Executive Director, Delaware Center for Horticulture

Don Rakow

Wilmington, DE


The Delaware Center for Horticulture inspires individuals and communities through the power of plants. DCH imagines a healthier and greener Delaware for all residents.


Founded in 1977, the Delaware Center for Horticulture provides opportunities for community constituents of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn from the functional beauty and power of plants. The organization’s collaborative efforts strengthen the social fabric of the greater Wilmington region and build vibrant, livable cities across Delaware by enhancing the environmental, economic, and aesthetic qualities of our communities. The core programs driving the mission are achieved through community gardens, urban farms, and horticultural job training and by beautifying public landscapes, planting trees, and hosting educational programs and community events. DCH mobilizes and inspires community greening regionally, in urban and suburban environments alike, by working with individuals of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and racial identities. The historic headquarters building includes an art gallery, Infinity Roof and Founders Room, while the surrounding grounds include a Demonstration Garden, Rain Garden, and newly redesigned entry garden.


We seek an inspiring and visionary leader who has the ability to create and drive organizational growth.  This person will provide progressive and transformational leadership at a pivotal time in the organization's distinguished history.  Specific career experience with horticulture is not a requirement, but an affinity and passion for how plants can improve the lives of individuals and communities must be demonstrated.  Candidates with experience leading a nonprofit cultural organization with similar aspirations are also desirable.  


The ideal candidate will have a background in increasing the visibility of an organization and carrying forward major new projects and programs. This person will have a track record of success in conceptualizing, developing, and executing new programs and events that have garnered greater awareness and financial success as well as reputational growth. This person must be highly organized and skilled at strategic, programmatic, and fiscal planning.  Growing revenue through annual giving, government contracts, foundation grants, major gifts, and earned revenue is a high priority.


A proven ability to manage and lead a staff team, including experience in hiring, coaching, delegating, and creating a group of high-quality, tightly coordinated professionals, is essential. Experience in motivating and retaining staff through progressive performance management approaches is also required. Business-principled decision-making that demonstrates skills in finances, budgeting, operations, and facilities management is expected.  A commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as prior experience that demonstrates those principles, is also required.


A bachelor’s degree is required; master’s degree preferred.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

The Delaware Center for Horticulture stands together with those raising their voices against implicit and explicit acts of intolerance, hatred, and racism throughout our city, state, and country. We reaffirm our commitment to being a part of the solution as an inclusive agent of necessary change.


The salary range for this position annually is between $95,000 and $110,000 and will be commensurable with experience.


DCH offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package; paid personal, sick, vacation and holiday time off; life insurance; short and long-term disability; and Defined Contribution Retirement Plan after completion of one year of service at DCH.


For best consideration, please submit a current resume and letter of introduction, by March 7, 2024 to Kittleman & Associates, LLC. Submit your application online by clicking the Apply Button at the bottom of the page.


For more information about the DCH, please visit https://thedch.org/


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