The Stowe Land Trust has promoted from within, selecting Kristen Sharpless to succeed Caitrin Maloney as executive director.
Sharpless has been the land trust’s conservation program manager since 2014, and has more than 10 years of experience in the conservation, education and nonprofit sectors. She is also a member of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute class of 2018.
“After conducting a national search process, the board reached the unanimous conclusion that Kristen was far and away our first choice for the executive director position,” says Chess Brownell, who chairs the Stowe Land Trust board of directors. “She has the character, experience, and skills needed for the job. The board is confident that Kristen will provide a smooth transition in operation and oversight, and that Stowe Land Trust will thrive under her leadership.
“Increasingly, our work involves local, regional and statewide partnerships, and Kristen’s familiarity with these partners is a valuable asset to the organization.”
During her four year tenure as conservation program manager, Sharpless raised the efficiency and effectiveness of the trust’s stewardship program, which oversees the care of its 32 conserved properties. She also cultivated the trust’s naturalist program, which now connects more than 600 people every year — especially children — with Stowe’s outdoors through land-based education and volunteer activities.
Sharpless joined Stowe Land Trust after working on an Audubon Vermont team for strategic regional conservation programs through the Forest Bird Initiative, including the Foresters for the Birds Project — an innovative and nationally recognized conservation partnership.
Sharpless graduated from the University of Vermont’s field naturalist program and has worked as a consulting ecologist and volunteer, specializing in assisting municipalities with community-based town forest planning. She’s also been an educator, engaging people of all ages in conservation education programs and projects.
Stowe Land Trust is a member-supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving scenic, recreational and productive farm and forest lands for the benefit of the greater Stowe community. Since 1987, the trust has conserved more than 3,500 acres of land in Stowe, Waterbury and Morrisville.