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Shane Tippett arrived in 2004 and has served as director since 2011.

Shane Tippett, executive director of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, announced he will be stepping down in 2020.

Lewis Ginter will conduct a national search for a new executive director. Tippett has agreed to remain in the position until the new director is hired.

Tippett has been with Lewis Ginter for 15 years, taking over as executive director from Frank Robinson in 2011.

“We are well-positioned with strong leadership in place to move forward and embrace exciting new opportunities,” said J. Melvin Watkins, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden board president, in a statement. “Thanks to Shane’s tremendous work over the past 15 years, we are poised to seize this as an opportunity.”

Under Tippett’s leadership, Lewis Ginter enjoyed its strongest year ever in 2019 with over 450,000 guests, compared with 390,614 in 2018. The recent season of GardenFest of Lights was record-breaking, drawing 113,718 guests, an increase of 36% over the previous year.

Recently, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was voted fourth “Best Botanical Garden” and second “Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights” in the U.S. by USA Today.

To help make Lewis Ginter more inclusive and diverse, Tippett has worked to improve communities through plants by reaching out to schoolchildren with nature-based education programs, donating fresh produce to Feed More, and expanding the Museums for All program that offers reduced admission and membership to families receiving SNAP food assistance.

“I believe this garden is at a threshold, poised for exponential expansion in self-awareness, reach and impact,” Tippett said. “This opportunity can serve as a catalyst for that growth.”

ccurran@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6151

Twitter: @collcurran

Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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