FORT WORTH, Texas (February 23, 2021) — The Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas (FWBG | BRIT) announces Patrick Newman as its new CEO and president effective May 1, replacing current president, Ed Schneider, PhD, who is retiring to California.
Newman brings more than 14 years of public gardens experience, serving most recently as executive director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center since 2016, overseeing a $5 million annual budget and supervising a staff of 60 employees and 800 volunteers. Under his direction, the Center increased earned and contributed income, added to its endowment and dramatically increased annual attendance.
“Patrick is the right leader at the right time as we transition toward becoming a world-class botanical organization,” said Board Chair Greg Bird. “After an exhaustive national search that yielded several impressive candidates, the board was delighted to find someone right here in Texas and familiar with positioning a botanical center as a leading cultural destination.”
Prior to the Wildflower Center, Newman was director of programs for the Red Butte Garden in Utah. Before that, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Azerbaijan, where he taught English and Science. He is currently active with the American Public Gardens Association and on the Directors of Large Gardens Advisory Committee. Newman earned a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Utah.
Current President and Executive Director Ed Schneider began at BRIT in 2016 and led the transformation of BRIT and the Botanic Garden joining operations Oct. 1, 2020 to create one of the largest centers for botanical exploration and discovery in the United States. During his tenure, Schneider also expanded research initiatives, which included construction of the George C. and Sue W. Sumner Molecular and Structural Laboratory with a state-of-the-art scanning electron microscope, the addition of doctorate-level staff that led to prestigious funding from the National Science Foundation, and numerous beneficial collaborations with academic and other related institutions.
“It’s been a pleasure to watch Ed Schneider’s planning and leadership grow our organization and lead us to where we are today,” Bird said. “We are grateful and wish him well in his future endeavors.”