2006 President’s Report
This year presented the environmental community with many challenges. The rollback of land use protections that began in Oregon two years ago moved to Washington this year. As a result, we worked closely with our grantees and other NW foundations who share a mutual concern about managing growth, preserving natural resources and protecting hard-won state environmental laws. This coalition kept us informed about new challenges, leveraged funding opportunities, brainstormed strategies, and increased our effectiveness. While we reached out in collaboration, we also increased our investment in the growth management program because the Trustees recognized these threatened rollbacks could ripple throughout all the areas we fund. Fortunately, the unrelenting work of our grantees, colleagues, staff and board was rewarded this year, and we were very pleased and honored to be a part of the successful effort to protect Washington’s communities and natural resources.
This past June, in keeping with our tradition of hosting our meetings in different areas of the state, the board held a reception, board meeting and site visit in Spokane. It was a wonderful opportunity for our board and staff members to see first-hand the work our grantees are doing on the Spokane River as well as to build relationships in the local community.
This year also marked the retirement of four valued board members. Peter Golde, who leaves us after six years of service, helped to lead our effort to ensure the long-term financial health of the Fund during a period of economic challenges and transitions to new financial managers. Judy Turpin, who also served for six years, led the team of Trustees who shaped our aquatic ecosystem program guidelines. Jill Silver and Paul Lindholdt, who provided invaluable expertise and outreach to grantees in remote areas of the state, volunteered to step down from the board when the Trustees voted in December to reduce the size of the Board to increase efficiency and place greater emphasis on the board’s policy making role. All of them will be missed and welcomed back should they choose to serve again.
In the New Year, we are delighted to announce the return of Hellmut Golde to the Board of Trustees. As one of the past presidents of the Fund, Hellmut’s expertise in administration, financial management and programmatic work will be a tremendous asset to the foundation as we continue to refine our grantmaking operations to maximize the resources of our Trustees and staff.
Finally, 2006 also marks the end of my six years of service at the Fund and the end of my term as President. Serving as President of the Fund has been a great privilege. I am thankful to the Trustees and the staff of the foundation for their hard work and support. I have also enjoyed working with our grantees and colleagues in the philanthropic community. Although I will be wearing a different hat in January, I know that we’ll continue to work together.
As I leave the foundation, I am pleased to announce that Dave Mann, who served as an officer of the Fund for the past four years, will succeed me as President. Dave brings a wealth of experience in law, science, environmental issues and nonprofit management to his new role. I know the Fund will continue to do good work under his leadership.
Rodney L. Brown, Jr.