RALEIGH — The Triangle Land Conservancy has a new executive director.
Chad Jemison was hired to lead the private nonprofit organization, which conserves open spaces to preserve clean drinking water, wildlife habitats and local farming. Jemison started Monday, replacing Kevin Brice, who resigned in April after more than eight years in the position.
The conservancy wants to reach new people, and its board thinks Jemison can do that, said Anne-Marie Vanaman, director of development and marketing.
“We’re really looking to Chad to help craft a strategy for increasing the organization in spite of the economy,” Vanaman said.
Jemison said he will emphasize three goals: building political support for land protection and increasing financial support and public support for the organization, including growing its membership.
The conservancy has about 3,000 members, but Jemison said he aims to raise that number before its 30th birthday next year. He plans to hold more events at the conservancy’s public preserves to make people aware of the opportunities it provides for people to connect with nature.
The conservancy has special challenges now as nonprofits deal with fewer donations and budget cuts, Jemison said. As the Triangle continues to grow in population, it’s becoming more difficult to preserve green space, he said.
“It’s a wonderful place to live, and there’s just great opportunity for the organization to grow and have a great impact,” Jemison said.
Jemison was most recently a land manager at Scenic Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and executive director of Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station in Rensselaerville, N.Y. He graduated from Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., and later completed a one-year graduate program at Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
The Triangle Land Conservancy was founded in 1983 and has protected more than 15,000 acres in a six-county area, including five nature preserves that it owns and opens to visitors year-round.