Nena Howell, a long-time community leader in Central Washington, officially took over the reins as Executive Director of Ohme Gardens on July 2, following in the steps of retiring director Mike Short.
The selection follows a regional search for a replacement for Short. Short has run Ohme Gardens on the hillsides north of Wenatchee, for 24 years, during which time he expertly attended to the stewardship and preservation of the unique gardens founded in 1929 by the Ohme family.
In announcing Howell’s hiring, Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay, District 1, said, “We’re excited to have Nena on board to lead the District’s outreach efforts to gather insight from our community members so we can start the process of creating a long-range comprehensive plan for capital projects, community programs, and fundraising efforts.”
“It’s time to revisit how we can better serve our community, connect with visitors to our region and coordinate all our efforts to ensure the success and sustainability of these iconic gardens for generations to come,” said Nena Howell.
Howell is a proven leader with extensive experience in the areas of general management, project planning, customer service, marketing and fundraising. Most recently Howell led the renovation of the 100-seat Canyon Wren Recital Hall and eight artist residences for Leavenworth non-profit, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, as well as planning and coordinating the organization’s major annual fundraising event. Howell is a graduate of Washington State University’s Chelan-Douglas Master Gardeners program and has had a life-long love affair with gardening.
Ohme Gardens nine-acre wooded garden towers above Wenatchee, Wash., just minutes off Highway 2. Visitors escape the summer heat in this oasis of cool created by towering firs and lush plantings, relaxing and meandering along the mile-long native stone path winding past waterfalls and serenity pools. Ohme Gardens is also a popular wedding and private event location, as well as host to the RLS Productions’ Concerts in the GardensTM series. Fitness fans have long considered the Gardens a top workout spot thanks to its vertical, undulating terrain and walking paths.
Built in 1929 and operated privately by the Ohme family for over 60 years, Ohme Gardens is currently under the stewardship of Chelan County. Centered in the State of Washington, Ohme Gardens is located near other popular tourist destinations in Leavenworth (19 miles) and Lake Chelan (30 miles). Admission is free for children aged 5 years and younger. The Gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information please visit www.ohmegardens.com.