Executive Director 2011-2020
Working at the Garden since 2004, and serving as Executive Director since 2011, Shane Tippett is honored to work with the remarkable people who steward Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s 82 acres, including 4 lakes, 15 distinct outdoor gardens encompassing 50 intensely cultivated acres, a conservatory and 5,500 unique genera of plants. Each year Garden staff teach, energize and engage over 18,000 students in 850 education programs. This cadre of identified learners is just a fraction of the 350,000 visitors who discover what a garden can mean for body and spirit as well as the mind. In recent years the Garden has been honored with inclusion in a number of top ten lists for botanical gardens in North America. For the 700+ volunteers and 72 FTE staff, the honors serve as spurs for continued commitment and effort.
Under Shane’s leadership, the Garden has adopted a culture of making our Garden your garden. On July 4th each year the Garden opens its doors to the community with free admission. In past years more than 7,000 of you chose to spend your Independence Day with us for CarMax Free Fourth of July. Two free programs, a group program for children and Sharing the Garden, enable under-served and at-risk populations to visit and enjoy the Garden. Participating fully in the Beautiful RVA movement and working with the Garden’s Manager of Community Engagement, we hope to become, for the Richmond region a “garden without walls.”
Prior to Lewis Ginter, Shane was the Assistant Head for Finance and Operations at St. Catherine’s School and served as Manager of the Virginian Diocesan Center at Roslyn, a year-round full-service church conference and retreat center. Before that Shane was a U.S. Marine Corps aviator, instructor and later a reservist. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Shane attended the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
Shane’s passion for plants was kindled in the early ‘90s by a Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden arborist who mentored Shane on the care of specimen trees at Roslyn. This passion underlies his firm conviction in the transformative power of gardens to re-shape and renew communities, families and individuals that continues to direct his leadership.
In 2019 Shane was named a Richmond Times-Dispatch Person of the Year honoree.
Back to Leadership Team Page