A personal note from the Executive Director

Written by Meredith Trainor

September 30, 2023

It is with deep gratitude and appreciation that I am writing you today to share that I plan to transition out of the Executive Director role at SEACC in early 2024.

Leading SEACC over the last seven plus years has been the journey — and privilege — of a lifetime, and getting to serve the people, communities and special places of Southeast Alaska in this capacity was the culmination of a longtime dream. I have been honored, humbled by and appreciative of the tremendous opportunity that my long tenure in this role has afforded me.

Together, we’ve navigated the advent of the Trump administration; the most recent efforts to rollback the Roadless Rule on the Tongass; the renewed racial reckoning after the murder of George Floyd and the intense urgency around expanded commitments to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion; a global pandemic; massive resultant shifts in workplace expectations, culture, generational leadership and human relationships; and, most recently, the experience of unionization.

There was, truly, never a dull moment.

As I begin this process, I want to thank each of you for your work with us over this period of unrelenting change, transition and growth. Our members and supporters — your advocacy, your actions, and your voices — are the backbone of our strength as a regional conservation nonprofit. SEACC was formed in 1970 to be of service to our member organizations in communities throughout Southeast Alaska who were advocating for protection and conservation of the Tongass National Forest, and it is your continued devotion — your commitment of your voice, your time, your presence, and your dollars — that keeps us strong, vital and relevant today. 

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa, T’oyaxsut nüüsm. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’ve begun the process of making this transition with the strong support of our deeply capable staff and board, and am confident in their ability to continue to advance our mission and vision during the months and years to come. I look forward to working with our team to ensure this leadership transition is as smooth and thoughtful as possible, and welcome your support for our board and staff as they embark upon the recruitment and hiring of a terrific new Executive Director who will guide and shape the organization that SEACC will grow into next.

Over the last seven years I’ve grown strong roots in Juneau, and today it has become home. I will continue to live here in Southeast in the years to come, and look forward to deepening and nurturing the relationships we’ve begun. I remain and will always be a SEACC supporter — come the end of January I look forward to making the transition from SEACC Executive Director to sustaining major donor. I hope you’ll consider joining me in doing so at that time.

Our Board Co-Chairs will reach out next week to share our plans for this period of transition, and the position description and advertisement for the Executive Director role. Please help us ensure it is seen far and wide, that SEACC may recruit a fantastic new leader.

As I noted in my letter of resignation to my three Board Co-Chairs, the experience of being the Executive Director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council has at different times been fun, exhilarating, inspiring, heart-breaking, joyful, humbling, and completely and utterly exhausting — and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

It has been one of the great honors and privileges of my life to serve as SEACC’s Executive Director over these last seven plus years. Thank you for the opportunity — I look forward to continuing to work and advocate with you, and to serving and supporting SEACC and Southeast Alaska together both while we navigate this transition in the months to come, and as a supporter in the years ahead.

Meredith Trainor
Executive Director

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