Associate Director of Philanthropy
One fundraising professional and two summer interns recently joined the staff of The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter and the Adirondack Land Trust in Keene Valley.
"This infusion of young energy and new talent broadens our perspectives and contributes to all of the staff’s professional development,” said Michael Carr, Executive Director.
Matthew Hobart assumed the position of Associate Director of Philanthropy on July 1, 2011, just as the Conservancy and Land Trust closed the fiscal year exceeding their $941,000 annual operating fundraising goal and securing $5.6 million in capital gifts, pledges and bequests.
Hobart brings to his new position a combination of fundraising skills, experience in conservation work, and enthusiasm for the Adirondacks. In January, 2011, he earned a Masters of Professional Studies from Cornell University. He is a current member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and served on the New York State Invasive Species Task Force during his tenure as Assistant Director of Public Policy with the New York Farm Bureau.
“Matt’s background in sustainability and environmental issues, coupled with his record of success in strategic planning and fundraising, will add great value to the fundraising team here in Keene Valley,” said Director of Philanthropy Nancy Van Wie, who recently earned her professional Fundraising Executive certification and will supervise Hobart.
“I’m thrilled to be working for the Conservancy and Land Trust in the Adirondacks,” offered Hobart, an outdoor enthusiast who is preparing to move to the area from Saratoga Springs. He will supervise three fundraising positions.
Joining the staff for seasonal positions are Dan Dohman of Jay and Meghan Johnstone of Saranac Lake.
As the Conservancy and Land Trust’s fifth Adirondack Conservation Intern, Dohman is exploring the field of conservation, working side-by-side with professional staff in communications, fundraising, environmental stewardship, and scientific research. An Environmental Resources Engineering major at SUNY-ESF and graduate of AuSable Valley Central High School where he was class valedictorian, he is also an avid fly fisherman, hiker, and a recent finisher of the Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon, an endurance race of 70.3 miles.
“This internship is proving to be a great opportunity for me to really get my feet wet in environmental conservation and gain some experience in the fields that I have been studying and in the place I’m proud to call home,” Dohman said.
Johnstone, a former conservation intern and a 2010 graduate of SUNY ESF with a degree in Environmental Studies and Communications, returned this summer to join the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program as its Natural Resource Protection Steward. She is assisting terrestrial and aquatic invasive species education, early detection and response efforts throughout the Adirondacks, putting her professional and academic skills to use.
“I’m thrilled to get to spend time in the sun and soil this summer and to play such a vital role in protecting the beautiful Adirondacks from the harmful effects of invasive species,” Johnstone said. Outside of work, Johnstone has high aspirations to become a “46er” by climbing New York State’s highest peaks.
The career-building Adirondack Conservation Internship Program under which Dohman was hired was established in 2006 with contributions from Barbara Glaser, a chapter and land trust board member, and Clarence Petty, who also served on the board and is remembered for his unyielding dedication to the Adirondacks. Interns gain practical skills that will help equip them to address environmental challenges and threats in the future. Contributions are welcome toward the program’s endowment.
"The act of preserving and protecting the Adirondacks takes more than one generation. There is a need for opportunities now for people in their 20s and 30s to explore how they can participate in the care and protection of this park over time," said Glaser.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.