Nonprofit veteran elevated to helm at public garden and event space
The Board of Trustees of Marin Art and Garden Center (the Center) announced today that it has elected Iris Lax as executive director. In her new position, Lax will oversee all operations of the 11-acre publicly open, privately operated garden and event space, named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2022. Most recently, Lax served several years as the Center’s director of events and marketing. Lax will oversee the Center’s expansive gardens and historic buildings, administration, finance and marketing, fundraising, public and private programs and events, and the Garden School preschool. Lax will manage a staff of 16 full and part-time employees and dozens of dedicated community volunteers.
“Elevating Iris Lax to lead Marin Art and Garden Center is the best decision today for this beloved 77-year-old garden and for its future well-being,” said Thomas Perry, Board President and Acting Executive Director. “Iris is a community builder and a key reason why the Center is the premier location for weddings, celebrations of life, and other special events. We look forward to her stewardship of the entire operation, including programming, fundraising, and much-needed facilities renovations, upgrades, and expansions,” continued Perry.
Prior to joining Marin Art and Garden Center in 2021, Lax served as marketing and communications manager for KQED where she was responsible for developing and executing communications strategy, and a branding and advertising campaign for the local public broadcaster’s headquarters renovation and grand opening and the KQED Live events series. For 14 years, Lax was director of marketing and strategic projects for Osher Marin JCC, where she led all marketing, advertising, PR, social media, strategic projects, fundraisers and events for the JCC’s fitness and aquatics, performing arts, early childhood, youth and family and adult education businesses. Lax has an extensive background in fundraising and development, working on large-scale campaign projects in Marin and the greater Bay Area.
“My entire career has focused on creating community, expanding awareness, and increasing participation for critical public institutions,” said Lax. “I look forward to expanding these efforts at Marin Art and Garden Center and realizing the mission of our founding women to truly make it a place for all the people of Marin—and beyond.”
Lax started her career in Los Angeles and San Francisco advertising and PR agencies after earning her degree in Communications from California State University Northridge.
Lax and her husband reside in San Anselmo, where they raised their two grown children.
Lax will begin her executive director assignment on December 15. She succeeds Antonia Adezio, who left Marin Art and Garden Center in June of this year. The search process for the new executive director, which solicited internal and external input, managed nearly 200 applicants, and multiple rounds of interviews, was led by Stacy Nelson & Associates – Leadership Search Partners of San Rafael.