After a national search, the board of directors at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens announced Mark Mortenson will be appointed as the new president and CEO. Mortenson will step into the role following the retirement of David Swarts in March. Swarts will be retiring after 12 years with the organization.
“We are extremely pleased with the appointment of Mark Mortenson to the president and CEO position of the Botanical Gardens,” Board Chair Michē Needham said. “Mark joins us at a very pivotal time in our master plan. He has the experience and skillset needed to meet the challenges ahead and connect our community to the natural world through an evolutionary experience.”
Mortenson said, “I am honored to be the next president and CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. I am excited about working with the board and staff to implement the evolution of the building and grow our educational and experiential impact to benefit the residents of Erie County and Western New York.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “I’m pleased to welcome Mark Mortensen to his new position at the Botanical Gardens, where he will be overseeing the continuing development of this historical campus and helping to add new chapters to the gardens’ rich history. Mark has the needed experience and perspective to guide the Botanical Gardens through their capital campaign and to position them for success far into the future.”
Mortenson earned his undergraduate degree from California State University at Fullerton and his Master's Degree from Woodbury University. During his tenure in Buffalo, he led the transformation efforts at the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve. He has held nonprofit leadership positions at The Arc Erie County and most recently in a dual role as president and CEO of the Richardson Center Corp. and executive director of the Lipsey Architecture Center Buffalo.
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire curiosity and connect people to the natural world through its historic living museum.