Mortenson chosen as new head of Botanical Gardens

Mark Mortenson at Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Mark Mortenson will take over as president and CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens in March. Photo courtesy Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Mark Mortenson will take over as the new president and CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens in March when David Swarts retires from the role after 12 years.

Mortenson led the transformation efforts at the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve.

Most recently he played a dual role as president and CEO of the Richardson Center Corporation and executive director of the Lipsey Architecture Center Buffalo.

He also held leadership positions at The Arc Erie County, a non-profit agency that supports children and adults with disabilities.

The Board of Directors at the Botanical Gardens made the announcement of Mortenson’s hiring after a national search.

“Mark joins us at a very pivotal time in our Master Plan,” said Michē Needham, board chair. “He has the experience and skillset needed to meet the challenges ahead and connect our community to the natural world through an evolutionary experience.”

Mark Poloncarz, Erie County executive, welcomed Mortenson to the new positon “where he will be overseeing the continuing development of this historical campus and helping to add new chapters to the Gardens’ rich history. Mark has the needed experience and perspective to guide the Botanical Gardens through their capital campaign and to position them for success far into the future.”

“I am excited about working with the board and staff to implement the evolution of the building,” Mortenson said, “and to grow our educational and experiential impact to benefit the residents of Erie County and Western New York.”

Mortenson earned his undergraduate degree from California State University at Fullerton and his Master’s Degree from Woodbury University.

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