A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in New York State, the Garden Conservancy was founded in 1989 by renowned plantsman Frank Cabot. Today, our board of directors is composed of thirty-one men and women from across the country, led by Benjamin F. Lenhardt, Jr., Chairman, and Courtnay S. Daniels, Vice-Chairman.



Benjamin F. Lenhardt, Jr., Chairman
Charleston, South Carolina

Ben Lenhardt retired in 2003 as chairman and CEO of Americas-UBS Asset Management and member of the UBS AG Group Managing Board. He has long been an avid gardener in both Charleston, South Carolina, and Winnetka, Illinois, participating in Garden Conservancy Open Days in both locations. His interest in garden preservation combines his keen interests in gardening and architecture, including historical preservation in Charleston, where he is on the board of Drayton Hall and the Easement Committee of Historic Charleston Foundation. In Chicago, he also serves on the boards of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Shedd Aquarium, and Notebart Nature Museum. He joined the board of directors of the Garden Conservancy in December 2004 and was elected Vice-Chairman in 2007 and Chairman in 2011.

Courtnay S. Daniels, Vice-Chairman
Greenwood, Virginia

Over the last twenty years, Courtnay Daniels has created a series of garden rooms, diverse shrub borders, greenhouses, and arboretum on more than twenty-nine acres within Whilton Farm, an expansive pastoral landscape in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 2008, the Wall Street Journal described her garden as “one of the largest collections of rare plants in the country.” She has opened the garden to the public through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program and is a long-time member of the Garden Club of America, a trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, and a former partner in a small greenhouse business. She has also served on the board of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond and supported a variety of projects at the University of Virginia. Courtnay joined the Garden Conservancy’s board of directors in 2006, became Vice-Chairman in 2011, and chairs the executive committee of the board.

James Brayton Hall, President and Chief Executive Officer
Beacon, New York

James joined the Garden Conservancy as president and CEO on June 1, 2017. For the previous four years, he was deputy director of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he worked on the planning and design of the Norman Foster-designed museum expansion and sculpture gardens. From 2010 to 2013, he was executive director of the Providence Preservation Society in Rhode Island, overseeing all programming, fundraising, and relations with the board, donors, and community. From 2006 to 2010, James served as assistant director of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, after holding various other management and curatorial positions at the school since 1985. 

James has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and a master’s in landscape architecture from Rhode Island School of Design. In addition, he was awarded a Royal Oak Scholarship to attend the Attingham Trust Summer School in Architectural and Landscape History in London, and, separately, participated in the Victorian Society’s summer program in architectural history, also in London. In 2016, he was accepted to and completed Attingham’s Royal Collections Course. He has spoken widely on architectural and landscape design and has been a member of the graduate program faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design.

We gathered a few first impressions and  personal insights from our organization's new leader in mid-July 2017, seven weeks after his arrival. Read more

Paul Redman, Vice President
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

Paul has been an award-winning leader of public gardens for more than twenty-five years, serving as executive director of Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, since 2006. At Longwood, he has worked to advance plant research and innovative educational programs, on site as well as via online learning, with a special focus on training future generations of garden leaders. Prior to joining Longwood, he was executive director of Franklin Park Conservatory in Ohio, an organization he has been credited with returning to health.

Paul joined the Garden Conservancy board of directors in 2012 and he was elected vice president of the board in 2014. He also serves as co-chair for Seed Your Future, a national campaign to promote awareness and careers in horticulture. He previously served as board president and treasurer of the American Public Gardens Association. Recent honors include the 2016 Award of Merit from the American Public Gardens Association, the International Garden Tourism Network’s 2015 Person of the Year, 2015 American Horticultural Society’s Professional Award, 2014 Wyck Strickland Award, 2014 American Society of Horticultural Science’s Dr. William A. “Tex” Frazier Lecturer, and 2012 CEO of the Year by the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, Business & Industry.

Howard G. Seitz, Secretary/Treasurer
New York, New York

Gerry Seitz is of counsel to the New York law firm Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke, where he is active in the practice of business and commercial law and trusts and estates. For more than twenty years, he was a partner at O’Connor, Murphy, Ryan & Seitz. He has been involved with several start-up companies over the past decade, is a board member of various privately held companies and charities, and is a former member of the City Council of Rye, New York.

Thirty years ago, Gerry and his wife, Sue, began a garden at an 1890 carriage house set on an outcropping of rock overlooking the Mill Pond and its old red mill in Rye, New York. The couple has been involved with the Garden Conservancy since its founding. Gerry served as the organization’s legal counsel from its beginning and was elected to the Conservancy’s board of directors in 1996 and named Secretary/Treasurer at the same time.


To view a short bio, please click on the name below.

Robert M. Balentine
Atlanta, Georgia

Mary Randolph Ballinger
St. Louis, Missouri

Shelley Belling
Newport Beach, California

Allison K. Bourke
Greenwich, Connecticut

Susan Payson Burke
New York, New York

F. Colin Cabot
Loudon, New Hampshire

Barbara Whitney Carr
Hobe Sound, Florida

J. Barclay Collins II
Sharon, Connecticut

Page Dickey
Falls Village, Connecticut

Elizabeth Everdell
San Francisco, California

Dorothy H. Gardner
Chicago, Illinois

Lionel Goldfrank III
Sharon, Connecticut

Susan Zises Green
New York, New York

Henry P. Johnson
Short Hills, New Jersey

Suzanne Kayne
Santa Monica, California

Susan Lowry
New York, New York

Joseph Marek
Santa Monica, California

Carolyn Mehran
San Francisco, CA

Suzanne Rheinstein
Los Angeles, California

Ann Copeland Rose
Wilmington, Delaware

Deborah Royce
Riverside, Connecticut

Jorge A. Sánchez
Palm Beach, Florida

Paul G. Sittenfeld
Cincinnati, Ohio

Patricia A. Steffan
New York, New York

Rodman Ward, Jr.
Wilmington, Delaware

Dana Scott Westring
Marshall, Virginia

Directors Emeriti

Linda Allard
Washington, Connecticut

Douglas H. Banker
Garrison, New York

Josephine B. Bush
Hamden, Connecticut

Edward N. Dane
Center Harbor, New Hampshire

Dr. Gilbert S. Daniels
Indianapolis, Indiana

John K. Greene
Lake Forest, Illinois

Thomas B. Hunter III
Lake Forest, Illinois

Posy Krehbiel
Lake Forest, Illinois

Dr. Richard W. Lighty
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Board resolution, March 27, 2014

Joseph F. McCann
New York, New York

Evelyn M. McGee
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
Board resolution, June 11, 2015

Chapin Nolen 
Santa Barbara, California
Board resolution, September 17, 2015

Barbara Paul Robinson
New York, New York

Susan Stone
Glencoe, Illinois
Board resolution, September 17, 2015

Nancy Thomas
Houston, Texas

Louise Wrinkle
Birmingham, Alabama