BONITA SPRINGS (October 14, 2016) – Trish Leonard, President of the Everglades Wonder Gardens, announced the appointment of Sheryl Soukup, CFRE, as Interim Executive Director. The announcement was made following the recent resignation of Janet Martin, who managed the organization over the past year.

Soukup, who has been working as a fundraising consultant with Everglades Wonder Gardens since June, brings a wealth of expertise in nonprofit leadership, including more than 10 years’ experience serving as an executive director for nonprofits in Southwest Florida. In 2012 Soukup founded a consulting firm, Soukup Strategic Solutions, which specializes in strategic planning, fundraising, marketing and board development. “As a consultant in fundraising and nonprofit management, I’m excited about the ways I can help the Wonder Gardens through this transition,” said Soukup.

Prior to Martin’s departure, the Executive Board quickly assembled to develop a transition plan. “We are dedicated to making this a smooth transition for staff, volunteers, donors and visitors of the Wonder Gardens,” said Leonard. “After working closely with Sheryl over the past several months, we are confident that she will provide the leadership needed for the transition.”

Board member Sabra Smith is chairing the Executive Search Committee. “As we begin our search for the next executive director we are looking for a professional who can oversee operations as well as grow our annual fundraising program,” said Smith.

The Everglades Wonder Gardens Board recently began implementing a strategic plan that includes major additions to the Gardens, including new buildings and programs, as well as new offerings in environmental education and ecotourism. “The Board has worked tirelessly with our staff and community partners to save the Wonder Gardens from development. We’re grateful to the city of Bonita Springs for making this possible,” said Dennis Gilkey, Vice President. “The city’s commitment to the Wonder Gardens is shared by a great number of community members who have joined us with their gifts of time and financial contributions. We’re excited about what the future holds for the Gardens. We’ll use this transition as an opportunity to evolve as an organization.”

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About Everglades Wonder Gardens
27180 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs is open daily from 9-5. The historical botanical jungle features exhibits of rescued birds and reptiles. Highlights include pink flamingos, 38 alligators, aviary, turtle and tortoise exhibits, open-air butterfly garden, bromeliad garden, orchid trail, picnic area, and gift shop. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 65+, and $7 for children 3-12. For more information, please call 239-992-2591 or visit