There is an important transition about to happen within our organization: Teri Ptacek, our passionate
and fearless leader for the past 18 years, is retiring. Teri doesn’t like it when we “toot her horn” but on the cusp of her retirement, I think a little “tooting” is in order.
As ASA’s first employee and our first Executive Director, Teri has poured her heart and soul into guiding the organization to where it is today.
Under her leadership, ASA has grown to a staff of 8 professionals, has permanently protected over 24,800 acres of land on 146 properties, and currently has 24 more projects in the pipeline. Her passion has led
the organization through strategic growth phases, including the expansion into Rensselaer County. She spearheaded the bold vision of the Forever Farmland Campaign and built important partnerships with like-minded organizations. Today, our board is stronger and more engaged than ever and our donor base is the largest it has ever been, all thanks to the relationships she fostered.
Because of Teri, ASA is a strong, resilient and accredited organization recognized for outstanding work both on a local and national level. Teri, too, is held in the highest regard by many in the conservation community. She is not just our leader but rather, she is a true leader in the land conservation community.
The final challenge for great leaders is making sure the organization can thrive in their absence. Ever forward-thinking, Teri gave the staff an initial “heads up” about her retirement 5 years ago. Since then, she has been working with ASA staff and Board to plan for a smooth transition. After conducting a national search and interviewing numerous candidates, it became clear that Teri had been mentoring her replacement for the past 13 years: current Associate Director Renee Bouplon.
As someone who served on the committee that hired Teri so many years ago, and having had the pleasure of working closely with her ever since, I have mixed emotions about her departure. I am sorry to lose such an invaluable colleague but, at the same time, I am excited someone I’m proud to call a friend will have time for new adventures.
I have no doubt that Teri will continue to be a huge champion for ASA and will be cheering Renee on, even if from afar. Over the coming months, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Teri’s many achievements and wishing her well in retirement.
With the utmost gratitude,
Board of Directors