Zehnder Joins The Nature Conservancy’s Michigan Board of Trustees


Lansing, Michigan | June 12, 2018

The Nature Conservancy recently welcomed Bill Zehnder of Frankenmuth to its Michigan Board of Trustees.

“We are thrilled that Bill has officially joined our board,” said Helen Taylor, state director in Michigan for The Nature Conservancy. “He’ll add a new perspective to our board linking to food and hospitality, which is especially important as our conservation work now encompasses more emphasis on sustainable agricultural practices.”

Bill Zehnder is president of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn, Inc., a nationally renowned tourist destination, which includes a restaurant that serves more than a half-million meals each year. He is the third generation of his family in the industry and works alongside his 96-year-old mother six days a week.

Zehnder is highly active in local community and charitable causes, including the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, his church, Michigan State University School of Hospitality Alumni Association and the Historical Society of Michigan. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Saginaw Valley State University, 35 years on the Star of the West Milling Company board of directors and 14 years on the Pheasants Forever National Board of Trustees. He received the Saginaw County Chamber’s “Robert H. Albert Lifetime Achievement Community Service Award” in 2012. 

“The Nature Conservancy holds a very special, dear place in my heart,” Zehnder said. “They have a long history of protecting some of my favorite places in Michigan with a good eye on the future looking at new practices that consider nature more carefully in using our natural resources.”

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University’s Hotel & Restaurant Management School and his master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Melissa Molenda
The Nature Conservancy
(517) 230-0818
mmolenda@tnc.org

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