Josh Steffen

Josh Steffen, Kingwood’s new executive director, is pictured with his wife, Janelle, and their children, Ember and Foster.

MANSFIELD -- Kingwood Center Gardens has announced the hiring of Josh Steffen as its new Executive Director.

After a national search, Steffen was selected as only the fifth director since Kingwood’s opening in 1953. He will begin on June 14, 2021 following the retirement of Chuck Gleaves, who has served in that role for 23 years.

Steffen brings a broad scope of both education and experience with him. Most recently he held the position of Horticulture and Facilities Manager at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart, Indiana.

Prior to his leadership position there, he was a softscape foreman at Stoney Creek Landscaping in Creston, Ohio, and the Hershey Children’s Garden Manager at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

He is skilled in project and staff management, exhibit and landscape design, organizational capacity building, and stakeholder engagement.

Steffen completed a master’s degree in Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware, Longwood Graduate Program, after completing his undergraduate studies in both horticulture and botany at Michigan State University.

In 2004, he was awarded a Longwood Graduate Fellowship -- the Louise Roselle Fellow in Public Horticulture.

"I really believe in the power of public gardens to build community and living landscapes that sustain life," Steffen said. "I am looking forward to returning to northeast Ohio, a region near to my heart, to lead the excellent team at Kingwood Center Gardens into its next chapter of Charles Kelley King's vision."

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