Karen Binder, Executive Director
email@example.com 401-253-2707401-253-2707 ext 12
Visitor Services Department:
Tree Callanan, Director of Communications & Visitor Experience
firstname.lastname@example.org 401-253-2707401-253-2707 ext 23
Julie Christina, Education Programs Manager
email@example.com 401-253-2707401-253-2707 ext 16
Special Events Department:
Karen Bellavance, Director of Special Events
firstname.lastname@example.org 401-253-2707401-253-2707 ext 10
Curatorial Department and Archives:
Margaret Whitehead, Head of the Curatorial Department
email@example.com 401-253-2707401-253-2707 ext 22
Fred Perry, Director of Horticulture
Gail Read, Gardens Manager
2015 Blithewold, Inc. Board of Directors
Curt Ley, Chairman
Doug Gray, Vice Chairman
Herb Cummings, Treasurer
Trish Sylvester, Secretary
Karen Binder, Executive Director: Karen Binder is the Executive Director of Blithewold, Inc. a post she has held since July 2004. Her primary responsibilities include oversight of daily operations, strategic planning, supervision of major capital projects, fundraising, donor and board cultivation, and support for Blithewold’s board and committees. Karen earned a dual degree — a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and in Political Science, from St. Mary’s College, Maryland, and a Master of Arts in Education with a focus on management and training. Formerly, Karen worked as director of operations and as executive director for several large YMCA associations. Karen most recently served as Chair of the Bristol Museum Association, was a member on the Bristol Comprehensive Plan Committee and Vice-Chair of the Bristol Noise Commission.
Visitor Services Department:
Tree Callanan, Director of Communications & Visitor Experience: Tree Callanan, director of communications & visitor experience, joined Blithewold in 2010. Ms. Callanan’s previous experience in Rhode Island’s non-profit arts, culture & tourism industry includes the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island, Trinity Repertory Company and WaterFire Providence. At Blithewold, Tree is responsible for marketing, public relations and program management. She works closely with the executive director, staff and volunteers to attract more visitors and enhance their experience at Blithewold. Ms. Callanan demonstrates her commitment to local community by serving as the past vice president of the board of directors for Fusionworks Dance Company, former co-chair of the professional development committee at the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island and a member of the communications committee for Coalition for Transportation Choices. She has a B. S. in Marketing from Johnson & Wales University and is pursuing a certificate in Print Design at the Rhode Island School of Design.
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Julie Murphy, Education Coordinator: Julie Murphy began working at Blithewold in May 2008. She is responsible for educational programming, for example Buds & Blossoms Summer Camp, Family Fun Fridays, the Junior Master Gardener Program, Intimate Garden Tours, Soirees in the Garden, the annual Garden Design Luncheon, and Gingerbread Wonderland at Christmas. Julie manages the newsletter and the Guide-by-Cell audio tours, and assists the Director of Communications with programs such as Daffodil Days, Autumn Splendor, and Christmas at Blithewold. Julie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Horticulture, Ohio State University, and studied Landscape Design at Myerscough College, in England. Her previous employment includes posts at the Falmouth (Massachusetts) Service Center, where she was Community Garden Coordinator, and Heritage Museums and Gardens, Sandwich, Massachusetts, where she was horticulturist for three years.
Special Event Department:
Karen Bellavance, Director of Special Events: Karen Bellavance, CMP, coordinates weddings, manages specific events and special sales associated with them, and markets Blithewold as a rental venue. Her department generates 45% of the organization’s operating revenue. Karen attended Bentley College’s Event Management Program, receiving a Certified Meeting Professional certificate. Prior to coming to Blithewold in 2006, Karen worked at Celebrations to Remember, a wedding and event planning business, and was Group Sales Manager at 22 Bowen’s and The Mooring Restaurants, in Newport, Rhode Island.
Curatorial Department and Archives:
Margaret Whitehead, Head of the Curatorial Department: Margaret Whitehead has worked at Blithewold in different capacities for eighteen years. She was the property’s volunteer curator for ten years and was hired as paid staff on a part-time basis two years ago. Margaret was a founding member of Save Blithewold, Inc. and a member of its Board of Directors for nine years. She organized ‘Christmas at Blithewold’ for ten years and serves on the Buildings, Grounds and Collections Committee of the Board. Margaret trains and supervises a capable volunteer staff of ten archivists and is writing a comprehensive history of Blithewold.
Fred Perry, Director of Horticulture: Fred Perry manages Blithewold’s horticultural staff and is responsible for the maintenance, planting, and restoration of the 33-acre Blithewold property. He received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Rhode Island in 1989. Prior to coming to Blithewold eight years ago, he was employed at Orchard Acres Land Creations, Greenville, Rhode Island; Sylvan Nursery, Westport, Massachusetts; and Tranquil Lake Nursery, Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
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Gail Read, Gardens Manager: Gail Read works part-time supervising garden volunteers and coordinating work in gardens and greenhouse, managing the garden budget, ordering plants and supplies, propagating plants, designing gardens, supporting events, and teaching classes in addition to regular garden and greenhouse maintenance. Gail has worked at Blithewold since 1990, and received her Associate of Science degree in Floriculture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Rhode Island. Gail is a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist. Prior to coming to Blithewold, Gail worked at Faneuil Hall Flower Market in Boston, Massachusetts, and at her family’s Prince’s Hill Nursery, in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Wednesday, April 15
- Wednesday, October 07
Wednesday Walk-Around, a Guided Tour of Blithewold
Tuesday, June 02
- Thursday, September 03
Yoga in the Garden
Thursday, June 04
- Wednesday, September 30
Bristol Explorer Pass
Saturday, August 08
- Saturday, October 10
Saturday Strolls : A Guided Tour of Blithewold
Saturday, September 12
A Walk with the Director
Friday, September 25
A Sustainable Rose Garden
(Aug 06, '15)
I freely admit that when we moved the Pollinator Garden this spring to its new location at the top of the meadow west of the vegetable garden I didn’t have high hopes for it to be a thing of beauty this year. For a couple of reasons. One, the intended location was full of nutsedge that […]
(Jul 27, '15)
Lily has to be one of the most overused descriptors in horticulture. Go figure, given how aptly it defines so many flowers: the word itself has a trumpeting flare and and if I use my imagination, a sweet fragrance too… Spring is plenty-lily-ful with trout lily, lily of the valley, checkered lilies, and lily-flowering tulips doing their thing, but starting […]
North Garden inventory
(Jul 17, '15)
I’m asked often enough to name my favorite plant and season that it’s a little strange that hardly anyone* ever asks which is my favorite garden. Not that I could possibly pick a favorite (the pollinator garden). But since I featured the Rose Garden (my other favorite) last week, I can’t let this week go by without giving Blithewold’s pièce de […]