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Published: Saturday, 11/18/2000

Botanical garden director moving to private sector

The executive director of the Toledo Botanical Gardens has decided to seek a job as a landscape architect in the private sector, and not extend his one-year contract at the center.

Thomas Herrera-Mishler, 39, said he has spent most of his career with public entities, “and there are great opportunities” in private employment.

He holds a master's degree in landscape architecture and planning from the University of Michigan.

Mr. Herrera-Mishler became executive director of the 60-acre gardens on Elmer Drive in January.

Margaret Bretzloff, chairman of the gardens' board of directors, said Mr. Herrera-Mishler “had an employment agreement with us for a year. He decided not to seek a continuation.”

She said he is no longer working at the gardens, and declined further comment.

Ms. Bretzloff said the board has not yet named an acting executive director and is considering whether it's necessary. She said the staff is dedicated and board members have volunteered time to insure that the operation runs smoothly.

She said that advertising for a replacement for Mr. Herrera-Mishler will begin soon, but it is unlikely that there will be a replacement before the first of the year.

Although the holiday season may cause a delay in hiring a replacement, it also makes it easier to operate the gardens because there are fewer visitors to the center, she said.

The executive director position supervises about 35 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees, and pays $69,000.

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