All of us would like to wish Karen the best in her next adventure --retirement!
Thank you to Karen
Since Karen announced she was planning to retire in early May, numerous WTA partners, members and volunteers have expressed their thanks for her leadership and for organization she has helped grow over the last five years. As her last week comes to an end all of us at WTA wanted to take a minute to add our thanks to the mix.
When we reflect on all that Karen has brought to WTA, her passion and enthusiasm for the mission are always at the top of the list. That energy coupled with her hard work helped WTA establish our Outdoor Leadership Training program, launch a legacy giving campaign and set the strategic goals for the organization moving forward. Karen is leaving WTA stronger than she found it both financially and programmatically.
When you ask Karen what she is most proud she smiles and says, “All of it. Serving as executive director of Washington Trails Association has been my dream job. It has not only been the high point of my professional career but its culmination.”
From Executive Director to volunteer
Karen actually started her work with WTA as a volunteer. She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2010, before she came on board as executive director the following year. Now, Karen is excited to start her next adventure—retirement. She will be hiking with her husband and sharing her love the outdoors with her granddaughter. While more of her time will be spent on trail, Karen will continue to be active in the WTA community. Karen is a new assistant crew leader, already signed up for a Backcountry Response Team. And you can follow her adventures through trip reports and some of which might be scouting trips as a WTA hiking guide correspondent.
WTA’s future is bright
Karen will be the first to tell you that the best is still to come from WTA. "I am so excited to to see what happens next! WTA's strategic plan lays out some big goals and I know the board and staff are ready and able to make this vision a reality", Karen goes on to say, "WTA's future is bright and I will continue to the organization’s biggest fan."
Here in the WTA office we will miss Karen’s enthusiasm but we will continue in our passion to protect trails. Inspired by WTA’s strategic plan and the amazing support of our members and volunteers we are excited to see what we can accomplish together next. Thanks to your support WTA is well-positioned to welcome a new director to continue this path onward.
Trail Programs Director Rebecca Lavigne will serve as interim executive director, and WTA’s board of directors has assembled a search committee to recruit and hire a successor.
If you'd like to leave Karen a message, please do so in the blog comments below!