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When a leader like Terry Corwin steps off the stage after a decade, people inevitability wonder if and how the show will go on. The question always is some variation of: can the company/organization thrive without them? I have worked with Terry for ten years as we, and many others, built the Land Trust into what it is today. I am confident that we will thrive in the years ahead. We will do so because of what she leaves behind.

She leaves behind a string of lands protected the past ten years: farmland, Sandhills habitat, the first protected lands in the Pajaro Hills, and, with our partners, San Vicente Redwoods. She leaves behind the Conservation Blueprint that is the strategic guide for our work. She leaves behind the commitment to a wide variety of innovative projects (building trails and a wildlife tunnel), some of which, are still underway.

And she leaves behind the Board and staff built over the past ten years – the people who set our strategic direction and do the day to day work of conservation. I have worked at more than a dozen non-profits, and been close to twice that many, and this is the best board and the best staff I have ever worked with.

Conservation work is team work and the team is still here. Our partners are still our partners. Our generous supporters – donors, foundations, state agencies – are still our supporters. One measure of a leader is that the organizations they leave thrive after they are gone – and by that measure, Terry did a great job.

Stephen Slade is the Executive Director at Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. He has more than 40 years non-profit experience in fundraising, communications, and management – and a deep passion for the lands that make Santa Cruz special.

Find out more about Stephen Slade…

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