The Nature Conservancy Announces Additions to its Central & Western New York Board of Trustees

Baird and O'Connor are newest members

Rochester | October 02, 2013

The Nature Conservancy is honored to announce new members of its Board of Trustees:

Brian Baird of Buffalo is an attorney at Kavinoky Cook, where he specializes in trusts and estates. Brian is a long-time supporter of The Nature Conservancy, and is a graduate of Haverford College and the SUNY University of Buffalo School of Law. He devotes considerable time to public service, and has served as a board member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Nichols School and The Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation.

Baird said, “As a lifelong resident of the Buffalo region, I appreciate the importance of Buffalo’s location on the eastern end of Lake Erie and the beautiful habitat not far away. Preserving our regional advantages for generations to come is the reason I joined The Nature Conservancy’s Central and Western New York Chapter.”

Diane O’Connor of Rochester is Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability at Xerox Corporation. During her career with Xerox, Diane has held management positions in engineering, quality, purchasing and supply chain operations that have demanded strategic vision and the ability to transform groups into high performing organizations. Diane earned an MBA from the University of Rochester and a Masters in chemistry from Syracuse University. She lives on the west side of Honeoye Lake.

“Since 2006, The Nature Conservancy has been a valued partner to Xerox in advancing our shared goal of preserving the world’s forests and biodiversity. Being a Nature Conservancy Trustee is a wonderful opportunity for me to ‘give back’ as well as to learn from the other Trustees who represent a wide array of interests including business, science, policy and the law. I am proud to lend my skills and experiences to further the mission of the organization,” said O’Connor.

“We’re thrilled that these two talented individuals have committed to serve on the Board of Trustees in Central and Western New York,” said The Nature Conservancy’s Central & Western New York director Jim Howe. “Each brings unique strengths, skills, and expertise to The Nature Conservancy, as well as a personal connection to our lands and waters that will help us provide lasting conservation solutions in our region and beyond.”

The guidance of the Board of Trustees is critical to the continued success of The Nature Conservancy. The Central & Western New York Board of Trustees works to further the mission of the organization by leveraging the diverse strengths of trustees in areas such as business, science and policy. Specifically, Trustees advise on strategic issues, assist in setting goals and act as ambassadors, conservationists and fundraisers.

The full Board includes Clayton Millard, Chair; Lew Allyn; Brian Baird; Bruce Bongarten, Ph.D.; John Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.; Bruce Gilman; Richard Hill, Emeritus; Sarah Hurlbut; Bill Jacques; Victoria Kennedy; Deb Koen; Tony Lee; Tom Lunt; Robert Papworth; Stephen Rosenfeld, M.D.; Chuck Ruffing, Ph.D.; Sue van der Stricht; Susan Suwinski; Jim Wagner.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Kate Frazer
The Nature Conservancy in Central & Western NY
(339) 222-2014


   Please leave this field empty
x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Learn about the places you love. Find out
how you can help.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

I'm already on the list!

Read our privacy policy.