Joan Thomas joined the American Public Gardens Association in June 2016 as Director, External Relations. She oversees all aspects of advancement, membership, and communications programs to advance public understanding, advocacy, and support for the Association and its educational and research achievements, ensuring member service excellence.
Formerly the Director of Philanthropy for Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL, Joan’s development career spans 26 years. She has held the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential since 2002 and has a B.A. in Music from St. Olaf College and an M.A. in Business-Arts Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Joan devoted 17 years to building orchestra development programs in Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina (during which she gardened for diversion) before migrating back to Florida in 2010 to advance the public garden world (during which she played piano for a diversion).