HONORING LYNDE UIHLEIN • Board Chair, Center Plant Conservation 2018-2020
Lynde, there are so many ways to describe you – environmentalist, social welfare advocate, feminist, philanthropist, political activist, innovator in community co-op development, and yes, even Wisconsin dairy farmer. Yet these labels provide only a glimpse into your many years of service, hard work, and extraordinary accomplishments. For those present at this Board meeting, I would like to underscore a few of your many strengths which I have come to know and admire so deeply in the two years we have worked closely together. You are a wise and clear, careful thinker — a visionary. You’re good-humored, steady, compassionate, thoughtful, measured in your recommendations, and considerate of those offered by others. You are so very generous and ever gracious. You are supremely level-headed, unless really pushed, and then you’re strong, tactical, and decisive. You are all these things, and they have made you the very great leader you have been at CPC. It is my great good fortune that we have become wonderful friends – thanks to CPC.
Lynde, you taught us all in the CPC family so much about non-profit organizational leadership and management. You are so wise and able to see the strengths, potential opportunities, and solutions in each moment – in the good times as well as when challenges arise. Who could have imagined the levels of success we have achieved and the unprecedented challenges we have faced in these past two years? You were exactly the person CPC needed to fill the very big shoes of Peter Raven – to provide the steady, guiding hand and Board leadership to facilitate and celebrate the enormous strides we’ve made under Joyce’s outstanding leadership and by her capable CPC team, and to weather difficult leadership transitions and daunting challenges brought on by COVID-19. Most Board Chairs, if lucky, have few disruptions to contend with in their terms. You have managed a tsunami of disruption with extraordinary strength, resolve, and skill. You have guided and inspired the Board, its XCOM, and our Headquarters team. We will be ever grateful for your wise, calm, and sound leadership and for your long list of accomplishments: a new 5-year strategic plan; the reinvigorated CPC-SDZG Management Committee; the ongoing MOU revisions; an active, transparent Executive Committee process; CPC By-Laws Revisions; Federal Conservation Advocacy and Legislative wins; sound CPC budgeting and interim as well as annual reporting practices, and ongoing efforts to streamline these processes; robust Board Guidelines, Policies and Procedures; revitalized Committee and Task Force structures; encouragement of the amazing Board participation in all areas of CPC governance, management, development, investments, and financial support; a robust pipeline of future Board candidates; strong Board support of the CPC Leadership and staff; a collegial, open tone and high level of communications between Board members and the CPC team; and even plans in the works for a 40th anniversary celebration! Certainly, these accomplishments required major Board and staff involvement, but none would have been possible without your capable and selfless leadership.
We are especially grateful that as you transfer the leadership role, you have poised CPC for a very bright future. We are also incredibly pleased that you have agreed to stay very close as a Member-at-Large, an XCOM member, and a representative on the CPC-SDZG Management team.
For all these things, I applaud you on behalf of our Board and express our sincerest thanks. Finally, let me say very personally that I consider the friendship we have evolved during this process a very cherished gift. Thank you ever so much.