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Brian Stark Named OVLC Executive Director

By on October 17, 2014 in Featured, News
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Brian Stark – Executive Director

Brian Stark has been named the new Executive Director of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. Formerly the land conservancy’s Conservation Operations Director, Stark is stepping up into the Executive Director role with the departure of Greg Gamble. Gamble has accepted a fundraising position at Stanford University and will be leaving Ojai near the end of October.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Brian has accepted our offer to lead the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy,” said Don Reed, Board President. “Brian has been with the OVLC for four and a half years and has been a significant part of our recent success. Brian has our complete confidence and we are excited to move ahead with him at the helm.”

Gamble noted that Stark has been a co-architect of the growth and success of the land conservancy in recent years. “I don’t think most people realize that Brian and I stood side by side in our organization and jointly built the OVLC that you see today. Brian has run literally three-quarters of the organization for the last four years, and with Tania Parker shining in her Director of Advancement role, this transition is about as seamless as they get.”

In Stark’s time leading the conservation operations, the land conservancy has acquired four important properties including the 200-acre Valley View Preserve and the one mile long Steelhead Preserve on the Ventura River. Stark has also completed the restoration of Rice Creek on the Ventura River Preserve, and is accelerating the restoration of the Ojai Meadows Preserve. “Brian has single-handedly secured or played a significant role in securing, millions of dollars in grants and other funding brought to the Ojai Valley for important open space protection.”

“OVLC supporters should expect that I will maintain our high standards for professional land conservation and stewardship, and I will always give my best efforts in serving the communities of the Ojai Valley. Our leadership transition comes at a time of great strength at the OVLC, and our recent success offers opportunities to expand our reach in the community. In the coming weeks and months, our supporters will see the launch of an innovative new fundraising program, a subtle shift in priorities to enhance preserve management, a growing interest in active community partnerships, and a new leader for the conservancy’s restoration program.  While the OVLC is a land conservation organization, we will always think of ourselves, first and foremost, as a public charity dedicated to making Ojai the best place to live and play.”  – Brian Stark

“It was an easy decision for the Board of Directors,” noted Reed. “We are fortunate to have a deep bench at the land conservancy so, even with organizational transitions, we can maintain our momentum and continue to deliver the benefits to the Ojai Valley that the community has come to expect.”

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