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From the CEO: A Season of Great Success Bears Fruit for Future Plans


President and CEO, Jennifer O. Rominiecki

Dear Selby Gardens Members & Friends: 

While there are still several months to experience Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams (open through July 31), I wanted to take a moment to share exciting news with you about the success Selby Gardens has experienced so far this year.

As the first exhibition in the Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series, which features botanically-themed art and horticulture displays, this immersive show is making records for Selby Gardens. Since the opening in February, this institution has experienced a 30% increase in earnedrevenues when compared to the same period last year. This dramatic growth includes admissions, membership, retail sales and food service. The leading factors driving this outcome over the last eight weeks is a 40% increase in admissions revenue and a growing membership base. I’m proud to share with you that Selby Gardens now has more than 12,000 member households supporting our mission and who regularly frequent and enjoy our oasis. 

This success is only possible with great supporters, including the phenomenal series sponsors, Jean and Alfred Goldstein; our presenting sponsor and wonderful partner, The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee; as well as Michael’s On East whose French food creations have added to the dynamic Riviera atmosphere the Gardens embody, and our other sponsors. We’re also thrilled to have partnered with some of the area’s top performing arts organizations like the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast, The Sarasota Ballet, The Sarasota Opera, The Sarasota Orchestra and the The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training to create dynamic experiences on the grounds of Selby Gardens. 

The increase in visitation and visibility for Selby Gardens also bears fruit for our scientific endeavors. Recently we hosted two statewide rare plants conservation meetings and kickstarted an internship program with New College of Florida. Our Botany Department is growing its professional staff, which we will announce in detail in the very near future. 

With great success comes great responsibility, and during this exciting time, we are planning for the Gardens’ future. With the help of the landscape architecture studio OLIN and guidance from Trustees, advisory committee members, staff and our local government, Selby Gardens is developing a master site plan. Keys to future success and preservation call for an expansion of garden space within our existing footprint and showcasing the Gardens’ world-renowned collections, as well as improving parking and walkability.  

While the plans are still being compiled, I’m thrilled to announce that a future welcome center currently being imagined will be named for longtime supporter and Sarasota philanthropist Jean Goldstein in recognition of a major new gift made possible by Alfred R. Goldstein, president of the Alfred and Ann Goldstein Foundation, Inc.  The Jean Goldstein Welcome Center will become Selby Gardens’ new “front door” and reintroduce us to the City of Sarasota and visitors from around the world, at the same time allowing us to improve walkability, orientation and parking. Look for much more to come on these future developments and fundraising initiatives – we will have big plans to share!

In the meantime, I encourage you to return to Selby Gardens and explore the seasonal changes, as well as the events and activities taking place here every day. 

On behalf of all of us, thank you for your continuing support of Selby Gardens. 



Jennifer O. Rominiecki
President and CEO, Selby Gardens

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