January 19, 2019
Esplanade Association Names Michael Nichols as Next ED

Michael Nichols
November 18, 2017 — The Esplanade Association, a Boston nonprofit that maintains and improves the Charles River Esplanade, recently announced that Michael J. Nichols has been named executive director.

Nichols, who starts his new job on Nov. 29, succeeds Tani Marinovich, who stepped down this fall to spend more time with her family after five and a half years at the Esplanade Association (EA), the last three as its executive director.

“Michael has proven strategic leadership experience in communicating the value of a public/private partnership to care for—and activate—an urban public park,” said Alexi Conine, EA board chair. “We were impressed with his passion, broad skillset, and record of success in mission-focused government and non-profit work. He will help fulfill the association’s goal of making the Esplanade an innovative, sustainably-maintained recreational destination and cultural asset. We’re thrilled to have Michael join us.”

Nichols most recently served as chief of staff at the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, where he worked for the last three years. At the Greenway, he was responsible for the organization's community and government affairs, external communications, and advancing strategic priorities.

Under his leadership, the Conservancy negotiated a landmark public-private funding agreement, opened Boston’s first fully open-air beer garden, launched the organization’s signature young professional fundraising event, significantly grew earned revenue with innovative activities, and initiated numerous partnerships with other leading Boston institutions for in-park events.

“The Charles River Esplanade is a jewel of Boston parks and I couldn’t be more excited about being named executive director of the Esplanade Association to continue the organization’s transformative work,” said Nichols. “The park already has a fantastic mix of signature events and regular activities in addition to its status as Boston’s most peaceful respite from city life.”

Nichols began his career in public service as chief of staff and legal counsel to two state representatives in the Massachusetts legislature, specializing in public finance and community development.

He later served as research and policy director to the Boston City Council. In 2013 he campaigned for a seat on the Boston City Council, earning a second-place finish with 47% of the general election vote.

Nichols received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and business administration and JD degree from the University of Connecticut.

Since the organization’s founding in 2001, the Esplanade Association has raised more than $14 million which has funded new amenities, restored assets and infrastructure, improved horticultural offerings, initiated new programs and public art, managed a robust volunteer program, and made improvements to the three-mile stretch of waterfront park.

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