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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Longtime Division Leader Chris Strand Named Director of Winterthur

Nov 24, 2021 08:41AM ● By Tricia Hoadley

Chris Strand, the longtime director of garden and estate at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, has been named its Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO. Strand has served as interim director and CEO at Winterthur since May.

“Chris is so skilled in so many areas—fundraising, morale raising, communication,” said Kathy P. Booth, chair of the Winterthur Board of Trustees. “The Board is thrilled to have someone who knows Winterthur so well.”

As interim director, Strand was responsible for all aspects of museum, library, and garden operations, including management of Winterthur’s academic programs through the University of Delaware, fundraising, Board relations, long-range planning, budget oversight, and daily coordination of the senior management team in service of Winterthur’s mission. He continues that work in his new role.

Strand had served as Brown Harrington Director of Garden and Estate at Winterthur since May 2005, managing the care of Winterthur’s nearly 1,000 acres and its diverse resources through close work with its horticulture, natural lands, facilities, and security teams.

“I am pleased and honored to be stepping into this role at this moment in Winterthur’s history,” Strand said. “I have really enjoyed working with the Board of Trustees and the staff over the past several months. The Trustees, staff, and our Members are a community that is very dedicated to Winterthur’s success. What they want most is to share this wonderful place with our friends and neighbors and that is an exciting and energizing challenge.”

Strand has enjoyed a long career in horticulture outreach, education, and management. Prior to joining Winterthur, he worked as director of Green Spring Gardens in Fairfax County, Virginia, from January 1998 to May 2005, managing its continuing evolution from a private property to a public garden and historic site, and as outreach horticulturist at The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University from July 1993 to January 1998. Strand earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado in 1989 and a master’s degree in Public Horticulture Administration with a certificate in Museum Studies through the Longwood Graduate Program Fellowship of the University of Delaware in 1992.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, recent storm damage on the estate, shifting tastes, changes in school visits, and new technologies all present challenges and opportunities,” Strand noted. He credits the Winterthur staff for their creativity in meeting challenges and embracing new audiences while remaining good stewards of the property and collection. “I am very proud of them, and because of them, I am incredibly optimistic about our future,” Strand said.

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