Volunteer Profile: Rozanne Kipnes

About Rozanne Kipnes

New to the Board in February 2020, Rozanne Kipnes meets with her colleagues strictly online — but there’s nothing virtual about her relationship with the Garden itself.

“It has become my back yard,” she says. “Informal meetings, time with friends, lunch at Shaughnessy, coffee in Truffles… It’s my place to grab a moment.” So, even though she hasn’t many moments to spare (she runs her own real estate development consulting practice) and she doesn’t think much of her gardening skills, she stepped right up when a members’ newsletter invited applications to join the Board. “I love the VanDusen.”

Rozanne brings her business acumen to both the Fund Development Committee, and the JOA [Joint Operating Agreement] Support Committee. “As Board members,” she says, “our main role right now is to support Stephen [Shapiro, executive director] and his staff in this very difficult time. Revenues are down, and many of our customary activities and methods of connection with members, donors and visitors are not open to us.”

At the same time, digital methods of connection have expanded and are being well-received. Garden memberships and participation in online courses have both risen. “Despite all the difficulties, this is an opportunity to develop new ways to connect with the community. It allows us to reflect on our priorities, and to add new options for addressing those priorities later on.”

Written by Penny Williams, Volunteer Writer