We’ve come to that bittersweet, but inevitable time when farewells (and thank yous!) are in order.
Aldo Leopold Foundation board members are able to serve up to two consecutive three year terms with another three years possible if serving as the board chair or vice-chair. While this provision in the By-Laws ensures transitions that help the organization refresh its leadership and grow new relationships, it also means that terms come to an end, even for terrific board members like Holly D’Annunzio and Joe Arington. Though both will continue to be involved in some important committee work we want to express our deep gratitude to Holly and Joe for the many ways they advanced the Leopold Foundation during their respective terms.
Holly joined the board in 2015 bringing her investment management expertise and served as the board’s treasurer and Finance Committee chair for 5 years. As a result of her guidance the foundation’s endowments grew and the organization’s balance sheet improved dramatically over this time.
One of the foundation’s most impactful projects, My Wisconsin Woods, was a direct result of Joe Arington’s vision and support to position the Leopold Foundation as a leader in engaging and supporting private woodland owners across the state. Recognizing the value he and his family had received through such advice, Joe served as a counselor and financial supporter of the effort from the beginning. My Wisconsin Woods has now engaged 12,800 landowners owning 623,000 acres toward our partnership’s goal of providing 20,000 professional forester property visits to previously unengaged landowners by 2023. Our communications network, which we believe mostly represents a different, extended audience, totals over 9,000 landowners and is the largest network of its kind in Wisconsin. Joe maxed out all of the By-Law’s provisions by serving two full terms and then three more years as the board’s vice-chair.
Holly and Joe served for several years on the Executive Committee and played instrumental roles in the board’s development, the successful Future Leaders Campaign, and providing governance oversight during the last few COVID-impacted years, so their contributions to the foundation’s ongoing successes have been significant.
Great board leadership is a key ingredient for successful not-for-profit organizations and the Aldo Leopold Foundation, starting with the founders—the five children of Aldo and Estella Leopold—has been the beneficiary of passionate board members, committed and generous in the effort of building an ethic of care for nearly forty years. Holly and Joe demonstrated this passion, commitment, and generosity and you can learn more here about the next cohort of committed leaders: Marsha Lindsay, Steve Stricker, and Dr. Eduardo Santana, who look to fill Holly’s and Joe’s shoes and continue the Leopold leadership tradition.