Charles R. “Chipper” Wichman, Jr.
– President Emeritus
Mr. Wichman joined NTBG’s staff in 1976, after graduating from NTBG’s Horticultural Internship program. He spent his early career developing Limahuli Garden. During his time as Director there, he obtained a Special Subzone designation in the Conservation District for the entire Limahuli Valley, restored ancient taro terraces, developed a collection of rare and endangered native Hawaiian plants, opened the garden to educational tours, and added the 989-acre Limahuli Preserve. Subsequently Limahuli was named the Best Natural Botanical Garden in the United States by the American Horticultural Society.
In addition to his work in conservation and education, he has led efforts to perpetuate and preserve native Hawaiian culture with projects such as a four-year Indigenous Communities Mapping Initiative Project at Limahuli.
When he assumed leadership of the overall organization as CEO and Director in 2003, and later as President, Mr. Wichman brought renewed focus to NTBG’s conservation and horticulture efforts, and to the native Hawaiian culture.
On January 1, 2019, Mr. Wichman stepped down from the CEO and Director positions but retained the role of President.