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Today the Board of Trustees of Reeves-Reed Arboretum bids farewell and congratulations on retirement to our Executive Director, Frank Juliano. For the few who don't know Frank, he owns the smiling face that has greeted thousands of us at the front gate of the arboretum for the past eight years — many by name.
The current circumstances present unique challenges to the Arboretum, but we face them with a talented team dedicated to our mission to engage, enrich and educate. This directly reflects Frank's fundamental values. Frank's vision and hard work have brought us so much at RRA. Most recently, we completed a major accessibility project, including our new amphitheater, with a mission to make the grounds of the Arboretum accessible to people of all abilities. But above all, Frank recognized that we are about people. He empowered the staff to be their best and he treated every visitor to the Arboretum as his special guest. The evidence speaks for itself: we now welcome over 100,000 guests and host over 300 programs annually, and our grounds look better than ever.
I wish we were together toasting Frank this month – and look forward to honoring him at next summer's ART in the Garden celebration. By then we will also be able to celebrate nearly a year with our new leader. Today we welcome our very own Jackie Kondel as Executive Director. Jackie has been with the Arboretum for over 11 years. As Director of Education, Jackie has been the driving force behind the Arboretum's outstanding educational programs for children and adults. Many of you already know Jackie, and she is looking forward to getting to know the rest of you. Please come visit – the grounds are open daily, the plantings around the amphitheater have gone in, and the flowering gardens are in full bloom.
Join me in congratulating Frank on his many accomplishments, and in wishing both Frank and Jackie well in their next chapters.
P. Pascal Lalonde, President of the Board of Trustees