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E-M:/ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Enviro-Mich message from firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 1999
Contacts: Maureen Martin
517-332-1741 x 33
EXEC DIRECTOR TOM WOIWODE LEAVES THE NATURE
CONSERVANCY. CAREER AND CONSERVATION SUCCESSES
ARE LAUDED BY STAFF, COLLEAGUES AND BOARD.
East Lansing, Michigan
The Nature Conservancy of Michigan today salutes the conservation leadership
and success of Thomas M. Woiwode, who leaves the organization this week after
19 years at its helm. Tom, the executive director of The Nature Conservancy of
Michigan since the chapter's formation in 1980, announced in mid-February that
he will leave the organization to work with environmental nonprofits in
capacity building, and to teach nonprofit management at the college level.
Woiwode, a fixture in Michigan conservation for two decades, has helped to
create and then manage more than 30 private nature preserves in the state as
part of The Nature Conservancy's national and international mission to
preserve rare and representative species and ecosystems around the globe. The
Nature Conservancy owns the world's largest network of private nature
sanctuaries, with 1,600 preserves and nearly a million acres of land in its
protection portfolio within the United States.
In celebrations of his career to date and farewell parties in recent weeks, he
has been lauded for his leadership in the creation of such remarkable places
as Thompson's Harbor State Park and Grand Mere State Park. The Nature
Conservancy, during his tenure, has helped like-minded organizations and
agencies to preserve more than 60,000 acres of natural lands across the state.
Woiwode spearheaded conservation projects in Michigan that altogether protect
more than 50 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and more than 100 square miles of
natural lands - and include a total of more than 16,000 acres of nature
preserve lands that are today managed by the Conservancy's own stewardship
staff. Woiwode and his staff have preserved wild lands from the tip of the
Upper Peninsula's Keweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior where the Chapter has
its Horseshoe Harbor Preserve to its Erie Marsh Preserve, bordering Ohio.
Under the Conservancy's protection in Michigan, rare and native species such
as the endangered Mitchell's satyr butterfly, American bald eagle and the
state's new official wildflower, the dwarf lake iris, have been given refuge
so they can survive.
"One of his greatest strengths and deepest commitments," according to
long-time conservation collaborator April Scholtz of the Land Conservancy of
West Michigan, "has been assisting like-minded conservation partners to expand
wilderness lands and to protect fragile natural lands. The local land trust
community in Michigan today is made up of 40 newer, smaller nonprofit land
conservation organizations. Most of us, if not all of us, have benefited from
Tom's teaching and support."
"Tom has taken The Nature Conservancy of Michigan from an office of two-of
which he was one-twenty years ago to an office of more than 20 experts trained
in everything from conservation biology to community relations to business,"
says Chuck Aymond, an attorney from Jackson and chairman of the Michigan board
of trustees for the Conservancy. "The Conservancy is the best trained and most
effective private conservation organization in the state. And it has been
Tom's leadership and vision that has made this possible."
Woiwode began his tenure at the Conservancy in June 1980. He has a B.A. and
M.B.A. from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the Detroit College of
Law. He has taught college courses on topics including business and the
environment and nonprofit management, including teaching as a part of the
Corporate Environmental Management Program (CEMP) at the University of
Michigan. Woiwode's wife, Anne, is the Forestry and Biodiversity Project
Director for the Sierra Club in Michigan.
Woiwode's last day with The Nature Conservancy is April 2, although he will
continue to be involved with the organization on a consulting basis. The
Conservancy is currently conducting a national search for his successor. "I
will miss the daily contact with our staff and many volunteers - but I look
forward to a new chapter of conservation work. This is a great time for new
beginnings," Woiwode said today.
The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organization whose
mission is to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent
the biological diversity of the Earth, has protected more than 10 million
acres in 50 states and Canada and has helped partners in Latin American, the
Caribbean and Pacific and Asia protect hundreds of millions of wild lands. In
Michigan, more than 30,000 households contribute as members, donors and
volunteers, and dozens of companies and foundations provide support to the
Conservancy's programs here.
# # #
Director of Development & Communications, MIFO
The Nature Conservancy
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