People and Gardens

Juliann Rooke, chief financial officer at Descanso Gardens Guild Inc., has been named to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer for the 160-acre botanic garden. Her promotion took effect on January 1, 2011. Rooke joined Descanso Gardens as CFO in 2008. She is responsible for all financial activities of the Guild, which manages the Gardens, including developing and managing the $4 million annual operating budget. She will remain the chief contract administrator and take the lead role in working with Los Angeles County, which owns the Descanso property. For more information on Descanso Gardens Guild Inc., click here.


New York Botanical Garden The New York Botanical Garden is recognized by Michelle Obama as one of ten recipients of the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the highest honor the nation confers on these institutions for their outstanding contribution to America’s communities. The awards are made annually by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to museums and libraries that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships. For more information on The New York Botanical Garden, click here.


Dr. Colien Hefferan The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces the appointment of Dr. Colien Hefferan to director of the US National Arboretum. Hefferan currently serves as advisor to the director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Prior to that, she was administrator of USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES). She also served as associate administrator and acting administrator of CSREES before being appointed administrator in 2000. For more information on the US Department of Agriculture, click here.


UNC Botanical GardensThe U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has certified the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill new Education Center as a LEED Platinum building. Platinum is the highest level awarded through LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the nationally accepted certification program for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.  The Education Center is the first Platinum building on a UNC campus, the first state-owned Platinum building, and the first Platinum building in North Carolina that is a public museum and outreach center. For more information on the North Carolina Botanical Garden, click here.


Lord Cultural Resources announces that the Ontario Pavilion at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games received the Gold medal in the Temporary Interior Design category at Canada's National Design Exchange Awards ceremony in Toronto. Ontario House, Ontario's dynamic pavilion in the heart of the Olympic action during the Vancouver Games, February 12 to March 1, 2010, highlighted the Province's creativity, ingenuity and business leadership for visitors and the global media during Canada's Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Lord Cultural Resources, along with the core team of EllisDon as lead general contractor, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Nüssli and Infinite Stage Design, was selected by Ontario's Ministry of Tourism to design, program, build, and manage Ontario's Pavilion. The pavilion was designed to be removed from that site after the Olympics - hence the award was in the Temporary Interior Design category. For more information on Lord Culture Resources, click here.


A recent issue of Arnoldia, the magazine of The Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, features a 20th anniversary retrospective on the work of the North America–China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC). The member institutions of NACPEC, along with their Chinese counterparts, have worked collaboratively on expeditions to China, resulting in extensive collection, distribution, and evaluation of many plants from the amazingly diverse Chinese flora. While sharing some of the pains (bad roads, bureaucracy) and pleasures (spectacular scenery, discovering new species) of plant explorers like Ernest H. Wilson, who worked over a century ago, these modern plant explorers must also deal with new issues including climate change, invasive species, and increased international regulation. For more information on The Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, click here.


picture of Kris Bachtell Kris Bachtell, Vice President of Collections & Facilities at The Morton Arboretum, accepted the role of NAPCC Vice Chair in December. Kris brings expertise in collections management including the Arboretum's four NAPCC collections, leadership experience with the International Plant Propagators Society, ties to the nursery and landscape industry, and experience as an NAPCC site reviewer. Laura Jull, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has become Wisconsin's NAPCC recruiter. For more information on The Morton Arboretum, click here.