Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of The Friends 2021 Vol. 1 - Page 3

President ’ s Corner
sweet auburn | 2021 volume i

President ’ s Corner

his will be my last President ’ s Corner for Sweet Auburn , as back in October I announced my plans

T to retire on September 1 , 2021 . That day will mark the 28th anniversary of the day I started at Mount Auburn as Director of Horticulture and the end of my thirteenth year as President and CEO . For several months prior to October , the Trustees and I had been discussing my tentative plans to retire when the time was right for both the organization and me . I can ’ t possibly put into words how grateful I am for the positive and collaborative process we have gone through together . With the Board ’ s approval of the Statement of Mission , Vision & Values in June 2020 , followed by approval of the eighteen-month Strategic Bridge Plan in January 2021 and pending approval of our Climate Action & Sustainability Plan ( see page 14 ), I am confident that the course has been charted for a bright and successful future for Mount Auburn as an important cultural institution and a model of environmental stewardship while continuing to be an active cemetery for decades to come . It feels like the right time for me to pass the torch to the next CEO , with a very strong team already in place to carry out our exciting vision .

And speaking of the strong team in place , it is even more difficult for me to put into words how grateful and proud I am of the dedicated , hard-working and extremely talented staff at Mount Auburn . The capacity of our amazing staff to continue — at high standards — to maintain the grounds and facilities , serve all visitors , and provide essential services to so many families during this past year , despite the challenging circumstances of the pandemic , has only served to accentuate the strength and dedication of our team .
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such a fabulous group of people — they have really been my second family . It has been a privilege to serve as the twelfth President in Mount Auburn Cemetery ’ s 190-year history , and I look forward to following — with pride — the continued success of this great organization .
ith this issue we bid adieu to Dave Barnett . Over the past 28 years , Dave has served as Director

W of Horticulture , Vice President and , since 2008 , President & CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery . He has left his mark on every aspect of this unique oasis and he leaves the institution in vigorous health , horticulturally and financially . He also leaves us well-positioned for the decades ahead : on his watch he has worked to map our future in terms of issues of environmental sustainability and our vision and mission .

I ’ ve known Dave since 2006 when I joined the Friends of Mount Auburn . He was just as often to be seen inspecting a newly planted tree as he was meeting architects to discuss a renovation or a new project . When not in the field , he was meeting with staff , the Cemetery Board , and potential funders . Never one to rest on his laurels ( or any other flora for that matter ), Dave also managed to run twenty-five Boston Marathons . He led his work like he leads his life , with enthusiasm , knowledge , integrity , and kindness .
The Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded 35 years ago , and during Dave ’ s tenure as President this important fundraising and “ friend-raising ” arm of the Cemetery has flourished . Much of that success is due to Dave and his outstanding staff ’ s understanding that Mount Auburn represents many things to many people , from bird watchers to walkers , for those who come for quiet contemplation and , most importantly , for those who come to mourn or honor those who have died . Dave understood its many purposes and honored them all . As the Chair of the Friends , I thank you , Dave , for all you have given of yourself to our beloved Mount Auburn .
Caroline Mortimer Trustees of the Friends of Mount Aubun , Chair
David P . Barnett President & CEO