I’m delighted to be able to send my first message as President of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance alongside the news of our hiring Emily Vail as our new Executive Director! We were fortunate to receive many highly qualified applicants which we took as an affirmation of all of the progress HRWA has made in the last five years under Maureen Cunningham’s leadership. We are excited to look to the future, with Emily Vail leading the way. Few people know the Hudson River watershed, the people working to manage its water resources, and the technical resources available to them, as well as Emily. She is a natural leader, and has the passion, skills, and drive to take the Hudson River Watershed Alliance to the next level in the years to come.
Along with our change in leadership, our Board of Directors has also undergone some major changes. At our January meeting four of our long-time board members reached their term limits after nine years of dutiful service. Many were founding members with roots with HRWA going back all the way to the beginning, about 15 years ago, when the Alliance was housed at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (and I was tasked with serving as the Alliance’s first coordinator). The outgoing board members include Simon Gruber, who remarkably served as our President for his entire term on the board; Jan Blaire, who served as Vice President; Roy Lamberton, who served as Treasurer; and Russell Urban-Mead, who has graciously volunteered to continue running our Mid-Hudson Watershed Breakfast Series, affectionately called “the Omelet.” While their presence will be missed, their forward thinking work has built a strong foundation from which the Alliance will continue to grow.
I hope you will join us in warmly welcoming Emily to the team and giving our departing board members a much-deserved thank you at the 2019 Toast to the Tribs, on Saturday, June 1, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Falcon in Marlboro. We will celebrate these changes to the Alliance and our Watershed WaveMakers in Spring this year – an important change so we can better support both the Toast and our Annual Watershed Conference on October 29, 2019. (Please save that date, too.) In the meantime please also be on the lookout soon for ticket and sponsorship information for the events, and our call for nominations for the Annual Watershed WaveMaker awards.
At this critical moment of change, your support is more important than ever for the sustainability and continued growth of the Alliance. I hope you will consider making a gift to HRWA – as a welcome to Emily, in honor of our founding board members, or just as an affirmation of the value of the work we do. Let’s kick off this new era of the Alliance together!