The world-class Hamilton Gardens will welcome a new Director in August.
Lucy Ryan (pictured) will step into the role, departing her current position as Hamilton City Council’s Central City Place Manager.
The position of Director was advertised after former Director, Peter Sergel, retired last year.
Over four decades, Dr Sergel helped transform the 45 hectares into the attraction it is today, Council said in a statement.
Waikato born and raised, Ms Ryan brings 20 years’ experience to the role. Before joining Council, she spent over 15 years working within the museum sector, at both Te Papa and Auckland Museum, developing a strong understanding of visitor attractions and leading teams to deliver memorable customer experiences and events.
With a zest for gardening herself, Ms Ryan is excited to embark on the new challenge.
“The Gardens is an all-time favourite place of mine and it’s an honour to be a part of this new chapter,” she said.
Council’s General Manager of Community, Lance Vervoort said Lucy was the right person to take the spectacular destination to the next level.
“Lucy stood out through an extensive recruitment process and we’re thrilled to have recruited her from within Council,’ Mr Vervoort said.
“She already has a strong understanding of local government and I know she’ll bring a whole lot of heart into the role.”
Ms Ryan said she was excited to collaborate with the many groups who are passionate about the Gardens and its future.
“Together we’ll continue building on the wonderful work that’s already been done and keep this beloved place moving from strength to strength. Advancing our shared vision, outlined in the Hamilton Gardens Management Plan, will be at the heart of everything we do,” said Ms Ryan.
Over the past 40 years, the Council-owned Hamilton Gardens has transformed into one of the Waikato region’s most popular destinations. Despite the lack of international tourism in 2020, the Gardens experienced its busiest summer yet, with 116,315 visits between Christmas Eve and Waitangi Day alone.