The President's Circle

Dear President's Circle Members

Strategic Plan WebsiteAs many of you have experienced in your personal or professional lives, the Internet is a world of rapidly increasing opportunity. For the Chicago Botanic Garden, this eNewsletter is just one of many ways we are using the next generation of media to make our many audiences aware of everything the Garden offers.

E-commerce is also growing in importance: We are seeing a tremendous increase in online membership sales and renewals, Garden Shop purchases, and registration for family programs, adult education classes, and symposia. These are just a few of the exciting means we have to serve our customers (you)!

As a busy working mom (with a dog on the way!), I appreciate the convenience the Internet offers. As President, I know it enables the Garden to accomplish more with lower expenses, allowing us to spend our precious financial resources as wisely as possible.

The next time you have a few minutes, I hope you will visit two special new places on the Garden’s website, each demonstrating wonderful, cost-effective approaches for communicating with everyone who cares about the Chicago Botanic Garden as deeply as you do.

The first is, where you will find the 2009 Annual Report presented at the June 16 board meeting, mailed to 2009 donors and widely shared online this year. It includes financial information, the list of contributors who make everything we do possible, a President’s letter from me, and a letter from Susan A. Willetts, who has just completed her first year as Chairman of the Board—and what a remarkable year it was!

While many of you have already explored the new ten-year strategy, I hope you will do me the personal favor of visiting to see how it has been beautifully and movingly brought to life. Click once on each of the photos on the opening page to hear a variety of people explain what the Garden means to them. These vignettes are powerful reminders that what we do together is incredibly important for the people we serve.

Over the next decade the online strategic plan will be an important guidepost. It will constantly remind us how the Garden’s multifaceted mission is being achieved, and what we are doing to become a global leader in plant conservation science. I encourage you to bookmark this site and visit it often.

But right this minute, I think you will enjoy hearing Kris Jarantoski, Jim Boudreau, Harriet Resnick, Greg Mueller, Ph.D., and Patsy Benveniste each describe the respective visions and goals for the plan’s four strategic pillars: Buildings and Gardens; Marketing, Visitor Experience, and Business Development; Science, Academic Programs, and Living Collections; and Community Education Programs.

On behalf of everyone at the Chicago Botanic Garden, thank you for your dedication and support, and for making everything we accomplish possible. Please contact me should you have questions about or comments on the annual report or ten-year strategic plan. I look forward to seeing you at Garden sometime soon.

With gratitude,

Sophia Siskel
President & CEO
Chicago Botanic Garden