Dear GBI staff, partners, volunteers and friends:
The proverb that all good things must come to an end reminds us that nothing lasts forever, an eventuality often understood with some regret, especially when something that brings us happiness ends. I find myself at such an ending.
As part of our organizational succession plan, I will be stepping down as CEO at the end of the month. It has been an honor to lead our organization from when GBI was merely an idealistic notion between myself and our co-founder, Sanjay Pyare. As fellow graduate students back in 1997, we imagined what might be possible by mobilizing the University faculty, students and volunteers in field studies, applied science, and direct service on behalf of public lands and communities. As it happened, that possibility proved much greater than either of us imagined.
Since then, we accomplished far beyond what we had hoped through the dedication of thousands of determined, capable people serving our shared vision. Over the years, GBI has supported over 8,000 employees and volunteers serving innumerable projects to affect positive environmental change. Together we raised over $210 million for environmental research, education and service to make meaningful contributions for the protection and preservation of special places. As I reflect on this improbable achievement, I am convinced more than ever that the Institute will continue to be an increasingly strong force in the environmental movement, pioneering approaches for effective stewardship while developing professionals in our field.
It has been my great privilege to work with an exceptionally dedicated team of Directors who continue to lead our organization. I am most grateful for all of the long hours and hard work GBI board members, employees, and volunteers have provided over the years to elevate our organization from a small University field studies program to a leader in the conservation movement. These are not accomplishments one makes alone. These achievements require countless hours by gifted, tenacious individuals who strive tirelessly toward a common goal of a realizing a better world.
I could not have asked for a more supportive board of directors, staff, volunteers and partners. As I step aside as CEO, I will continue to work with you all, in the capacity as a consultant, to help find sustainable alternatives to the stewardship challenges now facing our region. I will support our new leader, Peter Woodruff, to catalyze policies and practices that address the key barriers to scaling our efforts toward improving the health and resilience of our forests, rangelands and communities. Peter brings a wealth of talent, experience, and vision for our organization and together we will continue to marshal support to build capacity and strengthen our nonprofit family.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your leader over these many years.
With much gratitude and warm regards,