Dan Camenga is the volunteer Executive Director of the Garden Literacy Project and the Associate VP of Institutional Advancement at Southern CT State University.
Dan earned the B.S. degree in Landscape Horticulture from the University of Delaware (’01) and went on to obtain the Masters of Science degree in Public Horticulture Administration (’03) from the prestigious Longwood Graduate Program jointly offered by the University of Delaware and Longwood Gardens. His Masters thesis, research into the visitor benefits gained by those experiencing Longwood Gardens, helped foster his interest in the topics of consumer surplus and organizational incentives. After moving to the Rochester, NY area, he later obtained his Masters in Business Administration degree (’07) from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester.
After completing graduate work at Longwood Gardens, Dan served as the Deputy Operating Officer at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, New York. During his tenure at Sonnenberg, he participated in the watershed negotiations with the New York State’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in order to secure the cultural treasure as an official New York State Historic Park. This effort included a successful $250,000 fundraising campaign over five months that demonstrated strong local support. In just over two years, he contributed to the comprehensive effort that transitioned the historic site from an impending foreclosure with a $1.4M debt to long-term security and a positive balance sheet.
He joined the University of Rochester in 2007 as the Associate Director of Corporate Relations and quickly became the Interim Director. At the University, he was charged with facilitating corporate engagements across the institution in order to strengthen corporate philanthropy and assist in other mutually beneficial connections between companies and the University.
Dan has held additional roles including Advanced Horticulture Intern at Walt Disney World, Associate Director for The Housing Council of Monroe County, and Assistant Manager with TD Bank. His passion for the garden dates back to the mid-1980′s where he fell in love with horticulture through work for family, friends, and the schools he attended.
While his kids were attending a daycare in Hamden, CT he operated an eco-friendly garden service business in the area. Through this work, Dan brought organic food and aesthetic gardening experiences to children as well as local gardeners interested in garden enhancement efforts. This business relied almost exclusively on emissions free technology – including a unique emissions free lawn care option for affiliates of the business.
In his free time, Dan enjoys time with his family, visiting public gardens, listening to music, exploring the great outdoors, and (of course!) actively gardening. He values community engagement especially through collaborations with local chambers of commerce, land trusts, community gardening groups, and area educational institutions.