Dear Friends and Partners,
I am writing to you today to announce my resignation as TreeFolks’ Executive Director, effective April 15, 2019. I am not resigning as part of the TreeFolks community, as I will still be connected to the work and our newest initiative, the Travis County Floodplain Reforestation Program, in particular – but it is time for me in my personal life to take a step back to support my family and reflect on the way forward. I have waited for a time when TreeFolks is at its very strongest to plan my departure, and have chosen a moment when our staff is experienced, our finances secure, and our partnerships joyful.
“Life is long and many things happen, most of which you don’t expect,” (ref. My grandmother, Erbel Rodrique). My time at TreeFolks has been full of things I did not expect, and I have watched as this community rose to the occasion. We completed our program to reforest the Lost Pines of Bastrop County, and we were on hand to assist Hays County in their recovery after the devastating floods of 2015. We piloted new programs to break down the barriers to the growing canopy in Austin, through our Austin Environmental Heroes program and adoptive watering pilots in Patterson Park. We developed a protocol for assisting low-income homeowners with dangerous tree removals, hand in hand with Austin’s professional arborist firms dedicated to their communities. And most recently, we have worked with our city partners to test new carbon offset protocols and leveraged that work into a national award to launch a bold new program to strike at the heart of regional climate change.
Working with the board and the staff of TreeFolks along with our many cherished community partners has been the love of my working life. I have planned for a long transition window to support TreeFolks as it chooses its new Executive Director, including providing my services to TreeFolks in critical program areas through the handoff. The new position listing will be prepared by next week, and I will work avidly with our national partners to find the right candidate to take on this challenge.
TreeFolks is an inspiring organization. Innovative, nimble, ready to take on our generation’s biggest challenge of climate and building stronger communities through the love of volunteerism and environment, and poised to grow. The next Executive Director stands to inherit a thriving nonprofit poised to make a significant regional impact! I cannot wait to see what the future will bring.
It appears the tree is out of the burlap sack. Some of you have already heard the news that our visionary Executive Director, Thaïs Perkins, has made the decision to turn in her resignation so she can spend more time with her children. The TreeFolks Board of Directors are saddened by the news but we certainly understand. We are extremely grateful for her leadership and contributions during the five years she served as Executive Director for TreeFolks.
During Thaïs’ leadership, TreeFolks greatly expanded our reforestation and land preservation projects and our impact on the environment. These projects, ranging from riparian restoration of the Blanco River to our new carbon sequestration/credit project, all work to educate our volunteers, bring our community together and improve our air, wildlife habitats and regional water quality. Since 2014, over 10,000 TreeFolks volunteers have planted more than 2.8 million trees in Central Texas! That is great news for all of us.
Now more good news. Thaïs’ last day as Executive Director is not until April 15, 2019, so we have time to find another great leader. We are also in the process of finalizing a consulting agreement with her that will help ensure a successful transition to the next TreeFolks Executive Director and the success of our new programs.
TreeFolks is fortunate that we have a financially healthy organization with a passionate and talented staff backed by a dedicated board of directors. Together, we are all actively working towards a sustainable future for Central Texas. As we race to combat climate change, the baton is ready to be passed by Thaïs to the next TreeFolks Executive Director.
The TreeFolks Board of Directors has carefully planned the passing of the baton with the input of our incredible staff and HR consultants. The TreeFolks Board of Directors will be conducting a nationwide search for a new Executive Director. The Executive Director position and is listed on the TreeFolks website, here.
Thank you to everyone for your support of TreeFolks. As always, please feel free to reach out if I can answer any questions. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and 512-934-3079.
TreeFolks Board President