Over the past two years, we have worked hard to secure the Glenbrook property on Sims Bayou and create an extraordinary master plan that will guide the development of the Houston Botanic Garden in the years ahead. To fulfill the promise of delivering a world-class garden and destination, we must now turn our attention to fundraising and implementation of West 8’s beautiful plan. Implementation will occur in multiple phases, and this fall we will finalize the elements in the first phase: the initial collection gardens, the main entrance off of Park Place Boulevard, a bridge to the island, and the facilities and infrastructure needed to support early and future operations.
As we turn this page and start a new chapter, we have also made a transition to new leadership. The Houston Botanic Garden Board is very grateful to Jeff Ross for his dedication to the bold idea of creating a beautiful botanic garden in Houston. Jeff worked tirelessly to secure the perfect location for our garden, and we will always be grateful for his service.
A national search for a new Executive Director of the Houston Botanic Garden will begin shortly. To lead the organization in the meantime, the Board is delighted to announce that Claudia Gee Vassar will serve us as Interim Executive Director. Claudia is a native Houstonian and Rice graduate who earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. After practicing law for a decade, Claudia decided to make a career change and began working with Houston nonprofits to help guide them through periods of transition and growth. She served as Interim Executive Director for SIRE, Inc., EMERGE Fellowship, and ArtBridge, and has completed consulting projects for local organizations including the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, Young Audiences of Houston, and Main Street Ministries. She will bring great experience and value to our organization.