Gretchen Ostherr

Placed Leader

Gretchen Ostherr

President & CEO
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

September 16, 2020

Koya partnered with Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on the search for its next President and CEO. At nearly 325 acres, The Gardens is the largest public garden in New England. The mission of the Gardens is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research.

Our work resulted in the placement of Gretchen Ostherr.

Ostherr is a skilled senior executive with leadership and management experience. She most recently served as the Director of the Outdoor Discovery Programs (ODP) at L.L. Bean, the experiential division of the company, charged with the goal of translating the company’s brand strategy into innovative outdoor programs. During her time at L.L. Bean, Ostherr managed annual budgets ranging from $7M to $10M, overseeing a team of 500 employees who taught 23 different outdoor activities in 45 locations across 19 states. The team she led increased participation from 25,000 in 2011 to over 200,000 in 2019, a dramatic gain of 500%.

Ostherr’s other previous roles were with Outward Bound USA in overlapping roles as Director, Outward Bound Training Institute (2007 to 2010) and Director, Strategic Initiatives and Transition (2008 to 2010). Before joining the national organization, Ostherr held a variety of leadership roles with Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Rockland between 1990 and 2005: Director, Wilderness Program Development (2002 to 2005); Program Director, Florida and Maine Sea Programs (1998 to 2002); Senior Instructor and Course Director (1990 to 1997). She was a consultant to the national office in Golden, CO, from 2005 to 2006.

Ostherr holds a BA in women’s studies and government from Hamilton College and an MA in education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, focusing on teaching and curriculum.


Read the announcement: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens announces new president/CEO.