KINGSVILLE, MO – Powell Gardens has named Cody Jolliff its new chief executive officer. The Board of Directors’ selection committee led the search initiative through a national executive search firm specializing in non-profit leadership. Jolliff’s appointment is effective immediately.
“Cody has a life-long passion for cultural institutions and is a proven leader and team builder”, said board chair Amy Eckhoff. “He has remained steadfastly focused on community engagement and the management of cultural organizations throughout his education and career. Cody’s passion and creativity are exactly what the Gardens needs to expand our impact on the community.”
Jolliff joined Powell Gardens as manager of Public Programs in 2022. He has over 17 years of experience leading non-profit cultural institutions and developing visitor experiences at sites ranging from museums to living history farms, tourist railroads, and more. Jolliff is an alum of Oklahoma State University and Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, capital of the Cherokee Nation. He previously worked for the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Oklahoma Historical Society, where he was responsible for the management of multiple heritage museums and historic sites. Jolliff and his wife, Tara, along with their son, Theodore, enjoy traveling and visiting cultural sites around the country and world.
“Powell Gardens is an amazing place to explore, enjoy, and take in plants and nature with friends and family,” Jolliff said. “I’m looking forward to leading Powell Gardens to the next level, pursuing new partnerships and opportunities, engaging new audiences, and ensuring that the Gardens remains a top cultural attraction for the Kansas City region to love.”
The transition comes at an important time in Powell Gardens’ history, according to Eckhoff. “With an ambitious Master Plan in place, Cody will lead with a focus on the bright future of Kansas City’s botanical garden,” she said. “The future is indeed bright at Powell Gardens. We have so much to offer the greater Kansas City community through expanded programs, education, and as a great place to appreciate the importance of plants in our lives. We are excited for the future with Cody leading the team!”