A big change is in store for Gathering Waters: Executive Director, Mike Strigel, has announced that he is stepping down at the end of 2015. In appreciation for Mike’s service, Gathering Waters’ Board Chair, Thomas Mitchell, made the following statement:
“As chair of Gathering Waters’ board of directors, I join my colleagues in celebrating Mike Strigel’s 9-year tenure as Executive Director. Mike has been a valuable and effective leader, and the entire board would like to recognize and applaud him for the significant impact that he has had on Gathering Waters and the entire land trust community in Wisconsin.
- Mike has led the organization through several major public policy campaigns, beginning with reauthorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program in 2007 and fighting to maintain a robust program through the last five biennial state budgets. Due in large measure to the strong and focused advocacy efforts of Gathering Waters, land trusts have been able to secure nearly $100 million in Stewardship Program grant funding during the last decade to support important land protection efforts.
- In partnership with colleagues at the Land Trust Alliance, Mike oversaw development and implementation of Wisconsin’s Land Trust Excellence and Advancement Program (LEAP) – our nationally recognized program that provides coordinated and intensive services and support for Wisconsin land trusts whether large, small, staffed, or all-volunteer.
- Mike has built an effective team at Gathering Waters – hiring and retaining bright and hardworking staff, and recruiting dynamic and devoted board members.
- When individual land trusts in Wisconsin faced challenges, large or small, Mike was always quick to respond, offering a steady hand and support to board and staff members.
- Under Mike’s leadership, a real vision has taken shape for what it means for Gathering Waters to be Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts. A strong alliance supports and nurtures the community of land trusts across the state, which translates into more success on the ground– protecting the lands that provide so much value to us all.
Periods of transition always present unknowns, but also opportunities. Gathering Waters is in a strong position as an organization, and the board is committed to working together with staff and the land trust community to chart a course for even more success in the future. Our mission as Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts is vital.
During this time of change, I am pleased to announce that the board of directors has appointed Gathering Waters’ External Relations Director, Mike Carlson, as the Interim Executive Director. Mike has eight years of experience with Gathering Waters and we are thrilled that he is stepping into this role.
We wish Mike Strigel all the best in his new role as President and Executive Director of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, and we thank him for his years of dedication and service to Gathering Waters.
Board Chair, Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts”