Philadelphia Horticultural Society President Drew Becher, who has lived in Chestnut Hill since taking the position in 2010, announced yesterday that he’ll be stepping down from the position this summer.
A press release announcing Becher’s resignation stated he is relocating to San Francisco with his partner, Eric Lochner, who accepted a position as President and CEO of Achievers, a company that runs a cloud-based employee engagement and reward platform.
Becher has been a resident of which many on the Hill were proud to brag. He was willing to be involved with local horticultural projects and spoke regularly at local functions. He was the guest speaker at the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Annual Meeting in 2014.
In the release, PHS board member Margaret McCarvill, who will serve as interim executive director while the organization searches for Becher’s replacement, thanked Becher for his service.
“Drew has been a wonderful leader of PHS, and we will miss him. But we’re excited to find the next leader who will take this organization forward and help refine our impact,” she said. “We are in a strong position, both as an organization as well as in our role in the community. We are confident that we will be successful in recruiting a dynamic new leader.”
According to Sadler, Becher’s accomplishments included the following:
- PHS membership surged from 20,000 to 75,000, with a strong focus on attracting young members
- Plant One Million, the nation’s largest multi-state tree-planting campaign, was initiated and will hit the 500,000 mark this year
- During Becher’s tenure, PHS also secured $4 million in funding, including major grants from the William Penn Foundation and the sponsorship of Bank of America and other partners, to support the organization’s programs and services.
“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments we’ve achieved over the past five years,” Becher said. “While there is still much more to do for our city and region, the PHS tradition of building beauty and community will certainly attract excellent new leadership to expand the role of PHS.”