Interim Executive Director
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Mike Abkowitz joined the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as director of finance and operations in January 2012. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Syracuse University and a master's of public affairs from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a certified government financial manager with more than 35 years of experience. Abkowitz served the previous eight years as a regional director for Great-West Retirement Services, overseeing operations and field services in Oklahoma and Texas and coordinating investment and other services for public and non-profit sector clients representing 140,000-plus participants and $2.2 billion in plan assets. Prior to joining Great-West in 2002, he spent 23 years in financial management with the City of Austin. Most notably, he served as city operating budget manager, acting city budget officer, and chief financial manager for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department.
Abkowitz became the Wildflower Center's interim executive director in April 2015. As interim executive director, he oversees the organization's facilities and $5 million budget, as well as its conservation, education, research, fundraising, membership and other programs.