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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – February 1, 2024 — The Memphis Botanic Garden (MBG) is on the hunt for a new Executive Director. The Garden announced Thursday Executive Director Michael Allen is retiring effective June 30, 2024.

Garden officials said Kittleman & Associates has been hired to conduct the search for a new Executive Director.

Allen began with the Garden in January 2017 after 25 years with International Paper and six years as CEO of Catholic Charities of West Tennessee. MBG said he raised more than $12 million for a modernization of the campus, increased the number of visitors, and expanded earned revenues during his tenure. Officials said he has tripled MBG’s financial reserves over the years.

“Michael’s legacy is one of innovation and growth, leaving the Garden stronger than ever,” said David Scully, MBG Board President. “As he retires, we express deep gratitude and confidence in our future. We look forward to building upon his legacy and continuing our mission.”

“Michael’s leadership and vision have enabled the Garden to reach new heights,” said Janet Misner, MBG Board President 2016-17. “He quietly and determinedly raised millions for the Garden and oversaw a dramatic upgrade to our entire campus. His desire to be challenged and stay busy has benefitted us all.”

“It has been a lightning fast seven plus years here at the Garden, and it has truly been the perfect ‘final act’ to my career,” said Allen. “I leave confident in the Garden’s future, knowing that we have a well-formulated transition plan in place and prepared to do my part to help execute that plan.”