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NASHVILLE, TN. – Cheekwood will soon welcome Patrick Larkin as its Senior Vice President of Gardens and Facilities, during what is on track to be one of the busiest seasons in the Nashville institution’s 53 -year history. Larkin will relocate to the Southeast from Southern California where he served as Executive Director of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Larkin was selected, in part, for his exceptional accomplishments during his eight-year tenure with Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. While there, he oversaw a growth in public programs and improved the garden’s displays, as well as championed the importance of native plants. He also started an innovative and collaborative program that expanded the garden’s plant production facilities and created new opportunities for public engagement, all while offering occupational training to U.S. military Veterans. Larkin’s leadership and vision were a driving force behind the organization’s three-fold increase in non-endowment revenue and membership.

“Welcoming Patrick Larkin as the Senior Vice President of Gardens and Facilities at Cheekwood is an important step for us,” said Jane MacLeod, President and CEO of Cheekwood. “His diverse education and credentials, extensive executive leadership experience and proven community focus truly align with our needs and mission. This is both a strategic step and a milestone in our vision for growth as we continue to earn national recognition as one of the finest examples of the American Country Place Era Estate.”

Larkin began his career in public horticulture as a horticulturist at the Smithsonian Institution Enid A. Haupt Garden, where he honed his ornamental garden skills—including design, installation and collections management—raising the display quality of this nationally recognized showpiece garden.

He then served as Director of Horticulture and Operations at the American Horticultural Society’s headquarters, George Washington’s River Farm. Later, Larkin held positions as Executive Director of Green Bay Botanical Garden in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and as Chief Executive Officer at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada, California.

“Being selected for this important leadership role at Cheekwood is truly an honor,” Larkin stated. “I’m excited to apply my experience and passion for public horticulture to the incredible momentum that Cheekwood has built in recent years. Together, with the staff and volunteers, we’ll continue to elevate Cheekwood’s reputation as both a regional treasure and a national attraction. My family and I are eager to arrive and make our home in the great city of Nashville.”

Larkin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Master of Science degree in public horticulture administration from the Longwood Graduate Program of the University of Delaware. He and his wife and their four children will settle in Nashville this summer. Larkin will officially begin his work at Cheekwood on August 19.

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