Press Release: PHS Announces Resignation of Drew Becher as President

Margaret McCarvill Named Interim Executive Director
PHILADELPHIA  (April 7, 2015)
– The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has announced that Drew
Becher, President of the nonprofit organization since 2010, has
resigned, effective June 1. Margaret Sadler, Chair of the PHS Board,
said the Board accepted Becher’s resignation with regret, citing his
accomplishments and the growth of the organization during his tenure.

is leaving PHS in order to relocate to San Francisco, where his
partner, Eric Lochner, has accepted the position of President and CEO of
Achievers, one of the largest cloud-based employee success platform
companies in the world.
McCarvill, a PHS Board member and the Board President of the
Neighborhood Gardens Trust, will serve as Interim Executive Director of
PHS, effective May 1, while a national search for a new President is

“On behalf of the Board, I thank Drew for his commitment, energy and
contributions to the work of PHS,” Sadler said. “Under Drew’s
leadership, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has thrived, evolving
to meet the changing needs of the region.”

noted that under Becher’s leadership, PHS membership surged from 20,000
to 75,000, with a strong focus on attracting young members; PHS Pop Up
Gardens have become an iconic brand in Philadelphia; Plant One Million,
the nation’s largest multi-state tree-planting campaign, was initiated
and will hit the 500,000 mark this year;
PHS City Harvest community garden program was expanded; a master plan
was initiated for Meadowbrook Farm; the Hamilton Horticourt and
interactive elements were added to the Philadelphia Flower Show; and the
PHS magazine, GROW, was relaunched with exciting new content and
design. During Becher’s tenure, PHS also secured $4 million in funding,
including major grants from the William Penn Foundation and the
sponsorship of Bank of America and other partners, to support the
organization’s programs and services.
became President of PHS in June 2010 after serving four years as
Executive Director of the New York Restoration Project. He served as
Deputy Director of Washington, D.C.’s Office of Planning and led the
creation of the district’s Department of Environment. Becher also served
as Chief of Staff for the Chicago Park District, and helped forge Mayor
Richard M. Daley’s acclaimed environmental agenda.
announcing his decision to the PHS staff today, Becher said, “I am
extremely proud of the accomplishments we’ve achieved over the past five
years. While there is still much more to do for our city and region,
the PHS tradition of building beauty and community will certainly
attract excellent new leadership to expand the role of PHS.”
thanked the staff for their unwavering commitment to the PHS mission
and told them to continue making an impact on the city and its
neighborhoods. “This is an important pivot point for this organization,
but there is no better team to continue this vital work. I would also
like to thank PHS’s many partners, sponsors and volunteers, without whom
our work would not be possible.”
said PHS will have an excellent interim leader in McCarvill, who serves
on the PHS Finance and Administration Committee and has led the
Neighborhood Gardens Trust, Philadelphia’s largest land trust, since its
relaunch in 2014. She is President of MMM, a supply chain, finance and
information technology consulting company, and has held global corporate
executive positions for chemical and materials companies.
retaining the well-respected recruiting firm Phillips Oppenheim, the
PHS Board will be focused and deliberate in conducting a national search
for a new President, Sadler said.
has been a wonderful leader of PHS, and we will miss him. But we’re
excited to find the next leader who will take this organization forward
and help refine our impact,” Sadler said. “We are in a strong position,
both as an organization as well as in our role in the community. We are
confident that we will be successful in recruiting a dynamic new

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a nonprofit organization, founded
in 1827, dedicated to creating beauty and building community through
gardening, greening and learning. With 75,000 members nationwide, PHS
offers programs and events for gardeners of all levels, and works with
volunteers, organizations, agencies and businesses to create and
maintain vibrant green spaces. Proceeds from the PHS Philadelphia Flower
Show — which was named the top event in the world by the International
Festivals & Events Association — and donations from foundations,
corporations, government and individuals support PHS programs, including
Plant One Million and PHS City Harvest. For information, visit