Matthaei-Nichols: You’ve got some nature and environmental job experience in your background. Of course we’re all about nature at Matthaei-Nichols. What spoke to you about this job?
Tori Power: This position is such a great opportunity to harness my background in nonprofit operations to serve a group of fellow passionate nature lovers—the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum members! My past experiences range from project management in urban forestry at the Greening of Detroit, to watershed management with Trout Unlimited. I think these experiences speak to the heart of why people become a member of Matthaei-Nichols, for their love of natural spaces, their passion for our environmental research, and/or the peace that these spaces bring them. It all resonates with me.
What are some of your plans and priorities for the membership manager position?
As we enter into our second year of digital membership cards, I plan to prioritize making the process to join or renew smoother and easier for our members. We have a committed and loyal community of members, many of whom have supported our work, and enjoyed member benefits and programming for years. I look forward to learning from our members what benefits have been most important, and working to enhance these benefits. I also want to find ways to engage new audiences—over the past 18 months, we’ve had more people than ever engaging with our organization. I want to find ways to celebrate all nature has done for us, especially as a place of respite for many in the past year and half.
Looking at this from the membership perspective, how will you interact and communicate with members?
I am excited to explore our digital membership platform, Cuseum, and find interesting ways to engage our members. There are some neat features that I am excited to explore for Matthaei-Nichols. I also hope to meet many of our members while I am out exploring the trails, gardens, and conservatory. I hope many of you are able to join us to celebrate our peony garden’s centennial in 2022.
What makes membership support so important for us?
A membership at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum is a great way to show support for environmental science and connect with the unique trails, gardens, and natural features at both properties. Membership is a way for you, the members, to receive benefits and stay connected with us. For us at Matthaei Nichols, our members represent a community of people dedicated to our programs and special projects. You are helping to fund and cheerlead programs like our youth school trip scholarships, our forestry succession plantings, and maintenance of our trails and gardens. Each membership, regardless of level, helps bring these efforts to life.
Is there something you hope to bring to Matthaei-Nichols that we might not have thought of before?
I think this past year and a half has been a catalyst for creativity. As we look forward, I think there are some great opportunities to use our new digital membership platform as a way for members to engage with the gardens, trails, and arboretum in new ways—both while at home and also while on the properties.
What’s your favorite nature activity?
My favorite nature activity is kayaking. A section of the Boardman River upstream of Brown Bridge Pond near Traverse City is a favorite, as well as the Rogue River south of Rockford, Michigan. My most frequent nature activity is hiking. My family loves exploring new trail systems and enjoying a well-deserved vista.