Job Listing: Vice President (VP) of Horticulture

Job Postings ,

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Richmond, VA

Closes - Open until filled

Position Title – Vice President (VP) of Horticulture

Salary - $35 to $52/hr

Job Type - Full Time, Exempt

Apply: please apply at hr@lewisginter.org

Garden Overview 

Mission  

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

Vision  

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. 

Values  

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. 

Our Horticulture staff exhibits a tireless commitment to creating new and innovative gardens and displays that delight and inspire visitors of all ages and from all backgrounds. We are committed to demonstrating the use and cultivation of a wide palette of native and exotic plants suitable for use in Central Virginia and strive to maintain our collections to the highest standards in an environmentally responsible way. We feature over 7,750 accessioned plants representing over 5,000 taxa. We think independently, work collaboratively, and unite in our passion for horticulture. We come from diverse backgrounds and celebrate different ways of being, in ourselves and in others.  

Our organization is poised to embark on the first major expansion of our Garden in almost two decades. Expansion of our current Conservatory will feature a year-round Butterfly Exhibit, enhanced Tropical Rainforest house, a Mediterranean house, Cacti & Succulent house, and a house devoted to seasonal horticulture displays. Additionally, we will create over seven new acres of Gardens in support of resilient communities, lifelong learning, and environmental stewardship while advancing our collections. The future Vice President of Horticulture will have a significant leadership role as we plan, create, program and implement these new garden areas for our community. 

Job Description 

The Vice President (VP) of Horticulture provides visionary leadership of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Horticulture Department and the daily operations of the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. As a member of the Garden’s Leadership Team, the VP works collaboratively to advance the organizational culture of the Garden in alignment with mission, vision and values. The VP establishes and maintains the highest aesthetic standards for horticultural and landscape display excellence. As a connected member in the horticulture, botanic and arboretum community, the VP will expand the Garden’s professional network to curate and grow our botanical collections in accordance with our plant collections policy. The proactive, intuitive, and empathetic leader will have a passion for the natural world, love for plants, and a desire for new, innovative, and evocative garden displays that delight, heal, and celebrate diversity. 

Responsibilities 

Leadership 

  • Serves on Leadership Team and participates in strategic planning to advance the accessibility and relevance of our Garden/Reserve 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 Horticulture has the tools to excel at their role, and plans for future growth. 
  • Actively participate with Board of Directors, Board Committees, Garden sponsors and constituents. 
  • Partners with Advancement Team for fundraising and stewardship initiatives to amplify Horticultural, Botanical, and Sustainable 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 horticultural associations, societies, and/or groups. 
  • Serves as a champion and advocate for volunteers participating in the Horticulture Department. 

Horticulture, Collections, Design and Display 

  • Provides leadership to Horticulture Staff and Volunteers to ensure the highest aesthetic standard indicative of a nationally recognized botanical garden. 
  • Promotes and implements best practice standards of garden care and maintenance to include: modification of soil conditions, irrigation, and other environmental factors to support plant health and ecological diversity. 
  • Advances our plant collections in accordance with our Plant Collections Policy and works collaboratively with other gardens, arboreta, plant societies, nurseries etc. to build and diversify collections for conservation, education, inspiration and accreditation. 
  • Provides leadership to ensure excellence of plant record keeping in the Garden/Reserve including plant accessions, labels, cultivation information and their appropriate curation in our living collections database. 
  • Promotes and implements integrated and regenerative environmental practices for Garden/Reserve stewardship. 
  • Oversees horticultural maintenance, construction, installation, and renovation, as well as associated outsourced contractors. 
  • Engages with community for lectures, workshops, classes, etc. and serves as an informed resource for horticulture regionally. 

Administration 

  • Supports staffing and volunteer needs that allow for the strategic growth and resourcing of the Horticulture Department including interviewing, hiring, training, supervising, and performance assessment, with the ability to coach, counsel and transition staff and volunteers. 
  • Empowers Horticulture Section Leaders and Managers in the recruitment and development of their teams within their Garden sections. 
  • Works collaboratively with Horticulture Department Section Leaders 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. 

 

Additional Duties 

  • Maintains professional privacy and confidentiality. 
  • Actively participates in staff training and department meetings. 
  • Fosters collaboration with other garden, arboreta, and horticultural leaders. 
  • Weekend, evening and holiday hours as needed. 

Skills and Abilities 

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and group facilitation. 
  • Excellent interpersonal, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills. 
  • Proactive and responsive ensuring anticipation of Departmental needs to benefit efficient Garden operations. 
  • Expertise and experience with pesticide certification and ISA certification. 
  • Well-organized and detail-oriented, able to work independently as well as in a team environment. 
  • Technical proficiency with computers, databases, Microsoft software programs (including Microsoft Outlook, Teams, Excel, Word PowerPoint) 
  • Ability to use Garden’s plant records system. 
  • Ability to manage a budget. 

 

Employees 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 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 incidents immediately and ultimately in writing to supervisor(s) and to HR. 
  • Must ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. 
  • Must perform other duties as assigned by supervisor. 

 

Physical Demands / Working Conditions 

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and computer work. 
  • The position requires familiarity with all public areas of the 82-acre Garden property. 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 

Required: Master’s degree in Horticulture, landscape design, botany, biology, or closely related field. An equivalent combination of skills, education, and experience may be considered. 

Valid Driver’s License 

Minimum of seven years relevant and increasingly responsible horticulture management experience, inclusive of planning, managing a diverse team, and managing a variety of horticultural operations at a public garden or arboretum.