Glenn Lamb, Columbia Land Trust’s executive director of 32 years, will be stepping down from the position this year, according to a statement released Wednesday. Columbia Land Trust is a Vancouver-based nonprofit dedicated to land conservation in the Northwest.
“After 32 years as a board member or executive director, I am ready to embrace the next chapter,” Lamb wrote in the announcement. “This has been my life’s work. And I am as energized as ever to advance conservation in the Northwest. However, I have decided that, to best serve the land trust and our mission, I want to end my tenure at the organization’s helm at a time of great strength.”
In an email, Lamb said he’s not sure what he plans to do after his departure.
“I have lots of ideas but am giving myself time to figure out my next step,” he said. He and his wife plan to visit some of their favorite locations in the Northwest. After that, he said he plans to continue working in conservation in some capacity.
The Columbia Land Trust Board of Directors has begun a search for Lamb’s successor and will be preparing for Lamb’s transition out of the position in six to 12 months, according to the announcement. A national firm is being contracted to support the search. Lamb will continue as executive director until the recruitment and hiring process is complete.
“It is healthy for an organization to grow its culture and identity around a diversity of personalities,” he wrote. “I am certain that the land trust will benefit from having a new leader.”
Over his tenure, Columbia Land Trust has grown from a small group of volunteers to a financially strong organization of 40 employees. In the beginning, it sought to protect a single piece of property. Now, the organization is working to conserve more than 55,000 acres in the Northwest.
“Our management team is comprised of seasoned conservation leaders — some of the nation’s best — and supported by a dedicated staff that has the skill, energy and expertise to meet the rising opportunities and challenges ahead,” Lamb wrote.
According to board President Wendy Gerlach, the organization is well-poised for a transition thanks to Lamb’s commitment to stay on until his successor is chosen, as well as the management experience of the organization’s board and staff.
“(Lamb) and others have built a powerful organization that will carry his vision and integrity into the future,” she said. “We look forward to celebrating Glenn’s contributions, when the time comes for him to leave, and to welcoming new leadership.”