After fifteen years as the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) and thirty-six years with the organization, CEO Mark Runciman will be retiring. His last day will be December 31st, 2020.
Mark Runciman took over the RBG after years of financial instability. Shortly after his appointment he successfully negotiated a $5 Million financial bailout from the province, Hamilton and Burlington that placed the organization on a better financial footing. He also oversaw a governance review that streamlined an unwieldy board structure. During Mark’s tenure the gardens were expanded with the addition of the Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium, which transformed the RBG to a year ‘round attraction; the Aldershot Escarpment Garden; the development of the Helen M. Kippax native plant garden; the rejuvenation of the iconic Rock Garden with a new visitors centre; the revitalization of the Rose Garden; and on-going support for RBG natural lands; trails; and programs. His latest accomplishment and perhaps his greatest lasting legacy was the development of RBG’s 25 year Master Plan which received Board approval in May of this year.
“RBG is not complicated, but it is complex with its diverse roles and responsibilites” says Mark.”We have priceless assets that need to be protected for future generations to enjoy and benefit from. I feel that our master plan has looked at every scenario to ensure that our positive momentum continues, attracts supporters and elevates RBG to even greater heights. I would certainly want my successor to effectively implement the master plan to achieve our vision.”
Reflecting on his achievements and proudest accomplishments, Mark says that “in 2009, we were able to rebuild our team and we have grown together. Our visitation and revenue numbers have grown significantly. I am extremely pleased with the work of our very passionate and committed staff and volunteers that make RBG such a special place. There have been many proud moments for me including hosting the American Public Gardens Associations annual conference in 2017, where we were able to show off this wonderful place to my many colleagues and international audiences. This was a significant event for me.”
To assist RBG ’s Board in the task of finding a new CEO, the Board has retained the Bedford Consulting Group.