Waterfront Botanical Gardens Names Donna Krabill as Chief Operating & Programming Officer

Donna Krabill, a Florida native, brings nearly two decades of botanical garden and nonprofit leadership experience encompassing education, horticulture, and organizational strategy.


Louisville, KY – Waterfront Botanical Gardens is pleased to welcome Donna Krabill as Chief Operating & Programming Officer. Before joining the Gardens’ team, Donna held senior programming and environmental education positions at Huntsville Botanical Garden, Norfolk Botanical Garden, and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

“Donna is a powerful addition to Waterfront Botanical Gardens as we are laser-focusing our attention on mission-centric programming and operations,” said President & CEO Philip Koester. “She brings a wealth of experience, and she will be instrumental in curating world-class programming that will engage our community and attract visitors from Kentucky and beyond.”

In addition to Donna’s expertise in operations and environmental education, she also brings fundraising experience, having most recently served as Head of Philanthropy for JASON Learning, a Virginia-based nonprofit offering STEM programming to K-12 classrooms. Prior to this role, she served as VP of Projects for LanternFest Creative, a Florida-based company specializing in traveling garden exhibits. In her early career, Donna was a public school teacher in Sarasota and Miami for 17 years.

“I am tremendously excited to be a part of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens team. Having worked at established botanical gardens across the country, I am excited for the unique challenges that come with bringing a new urban botanical garden to life. Not to mention, growing on top of a former landfill is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Donna.

As Chief Operating & Programming Officer, Donna will oversee Gardens operations, education, programming, and facilities. She will work closely with President & CEO Philip Koester to develop organizational strategy and promote synergy across all departments. Among the first projects Donna will spearhead is Adult Education at Waterfront Botanical Gardens, which is a key part of community engagement for the organization. She will also seek new, mission-focused, revenue-generating opportunities to support Gardens operations and plans for growth.

“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at the Gardens soon,” said Donna.