Happening People: Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens Announces New CEO

Cynthia Kanai has been named CEO for the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. She officially starts her new position on September 17, 2018.

Cynthia Kanai, ANSG CEO, Photo by Chris Salata/Capehart Photography

In this role, Kanai will report directly to the board of trustees and have general oversight of and responsibility for the financial and physical well-being of all the assets of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, including its landmarked house, gardens, grounds, property and art collection.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that Cynthia Kanai has accepted the CEO position at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens,” said Frances Fisher, Board Chairman for ANSG. “I have tremendous respect for Cynthia’s commitment and vision. She is a strong collaborator, relationship builder and award-winning and beloved instructor. Cynthia’s commitment to our community will be an invaluable asset as the Gardens continues its path of exciting growth.”

Prior to accepting this new leadership role at ANSG, Kanai dedicated 28 years of service to Palm Beach Day Academy – most recently as the Development Director and prior to that, as lead fifth-grade teacher for 25 years. She was responsible for raising $5.5 million for the school’s Great Expectations campaign and spearheaded initiatives to achieve successful donor support for the school’s annual fund, corporate sponsorship and all school fundraising events.  She worked directly with the head of school and board of trustees to develop strategic yearly and long-term financial goals and leading a team of three, reached or exceeded those financial goals each of the three years she held the position.

“I am driven by long-term relationships, said Kanai. “The chance to play an impactful role in the Gardens’ momentous growth is truly thrilling. As a member of the community who loves these gardens, the opportunity to honor Ann Norton’s vision of how this venue can serve our community through cultural and educational enhancements is a privilege. After working with the team here as their neighbor while I was at Palm Beach Day Academy for so many years, it already feels like home. I look forward to building new community partnerships and inviting many to our beautiful piece of paradise who haven’t experienced its wonder.”

Kanai was awarded the William T. Dwyer Excellence in Education Award in Palm Beach County in 2012, and in 2010, the Adele Shook Merck Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year Award.  She holds her Master of Science in Leadership from Palm Beach Atlantic University and her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Cameron University in Oklahoma.

Kanai is a board member of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews; a member of Leadership Palm Beach County class of 2014 and currently serves on the recruitment committee; a member of the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches; a member of The Palm Beach Flagler Rotary Club and a past board member of C.R.O.S. Ministries.  She resides in Atlantis with her husband Dennis, a partner in a CFO consulting firm, and they have two grown children.

Located at 253 Barcelona Road in West Palm Beach, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fees are free for members, $15 for non-member adults, $10 for seniors (age 65 and older), $7 for students, and children under five are free. Gallery and garden exhibition talks are available on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The Gardens are also available for private events and are closed on major holidays. For Gardens Conservancy membership information or general information at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, please visit www.ansg.org or call 561-832-5328.

*Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens will be officially closed to the public through October 2, 2018 but is available by appointment only. Please call 561-832-5328 to schedule an appointment.