NORFOLK, Va., September 27, 2023Norfolk Botanical Garden (NBG) is proud to announce the appointment of Peter Schmidt as the permanent President and CEO for the Garden. With unanimous support from the NBG Board of Directors, this appointment is a testament to Mr. Schmidt’s thoughtful leadership and dedication to the organization. He will play a pivotal role in advancing our Garden’s mission, elevating its impact and delivering the transformative Garden of Tomorrow expansion project.

Mr. Schmidt is not new to the Garden family; he joined NBG in 2019 as our Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Human Resources. He has been serving as interim President & CEO since June when Michael Desplaines accepted a role as CEO of The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Mr. Schmidt is a certified public accountant with over 20 years of experience in operations, strategic projects, finance, and team development. Prior to relocating with his wife, who accepted an amazing opportunity as a clinical psychologist supporting the Navy, he was a senior leader with a multinational publicly traded wine company. There he led a global team reaching consumers in over 70 countries with a growing focus on sustainability within agriculture and wine production.

“I’ve always had a passion for giving back. This aspiration helped me make the decision to focus my energy on supporting a non-profit, the right choice when moving to Virginia,” said Schmidt. “I want to use my previous leadership experience to build a stronger and more vibrant organization alongside our astute Board and incredible staff. I’m fortunate to be part of an organization doing meaningful things and making a lasting positive impact for our community,” he said.

The Garden of Tomorrow project includes the new Brock Parking Garden, the Brock Entry Pavilion, and the Perry Conservatory: a 26,000 square foot, four biome Conservatory that will house and protect the most threatened plants around the world and will feature the Kay and Al Abiouness Sky Walk. Spectacular from every aspect, with the environment at the forefront, there will be nothing like it in Coastal Virginia. Support the Garden and Help BUILD & PLANT the future –