The Garden thanks Tammy McLeod for her service as board president of Desert Botanical Garden for the past two years, leading us through incredibly challenging times. A warm welcome to Amy Flood as she begins her tenure as board president. Read below to learn more about their service and connection to the Garden.
How has the board has navigated with Garden leadership, through this past year?
Our Board of Trustees has been as dedicated as ever during this time. We’ve shown our ability to adapt and to stay focused. We pivoted to a virtual world and offered unconditional support to the Garden’s amazing leadership team. We’ve been available when needed and offered support when we could. While I don’t believe that we truly understand how much time and effort has gone into keeping the Garden open and vibrant during this time, we are truly appreciative of staff and their resilience.
How have you seen the Garden’s board evolve during your tenure as board president?
This has been a thoughtful time for the Board of Trustee’s. Beyond the concern for navigating through a global pandemic, our Board has used the time to look inward at ourselves and our organization. Collectively, we have identified that in order to support our strategic plan, we need to be a more diverse body. We have the good fortune of living in a community that is vibrantly diverse but it still requires a transition in thinking on our part. We have to make way for new and different representation while staying fully engaged. The beauty of this evolution is that the Garden enables all of us to engage in the way that works best for us whether that is a favorite event, a landscaping class, a committee activity, volunteering or simply being there.
What are your hopes/wishes for the Garden in 2021-2022?
My hope for the Garden is already coming to fruition. First, I want everyone to offer Amy Flood and the new officer slate the same unwavering support that they have shown to me. There is a very strong group that will be leading us back into our strategic plan as the pandemic eases. Second, I want the Garden to be positioned as the healing place of restoration that it is in our community. As Arizonans, we’ve been through a lot in past 18 months. The Garden is a beautiful jewel where we can gather and recover both individually and collectively. And I hope I’ll see everyone there.
When and how did you first get involved with the Garden?
My first visit to the Garden was in 1997 as a guest at Dinner on the Desert. I was so struck with the beauty of the Garden as I strolled from the entry way to my table on Ullman Terrace. I loved every part of the Garden and knew it was a place I wanted to make a bigger part of my life. I was recruited to the Board in 2008 and have loved every minute of being involved with various committees and events.
What goals do you have for your board presidency?
I have very big shoes to fill following Tammy McLeod most recently, and a solid roster of Presidents previously. A strong slate of Officers and Committee Chairs has been established for the coming year. Working in tandem with the exceptional staff at the Garden, we will work to make sure the Garden continues to be a favored destination spot and place of respite for everyone. We will navigate new territory as we transition from COVID days and focus on many of the initiatives in the ambitious Strategic Plan. I am hopeful we will continue to offer appealing events that attract an expanding and diverse group of visitors.
What is your favorite Garden event?
This is a tough question as I can honestly say I have not been to a Garden event I have not loved! If forced to only be able to attend one, it would have to be the Plant Sale. I love the beauty of the presentation of plants and flowers. I have commented that it is like seeing an ad in a garden magazine; the ribbons of colors are so striking. I love being able to ask our experienced staff questions about what might grow where; I love the camaraderie of seeing friends and making new friends at the food station, I love the book kiosk, and of course I love being able to later spend time in my yard visualizing how my plants are going to look just like the ones at the Garden!
In case you missed the recent Annual Members Meeting, click here to watch the recording. Note: The program begins at the 15:00 minute mark. The first 15 minutes features the event countdown of our 10-year members recognition.