Dear Valued Members,
It is with mixed emotions that I announce my resignation as your Executive Director. Immediately after the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour I informed the Board of Directors that I had accepted a new position as the Executive Director of Economic Development South. Today is actually my last official day in the office.
I am deeply grateful for the experiences I have had at Venture Outdoors and so thankful for your support of our work. Members are such a critical part of our success, and I thank you for being part of this truly special organization. I have enjoyed meeting so many of you and hearing your stories. I have also truly enjoyed working with the Board of Directors, Staff, Volunteers, and Participants. I am thrilled to have been a part of the organization’s changes and improvements to develop more robust paddling standards, improve our technology, hire a Shared CFO, and open a third Kayak Pittsburgh location. I truly look forward to more great things as Venture Outdoors continues providing outdoor experiences for everyone.
Coincidentally, at the same time I told the Board about my new position, Donna Bour, our Director of Development and Communications, informed me that she had accepted a position as the Senior Development Officer for the Hill District Community Development Corporation. Her last day is Friday, May 3. Donna has been working with Venture Outdoors in some capacity since it began in 2001. Starting as the organizer for the Venture Outdoors Festival, she moved into a part-time role as the Development Specialist until I asked her to head the Department of Development and Communications in 2015. She has been devoted to the organization and has led a team that continues to work tirelessly to raise funds for and actively promote our work.
The Board of Directors is creating a committee that will undertake the search for a new Executive Director. In the meantime Ian Brown, the Program Director, will be responsible for day-to-day operations. In addition, Mike Schiller, the organization’s founder and first Executive Director, will be working on the Kayak Pittsburgh relocation – including the capital campaign that will support it – as well as on strategic planning with the Board. Kathi Radock will continue in her role as Membership and Volunteer Manager.
Thank you again for all of the support you have provided and continue providing to this wonderful organization. I look forward to seeing you all outside!