At its spring 2021 quarterly meeting, which was held (remotely) in April, the Adirondack Wilderness Advocates board of directors held its first officer elections since incorporating as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2019. As a result, a new face will be filling the role of the board’s chair.
The directors voted unanimously to elect Kayla White to fill the leadership position. White has been active in AWA since its founding in 2016 and a member of the board since 2018.
“I’m excited to take a leading role in AWA,” White said. “With our efforts in HPAG, designing a visitor use management app, and unwavering advocacy for wild places, AWA is growing into a leading environmental advocacy organization.”
The original slate of officers had been voted into their positions in July 2018, prior to the organization’s official incorporation. According to the board’s bylaws, officer elections must be conducted every two years.
“I think it’s healthy for an organization to rotate its leadership,” said Pete Nelson, one of AWA’s cofounders. Because of her long affiliation with the organization, as well as her deep experience in wilderness issues, it was an easy decision to select her as its next leader.
White is a decade-long employee of the Adirondack Mountain Club, and now serves as the Stewardship Manager for the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program. She is also on the board of The Waterman Fund, an organization that preserves wildness and Northeastern alpine areas.
“I’m proud to take these next steps towards helping the state enact HPAG’s recommendations and focusing on stewardship and data collection,” she said of her recent election.
The board has a total of four officers. Bill Ingersoll, who served as its first chair from 2018 through 2021, will now serve as vice-chair. Craig McGowan will continue to serve as treasurer, and Pete Nelson will remain its secretary. The changes are effective May 1st.
AWA was founded on Ragged Mountain in 2016 by Bill Ingersoll, Pete Nelson, and Brendan Wiltse to promote the knowledge, enjoyment, expansion, and protection of the wildest places in the Adirondack Park.