Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (SLG) is a 252-acre horticultural center and wildlife preserve in Orange, Texas, along the waterways of Adams Bayou, that combines botanical gardens and an education-based nature center in a unique way. The Gardens are operated by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private operating foundation established in 1961 that aims to encourage and assist education and to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas by providing significant resources for the study and enjoyment of art, history, nature, and culture.
After it reopened to the public in 2009 following the completion of renovations, SLG was selected as one of the greenest projects in the world by the American Institute of Architects and was also recognized by the United States Green Building Council as a Platinum LEED project, which is the highest level of green construction. It became the first Platinum LEED certified new construction facility in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn this designation.
SLG’s Visitor Center engages visitors to become acquainted with the rich history of SLG, from H.J. Lutcher Stark’s original vision to the current and future SLG. This area includes the Exhibit Hall, Discovery Theater, Exhibition Greenhouse, historic Epiphyte Greenhouse, the Here We Grow! Children’s Garden, the Wetland Demonstration Garden, and a Café.
The position of Executive Director of Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (SLG) offers an exceptional opportunity to lead an organization with a deep commitment to the highest quality horticultural displays, and environmental education for people of all ages. This individual will have the opportunity to restore facilities and infrastructure damaged by recent severe storms, envision new educational and interpretive projects, and bring forth the Stark Foundation’s commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. They will be strongly encouraged to regularly interact with the directors of the other Cultural Venues of the Foundation and will also represent SLG among the residents of Orange, TX and southeast Texas.
The Stark Foundation is seeking a dynamic, well-versed leader with vision and enthusiasm to guide and oversee Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in all aspects. An undergraduate degree in horticulture, botany, ecology, or environmental sciences or a related discipline is required. A graduate degree is highly desired. The qualified candidate will have a minimum of 10 years of senior level experience, preferably gained with a botanical garden and/or nature/environmental center or other related nonprofit cultural or educational institution OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
This person will demonstrate skill and experience in identifying, planning, developing, and overseeing capital project improvements and day-to-day operations. This candidate will have demonstrated written and verbal communication skills across all levels of an organization and with the public at large.
The ability to work collaboratively with staff, volunteers, patrons, and community leaders to develop and propel forward the vision for SLG’s excellence and growth are important attributes as are excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask under pressure in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment. The ideal candidate will have the ability to positively represent SLG to the Stark Foundation Board, the residents of Orange, Texas, and the national public garden community. They will also make themselves readily available to news outlets.
To apply, submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at https://bit.ly/3ARX5jb (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page).
Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.