Friendship Botanic Gardens welcomes new board and staff members

By: Friendship Botanic Gardens Last Updated: June 30, 2019

Friendship Botanic Gardens welcomes Mary Beth Rebedeau Warden and Dan Todd as new members of its Board of Directors, as well as Carly Kwiecien, its new Communication Director.

“I am so excited to have Mary Beth, Dan and Carly join our team at Friendship Botanic Gardens,” said John Leinweber, President of the Board. “They are all great movers and shakers with great backgrounds to continue our upward drive to restore and develop the Gardens for our community!”

Rebedeau Warden, semi-retired from her management business, The Rebedeau Group, enjoys producing and managing a few professional conferences annually.

“My business background includes fundraising and sponsorship sales, and I hope to be able to help bring additional revenue to the Gardens to fund exciting projects in the pipeline,” she said.

Rebedeau Warden also acts and models professionally from time to time in print ads and commercials.

She joined the Board in November, after being initially involved with FBG through the mentorship of Second Vice President of the Board, Rima Binder.

“Rima gave me a garden tour shortly after we moved here two years ago and I fell in love with the history, legacy, natural beauty and possibilities,” Rebedeau Warden said. “Under Rima's tutelage, I became involved in Garden projects and met other board members and volunteers, all of whom were warm, enthusiastic and so excited about the Gardens! Then I met John Leinweber, who is a force of nature, and the rest is history.”

Todd, a financial advisor for General Insurance Services, also joined the board last November.

“I chose to get involved with FBG after learning more about the amazing history and what a value it brings to our entire region!” Todd said.

Before Todd joined as a Board Member, he had previously volunteered during the clean-up days and enjoyed attending children events such as the Reptile Romp and Butterfly Bonanza with his family.

He is excited for the opportunity to become more involved in the community.

“I’m excited for many reasons, but specifically excited about the rejuvenation of the historic gardens, significant capital improvements and other unique projects that FBG is able to bring to fruition,” Todd said. “This is absolutely made possible by local, regional and even international partners who recognize the significance and value that Friendship Botanic Gardens holds. I learn something new every time I visit and I’m thankful we have the opportunity to continue securing the future growth of FBG.”

Likewise, Kwiecien initially became involved with the Gardens last summer as an intern. She is a recent graduate of Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., and is grateful to continue her work at FBG.

“I am happy to be a part of the Garden’s continued progress and growth,” Kwiecien said. “There are several events and new projects happening this year and I am looking forward to sharing with the community all the Gardens have to offer.”

Friendship Botanic Gardens is located at 2055 East US Highway 12, Michigan City, IN 46360. For more information call 219 878 9885 or visit