Tyler Arboretum announces new Executive Director

MEDIA, Pa - April, 17th


Cricket Brien joins Tyler team on May 11

MEDIA, Pa. (April 17, 2015) – In a unanimous vote this week, the Tyler Arboretum Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Elizabeth S. “Cricket” Brien as Executive Director.  A native of Swarthmore, Pa., Brien will begin her tenure at Tyler on May 11, 2015.

With the invaluable aid of Kittleman and Associates, an executive search firm that exclusively serves nonprofit organizations and institutions, the Tyler board was successful in finding the best candidate to fill the position that opened after the passing of former Executive Director Rick Colbert. Brien will carry forward Tyler’s mission to preserve, develop, and share our diverse horticultural, historic, and natural site resources in order to stimulate stewardship and an understanding of our living world.

“We are completely without reservation in this decision,” said Board of Trustees President and Interim Executive Director Shipley Allinson. “Kittleman sent only highly qualified candidates with impressive resumes and interviews, and we are absolutely confident that Cricket is the best of the best for Tyler. We are very excited to see her come on board!”

Brien, a landscape architect by trade and a member of Tyler Arboretum, has worked with arboreta, botanic gardens, sculpture gardens and other non-profit institutions as planner and designer throughout her career. As Chair of the Barnes Foundation Arboretum Advisory Committee, Brien led the strategic planning process to transform the Barnes Arboretum into a destination public garden. She understands the unique challenges of a private arboretum like Tyler, and she has experience in meeting those challenges with vision and enthusiasm.

Under Brien’s leadership and guidance, Tyler Arboretum will continue to execute its Strategic Master Plan and to help Tyler attain a new level of success. She is committed to the Tyler vision to create a unique horticultural and environmental destination that reconnects individuals with nature and provides knowledge and inspiration to help them reduce their environmental impact.

With a Master of Landscape Architecture degree, a certificate in Urban Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Design of the Environment—all garnered from the University of Pennsylvania—Brien has a long history of experience in landscape architecture and urban design and has worked with several highly regarded firms in the Philadelphia area. Her ability to manage people and projects is self-evident, and she gives back to her community as a member of the Scott Arboretum Council. Additionally, Brien has broad experience in teaching and lecturing.

“For 20-plus years, it has been my passion to create places that facilitate learning and build community,” said Brien. “After working with the Barnes, I saw how rewarding it can be to work with an organization that can do good and bring beauty into people’s lives. I look forward to the insights of the staff and the board to undertake this wonderful new challenge as Executive Director, a challenge I enthusiastically embrace.”


About Tyler Arboretum

Tyler Arboretum, one of the oldest and largest arboreta in the northeastern United States, is an important community resource and cultural destination. Tyler provides a natural sanctuary for visitors interested in horticulture, history and the natural world.  Its 650 acres of meadows, wetlands and unbroken forest can be enjoyed via over 17 miles of hiking trails.  Additional information is available at www.tylerarboretum.org. 

About Kittleman and Associates

Established in 1963, Kittleman is the nation’s first executive search firm exclusively serving nonprofit organizations and institutions. The search process developed by Kittleman represents best practices in the field of nonprofit executive recruitment. As a full-service retained firm, Kittleman manages all aspects of the search process, backed by a team of research, knowledge management and administrative staff.