Walser leaving LandTrust, new executive director sought

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 27, 2015

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina is seeking new leadership for the first time in 12 years as Executive Director Jason Walser prepares to leave, the organization said in a news release Thursday.

Walser has resigned his position effective July 1. The news release did not say what he intends to do after that date.

“Over the last 12 years, Jason has provided extraordinary leadership,” said Darrell Hancock, chairman LandTrust board, said in the news release, “and, consequently, we have an organization that has evolved into one of the leaders of the LandTrust movement. He’s done splendid work and replacing him is going to be a challenge.”

Headquartered in Salisbury, the LandTrust has conserved more than 25,000 acres in a 10-county region in Central North Carolina.

“Jason knows these counties like the back of his hand and has enjoyed the confidence of landowners across the region. Consequently, our growth has been logical and manageable,” said Hancock, who will chair the search committee, “and a new executive director will have a sound foundation to continue building upon.”

The search committee intends to cast its net broadly, the news release said. It will be looking for candidates with five years relevant work experience and prefers an advanced degree in law, business, or natural resources management. Walser is an attorney.

“We are dedicated to being sound good stewards of the properties in The LandTrust and our financial resources. As with every nonprofit, fundraising and sustainability have to be priorities, so our executive director has to have strong skills in this area as well as in management,” Hancock said. “There is no way you can do this job well without intellect, integrity, passion and vision and the ability to deal with people from all walks of life from rural landowners to major benefactors, elected officials and governmental leaders.”

The LandTrust’s primary focus has been protection of the Yadkin and Pee Dee Rivers, conservation of scenic farmland, and enhancement of public access and ecological restoration of the Uwharrie Mountains region. Founded in 1995, it has conserved natural areas along rivers and streams, scenic vistas, wildlife habitats and cultural sites in central North Carolina.

The application deadline is March 30. A resume and cover letter not to exceed two pages can be forwarded to Darrell Hancock, The LandTrust for Central North Carolina Executive Director Search Committee, P.O. Box 4143, Salisbury, NC 28145.