The Massachusetts Horticultural Society announces Jan 6 that it has named Katherine K. Macdonald as the organization’s new executive director. She brings both public company and not-for-profit management experience and was president of KMAC Marketing. Prior to that, she was vice president of marketing for Thompson Island Outward Bound, a non-profit focused on experiential education.
“We are thrilled. Kathy is a talented strategist with experience in both the non-profit and for- profit sectors. She has a proven track record of being able to transform mission and vision into actions,” said Betsy Ridge Madsen, president of the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. “Mass Hort has moved through some challenging times to achieve institutional stability. Because of her combination of business acumen and non-profit spirit, we are confident that Kathy’s leadership will successfully drive and expand the organization’s educational miss
Macdonald spent six years with Thompson Island Outward Bound where she was responsible for generating $3 million of annual revenue that supported the core mission. She also helped develop an environmental program that combined Outward Bound’s philosophy with environmental studies, to encourage teambuilding and environmental stewardship. Her business career spans more than twenty five years, and includes entrepreneurship, technology start ups, the Xerox Corporation, and the hospitality industry. Most recently, she was president of KMAC Marketing, which provides strategic planning and marketing assistance to profit- and not-for-profit organizations.
“I see an extraordinary opportunity to leverage the turnaround that is already underway at Mass Hort as a launching pad for the organization’s renaissance,” Macdonald said. “Mass Hort has been part of the environmental movement since 1829, and now is the time to make its voice heard in the contemporary conversation. My goal for Mass Hort is straightforward: to use the organization’s considerable resources to meet society’s changing needs. To that end, I believe Mass Hort must sharpen its focus on sustainability, protecting natural resources, health, and environmental stewardship.”
“Mass Hort is here today because of the hard work, perseverance and tenacity of many people,” said Macdonald. “The Society’s trustees and staff, Master Gardeners, donors, and its many volunteers have seen the organization through a difficult period. I see my job as delivering on the promise of Mass Hort on their behalf.”
Macdonald holds an MBA from Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University. Long active in civic affairs in Wellesley, Macdonald has been an elected Town Meeting member for 24 years. She has served on multiple committees, including the Advisory/Finance Committee, the Wellesley Housing Development Corporation, and the Community Preservation Committee. She has managed several initiative campaigns including one, in 2002, for the Massachusetts League of Women Voters that focused on campaign television advertising. Macdonald and her husband Kevin have lived in Wellesley for more than 30 years. They have two adult children, Brian and Bridget.
Headquartered at the historic Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley and Dover, Mass Hort welcomes visitors. Mass Hort’s Blooms! at the Boston Flower and Garden Show, an annual Boston tradition, is held in March at The Seaport World Trade Center. Katherine K. Macdonald named New Executive Director of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Visit www.MassHort.org to learn more.