New Staff: Erica Lee, Development Specialist

Erica Lee, development specialist

Erica Lee, development specialist

The Arboretum welcomed Erica Lee on September 13 as the new full-time development specialist. Erica brings with her more than 20 years of development experience and a love of natural history, and she is enthusiastically getting to know the Arboretum and its supporters.

Erica joined us from Wisconsin Public Television, where she worked exclusively in planned giving. She describes her time there as “the perfect soft landing” when she returned to the workforce after taking time off to raise her two children. With renewed energy, Erica now looks forward to getting back into broader development work and building a program that will sustain the Arboretum’s work for generations to come.

A 1999 graduate of UW–Stevens Point, Erica has always been fond of Wisconsin despite being an Iowa native. Like many development professionals, Erica found herself in the field by accident. Her first job was with the Cedar Falls Historical Society where she was one of two staff members among many volunteers. From there she managed the membership and pledge drive programs for KUNI Public Radio (a division of what is now Iowa Public Radio) before moving to Chicago, where she worked at The Field Museum of Natural History.

While at the Field, Erica managed the annual giving program and was responsible for raising more than $4 million each year. As much as she enjoyed exploring the halls of The Field Museum, she met her husband Fergus in 2007 and they embarked on an eight-year residency in Ireland. While abroad, Erica focused her work on consultancy projects setting up annual funds and doing database administration.

Erica and her family moved to Middleton in 2016 and enjoy being closer to family and spending time with their extended “neighborhood family.”

If you’d like to talk about opportunities to support the Arboretum, contact Erica Lee at (608) 263-7889 or