The Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced in July that Heather Furman has been named Vermont State Director.
Furman, a land conservationist and seasoned executive with 18 years of experience in organization leadership and development is currently the Executive Director of Stowe Land Trust (SLT) in Stowe, Vermont, a position she has held since 2003.
During her time at SLT, Furman developed and carried out the vision of SLT’s strategic plan and goals for long-term land protection. She directed conservation initiatives, coordinated with external partners, and worked closely with SLT’s Board to build organizational support. Furman has led multiple capital campaigns, and has raised over $4 million for SLT’s specific conservation priorities. She has built strong relationships with supporters and worked with them to ensure that the impact of their investments be permanent, far reaching and sustained. In 2009, Furman lead the effort to create the Pinnacle Society, a group of supporters that have a strong commitment to the work of SLT, and who significantly enable the organization’s growth and effectiveness.
Furman co-founded the Climbing Resource Access group of Vermont (CRAG-VT); a non-profit focused on land protection for recreation access and habitat, and served as its board president from 1999-2005. Currently she is an honorary director. She has also worked at the national level to protect land for recreation access with the Access Fund, a climbing advocacy organization, where she served as vice-president from 2007-2009. During her tenure, the organization embarked on a multi-million dollar capital campaign raising funds specifically for land conservation priorities around the country. She graduated from Ohio State University in 1993, Cum Laude, and has five years of international experience in Asia and Latin America. Furman carried out conservation initiatives for the World Wildlife Fund, and the U.S Peace Corps in the Nepal Himalaya from 1995 – 1998. In 2001, Furman received a Masters of Science in Natural Resource Planning from The Rubenstein School of Environmental & Natural Resources, University of Vermont.
Richard Heilemann, the chairman of the Vermont chapter, is very enthusiastic about Heather’s arrival at TNC. “We faced a formidable task in choosing a leader to follow Bob Klein’s long and distinguished term as state director. We were fortunate to have many very well qualified candidates to interview. We are confident that Ms. Furman has the experience, energy, and management skills to build on Bob’s exceptional record and maintain TNC’s reputation for excellence in conserving “the land and waters on which all life depends” – the Conservancy’s mission.
Heather is greatly looking forward to working with TNC, “it’s an honor to be joining one of the most respected conservation organizations in the world, and continue the impressive legacy that Bob Klein and the Vermont team have built.”
The Vermont Chapter was founded in 1960 and has protected over 190,000 acres, including many of the state’s iconic public lands such as Green River Reservoir, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge and the Worcester Range, in addition to its statewide network of 55 TNC-owned natural areas.
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.
Vermont Chapter Board Chair