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2 Nov 2022

Full-Time Chief Executive Officer

Powell Gardens – Posted by vmorrow Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Powell Gardens logo

Job Description

Established in 1988, Powell Gardens is a public garden, maintaining 970 acres of lush, rolling hills and windswept meadows, with more than 175 acres and a large collection of plants open to the public for education, exploration, and recreation. Many of the plants in the Gardens are regionally native, and all highlight the changing seasons and Midwest spirit of place. As Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, Powell Gardens plays a vital role in the community as a space for release, rejuvenation, and the celebration of the fleeting nature of nature itself. Visitors enjoy eight themed display gardens, a three-mile nature trail, seasonal festivals, rotating exhibitions and exceptional architecture.

Powell Gardens seeks an inspiring individual who will bring vision and leadership characterized by an ability to garner broad community support, increase visibility of the Gardens and carry forward major new projects and programs while balancing the internal management of a world class collaborative team.

They will be driven by honoring and respecting existing stakeholder relationships while building new meaningful connections across multiple groups, including Garden staff, volunteers, donors, partners, businesses, civic groups, public officials, visitors, members, and other stakeholders.  The ideal candidate will have an effective, transparent and direct communication style.

This leader is an exceptional communicator whose passion is evident by their ability to articulate the vision and aspirations of Powell Gardens energetically and enthusiastically.  Experience at a high-level in fundraising and donor engagement is essential. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a proven track record in obtaining major individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation support, and government grants.  Successful experience in leading a capital campaign is a plus.

A proven ability to manage and lead a garden, museum, or other cultural institution is required.  This includes experience in hiring, coaching and delegating, resulting in a high-quality, collaborative team of tightly coordinated, professional and accountable staff members all working towards common goals.   Of critical importance is the candidate’s ability to transform ideas into specific, goal-driven project outcomes. Experience in project management, from basic infrastructure improvements to large-scale capital construction projects, is ideal. Solid, demonstrated skills in operations, finance and business management are expected.

Specific experience with public gardens is preferred but not a requirement. However, an affinity and passion for the mission of public gardens, as well as in the natural sciences, must be demonstrated. Senior-level leadership in a similar venue that aspires to deliver an extraordinary visitor experience is highly desirable.  Experience in nonprofit management and governance in a cultural institution is required.

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required.  Affiliation with local, state, or national professional or trade associations related to the Garden’s mission would be a plus.

 The target salary for this position is $150,000 – $180,000 with some flexibility commensurable with experience.  Benefits include a robust health care package which include medical, dental and vision benefits, paid time off for vacation, family care, mental and physical health, religious holidays, civic duties and bereavement, as well as the opportunity to participate in a retirement plan.

How to Apply

To apply, submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page). For more information about Powell Gardens, visit  

Job Categories: Horticulture / Gardening / Landscaping. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Gardens. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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