November 21 Speaker Series: Sonoma Botanical Garden

Abstract: Executive Director, Jeannie Perales, will delve into the captivating journey of Sonoma Botanical Garden, from its historical roots as Quarryhill and its visionary founder, to its exceptional woodland filled with wild-collected Asian plants. Explore the garden’s transformation, embracing California native flora, and join us in discovering the exciting future the new executive director envisions as the Garden grows.

Jeannie Perales, executive director of Sonoma Botanical GardenBio: For 25 years, Jeannie Perales has been designing and implementing informal visitor-centric engagement at art museums and public gardens. She began her career at The Denver Art Museum where she worked with a talented team of educators interpreting objects and creating meaningful experiences for museum goers centered on the collections and communities. At the Ringling Museum, she managed the docent and youth and family volunteer programs surrounding the Ringling’s unique narrative and legacy of the legendary circus king, John Ringling, his home, and collections. For more than a decade, Jeannie was with Selby Gardens where she designed and delivered a vast array of programming from education to exhibitions, interpretation, and volunteers. While at Selby Gardens, she oversaw a gardens-wide interpretation, way-finding, and theming project including the design and implementation of interpretation and programming for The Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden. This re-interpretation places at the center gardens guests of all ages serving the changing face of public gardens nationwide. She was instrumental in the implementation of an art and horticultural blockbuster exhibition program. Ms. Perales served as Chief Experience Officer at The Bay Park Conservancy designing public programs, directing marketing and communications, building a volunteer program and furthering the Friends of The Bay and Founding Business Partners membership programs. As Associate Director of Development, Campaign Planning at The Ringling Museum, she was charged with determining institutional priorities to inform a $150,000,000 comprehensive campaign to preserve, protect and celebrate The Ringling’s next 100 years of excellence in arts and cultural programming. As Executive Director of Sonoma Botanical Garden, Jeannie was engaged to lead the organization into its future by implementing the museum model through a robust program of arts and nature exhibitions and related public programs.

Ms. Perales has been involved in strategic planning, master site planning as well as becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate institution and achieving re-accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. She is a co-author of a guidebook about Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Jeannie holds undergraduate degrees in Communications and Cultural Anthropology and a master’s degree in educational psychology as well as a K-6 teaching certificate. Ms. Perales’ skill is in feeding information to the public in digestible bites through informal programs working with content specialists to design engaging experiences for visitors. She lives in Glen Ellen, CA with her photographer husband, Daniel Perales, their two above average children, Kique, 18 and Luci, 16, a dog called Amigo and a horse called Bernie.

Milo Baker Chapter General Meetings and Speaker Series are held on the third Tuesday of each month (except for July, August, and December) at 7:30p.m. Meetings are held at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa, or via Zoom.

Zoom link to Jeannie Perales‘ presentation: