Dorothy H. Gardner

Dorothy had a successful career in health finance and development. She was named founding President of the Michael Reese Health Trust in 1994, a post she held until her retirement in 2008. This private foundation endowment of almost $200 million funded health projects focused on access and quality for the underserved in the Chicago metropolitan area. In 2006 Dorothy and her husband, John, moved part-time to Santa Barbara, where they now live part-time. Gardening has long been an avocation for the couple. Their former suburban Chicago garden is featured in the book EARTH ON HER HANDS, The American Woman in Her Garden by Star Ockenga. The garden was selected by the Garden Club of America to be documented for their archives at The Smithsonian, as are the gardens in Montecito. Dorothy has served on numerous civic committees and boards in Chicago. Among them, she is on the board of the Chicago Botanic Garden, The Garden Conservancy (NY) and Direct Relief (CA). She holds a BA degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, an MA with honors (Lauréate) from Middlebury College and a “Diplôme de littérature contemporaine” from the Sorbonne. The Gardners have four children and five grandchildren. Dorothy has been a Lotusland supporter since her move to Montecito in 2006 and currently serves on the Board of Trustees.