I wrote an article for the 2015 Red-tail Annual Report in which I announced that I would be moving on to my next career (retire?) in March 2019. It was necessary to give our board of directors time to prepare many aspects of our organization, that is, raising funds, training staff, board engagement, etc.
What has happened since that announcement is astounding. Our Capacity Expansion Initiative has been most successful in raising the necessary funds to support our expanded staff, facilities, stewardship, and education programs. We have a most generous community of supporters, including foundations, corporations, institutions, and individuals to thank for that.
Anyone who has been involved with Red-tail on almost any level these past two years has realized how much we have broadened our scope of activities. From our social media presence, education programs, volunteer events, to our habitat restoration, nature preserve openings, our staff has become involved in the details of running our land trust to a degree that no one could believe would take place so quickly.
And so, I am pleased to announce that I will be retiring (semi?) March 1, 2018. This doesn’t mean that I will be leaving the organization totally. My title will be Executive Director Emeritus. I will have a few land monitoring and fundraising tasks to perform. Of course, I will continue to attend the Red-tail events, especially the ones that take place in our natural areas. I will keep in touch with the staff from my home office and from the woods.
I must also say that these last 20 years have been a blessing. My involvement in land conservation in my homeland has given me much joy and satisfaction.
I look forward to crewing on the Inland Seas in Lake Michigan. I’ll be taking numerous Rock-and-Roll Road Trips, including the first one to Folly Beach to spend some quality time with Hunter and Kalah. There are many friends from coast to coast that I will be visiting this summer. Also, I plan to start performing my solo singing/guitar act around town.
In other words, I look forward to the next era in the life and times of Barry Banks, while enjoying the Red-tail Land Conservancy, Beyond Barry; and I will always remain…
For the Land,