Departmental needs to benefit Garden operations.

· Well-organized, detail-oriented, possessing an intuitive understanding of guest interactions and expectations, pedestrian      traffic flow, and event and program logistics.

· Able to work independently as well as in a team environment.

· Technical proficiency with computers, databases, and Microsoft software programs (including Microsoft Outlook, Teams,        Excel, Word, and PowerPoint).

Physical Demands / Working Conditions

· Able to move between periods of sitting at a desk and computer work to standing for long periods of time and walking            from facility to facility and around an 82-acre Garden property.

· Able to lift 15-20 pounds as needed.

Note: Duties described above, other duties, and physical demands have been identified as essential functions as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Education and Experience


· BS in Business Administration and management, hospitality, or a related field is preferred.

· Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience managing staff and volunteers in a diverse, multi-faceted visitor-based                  environment.

· Experience overseeing multiple departments, able to work as part of a team, and interact well, calmly, and cheerfully with      visitors, customers, volunteers, and staff.

· Demonstrated experience working in a fast-paced environment, multi-tasking, and making quick decisions.

· Comfortable working with people, often in large group settings.

Each Employee of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

· Must comply with provisions of the current Employee Handbook, all published personnel policies, and the requirements of    their individual job descriptions.

· Must conduct herself or himself and perform all duties in a manner consistent with a public garden serving                                multigenerational and multicultural individuals and families and in accordance with directed practices and procedures.

· Must be aware of surroundings and vigilant to threats to the safety of visitors, volunteers, and staff or to the security of          their property, ensuring that all concerns are reported promptly.

· Must report all mishaps, injuries, and incidents immediately and ultimately in writing to supervisor(s) and HR.

· Must ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.

· Must perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.