BONITA SPRINGS, FlaNovember 22, 2016– The Everglades Wonder Gardens has hired Thomas Hecker as its new Executive Director.  Hecker brings decades of environmental non-profit management experience to this role, which he will assume on January 3, 2017.

The Everglades Wonder Gardens is a 501-c-3 not for profit 80-year-old historic, environmental, educational, botanical jungle, located in downtown Bonita Springs. The Gardens sits on 3.4 acres along the Imperial River and is home to flamingos, alligators, wildlife, botanicals, an educational learning center, a natural history museum and more.

Hecker’s experience includes working at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, MO, the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Insectarium at the Museum of Life & Science in Durham, NC, at the Naples Botanical Gardens, and most recently, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Prescott College and a Non-profit Management Certificate from Duke University.

“I am very excited to be part of the Everglades Wonder Garden team, and in being able to assist with its growth,” states Hecker.  “This opportunity combines my strategic planning, non-profit management, and fundraising experience with my passion and interests in the natural environment.”

“We are pleased that Mr. Hecker has accepted the position as our new Executive Director. The search committee consisting of five board members and an outside consultant helped select the candidate with the right credentials for this position.  Through Mr. Hecker’s leadership, we look forward to growing the organization’s environmental stewardship programs, as well as its memberships, volunteers and our donor base,” states Trish Leonard, President of the Board of Directors.

Tom Hecker