On To New Adventures: Director of Advancement Chere Hayes Retiring

“Working at The Conservation Foundation these past 17 years has been one of my life’s greatest adventures.”
~Director of Advancement Chere Hayes.

As of June 29th, 2019, Chere will be moving on to new adventures and retiring from The Conservation Foundation after seventeen years leading our fundraising efforts and elevating not only our entire organization, but all of us who have had the privilege to work with her.

Chere came to us as our first dedicated fundraising staff person and set to work immediately infusing her creativity and positivity into established events such as our annual Earth Day Benefit Dinner, as well as introducing new initiatives and efforts.  Her innate ability to connect with a person is surely one of the reasons for the remarkable loyalty we experience from donors and volunteers.  If you’ve had the chance to work with Chere over the years, you undoubtedly have experienced her warmth and genuine, effusive nature.

Said our President/CEO Brook McDonald, “Chere’s 17 years here have transformed our little organization into one of intentional, strategic fundraising for the purpose of significant conservation impact.  In the process, she has also transformed all of us both professionally and personally.  She has become a great friend to me and many of the staff, and we will miss her positive attitude and spirit of teamwork greatly.”

It would be impossible to list all of the ways Chere has helped The Conservation Foundation become the organization we are today, but leading us through our first-ever capital campaign raising $3 million for land preservation and conservation programs during the worst economic time, helping us become less dependent on grants and focused more on long-term, sustainable funding, and growing our Advancement Team of people focused on fundraising and communications are highly notable.

When asked to reflect on her time here, Chere shared this:

“I have met many, many incredible people who care deeply about the natural world around them and I am inspired by them daily. I have learned so much about nature from my colleagues and it has given me a greater appreciation for the natural world.  My fellow staff members are some of the kindest, funniest and most hardworking people I have ever met. I am a better person for working here and I thank each staff member, volunteer and member of this wonderful organization for allowing me to be a part of your lives.”


Chere, we are ALL better, as individuals and as an organization, because of the time you have spent among us.  We wish you a joy and peace-filled retirement!  We could never thank you enough for all you have given of yourself to The Conservation Foundation all of these years.

We’ll be announcing Chere’s replacement (though no one could really replace her) in a few weeks.



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