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NTBG announces Janet L. Mayfield as Director and CEO

3 January 2019

Kalāheo, Hawaiʻi (January 3, 2019) — The Hawaiʻi-based National Tropical Botanical
Garden (NTBG) announced that effective January 1, 2019, the congressionally chartered
institution’s new Director and Chief Executive Officer is Janet L. Mayfield. NTBG’s Board
of Trustees approved Mayfield to succeed Charles R. “Chipper” Wichman, Jr. who served
as Director and CEO from 2003–2018.

Prior to accepting the role of NTBG’s Director and CEO, Mayfield held dual
responsibilities as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
(2003–2018). Mayfield previously served as NTBG’s Controller from 1997–1999. She has
a background in accounting, finance, education, and the management of not-for-profit

Mayfield is looking forward to the diverse challenges this new position holds for her and
said: “It is an honor to be selected by our National Board to be the next Director and
CEO of NTBG. Our staff is remarkable in their dedication to achieving our mission of
perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical
regions. Many, like Chipper, have made this their life’s work. As global citizens, it is our
responsibility to be part of a solution to curb the tide of extinction and mitigate the
threats of climate change. I am humbled and eager to be taking the helm of an
organization with such an imperative and timely mission.”

Starting in 2019, Wichman will remain President of NTBG, with a focus on fundraising
and external affairs. He will continue to represent NTBG in local, national, and
international initiatives and conferences while reporting to Mayfield. NTBG’s
institutional governance and operational management decisions will be executed by
Director and CEO Mayfield.

Wichman is very excited about the transition and said: “After working to advance the
mission of NTBG over the past 40-plus years, I am eager to take on this new role which
will allow me to focus my passion for the gardens and the critical work we are doing in a
deeply meaningful way. The world is at a crossroads and it is important that we all up
our game and do even more to protect the bio and cultural diversity on our island earth.”
In a statement, NTBG’s Chairman of the Board, Mr. Thomas D. Hewitt said: “For more
than 15 years, Janet and Chipper have worked effectively as a team to lead and advance
this organization, making NTBG a recognized global leader in tropical plant conservation,
science, and education. I look forward to great things from them under their new
leadership roles.”

National Tropical Botanical Garden ( is a not-for-profit, nongovernmental
institution with nearly 2,000 acres of gardens and preserves in Hawai‘i
and Florida. The institution’s mission is to enrich life through discovery, scientific
research, conservation, and education by perpetuating the survival of plants,
ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical regions. NTBG is supported primarily
through donations and grants.

Administrative contact:
Media contact: Jon Letman,
National Tropical Botanical Garden Headquarters, Kalāheo, Hawaiʻi

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