The Nature Center undergoes a major transition today. Although carefully planned and well thought out, change always brings butterflies. Here are Rich’s thoughts…
Today, the Indian Creek Nature Center’s third Executive Director will assume his duties. I welcome John Myers to the position and hope he finds it a pleasant and rewarding challenge. First director Curt Abdouch began in December 1974 and moved to Washington, DC to take a position with the National Wildlife Federation in early 1978. Barb Binhammer was acting director for about six months until I began on August 22, 1978.
I’ve had a good 35 year run here, after 40 months as Director of the Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, and a spell as a biologist in Alaska in the early 1970’s. I am relinquishing all day-to-day operations but am not retiring. I step into the new position of Executive Director of Development and will soon move to a downtown office where I will focus on fundraising for about a year until I formally sever my employment relationship with the Nature Center. I am moving offsite to stay out of John’s hair as he makes changes he feels are prudent and in the best interests of the organization. Also, being offsite should help channel operational questions and comments to John instead of me.
John will be responsible for overseeing education and facility matters. He will report to the board, supervise staff, and be responsible for operational fundraising and financial management. I’m charged with helping a wonderful group of volunteers locate $7 million for a new headquarters building and endowment. I would enjoy talking with you if you’d like to set up an endowed fund or help with the building campaign; other issues go to John. I will attend major events, may lead an occasional program, and will continue writing Nature’s Notes and other items for The Gazette, but otherwise plan to keep a low profile. The Nature Center has a superb staff, outstanding board, and wonderful volunteers. It is financially sound and has a beautiful land base.
I thank you for your support all these years. Please continue supporting the Nature Center through John and other staff. ~Rich