The dawn of a new year always brings excitement and anticipation for all the wonderful opportunities ahead. At Selby Gardens, the beginning of 2019 is off to a glorious start thanks to a strong end to 2018. In Sarasota, the new year also welcomes back many of our friends and guests who may have spent the summer away. I welcome you back to the Gardens.
To begin, last August, I was honored to commit to a 10-year contract as the President & CEO of Selby Gardens. I’m so appreciative of the trust the Board of Trustees has in me and the ability to enact dynamic changes that will ensure a vibrant future for Selby Gardens. I am entirely dedicated to bringing to realization all that I know this institution is capable of, which will be for the betterment of the entire Sarasota community and our world of scientific research.
Join me in bringing this transformation to fruition by being a part of Innovating A Greener Future: Living Inspiration for a Living Museum—The Campaign for Selby Gardens, which launched in October. What’s most impressive about this campaign, led by Trustees, co-chairs and lead donors, Jean Weidner Goldstein, Cornelia Matson, and Pauline Wamsler, is that more than half of the funds for Phase One of the Master Plan transformation have been secured.
You will see the plants our horticultural team have integrated into the living plant displays for Gauguin: Voyage to Paradise, and I encourage you to read an engaging essay by the curator, Dr. Carol Ockman, who vividly explores Gauguin’s South Pacific adventures and the people, places, and plants that influenced his work. There are many opportunities to explore and experience Gauguin through classes, special lectures, and performances by Sarasota’s world-class arts and cultural organizations. As you can tell, there are many reasons to come back often to the Gardens.
In this current issue of Tropical Dispatch, you will also learn about awards for our outstanding volunteers and donors, including the well-deserved recognition for Trustee Jean Weidner Goldstein for her leadership in Sarasota’s cultural community.
I look forward to having you, your families, and your friends experience the Gardens numerous times during the next few months!
Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President and CEO