– North Florida Land Trust has restructured its staff in an effort to keep up with growing preservation demands. The nonprofit renamed its land protection department and repurposed the department’s staff to better meet the demands of its clients, projects and activities. The land protection department is now known as the conservation programs department and two staff members have new positions within the organization.
Marc Hudson, who has been the land protection director for the last eight years, is now the director of strategic conservation. Rebecca Perry, who has served as the associate land protection director for two years, has been promoted to director of real estate and community conservation.
“We have been growing rapidly, which is a good problem to have, and are being asked to undertake more strategic planning and real estate transactions daily. Rather than having both Marc and Rebecca working to provide both of those services, we are splitting the responsibilities to be more efficient,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “Promoting Rebecca and refocusing her and Marc’s duties will help us handle important challenges that are coming up. Success is breeding success and these changes will help us to keep up the momentum. It doesn’t change what we do. It changes who is doing it.”
There are a number of recent projects and clients that prompted these changes. Suwannee River Water Management District renewed NFLT’s agreement for real estate services for multiple years, with the option to include conservation planning in addition to the real estate services. The City of Fernandina Beach partnership has grown and now utilizes both conservation planning and real estate services. Recent discussions with several counties and municipalities will require someone focused on both of those real estate and conservation planning service lines. In addition, NFLT will be updating its strategic conservation plan known as the Preservation Portfolio which was released in 2016.
In his new role, Hudson is in charge of developing NFLT’s landscape initiatives in multiple counties and watersheds. He is working to create new financial tools and business relationships to support the organization’s mission and will assist communities as a partner in the creation of their conservation plans.
Perry, in her new role, will have oversight over the land trust’s real estate programs. She will work directly with individual landowners as well as city and county governments to implement conservation plans and preserve land.
NFLT is also looking at the budgeting impacts of adding a position within the stewardship department to help accelerate the management of NFLT’s growing land portfolio and to help with the management of a number of new initiatives. McCarthy said he will be looking at a number of sources, including grants, to fund any new positions.
McCarthy added, “We need to be ready structurally for the growth ahead while being cognizant of the responsibilities we have to our donors and benefactors to be good stewards of their money. These are exciting times for the land trust. We have the opportunity to protect and restore a lot of precious lands right now. We need to make the most of it.”