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Holden Forests & Gardens selects Ed Moydell as new CEO

Ed Moydell comes to Cleveland after two decades of horticultural leadership posts in Philadelphia and Seattle.
Ed Moydell
Holden Forests & Gardens
Ed Moydell comes to Cleveland after more than 15 years of horticultural leadership posts in Philadelphia and Seattle.

Holden Forests & Gardens announced Ed Moydell as its new CEO Wednesday after an eight-month search. He will run the Kirtland-based Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden. Since 2010, he’s been CEO of the Bloedel Reserve near Seattle. He starts the job in Northeast Ohio September 1.

Before Bloedel, he worked with horticultural organizations in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Prior to that, his LinkedIn profile lists seven years as a professional hibachi chef.

"I am delighted and honored to be appointed the next CEO of Holden Forests & Gardens,” said Moydell in a news release. “I have two passions in life: plants and people. With an urban campus and a rural campus, HF&G has the unique opportunity to meaningfully connect people to nature and build community in myriad ways."

He's the third CEO since Holden merged with the botanical garden in 2014. Moydell replaces Jill Koski, who stepped down last year to return to Chicago’s Morton Arboretum.

“Ed brings a demonstrated track record of success, along with the energy and innovative spirit to lead Holden Forests & Gardens into its exciting next chapter,” said Holden Board Chair Tom Anderson. “Ed’s experience within the public garden industry as a strategist, communicator, and fundraiser will enable him to elevate the mission of Holden Forests & Gardens."

Holden Forests & Gardens has more than 17,000 member households and an annual attendance of more than 350,000. It recently launched the "People for Trees" campaign to plant 15,000 trees, in partnership with residents of Northeast Ohio, by 2025.

Anderson said the merger of Holden and the botanical garden was key to attracting talents like Jill Koski and Ed Moydell.

“They see the potential,” he said. “They see how much more we can contribute to not just Northeast Ohio but to the country and the world in terms of the research that we’re doing on trees and plants. With climate change, we feel that the research we’re doing is so needed and so vital.”

Anderson said he’s looking forward to seeing Moydell and his young family visit this summer as they make their move from the West Coast.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.