GLENCOE, IL (Jan. 26, 2017) - The Board of Directors of the Chicago Botanic Garden has named Fred Spicer its next executive vice president and director of the Garden. He replaces Kris Jarantoski, who retires after 40 years. Spicer most recently served 15 years as the director and then CEO of the Birmingham (AL) Botanical Gardens.
“Fred offers a wealth of experience in horticulture, garden design, landscape architecture and public gardens management,” said Jean M. Franczyk, President and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Spicer has over 30 years’ experience in public garden administration, non-profit leadership, program development and instruction, horticulture, grounds management and garden design.
“The Garden has an illustrious history of collaboration with landscape architect luminaries from around the world. The display gardens are an homage to the history, art and beauty of gardens and the art of gardening. I am thrilled to be joining the Chicago Botanic Garden. It is a significant advocate for plant conservation, nature education, urban agriculture and best horticulture practices,” Spicer said. “I am looking forward to being among the leaders of and to be collaborating with the Garden’s incredible staff of public garden professionals, many of whom are known and respected as among the tops in their respective fields of expertise,” he added.
As chief executive officer for the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Spicer led the transition of a city-directed public garden to a highly regarded non-profit organization that managed garden operations and created it as a popular regional destination for events, education programs and horticultural beauty.
Prior to his tenure at the Birmingham Botanical Garden, Spicer served as manager of horticulture for the Morris County Park Commission in Morristown, NJ. He is a 1983 graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning, Design, and Landscape Architecture.
Spicer is an avid home gardener. During the past 15 years while in Birmingham, he created a hard and soft scape garden with 730 plants. He and his wife, Kim, will arrive in Chicago with their collection of some 70 hostas. His favorite annual flower is a petunia—an appreciation he inherited at an early age from his grandmother.