Placement Spotlight: Paul Redman
Friday, September 15, 2023
Paul reflects on his experience working with Kittleman & Associates as a candidate for the role chief executive officer of Longwood Gardens, and shares some of the impressive accomplishments he and his team have achieved in the 16 years since.
Longwood Gardens, located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, has experienced a cultural evolution under the leadership of CEO Paul Redman. Paul has implemented institutional and strategic reforms that have positioned Longwood as a premier horticultural, cultural, and educational institution of the 21st Century, while respecting the values of its founder, Pierre S. du Pont.
The strategic planning process created under Paul’s leadership balances short-term projects that generate excitement with long-term projects that address larger challenges. The results have been impressive, with attendance doubling to more than 1.6 million visitors per year, an incredible climb in membership support from 17,000 to 78,000 households, and earned income has almost tripled—all in the last decade. Longwood Gardens is now the most visited paid public garden in North America and the most visited paid cultural attraction in Philadelphia.
And they’re not finished—Paul is currently leading Longwood’s most ambitious expansion in a century. Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience will add new education facilities, a restaurant and event facilities, and new indoor and outdoor gardens across 17 acres of the Conservatory and grounds. It will open in fall 2024.
With such significant accomplishments as CEO, it’s hard to believe that Paul declined to throw his hat in the ring when Kittleman first reached out on behalf of Longwood to ask him to apply. But Kittleman’s Chairman Rick King knew that Paul’s experience, achievements, and passion for horticulture and public gardens made him the ideal leader to bring the board’s vision for Longwood to life.
“Rick followed up with me about a month later,” remembers Paul. “He took the time to walk me through Longwood’s challenges and opportunities.”
While Longwood was a successful garden before he arrived, Paul saw opportunity for growth and decided he was ready for a new challenge. By the end of the conversation with Rick, Paul agreed to participate in the search that Kittleman was leading. Paul was pleasantly surprised by his experience with Kittleman.
“Rick felt like a partner from beginning to end, right through the onboarding process,” says Paul. “He’s an executive search consultant, advocate, and coach—all in one.”
Paul is active in helping to advance the horticulture industry and raise awareness of the importance of public gardens—currently as co-chair for Seed Your Future, a movement to promote horticulture and green collar careers, and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Board of Director—and does not hesitate to recommend Kittleman to friends and colleagues.
To anyone who may be contacted by Kittleman for an opportunity, Paul offers this advice: “Approach it as a professional development opportunity. Even if the job doesn’t turn out to be a fit, working with an executive search consultant can be a positive growth experience.”
Kittleman & Associates is proud of the partnerships and the relationships we’ve forged and nurtured in the sixty years we’ve been in business, and we’re honored to have played a role in Paul’s professional journey. Thank you for helping us celebrate our 60th anniversary by sharing your story, Paul.