Director of Reynolda Gardens

Job description

Director of Reynolda Gardens

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*Cover letter and resume required with application.*

Visionary Leadership for Reynolda Gardens

A visionary leader is sought to become the next director of Reynolda Gardens. Someone with a strong horticulture background and sensitivity for historic landscape preservation and interpretation will be ideally suited to provide direction for this early-twentieth-century-designed landscape. Originally designed by the landscape engineering firm Buckenham and Miller (1911-1913) and later modified by Thomas Sears (1915), Reynolda Gardens includes four acres of restored formal gardens as well as woodlands and walking trails, wetlands from the former Lake Katharine, and a meadow. This landscape functions as an educational centerpiece for horticulture studies and is a seasonal haven for local residents of Winston-Salem while attracting visitors from across North Carolina and the Southeast. Such diverse landscape components lend themselves to educational programs for K-12 audiences and college-curriculum studies; strong teaching alliances already exist between Wake Forest faculty in the humanities and sciences. Estate management in Reynolda House and Reynolda Village is poised to partner with a new director of Reynolda Gardens. The next leader of Reynolda Gardens will be inspired by the vision and innovation of Katharine Smith Reynolds, using the Cultural Landscape Report of 2010 to position the 129 acres of Reynolda Gardens as the connective landscape tissue and a varietal centerpiece of the historic Reynolda estate and support the public’s understanding of this unique place in American southern history.

About Historic Reynolda

The historic Reynolda estate was completed in 1917 under the vision of Katharine Smith Reynolds (1880-1924), a progressive woman of the New South. Katharine was the wife of tobacco industrialist and entrepreneur R. J. Reynolds (1850-1913). She began purchasing land in her own name in 1906 to develop a model farm with a support system for her gardens, home and outdoor recreation areas. In the past one hundred years, a portion of the original 1000-acre Country Place era estate has become the main campus of Wake Forest University, with other parcels of land being sold or gifted. The remaining 140 historic acres of Reynolda is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to Reynolda Gardens, this land is home to both Reynolda Village, today a collection of independently owned boutiques, shops and restaurants in original buildings from the working village that once supported the estate, and Reynolda House Museum of American Art (opened in 1967), the 60-room “bungalow” and modern wing (2005) which holds a nationally recognized collection of American art and original furnishings from the 1917 era of the historic house and features regularly changing exhibitions. The collective historic properties that comprise Reynolda are poised to launch the second century of this 1917 estate with a new brand and a web-based app that invites visitors to explore the gardens, grounds, buildings and collections. The app will launch in June 2018.


The Director manages and oversees the vision, design, planning, and staff of Reynolda Gardens, including oversight of security, budget, promotion, and fundraising to support Reynolda Gardens. Ensures that appropriate horticultural methods, staff resources, safety, work standards, and best practices for managing a historic property are maintained and aligned with operations. This position also inspires and leads the Reynolda Gardens staff members.

Essential Functions:

  • Provides leadership and strategic vision for the diverse 129 historic acres that comprise Reynolda Gardens and works collaboratively with historic Reynolda estate partners at Reynolda House and Reynolda Village, as well as Wake Forest University (WFU) academic and staff partners.
  • Develops annual budget to support Reynolda Gardens operations expenses and revenue. Forecasts strategic maintenance and necessary repairs. Has oversight of Operations Manager in approving and submitting invoices for payment, processes all income deposits, and reports sales tax.
  • Administers and enforces work performance standards, departmental and University policies and procedures among assigned staff.
  • Identifies projects and priorities for the Gardens' staff members and interns, insuring that proper distribution of assignments and equipment is adequate to cover shifts. Ensures proper maintenance of buildings, structures, outside fixtures, gates, signs, and parking lots. Provides oversight of recruitment and training of all new staff. Handles PTO requests, salary recommendations, and grievances and disciplinary actions when necessary. Designs, or approves designs, for all of Reynolda Gardens’ plantings. Coordinates installation and maintenance of all areas of the Gardens, including trails and meadow. Responsible for some Garden area maintenance and is expected to be a part of the teamwork of horticulturalists and gardeners, working with the Operations Manager.
  • Develops fund raising goals. Handles all aspects of the annual Friend’s drive including solicitation and thank-you letters, memorials, honorariums, and record keeping. Assures that gifts are processed properly. Plans annual donors’ party and performs additional development duties, as required. Assists with the Education program to support specialized tours, programs, and visibility for Reynolda Gardens.
  • Serves as primary professional spokesperson for Reynolda Gardens by interfacing with public, media outlets, adjacent historic properties, and WFU.
  • Management of all Reynolda Gardens staff members.

Other Functions:

  • Acts as liaison with WFU students, faculty, and staff, and community organizations such as garden clubs and other special interest groups and donors.
  • Consults, as needed, with Reynolda House and Reynolda Village concerning gardens and grounds on the historic estate property.

Required Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Bachelors’ degree with ten years of work-related experience including at least five years of supervisory experience. Excellent knowledge of herbaceous plant material.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of horticultural practices and experience in the preservation, development, and care of grounds and trails that are part of a historic cultural landscape.
  • Demonstrated strength in successful leadership and team management that inspires staff to achieve annual goals and objectives. Ability to organize staff and interns to effectively to manage the 129 acres of Reynolda Gardens. Administer Human Resources programs, to include recruitment, training, and disciplinary actions.
  • Highly organized and able to plan ahead to maximize efficiency based on resources available.
  • Knowledge of budget development and fiscal management.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to problem solve, be a team leader, and motivate staff and donors.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to meet the requirements of the University’s automobile insurance.
  • Maintain a valid North Carolina Pesticide Applicator License.
  • Knowledge of related federal, state, and local regulations. Ensures compliance with EPA, OSHA, and other regulatory requirements.
  • Proficiency in (Microsoft Office applications) Excel, Word, Outlook, and Internet Explorer.
  • Physical Requirements: medium work, exerting up to 50 pounds occasionally and/ or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Reaching, standing, pushing, pulling, lifting, grasping, feeling, repetitive motions. Close visual acuity. Subject to inside and outside environmental conditions. Subject to hazards.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Bachelors’ degree in horticulture.


  • Responsible for own work.
  • Manages staff/student workers.
  • Budgetary responsibilities.

Note: This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by his/her supervisor.

In order to provide a safe and productive learning and living community, Wake Forest University conducts background investigations and drug screens for all final staff candidates being considered for employment.

Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.

Winston Salem, North Carolina, United States






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Job No:
Posted: 3/7/2018
Application Due: 3/31/2018
Work Type: