The Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society (ARS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Brandon K. Baker as the first Executive Director at Portland’s renowned Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. The garden is managed by the ARS Portland Chapter in partnership with the City of Portland Parks & Recreation Department. New Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden Executive Director, Brandon Baker, begins his role on March 1.

Baker brings experience in volunteer management, program management, donor and board cultivation, and strategic growth initiatives. He most recently served as Executive Director for Hellenic-American Cultural Center & Museum, and previously in a number of roles with Portland Japanese Garden including Membership Manager and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator where he assisted the executive team to bring premier cultural programming, conferences, and symposia to a global audience and built strong relationships with public gardens locally, nationally, and internationally. Baker’s past nonprofit work includes Cascade Educational Broadcast Service, Friends of Zenger Farm, and Reedwood Friends.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join such a beloved horticultural asset here in Portland,” Baker says. “I hope to bring a shared vision and strategic process to serve the city and its visitors. Gardens have the power to enrich lives through peaceful natural landscapes and botanical education and I’m honored to be part of that effort.”

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden was jointly established in 1950 by Portland Parks & Recreation and the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Its 9.5 acres contain a collection of rare species and hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and other lesser-known ericaceous plants, as well as many companion plants and unusual trees.