Peter Punzi

  Burlington, WI 53105 · 

Peter is creative professional with experience in many related fields including horticulture, ecology/environment, museum studies and education. He has organizational management expertise honed in diverse organizations that including botanical gardens, public parks, nature/environmental centers, and colleges. Peter says: "My goal is to bring people closer to to nature and therefore closer to themselves."


Experience

Executive Director

White Memorial Conservation Center - Litchfield, CT

Responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and property of the organization.   This encompasses forty miles of trails, 4,000 acres of diverse ecosystems nature museum, campgrounds, marina and boat launches, rental facilities, and 120 rental properties on and around Bantam Lake. $1.5 million combined budget, – 15 staff. 

August 2019 - March 2020

Executive Director

Tenafly Nature Center - Tenafly, NJ

Responsible for policy making, funding, planning, organizing, staffing, and directing the educational activities throughout the organization including public programs, camps, school programs, scout programs, field trips, teacher development  and internships . Responsible for all facilities including play areas, landscapes and trails. Responsible for community engagement and fostering relationships with community leaders and government agencies. $500,000 budget – 15 staff.

August 2014 - August 2020

Lead professor

South Puget Sound Community College - Olympia, WA

Tenured horticulture professor and program manager of the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Horticulture program.
Responsible for all program development and operations of the program, the botanical garden and associated facilities. Programs taught include landscape design, landscape construction & maintenance, irrigation, and sustainable plant production & marketing. $100,000 budget - 4 staff.

September 2009 - August 2014

Horticulture Instructor

Franklin pierce school system - tacoma, Wa

Career and Technical Education teacher supervising and instructing students in training for the field of horticulture.


September 2008 - June 2010

horticulture instructor

Clover park technical college - Lakewood, wa

Plan, organize, and provide instruction in horticulture. Work with business and industry to secure donations of equipment and training aids. Work with advisory committees to ensure curriculum meets current industry standards. Responsible for promotion materials including brochures and website and promotions at regional garden/ landscape shows.

September 2008 - August 2009

Horticulture Communicator and consultant

horticultureguy.com - Lakewood, WA

Developed and conducted garden classes and lectures at regional garden and landscaping shows. TV Segment Host
(Comcast), Radio show host (KLAY 1180 AM), garden and landscaping classes and landscaping consultant service. Garden
writer for Tacoma News Tribune, authored Northwest (American Horticultural Society SmartGarden Regional Garden
Guides). Informational Website: HorticultureGuy.com and online garden supply mail order business Shop.HorticultureGuy.com.

March 2001 - July 2014

Executive Director

lakewold gardens - Lakewood, wa

Responsible to the Board of Directors for management of the entire nonprofit organization including fundraising/development, human resources, strategic planning, programs, finance, and communications.

July 1997- February 2001

longwood fellow

Longwood gardens - Kennett SQuare, PA

Management training program culminating in a M. S. in Public Horticulture Administration with focus on leadership, planning, teamwork, human resource management, finances.

July 1995 - May 1997

adjunct professor

bergen community college -Paramus, NJ

Instructed introductory and advanced horticultural courses and associated laboratories.

September 1993-May 1995

Horticulturist / Naturalist

bergen county parks (James A. McFaul Environmental center) - wyckoff, nj

Planned, coordinated, and supervised all aspects of day to day horticultural operations of an 81 acre wildlife sanctuary (2.5-acre pond. bird shelters, boardwalk, nature trail, botanical gardens, and natural science exhibits. Taught nature based programs and worked with native education and display animals. Reports: 2

March 1991 - June 1995

Horticulturist

Bridge Plaza/ John Mini Indoor Landscaping - Fort Lee, NJ

Performed quality control and customer service for landscaping and consultation service.

 September 1988 -  February 1991

Education

University of Delaware

Masters of Science
Degree: Public Horticulture Administration

Certificates: Environmental Institution Management & Museum Studies

September 1995 - May 1997

Rutgers University

bachelors of science

Degree: Plant Science

September 1984 - May 1988

Skills

Leading Change
  • Fosters innovation and the adoption of new technologies.
  • Adept at strategic planning and creating organizational vision. 
  • Big picture thinker - sees both internal and external challenges.
  • Decisive decision making.

Building Coalitions
  • Identifies and recruiting strategic partners.
  • Analyzes situations to maximize synergy and minimizes conflicts.
  • Establishes common ground and finds solutions.

Leading People
  • Helps staff to develop necessary skills and autonomy.
  • Builds teams by establishing norms and creating individual and group goals.
  • Embraces diversity and recognizes the strength of divergent opinions.


Results Driven
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take risks to achieve organizational mission.
  • Uses problem solving skills to break down barriers to success.
  • Establishes appropriate metrics and performance based reviews.


Business Acumen
  • Utilizes strategic planning to establish budgets and fiscal management.
  • Identifies and adjust organization's business model moving toward sustainability.
  • Adept at adopting technology to improve customer service and increasing efficiency.

Interests


Peter's other creative outlets include music and acting and he stays active hiking and vegetable gardening. 

Peter started playing on the upright piano in his childhood home and took lessons for several years. In middle school he was in the orchestra and marching band (playing french horn, mellophone and trumpet) and was also active in choir.  In high school he formed a rock band and performed in his high school's battle of the bands.  In college he started performing at clubs and venues in New York and New Jersey. It was at this time that he transition from cover songs to writing songs. Peter still enjoys the writing songs and belongs to Song Spark Songwriting and Composition Collective - where members work on a monthly songwriting prompt.

Peter also enjoys community theater having performing in musicals and plays. He has had a chance to play some great roles including Vernon Gersch in They're Playing Our Song, Schroeder in You're A Good Man Charlie Brown and Rooster in Annie. In 2008, Tacoma Little Theatre awarded Peter a Richard Odlin Award for "best lead actor" for his portrayal of Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (see critics review).

Awards & Certifications

Awards
  • Program of the Quarter (Horticulture) - South Puget Sound Community College
  • Outstanding Service Award - Bergen Community College Ornamental Horticulture Program
  • Employee of the Quarter - Bergen County Parks Department
  • Award for Outstanding performance in the field of horticulture - NY State Dept. of Floriculture


Certifications
  • Environmental Institution Management - University of Delaware
  • Museum Studies - University of Delaware
  • Water Efficient Irrigation Design & Scheduling - Rainbird Academy
  • Low Volume Installation and Maintenance - Rainbird Academy
  • Park Management - Rutgers University