Stephanie Jutila, is a passionate horticulturist who has dedicated her career to connecting people to plants. In 2011 Stephanie was named the first President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Stephanie has led the transformation of the former municipally operated facility into a vibrant, 14-acre public garden in the heart of downtown Des Moines as part of a $19.7 million capital campaign. Through her leadership the nonprofit has grown its operating budget by 175% and doubled the Garden’s annual visitation. Guided by a mission of exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants, the Botanical Garden cultivates a signature guest experience through progressive garden design and innovative programming.
Ms. Jutila is a native of Cloquet, in northern Minnesota. Her horticultural training includes undergraduate and masters degrees at the University of Minnesota, where she also studied nonprofit management and museum studies. Her work experience includes stints at the Smithsonian Institution, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory of Como Park, St. Paul. She has received numerous accolades for her leadership, including the Garden Club of America’s Martin McLaren Interchange Scholarship and the Chanticleer Scholarship from the Chanticleer Foundation in Wayne, PA. Stephanie is also an alumnus of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute class of 2014.
Prior to moving to Des Moines, Ms. Jutila worked for the American Horticultural Society, with headquarters in the greater Washington, D.C., area, is the foremost horticultural society serving a national audience through publications, programs and its 25-acre River Farm public garden. While at the American Horticultural Society, Ms. Jutila was the Director of Member Programs and Outreach. In this roll she headed numerous national initiatives and programs including its renowned annual National Children & Youth Garden Symposium.