Sonoran Institute, a non-profit organization that works at the intersection of commerce, community and conservation in the North American West, has announced its new Board of Directors leadership slate.
Newly elected officers to the Sonoran Institute Board of Directors are: Chair Dan Kimball, retired, National Park Service; Vice Chair Mary Alexander, DMB Development LLC.; Treasurer Andrew Downs, financial services executive; and Secretary Laurinda Oswald, Southern Arizona cattle-ranch owner. Board officers are elected from the Board’s general membership and serve a two-year term. All of the leaders, except Downs, are returning officers from the 2016 slate.
“It’s truly an honor to be elected to serve as the chairman of this diverse, and very talented, Board of Directors,” said Kimball, a retired National Park Service superintendent who led Everglades National Park’s involvement in restoring the Everglades ecosystem, and also oversaw cultural resource restoration and marine protection efforts at Dry Tortugas National Park during his 30-year career with the agency. Now a Tucson resident, he joined the Sonoran Institute Board in 2015 and most recently served as vice chair.
“Through collaboration and connecting with a wide range of communities and interests, Sonoran Institute has a proven 25-year track record of protecting the character of the West that we all love,” Kimball said. “Our goal, as a Board, is to continue to uphold Sonoran Institute’s proud tradition of demonstrating the vital link between healthy ecosystems and strong economies, and to engage the next generation so they are better connected to this place and are committed to sustaining what makes the West so special.”
Kimball cited the organization’s efforts to protect and restore water resources in the Colorado River Delta and the Santa Cruz River and to assist the state of Colorado in water resources planning as examples of how Sonoran Institute is working with a wide range of interests to find meaningful, collaborative solutions to major water challenges across the West.
Stephanie Sklar, Sonoran Institute CEO, said Board members come from a variety of professional backgrounds, but all share a common passion for the West. All either live in the region or have strong ties to it.
“They are an inspiring group of people who are dedicated to our mission of helping communities of the West navigate, and ultimately overcome, the challenges that threaten their natural resources and their economies,” Sklar said. “We feel very fortunate to have them on our team as we work together to lead positive change and preserve this special place for future generations.”