A fond farewell to an exceptional Board Member

Although we had over a year’s notice of Dean Thompson’s impending resignation from the Algoma Highlands Conservancy’s Board of Directors, we still cannot fully come to terms with losing him from our team.  Dean’s volunteer contributions since joining the AHC’s Board of Directors in 2006 are incalculable.  His vision, dedication and hard work have been a driving force behind the AHC’s growth and vibrancy over the last 10 years.  No matter the achievement, you can bet that Dean was not only involved, but likely playing a critical roll in it.

Dean, we were lucky to have you as long as we did and although you will no longer be directly involved in governance and operations, we know the AHC will continue to benefit from your longstanding dedication for years to come. Thank you so much for all the things you have done for the AHC!

We hope that Dean won’t mind us sharing sections of his resignation letter in this message, as it perfectly demonstrates his kind and generous nature.

Dean Thompson’s Message to the Board:

“….I want to express my gratitude for the privilege of working with you all and being part of this great local organization over the last decade.  Looking back, although we have certainly endured some serious challenges and tribulations, the AHC can definitely claim some major successes and I believe it has a very bright future ahead.

Among those success stories, the Environmental Education Program, stands out as having the broadest uptake and the greatest potential for sustained positive change in the local community.  I know for sure that Shannon (Ramsay) is having an indelible influence on the environmental awareness and thinking of the myriad students she interacts with.  The imminent retirement of the King Mountain property mortgage such that the AHC owns it free and clear, is also an incredible achievement.  That demonstrates, in a very tangible and perpetual way, that seemingly unreachable heights can be achieved, it just takes a lot of effort and persistence, as so well exemplified by Doug (Pitt)’s continuous commitment to this project.  Our efforts in conservation research are really starting to shine as well, thanks largely to Jen (Cross)’ keen interest, abilities and willingness to go beyond the normal call of duty.  I know that the local Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is already using data from the Wood Turtle project to ensure continued protection of the local populations of this Species at Risk.  Although the new Norm’s Cabin remains our best kept secret, I still believe it will ultimately be recognized not only as an AHC legacy and capital asset, but also as a facility that will see multiple use in all four seasons and facilitating further development of all four of our core goals.  In that regard, I specifically want to recognize the continuous and ongoing commitment of Paul and Laurie McBay  and to Gaylen Byker, all of whom played critical roles in realizing this success.

As I leave the board, I feel it is structured with an appropriate mix of “old blood” to lend experience and perspective, as well as “new blood” to fulfill the insatiable demand for personal energies and new ideas.   Under Elisa (Muto)’s very dedicated and competent leadership, the AHC is very well-positioned for continued success and impact in all focal areas – conservation biology, environmental education, silent sport recreation and promotion of sustainable land management.  I look forward to reading all about future successes on the website, albeit mostly from afar.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, that’s the only thing that ever has.”   – Margaret  Mead

I wish all of you associated with the AHC, either directly or indirectly, the very best of luck in ongoing and future efforts that will continue to demonstrate the veracity of that beautiful little quote.”

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