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Longwood Gardens Selects First Fellows for Prestigious New Leadership Program

March 7, 2017
New, 13-month, residential program chooses talented professionals for its inaugural class

KENNETT SQUARE, PA– Continuing its influence on the future of public horticulture by nurturing and developing global horticultural leaders, Longwood Gardens today announced the talented professionals selected for the prestigious Longwood Gardens Fellows Program. The Fellows Program focuses on building the leadership capacity of global public horticulture by ensuring a healthy pipeline of talent to be the next generation of industry leaders.

After a rigorous selection process, the Fellows chosen are Kaslin Daniels (New York); Neil Gerlowski (Mexico); Patrick MacRae (New York) and Julia Thomé (Washington, DC).

“We are excited to welcome our cohort to the Longwood Gardens Fellows Program,” said Paul B. Redman, President and CEO of Longwood Gardens. “The impressive qualifications of these talented professionals coupled with their passion for advancing public horticulture and a desire to lead, perfectly positions them to tackle the challenging and enriching opportunities awaiting them in the Fellows Program and in their future leadership roles,” said Redman. 

The Longwood Gardens Fellows Program focuses on grounding Fellows in leadership theory and practice through an immersive, flexible, concentrated program that draws on the experience and knowledge of multiple public horticultural organizations and academic thought leaders. The 13-month residential, tuition-free program honors the legacy of Longwood’s founder by continuing its mission to educate and inspire.

The Fellows were selected based on their commitment to professional excellence, deep intellectual curiosity, interest in serving in a leadership capacity within the public horticulture industry, while representing diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

“We reviewed submissions from leading global professionals,” said Dr. Tamara Fleming, Director of the Longwood Gardens Fellows Program. “This year’s Fellows represent a remarkable range of institutions and organizations, and all share a determination to bring new perspectives to their future roles in the public horticulture sector,” said Fleming.

The Longwood Gardens Fellows Program received more than 200 online application submissions; of those, 10 were chosen for in-person, two-day interviews at Longwood Gardens. The final selections were made by a distinguished panel of seven jurors that included executives of prominent public gardens from the U.S.A. and the U.K.

During the 13-month, cohort-based residency at Longwood, Fellows delve into topical issues relevant to public horticulture today such as leadership, board relations and governance, communication skills, change management, innovation, and HR/talent management. A two-month international field placement provides a deeper understanding of these issues, equipping Fellows to lead organizations into a vibrant and sustainable future. Alumni of the Fellows Program join the prestigious Society of Fellows, a global network of public garden professionals.

The Fellows

Kaslin Daniels is the Head Gardener at Washington Square Park in New York City. She has also served as a propagator for an urban forestry nonprofit in California and as a Zone Gardener for the New York Central Park Conservancy. After graduating from Reed College in Portland, Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Kaslin completed three separate, educationally focused horticulture internships at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware, and Wave Hill in Bronx, New York. Passionate about community involvement, she has learned through her experience that the more communities are involved in their local areas, the more successful public spaces will be.

Neil Gerlowski is the Executive Director at the Vallarta Botanical Garden, in Jalisco, Mexico where he is responsible for garden operations including management, development, and publication of his garden’s monthly magazine, El Papelillo / The Leaflet. Prior to joining Vallarta, Neil was a Park Ranger with the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department in Arizona. Neil holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching, both from the University of New Hampshire. In addition to his native English, Mr. Gerlowski is fluent in Spanish.

Patrick MacRae holds Master and Bachelor degrees from Cornell University in Horticultural Biology and Animal Science, respectively.  He is currently a Research Manager at the Urban Horticulture Institute of Cornell University where he serves as Principle Investigator for global trials of David Austin Roses, manages more than twenty public landscapes and gardens, and provides oversight for several major grant-funded research programs. Pat has co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles on the functional role of plants in urban landscapes, novel propagation techniques, and species selection for difficult sites and environmental conditions.

Julia Thomé is the Assistant Manager of Gardens and Grounds at the Chevy Chase Club, a private and distinctive social institution in Maryland.  Julia holds a certificate in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Maryland, a Master of Science in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the University of Maine and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Massachusetts where she graduated with honors. Previously, Julia served as the Director of Corporate Affairs for Lutheran World Relief and was also a Senior Coordinator at the Community Training and Assistance Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Ms. Thomé has extensive national and international travel experience and is fluent in Portuguese.

Nominations and applications for the 2018 cohort will open September 1, 2017. Interested individuals should visit www.longwoodgardens.org/longwood-fellows for more information.

Since 1967, thousands of students from all over the world have participated in one or more of Longwood’s intensive education programs, ranging from internships to the two-year Professional Gardener Program to the Longwood Graduate Program. Graduates have gone on to leadership roles in many of the country’s top horticultural institutions. For more information on education programs at Longwood, visit www.longwoodgardens.org/education.

About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Throughout his life, Mr. du Pont indulged his passion for gardening, turning his farm into a magnificent horticultural showplace. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great gardens, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and a 4-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and cultural and community engagement. Details at www.longwoodgardens.org.    

Updated 9/5/2017

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