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By Scott Nishimura
snishimura@bizpress.net

S.H. Sohmer, chief executive of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth for more than 20 years, will retire July 31, BRIT said Thursday.

Harry Bartel, BRIT’s chairman, said Sohmer’s tenure said “BRIT has grown and found its place among the great botanical research institutes of the world” during Sohmer’s time as CEO.

“His passion, experience and leadership have been instrumental to BRIT’s success, and I know he’ll be looking forward to many more interesting opportunities.”

Patricia Harrison, BRIT’s senior vice president and education director, will serve as interim director during the search for Sohmer’s successor, BRIT said.

Among his duties for the nonprofit, Sohmer has been largely responsible for fundraising.

“His invaluable accomplishments have put the institute on solid financial ground for many years to come,” Bartel said.

“My life’s dream has been to create and lead a botanical organization of international renown,” Sohmer said. “As a scientist, you are always looking for that one-in-a-million discovery. Well, in 1993, I made that discovery - at BRIT. Since then, I have devoted my life to growing it into a research and educational organization that is known and respected around the world.”

BRIT’s board said it will name Sohmer director emeritus and present him with the 2015 International Award of Excellence in Conservation.

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