WBG Board Names Philip Koester as President & CEO

Dear WBG Community,

The Waterfront Botanical Gardens Board of Directors is excited to announce that it has named Philip Koester as President & CEO. He will officially join us on January 8, 2024. We look forward to seeing him at events and programs in December.

Philip is a Louisville native who has led marketing and development initiatives at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Lyra Opera of Chicago. In 2020, he returned to Louisville with his family. He held senior positions with the Kentucky Opera before becoming Executive Director of the Louisville Ballet.

Philip is exactly what the board sought in our new President & CEO. We are thrilled to welcome him to Waterfront Botanical Gardens.

“I am honored and humbled to be joining this great team to continue building on the organization’s success,” shared Philip. “It’s such an exciting time for the Waterfront Botanical Gardens as visitor numbers are at an all-time high and donors, stewards, the board, staff, and volunteers are excited and poised for new leadership and continued growth.”

A sincere thank you to Margaret Bell who has served as Interim CEO since June 2023. Her focus, insight, and energy guided us through this period of transition. As we enter the new year, Margaret steps into her previous role as Chairperson of the Board, and I return to the role of Vice Chair.

Thank you to our staff, volunteers, donors, members, and many community supporters for your continued belief in the Gardens’ mission. We are excited for the future. Please join me in welcoming Philip to the Waterfront Botanical Gardens team!


Nancy B. Davis
Chairperson of the Board

Business First | People On the Move – Philip Koester

Business First: “Waterfront Botanical Gardens names new CEO”