Meet our Leadership Team

Board Members

Brian Trader, Ph.D.


A visionary and community-minded leader, Brian Trader, Ph.D., brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his position as President and CEO. Brian’s background includes leadership management at premier public gardens, horticultural expertise, and a commitment to community.

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Alice Baker

Chief Advancement Officer

Alice has worked in higher education and nonprofit organizations since 1998 and brings to the Garden her strong background of successful fundraising experience. She is known for building collaborative relationships and her deep sense of commitment to the community. She oversees all charitable contributions to the Garden, including Annual Fund, Corporate Giving and Planned Gifts.

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LaToria Barham

Director of Human Resources

LaToria Barham serves as the Director of Human Resources. In her current role she is responsible for leading Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s overall human resources strategy, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, organizational design, cultural development, talent acquisition, employee education and development, compensation and benefits, HR operations and employee relations. As the Director of Human Resources, she has changed the function, culture, and impact across the organization to support its business goals and strategies.

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Karen Clowers

Director of Volunteers

Director of Volunteers Karen Clowers is a people person. She loves working with her “family” of over 600 volunteers at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Volunteers were instrumental in the formation of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and volunteers continue to play a major role in the Garden today. From weeding, planting, and pruning, to welcoming guests, helping out in the butterfly exhibit, and giving tours of our Garden, volunteers are the lifeblood of the Garden and Karen is their fearless leader, liaison and cheerleader.


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Danny Cox

Vice President, Horticulture

A leader in public horticulture for more than a decade, Danny Cox oversees the Horticulture Department, setting the vision for the curation, growth, and maintenance of botanical collections. He combines lifelong passions for plants and people by creating innovative landscape displays that inspire and delight visitors and celebrate Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s diverse membership.


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Ken Myers

Vice President, Facilities

After a 20+ year career working in museums and historic preservation, Ken is excited to bring his expertise to a historic public garden setting. He looks forward to playing an important role in the Garden’s planned Capital projects as outlined in the Garden’s 2020–2024 Strategic Plan, Unearthing Our Potential (PDF).

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Steve Parkins

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer Steve Parkins brings over 30 years of experience in the finance field, and over 20 years of experience in the Richmond nonprofit community. He is committed to sound and transparent financial management that enables nonprofit leaders and boards of directors to make incisive and timely decisions that support their organization’s mission. Steve is responsible for budgeting, forecasting, external audit and financial reporting and analysis.

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Mitzi Shifflett

Vice President, Accounting and Administration

Mitzi is a dedicated and detail-oriented accounting professional and has worked at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden since 1999. During that time, the department has grown from a small operation to a robust department including the divisions of Accounting, Human Resources and Project Management, which she oversees.

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Dyan Stanley

Chief Operating Officer

Dyan Stanley, a dedicated advocate for community engagement and operations, has been the Chief Operating Officer of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden since early 2023.

In her role as COO, Dyan spearheads company-wide project management, ensuring seamless coordination across departments. Her oversight extends to guest services, retail, facility events and public safety, where she fosters a welcoming environment for all visitors. She acts as a liaison with Restaurant Associates, the Garden Cafe’s catering partners, and ensures exceptional experiences for Garden guests.

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Kristin Thoroman

Vice President, Learning and Engagement

Kristin has been a part of the Garden team since the fall of 2010, when she joined the Children’s Garden staff as the Early Childhood Program Developer. Her passion for connecting people led into the role of Exhibitions Manager, where she worked closely with colleagues, volunteers, and the community to develop and produce exhibitions that complemented the inherent beauty of the Garden while providing new and innovative opportunities for visitor engagement. As the Director of Education and Exhibitions, Kristin now leads a team of 16 full-time equivalent employees with the goal of engaging visitors of all backgrounds and ages—from toddlers to seniors— in active experiential learning.

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Frank Robinson

President Emeritus

Frank retired from the Garden on March 31, 2015. He has provided leadership to the Garden since 1992, first as Executive Director, then as President & CEO, and now as President Emeritus.

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