We have excellent news to share!  We would like to introduce you to Angela West Blank, as we welcome her as our new Executive Director. 

Angela comes to us with a depth of nonprofit leadership experience. Most recently she was the Director of Strategic Development for Wisconsin Conservation Voters. She oversaw the development program and played a leading role in strategy and capacity building. She has a passion for bringing people and groups together to promote healthy ecosystems, diversity and equity, and meaningful change in the community. We are thrilled that she will bring her creative energy to Groundswell.

“I love the mission and incredible team at Groundswell,” Angela says. “I am thrilled to have the chance to help protect Wisconsin’s farmland, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and streams. Connecting people from all walks of life with these special places excites me. Groundswell is on a solid path and has a strong track record of success. I’m honored to be a part of it. Here’s to the new and groundbreaking things we can all accomplish together!”

We are deeply grateful for the legacy Jim Welsh leaves in his retirement. Anyone who has worked closely with Jim has heard him echo the following Groundswell truisms: “conservation doesn’t happen by accident” and “we are in the business of building relationships.” Angela’s leadership and commitment to environmental and social justice will ensure that we continue to protect special places forever for everyone. Angela is known for building strong relationships among staff, board, organizational partners, and volunteers.

Jim has been planning his retirement for some time. He is leaving Groundswell in a strong financial position with an incredible team of skilled and passionate staff. His last day was Friday, February 25th. Angela’s appointment is the culmination of a multi-month hiring process that attracted more than 70 applicants. We worked with Mark Richardson of Unfinished Business Consulting to help guide us through the search. He specializes in talent recruitment and process coaching with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. Our hiring committee was a team of ten current and past board members as well as staff. We are grateful for their time and commitment as they shared decades of Groundswell knowledge to help us land in the right place!

Groundswell has big plans for the future. We look forward to working with Angela as we continue to connect people with nature, act on the climate crisis, provide equitable access to land, and create green school yards. Together we will continue our mission to protect special places forever. We know this is essential for our communities’ physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

As Groundswell moves into this exciting new chapter, we thank you for your continued support.