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Powell Gardens Names New Executive Director

Kingsville, Missouri (July 8, 2016)—After conducting a nationwide search, the Board of Directors of Powell Gardens has selected Tabitha Schmidt as Executive Director. She will succeed Eric Tschanz who is assuming the role of Vice Chairman until his retirement in September 2017. Ms. Schmidt will join Powell Gardens on August 8, 2016. 

Jeanie Sell Latz, Chair of the Board, said, "We are so pleased that Tabitha Schmidt will be joining us as the next leader of the Gardens. She has a deep commitment to the community and brings a high level of energy and enthusiasm for collaboration with other nationally recognized cultural organizations in the metropolitan area." 

Ms. Schmidt recently served as Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Texas Tech University. A Kansas City native, she has also served in various capacities with a number of nonprofits in the Kansas City area including The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City Young Audiences and Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. She brings these strong ties with area organizations to Powell Gardens. 

"Powell Gardens has been a staple in my family for years," said Ms. Schmidt. "To be named the new Executive Director of this incredible Kansas City gem is truly an honor. Working with an amazing team, I envision a top-notch organization moving to a world-class level, opening new gateways to the community through arts, culture, health, wellness and science, and providing an environment with many experiences and activities for every type of visitor." 

Ms. Schmidt succeeds Eric Tschanz who has led the Gardens for 28 years. Under his leadership Powell Gardens has evolved into an acclaimed botanical garden, which includes the Heartland Harvest Garden—the nation's largest edible landscape. As Vice Chairman, Mr. Tschanz will lead the Strengthen Today to Ensure the Future: The Campaign for Powell Gardens. This comprehensive campaign will allow Powell Gardens to grow the organization's endowment and support capital improvements. 

About Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens, Kansas City's botanical garden, is set on 970 acres of lush, rolling hills 30 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 50. Powell Gardens encompasses exquisite display gardens, trails, lakes, windswept meadows and more, and offers classes, performances and festivals year-round.