President’s message

pierre howard message about ray andersonWork Worth Doing

By Robert Ramsay

As I begin my term as President of the Georgia Conservancy, I do so with gratitude in my heart. I am grateful to our Board of Trustees for their confidence in me, and I am grateful to all those before me that have worked to make the Georgia Conservancy respected and effective. I take my responsibility to maintain and grow that respect and effectiveness very seriously. My promise to you is that I will do everything in my power to justify the trust that comes with this job.  President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The greatest gift that life has to offer is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.” His words resonate very loudly with me today.

One of the advantages that I have as I begin my service as president is the experience of working with a great team at the Georgia Conservancy since January 2011 to achieve some great results for our state. In thinking about why we have been so successful in our programmatic work, I believe that the key element has been teamwork. My predecessor, Pierre Howard, emphasized the importance of teamwork through building a talented staff that works effectively together and with partners. Quite simply, it is my intention to continue that team oriented approach in the years ahead.

It is evident to me that very little has been or ever will be accomplished in the protection of our natural resources without working with our conservation partners. In 1967, when the Georgia Conservancy was founded, there were but a handful of organizations working on conservation issues in our great state. Today, there are literally dozens and dozens of such organizations scattered across Georgia. Some work on big picture issues, while others work in very specific ways. All of these organizations, though, are working to help protect our land, water and air, as well as the plants, animals and humans which depend on our finite natural resources. Collaboration with partners is not always the easiest approach to solving complex problems, but I strongly believe that honest collaboration always leads to a better outcome for our environment, our state and our future.

For nearly 50 years, the Georgia Conservancy has benefitted greatly from the support of our members. Whether it is their time, treasure or talent, Georgia Conservancy members have been the driving force behind every single accomplishment that we have ever enjoyed. Regardless of whether they live in our cities or on farms, in the mountains or on the coast, our members understand that the natural resources that sustain all life and commerce are finite. They understand that it is up to each of us as individuals to do everything we can to pass along a state where people and the environment thrive.

As we work to develop the Conservancy’s next set of strategic priorities, we remain mindful of the members, trustees and staff that have come before us. Every day, we benefit from their hard work and success. With our eyes on the future, there is no doubt that the conservation challenges that Georgia faces are significant. These challenges must be met with confidence and optimism, and with your help, we will work together to protect Georgia’s land and water for now and forever.

Thank you,

Robert Ramsay