My first thought when I was invited to put something in the newsletter on ending my time as GPC’S president for two years and “terming off” the board was stage fright, but I realized I appreciate the chance to say how much I’ve missed being in contact with you all! The last item on the board meeting agenda this week should have been to distribute thank you cards to write to our generous donors. I remember the first ones I wrote, painfully composed as I tried to share how unbelievably impressed I was with all I was learning about how GPC functioned, using our members’ donations so carefully to further the conservation work of the organization. Sadly, we haven’t been able to do handwritten cards since the board meeting in January!
Over my six years on the board, I realize now how important that chance to share my view from the inside felt to me. It didn’t mean I always did them promptly, but they always came from my heart. The more you know about GPC, the more impressed you will be — no question. We had to postpone April’s celebration of GPC’S 20th anniversary at Kiana Lodge, but while the social events have had to be adapted, the generosity of the members and sponsors has been thoroughly heartwarming.
During my term, Executive Director Sandra Staples-Bortner did retire as planned at the end of May 2019. She was the ideal leader for GPC through ten really formative years. It is hard for me to realize that her successor as executive director, Nate Daniel, has already been here almost 14 months. For nearly half his time at GPC, he has had to deal with the pandemic and has had only virtual meetings. Talk about a quick study and a man who thinks on his feet and adjusts to the realities of life! I am so pleased we found him. I can’t imagine a better leader for GPC in these challenging times!
I’ve learned a great deal in my time on the board and these last two as president, not the least of which is that a group of committed individuals can work together to accomplish anything they set their minds to. You’ve seen the lovely newsletter articles about the acquisitions of new properties and the stewardship being done on them — stay tuned because there are lots of fine projects in the queue. Under Nate’s leadership, with the 2020-2021 board led by President Russ Hartman, there will be lots of good news to share.
My sincerest thanks to the wonderful board members, committee members and outstanding staff — there’s no group I would rather have worked with. I’m deeply grateful. Thank you all for your commitment to Great Peninsula Conservancy!