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02/26/2010

Board Meeting Highlights & March 1 Open House/Conference Call

The Board of Directors convened its first meeting of 2010 last week. (A complete agenda and compendium of board materials is on Clubhouse and available prior to each board meeting.) 

As usual, we had a very full agenda with two days of working sessions preceding the formal meeting, a joint session with The Sierra Club Foundation Board of Directors, and evening events with local leaders and supporters. There were also some reflective moments, as the Board remembered and celebrated three Sierra Club heroes that we lost in recent months: past Director Ellen Winchester (1929-2009), Sierra Club staff member A. Blakeman “Blake” Early (1945-2010), and Deputy Executive Director Greg Haegele (1963-2010).

Here are some of the highlights of the weekend. Thanks to Director Lane Boldman and Joey Shadowen for the photos.

Sierra Club Florida Leadership

One of the key reasons for choosing to meet in Sarasota, Florida was so that directors could spend some time with Florida Chapter leaders. Members of the Steering Committee and Group Advisory Council (pictured below) had their own meetings in parallel, and met with the Board on Friday. They reported good progress in rebuilding and managing statewide Sierra Club functions in Florida. The commitment of these leaders to work together as a team and strengthen channels of communication among the members is notable.

PTC-FL St Comm

(from left to right) Frank Jackalone, Tom Larson, Craig Diamond, Debbie Matthews, Linda Jones, John Swingle, Rudy Scheffer, and Linda Bremer, (Marian Ryan and Betsy Grass also present, off screen to the right)

Press Conference for Protection of Florida Panther

The timing couldn’t have been better. Directors were able to join local leaders for a press conference to announce a lawsuit by five conservation groups (Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and the Council for Civic Associations) against U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for repeated failure to protect and its refusal to designate critical habitat for the endangered Florida panther.

Lunch and Dinner Receptions

Presentations were made during a lunch and a couple dinner receptions to ever so briefly touch on some of the local conservation efforts, including the Red Tide Campaign, Resilient Everglades Habitat, partnership with Florikan, a leader in sustainable, controlled release fertilization products and practices and, of course, panther protection. The receptions were also opportunities to express appreciation to leaders (volunteers and staff), donors and supporters of the Club. Carl was presented with a wonderful photo commemorating the “Hands Across the Sand” event that took place on February 13, in which Sierra Club members participated with some 2,500 activists to line up along the beaches of Florida and join hands to protest offshore drilling.

PTC-Hands Across the Sand

Joint Session of Sierra Club and Foundation Boards

About twice a year the Sierra Club and Foundation Boards coordinate their respective meetings for the same weekend and set aside a few hours to convene in joint session. This meeting we covered a range of topics, including an update on the Executive Direction Transition Process that is underway (Michael Brune starts on March 15), a presentation from John Hutchison (Chairman of the Board for the John Muir Trust in Scotland -- more on this in a future Power to Change), and an update on Outcomes Based Management from Conservation Director Sarah Hodgdon and Larry Keeshan from the Foundation Board. The joint session was capped off by an inspiring report from Camilla Feibelman, Conservation staff and Evalexa Tomei, chapter vice chair, in celebration of the Puerto Rico Chapter’s fifth anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Puerto Rico colleagues!

 

More Reflective Moments: A Toast to Carl Pope!

PTC-Carl Toast The Board passed a Resolution of Appreciation for Carl Pope and his leadership for the Sierra Club as Executive Director.  Although this was Carl's last meeting as executive director, Board members look forward to an ongoing partnership with him in his new role as Chairman of the Sierra Club, beginning March 15. Sarah Hodgdon and Michael Brune, incoming executive director, join in the toast. 


Open House Call Monday March 1

Join me on Monday, March 1, at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific for a conference call to talk about these and other topics covered in the Board meeting. Questions welcome. Call 866-501-6174 — 1892-005. RSVP here.

On March 8, the conference call will be a guided tour of the Activist Network. I'll be hosting an Open House again on first Monday in April and May.


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David Scott

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