Karen Yancey has been named the new executive director of the Geneva Lake Conservancy.
Yancey has more than 25 years of experience in serving on the boards and staff of land trust organizations in Wisconsin and Illinois. A member of the board of directors of the Door County Land Trust for the last 12 years, she has helped protect more than 1,000 acres in the county as well as led fundraising efforts and membership events.
While executive director for the Barrington Area Conservation Trust from 2010 to 2014, she increased grant awards by more than 50 percent, doubled the number of easements and land donations and increased both revenues and staff. She also was elected to the Illinois state land trust board. As a board member of Citizens for Conservation in Barrington she helped introduce a conservation program for high school students and was instrumental in managing their education programs.
Yancey is also a writer and most recently served as a reporter for the USA Today Network in Northeast Wisconsin, where she covered environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes watershed. She will be instrumental in bringing new communications ideas and social media programs to the conservancy.
Yancey has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Dennis Jordan, Geneva Lake Conservancy Chairman, said “We feel very fortunate to have hired Karen Yancey who has the experience in leading a conservancy/land trust. She is very personable, is a good listener and communicates very well and will be an effective ambassador for the Conservancy. The Conservancy Board and I look forward to working with Karen and staff as we look to expand our role in advocating preservation of sensitive areas in Walworth County.”
Yancey spent her childhood summers in Williams Bay where her grandparents had a summer home in Cedar Point Park.
“I am looking forward to preserving the beautiful landscapes of the Lake Geneva area and Walworth County, “said Yancey. “I hope that I can use my skills and experience with land protection to build on the many successes of the Geneva Lake Conservancy.”
The Geneva Lake Conservancy has protected more than 1950 acres in the Lake Geneva watershed and Walworth County through the use of conservation easements, land donations and land purchases. It works with public and private conservation partners to preserve the land and water resources of Walworth County through advocacy, education and outreach. For more information on the Conservancy, go to www.GenevaLakeConservancy.org or call 262 275 5700.