Houseal, top environmental leader resigns

I interviewed the Adirondack Council’s Brian Houseal a short time ago.  He said that his sudden departure was a personal decision, one that he made on his own initiative.   We’ll have more on this tomorrow during the 8 O’clock Hour.  Here’s the statement released by the Council today:

          ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. – The board of trustees of the Adirondack Council announced the departure of Brian L. Houseal after a decade as executive director of the Adirondack Park’s largest and most influential environmental organization. 
Houseal will remain at his post until the end of October.  Chairwoman Ann Carmel said the board will then turn to Deputy Director Diane Fish of Lake Placid to serve as Acting Executive Director, while the board conducts a national search for a new Executive Director.
Carmel said “the Council has been privileged to have Brian Houseal as our Executive Director for the last 10 years. He has exhibited leadership and innovation on so many issues affecting the environment and the communities of the Adirondack Park.  He is leaving the Council in a strong position as it continues to face issues affecting this magical park.”
“Brian’s leadership gave the Council an ever larger voice in all matters related to the Park. He understands how the pieces fit together for both wilderness and communities and has nurtured the essential interdependence between them. This benefits all stakeholders in the Park, keeping it a special and unique place while enriching our lives inside its boundaries,” said Brian Ruder, chairman from 2007-10.
“When we hired Brian 10 years ago, I had very high expectations for his leadership potential. His performance far exceeded my expectations. Combining a passion for the environment, a warm feeling for people and exceptional communication skills, Brian was the perfect leader for the Council,” said David Skovron, chair, 1999-2003.
Reflecting on his tenure at the Council, Houseal said, “I have had the honor of moving forward with a legacy endowed to us by some of the greatest conservationists in our country.  Louis and Bob Marshall, Clarence Petty, the Council’s founders, and many other directors, staff and members over the years have all fought to uphold Article XIV – the Forever Wild Clause – of New York State’s Constitution, unique in the world as a people’s commitment to wilderness preservation.  That vision and constellation of stars provides the compass bearing that guides our team every day.
“What makes the Adirondack Park unique as well is the character and vitality of our communities.  I am proud to be a co-founder of the Common Ground Alliance, because it helped forge a role for the Council as a ‘solutions department,’ searching for ways to protect the environment while also benefiting local communities and their economies.
“In the time-honored Adirondack tradition of borrowing someone else’s cabin during a winter blizzard, I believe I’m leaving the Adirondack Council in better condition than I found it, with dry tinder and a big pile of wood for the next steward. It’s a dynamic organization with a passionate Board and staff, dedicated members and supporters and will continue its strong tradition of successful advocacy.
“Our organization is well-equipped for the transition.  Diane Fish has been a great partner as Deputy Director and has the Board’s full support and commitment.  John Sheehan, Communications Director, Scott Lorey, Government Relations Director, Allison Buckley, Conservation Director, and Elaine Burke, Operations Director, are an experienced team who will continue to guide our staff to the next level of growth,” he said.

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5 Comments on “Houseal, top environmental leader resigns”

  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I am always disappointed when organizations announce that they will begin a national search for a replacement for xyz position. Their intention is to say that they are casting a wide net for the best possible replacement. But in reality it is usually that they think the locals who might fill the job perfectly well are losers. Too often it seems that the much hyped replacement from far away is using the new position as a stepping stone to some other job somewhere else. Meanwhile they collect money that could have stayed within the local community.

    The water in California or Texas doesn’t make you any smarter and local people have a better grasp of local issues. On the other hand, how smart can we local yokels be if we’re living in this back-water when we could be making the big bucks in Texas?

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  2. tootightmike says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to find the exact set of talents to fill the bill. During this time of moderately high employment, all of the really talented people are busy, and clever people are reluctant to leave a job during times of uncertainty. I’m sure that the likely local and regional folks will apply, and you never know who might turn up when you start a process like this.

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  3. Pete Klein says:

    knuck, why would anyone want to live in Texas? Do you know how hot it is down there?
    No one could pay me enough to live south of the Mason/Dixon Line.

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  4. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Nevermind the heat, what about the Texans?

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  5. Philip Williams says:

    What it means to have a “national search” is that they are going to hire a consultant, pay them $150 – 200k, to help them look.

    The consultant will tell them how much they should offer, what sort of contract they should have, list some strengths and skllls applicants should have, help with a job description, and tell them where to advertise. If desired the consultant will conduct screenings, or attend interview sessions when the candidate presents him or herself.

    In my opinion, it’s quite a racket but does a board really have time to do this themselves? I wish Mr Houseal well.

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