Executive Director, Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

Executive Director, Sandhills Horticultural Gardens


Sandhills Community College
3395 Airport Road
Pinehurst, NC 28374
Phone: 910-692-6185

Job Location

3395 Airport Road

Pinehurst, NC 28374


$60,000.00 Annually


Full-Time State Benefits

Job Category

  • Executive/Administrative/Managerial

Application Period

Opens: Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Closes: Friday, May 17, 2024

Target Start Date

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Expected Work Hours

8am - 5pm Monday - Friday

Reports to

Hiring Manager

Employment Type

Full-Time Position

Minimum Qualifications

Associate degree in related horticultural field required

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prefer baccalaureate degree in public administration, business, communications, marketing, or horticultural field.
  • Supervisory experience required.
  • Five or more years of experience working in a botanical garden or other horticulture industry position, preferably in a management/leadership role. Candidates should demonstrate their continuing professional development in learning and understanding current trends and critical issues within botanical gardens and the horticulture industry.
  • Strong preference to individuals holding multiple current industry certifications including, but not limited to: NC Pesticide License and/or ability to acquire within 1 year of employment, Certified Plant Professional, NC Landscape Contractor, ISA Certified Arborist, NC Irrigation Contractor.
  • Excellent planning, organizational and interpersonal skills are essential.  
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office 360 programs, an understanding of website content management, and prefer familiarity with garden industry management software. 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of social media management and advertisement/promotional marketing.

Position Description

The primary duties of the Executive Director of the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens are four-fold and should have equal attention to each area: Education, Facilities, Community Engagement, and Public Support.  
Education: Works with the Coordinator of the Landscape Gardening/Horticultural Programs to assist in providing student learning opportunities in the gardens as a part of their student classroom, lab, and work-based learning experiences. Ideally, teach or co-teach one course in the Landscape Gardening Program most semesters. Helps to establish and maintain public learning elements in the gardens and through the events/classes/projects of the Sandhills Horticultural Society and classes offered through the Continuing Education Lifelong Learning Department at the college or other opportunities as they arise.    
Facilities: Working collaboratively with the Landscape Gardening Program Coordinator, the college’s Physical Plant staff, gardens staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders, oversees the strategic planning, annual planning, operations, and maintenance of the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens. This includes coordinating and overseeing staff, volunteer, and student work in the gardens.   
Community Engagement: Act as college liaison and engage with the Sandhills Horticultural Society and its board members on membership and gardens events; develop and maintain relationships with garden-related community organizations (garden clubs, Master Gardeners, NC Cooperative Extension, etc.) and individuals.
Public Support: Work closely with the Foundation on public and donor relations; develop and implement strategies for venue rentals to generate revenue; support philanthropic development including volunteer and financial support and other revenue generating opportunities (such as gift shop) for the gardens.

  • Management of the gardens staff (3 full-time direct reports).
  • Plan and coordinate annual strategic and operational planning session with key stakeholders from the academic program, college administration, staff/faculty, and others as needed to coordinate schedule of academic uses in curriculum, annual maintenance needs, and long-term planning for garden development and improvement. Every three-years incorporate these plans into the college’s intensive program review process for the gardens.
  • Conduct regular, at a minimum weekly, assessments of the condition of the gardens, keep ongoing notes of conditions including safety concerns and needs, and schedule repairs and maintenance in a timely manner with gardens and physical plant staff or outside contractors as needed and feasible.
  • General oversight of all SCC/Horticultural Society sponsored and some outside events taking place in the gardens.  
  • Work with college marketing and administrative staff as well as volunteers to develop and maintain an effective marketing strategy using multiple media outlets, social media, and the SCC gardens page of the SCC website.  
  • Act as college liaison to the Sandhills Horticultural Society serving on all SHS Committees to help with membership development, garden events and workshops, and venue reservations/logistics.
  • Act as college liaison responsible for maintaining relationships with local garden clubs, Master Gardeners, regional industry connections, and other horticultural-oriented organizations within the community.
  • Oversee and develop enhancements of the current program to recruit gardens volunteers (docents and technicians) from the community.
  • Develop, implement, and oversee revenue generation strategies working both with the Foundation, Sandhills Horticultural Society, and other internal mechanisms for rentals, gardens events, garden memberships, relationship development, and philanthropic giving.


  • Work collaboratively with Foundation staff in planning all donor-attended functions at gardens.
  • Develop and maintain donor relations with Foundation board members, focused on the relationship between the gardens and the College.
  • Work with Foundation staff to implement giving programs designed to expand long-term support for the gardens and horticultural academic programs at SCC.

Job Post Contact

Chreatha Alston, Senior Director of Human Resources