Mainspring Conservation Trust announces that Sharon Fouts Taylor will retire as its executive director, effective February 29, 2020.
Taylor began her career at the nonprofit in February, 2001, in time to assist in the successful effort to conserve what are now the 5,000-acre Needmore Game Lands, Mainspring’s flagship project. During Taylor’s tenure, Mainspring has conserved more than 28,000 acres of land and over 36 miles of Little Tennessee River frontage.
Taylor became the organization’s second executive director in January, 2015. She currently directs a staff of 11 and an annual operating budget of $1.5 million. During her tenure, Taylor successfully led an organizational rebranding from the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee to Mainspring Conservation Trust that better reflected the nonprofit’s seven-county project area and broad conservation mission, which includes a robust environmental education program, and established satellite offices in Murphy and Sylva. Under Taylor’s leadership, Mainspring’s annual fund now exceeds $600,000, and its internal Land Protection Fund that supports land conservation projects has grown to more than $2 million.
“It has been an extraordinary blessing and opportunity to be part of this organization’s growth and success,” Taylor says. “Mainspring’s conservation mission is critical – to know I’ve helped contribute to it is a joy. And, while I feel nostalgic about leaving, I am excited and confident about Mainspring’s future; it is bright and wide open.”
“Sharon’s passion for this region is unparalleled and she will be greatly missed,” says Connie Haire, chair of Mainspring’s board of directors. “But Sharon is leaving an organization that is healthy and strong. One of her strengths was building a great staff, and we are confident that the new leader will be able to step in to this role with an excellent foundation.”
Mainspring board of directors’ treasurer Rita Salain will chair the selection committee, which has already started the national search. Click here for information on the executive director job posting, or email Molly Phillips.