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Dear friends, faculty, and staff of the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden:
 
I am writing to announce that Evan Meyer, Assistant Director of the UCLA Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden, will be leaving his current position to become the next Executive Director of the Theodore Payne Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission it is to inspire and educate Southern Californians about the beauty and ecological benefits of California native plant landscapes. The Foundation has diverse activities ranging from their native plant nursery, demonstration gardens and hiking trails at their headquarters in Sunland, to educational offerings, botanical events and government lobbying. Given Evan’s love of California native plants, leadership of this organization is a natural next step for his career.  
 
We are grateful for Evan’s contributions as Assistant Director at the UCLA Botanical Garden. Working with former Garden Director Dr. Phil Rundel, Evan has left his mark in numerous important ways that have enhanced the visibility, horticulture, and visitor programs of the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden. His influence can clearly be seen in the increased health and organization of garden collections and in the expansion of garden activities to attract new visitors to the Garden from both the UCLA campus and broader community. On his first arrival at UCLA, Evan "hit the ground running" to implement the planning and landscaping for the La Kretz Garden Pavilion then under construction. His role in helping to implement this project has been critical to the wonderful resource that the Pavilion is today. Evan also took on a notable leadership role in expanding garden programs by attracting outside grant support. The soon to be completed digitization of the Botanical Garden Living Collection records, funded through a grant which Evan and Dr. Felipe Zapata secured from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences is an example of the important improvement projects which he initiated and managed.  
 
Evan will be departing at the end of January. We are conducting a search for a new Assistant Director for the Botanical Garden, and will make an announcement once that position has been filled. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Evan for all he has done. I am sure that you will agree that his infectious enthusiasm for plants, commitment to plant conservation, and dedication to our Garden have energized this new phase of the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden's presence on campus and within the community. Thank you, Evan.
 
Sincerely,
Victoria L. Sork
Director, Mildred E. Matthias Botanical Garden
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