The Orange County Land Trust’s Board of Directors has tapped Jim Dehner as its Executive Director.
Jim Dehner was most recently the Executive Director for the Indiana Land Protection Alliance, serving land trusts across the state of Indiana. Dehner has played an active role in the land conservation field for over 20 years; starting with a stewardship internship while attending college. Since then, he has worked for a number of land conservation organizations and was also the founding Board President for the Ashburnham Conservation Trust. He currently serves on the Board of the Northeast Wilderness Trust as Treasurer, a land trust serving seven states in the northeast.
His non-profit professional career has also included working as a senior academic administrator in higher education and as a graduate level instructor for nonprofit management theory and practice, and ethical leadership courses.
Dehner earned a BS in Environmental Science from Unity College and an MS in Environmental Science from Antioch University New England. He also holds an MS degree in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Leadership from Northeastern University.
Land Trust board president Arlene Nolan said: “As an organization, we are at the busiest we’ve ever been, so we knew going into the search process that a new Executive Director would have very large shoes to fill. “It was critical that we find a candidate with a natural ability to quickly adapt and keep our operations running smoothly. After a thorough search by our board of directors, we are ecstatic to have found the right person to assume this role in Jim Dehner.”
According to Dehner, Orange County is prime real estate, both for development and open space protection. “What ultimately drove me to this organization and Orange County were the opportunities to make a large-scale impact,” stated Jim Dehner. “In sitting down and examining the county, and its vast inventory of agricultural land and natural habitat, it was immediately apparent how important land conservation is for its long-term viability and sustainability.” He added, “The great people of this county appreciate the natural and agricultural heritage surrounding them, just as it has for generations, but as one of the fastest growing regions outside the NYC metro area, we are at a bit of a crossroads here. Orange County must continue to be at the forefront of the land conservation movement; and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Jim and his wife Vickie have been married for 27 years. They enjoy traveling with their two sons, spending time with their Labrador retriever and tuxedo cat, and are avid walkers, nature enthusiasts, and birders.