Garden Leadership

President and CEO at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Frank RobinsonFrank Robinson
President and CEO

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden


As President and CEO of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Frank Robinson leads development activities, long-term planning, partnerships and visioning for the institution.


Robinson has provided leadership to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden since 1992. From February 1992 to October 2011, he served as Executive Director of  the Garden and is currently its President and CEO. During his tenure the Garden has expanded dramatically, developing more than 50 acres of themed gardens and major public facilities, including a visitors center, education complex and classical conservatory. Funded by a successful $44 million capital campaign, the Garden has grown to become one of the major horticultural and botanical facilities in the U.S.

Frank has degrees in Horticulture, Japanese Language and Psychology. He attended Earlham College (IN) and Haywood Technical Institute (NC), and studied for a year at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.

Prior to his current post, Frank was Executive Director of the American Horticultural Society in Alexandria, VA; Estate Manager of an expansive estate in Charlottesville, VA; and, manager of grounds and horticulture at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. Preceding his work in horticulture, Frank’s early career was focused on education and therapy services to autistic and multiply-handicapped children. As a youth, he studied oboe at Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY.

Frank enjoys travel, having led horticultural tours throughout the U.S., England, Scotland, France, Canada, Bermuda, Argentina, the Netherlands and Japan.

In addition to gardening and travel, Frank enjoys floral design, music, photography and various cultural activities.

He is interested in immigrant issues and has taught English as a Second Language to students in Richmond. His community board service has included Hollywood Cemetery; past board chair of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Richmond Affiliate; the Arts Council of Richmond; The Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has participated in the design process of the Healing Garden at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center, the garden at the VCU School of Nursing, and most recently, Monroe Park; Landscape Peer Review Committee for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; advisor to the emerging non-profit Full Circle Grief Center.

Frank was honored to be the inaugural recipient of the 2005 Stettinius Award for Nonprofit Leadership through the Community Foundation.  He used the grant to spend a month in the gardens of Kyoto, Japan authoring a book on parental grief, after the tragic loss of his older son in 2003. Alec’s Legacy was published in 2006, and has been printed three times. His family’s experience and his writing have led him ever deeper into the personal and public issues of grief, spirituality and organ/tissue donation.

October 2011

(804) 262-9887 ext. 319
frankr@lewisginter.org