Over 25 Years of Serving and Partnering with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
As we celebrate our 40 years of serving clients and the community, we are particularly mindful of the client relationships that have stood the test of time and enabled us to build trusted and meaningful partnerships. Lewis Ginter is one such client. Our relationship with Lewis Ginter spans over 25 years and holds special meaning as the firm’s longest not-for-profit client relationship.
LEWIS GINTER BOTANICAL GARDEN AND KEITER RELATIONSHIP
“We make a concerted effort to always be there for them because their success is contributing to the quality of life in Richmond.” – John Kent
Keiter not-for-profit team leaders, Ginny Belcher and John Kent have worked with Lewis Ginter from the beginning when the organization consisted of two buildings and five gardens through today–as one of the top five botanical gardens in the United States.
John shared, “The Lewis Ginter/Keiter partnership has always been a great fit for Keiter. We’re a very entrepreneurial firm and Lewis Ginter has that same entrepreneurial spirit which is reflected in the substantial growth they have experienced. We’re so proud that we have been able to support their mission of leveraging the Garden to educate and connect people and plants to improve communities.
Lewis Ginter has been one of our most rewarding client relationships. In addition to our professional relationship, our team members work on a variety of volunteer projects at the Garden each year. The experience is not only rewarding in the sense of supporting the Garden–it also provides our team with the opportunity to connect with each other and nature. Ginny and I have also made taking our families to the Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights an annual tradition.”
Ginny added, “Since we started working with Lewis Ginter, they have done an amazing job of enhancing the gardens and their educational programs. The Garden is not only a beautiful space but a community resource that is welcoming to all who enter the grounds.
I love the Garden. I feel fortunate to be able to work with their team and support their success.”
During the early years, Ginny and John built a close relationship with Frank Robinson, the former Executive Director, who set out an ambitious plan to make the botanical garden what it is today. That meant working closely with all of the team members to create cash management best practices, examine all compliance related issues, and manage a host of complex challenges related to donor gifts.
Over the years, they have developed positive relationships with new leadership. Today, they enjoy working with Shane Tippett, the current Executive Director, and have helped him stay apprised of new regulations and best practices within the accounting field.
Keiter is very grateful for the opportunity to serve an organization that has made such a positive impact on the Richmond community. It has been a special experience. We look forward to what the next 25 years will bring.
Keiter Community Donation
As part of our 40th anniversary and community celebration, Keiter will make a monetary donation to four selected RVA not-for-profits. Lewis Ginter is one of the four. The organization that receives the most votes will receive the largest donation.
About Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
When John Kent and Ginny Belcher, began working with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in 1995, the property only consisted of two buildings and five gardens. Today, Lewis Ginter is recognized as one of the top five botanical gardens in the United States with over 400,000 annual visitors, 82 acres of gardens, a dozen buildings, and over 5,700 unique types of plants.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s mission is education and its passion is connecting people and plants to improve communities. Their goal is to extend beyond traditional boundaries to have a positive impact and to enrich lives. The Garden is growing fresh produce for the hungry; actively participating in urban greening and water management initiatives; contributing to economic development and work-force training; and educating diverse youth and adult audiences about critical issues related to the interdependence of plants and people.
Among Lewis Ginter’s signature programs include:
- The Community Kitchen Garden at Lewis Ginter
- Beautiful RVA
- Ginter Urban Gardeners
- Flowers After 5
- Butterflies Live!
- A Million Blooms
- Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights
- Fidos After 5
- Fall and Spring Plant Sales
- Nature Connects®
- Green Adventure Summer Camp
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, including the new Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve, reveals the unity and integration of human and plant life, celebrates the fundamental significance of the natural world, and enriches communities through horticultural and educational excellence and innovative outreach initiatives. The Garden was voted the fourth “Most Beautiful Botanical Garden in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler in 2017, the fourth “Best Botanical Garden” in the nation by USA Today in 2016, and one of the “top botanical gardens in the U.S. worth traveling for” by TripAdvisor’s FlipKey site.
About John Kent and Ginny Belcher
In their work for Keiter’s Not-For-Profit Industry Team, John and Ginny regularly assist clients like Lewis Ginter with audit, taxation, and business consulting services. They take a very personal interest in each of their clients and are passionate about partnering with them to achieve their goals.
John is a Partner at Keiter. John has over 30 years of experience in public accounting, providing auditing and business consulting services to clients principally in the not-for-profit, real estate, and construction industries.
The information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is current as of the date published. Online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant, as this article is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.