365ink #409 May 26–June 8, 2022 - Page 18

Cover Story

PHOTO : WES SCHILLING PHOTOGRAPHY

New Season , New Blooms and New Leadership at the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

By Bryce Parks
As Music in the Gardens at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens reaches its 30 year milestone , the venue itself is entering new era of another kind , as they welcome a new director , Jenna Hirtz , to lead the way for the next part of its storied journey .
As a budget financial analyst for the City of Dubuque with degrees in accounting , business , and human resources and a recent masters in business , Jenna is coming at the new gig with a defiant mind for numbers , operations , and organization . Something that every business , whether it a for-profit or nonprofit can benefit from . But it ’ s not just tweaking the bottom line that drove her to take this position .
“ When I was in my undergrad program , I was trying to determine what I wanted to do with my schooling ,” begins Jenna , “ and while I had the math and accounting experience , I also grew up in the country and had a long-standing connection to nature and conservation . So I was also thinking about an environmental degree and agriculture as well . So , although I stuck to accounting , it ’ s nice to find a role where I can have my hobbies and passions for nature , and share with others that have similar interests while using my degree to run the operations .”
Hirtz joined the team at the end of November , a good down time to get acclimated and work on the operation before having to work in it come spring .
“ I was left with really good reigns when they handed it over to me , and now it ’ s just a matter of taking the next step with everything . It ’ s been very good so far . I ’ m trying to clean things up in the places my training is best suited for . With my background with the city , I ’ ve been able to bring in ideas and improvements . We are nonprofit , and there are some things we were kind of behind on .” “ So we ’ re now trying to make some things a little more automated , especially with our website . We just went through a website redesign . We got a major portion of it done to go live for the season , but then by October , we want to have a little more automation added . For example , when someone calls in to reserve a portion of our venue , like the Packard Pavilion , our volunteers have to flip through binders to find availability , and we ’ ve all made the
18 365INK MAGAZINE May 26 – June 8 , 2022 Issue # 409 DUBUQUE365 . COM