Houston Botanic Garden names Joy Columbus vice president of horticulture

Houston Botanic Garden names Joy Columbus vice president of horticulture

Columbus will lead the development of the garden's horticultural program.


HOUSTON (July 23, 2018) — The Houston Botanic Garden (HBG) is excited to announce Joy (Kaminsky) Columbus as vice president of horticulture. Joy will lead the effort to articulate and develop the Houston Botanic Garden’s horticultural program, build the horticulture team and oversee plant conservation and landscape management.

“With more than 20 years of experience, Joy will be an asset to our growing team,” said Claudia Gee Vassar, HBG president and general counsel. “Her wealth of knowledge and proven track record will be vital in making Houston Botanic Garden a world class, iconic destination.” 

Columbus previously served as the director of horticulture at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois. She successfully initiated and coordinated the development of a multi-phase $35 million campus revitalization plan, Project New Leaf. The project consisted of 500 acres, and included renovations to the historic garden framework and development of new garden attractions. 

Additionally, Columbus has previous experience working with the New York State Office of Parks and Cleveland Botanical Garden, and served as a research assistant at Miami University of Ohio. She received her Master of Science in biology from John Carroll University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in botany with an environmental emphasis and a minor in horticulture. 

“I am thrilled to join a wonderfully dynamic group, working to grow a sustainable garden for generations of Houstonians to enjoy,” said Columbus. “It’s an honor to be on the forefront of what will be a major cultural asset to this city and region.”

Joy will be working with the Houston Botanic Garden’s local, state and national partnerships to build unique plant collections and create awe inspiring gardens that will delight and inspire visitors.