‘Thank you’ Lisa Wolff

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To the Hopewell Valley Community,

As president of the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) I write offering thanks to Lisa Wolff as she steps down as the executive director of the Valley’s leading Land Trust.

During her tenure she transformed the organization. She joined FoHVOS in February 2017 and has moved FoHVOS forward in many ways. Her business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit have helped connect FoHVOS to many individuals and organizations that make up the Hopewell Valley community. Her energy, drive and organizational skills enabled FoHVOS to finally achieve Land Trust Alliance accreditation. And as a natural networker, she also developed contacts with state, county and local governments and forged alliances with our acquisition partners NJCF (New Jersey Conservation Foundation), The Watershed Association, D&R Greenway and more. 

She brought order to FoHVOS’ office, improved member tracking, and integrated FoHVOS’ operations and budgeting processes. Under her leadership, FoHVOS moved from a ‘mom and pop’ type organization run by the board to one run by professionals.  

Lisa’s experience with the real world of business and marketing forged strong relationships with local businesses as part of our expanded financial development plan. The increased funding as a result of her efforts at grant writing, seeking sponsorships, running annual appeals, and seeking community contributions has kept FoHVOS’ fundraising at the levels needed to run a successful organization.  

Lisa also expanded our mission to make individuals into environmental decision-makers. Through the Community Conservation Program that she created, she encouraged them to remove invasive species and instead plant native vegetation in yards and gardens. She also increased the diversity of people enjoying and engaging with nature by initiating, and raising funds for, the Outdoor Equity Alliance (OEA). This broadened FoHVOS’ outreach efforts and made a profound impact on connecting people from neighboring towns and cities to our preserved lands. While FoHVOS’ founder, Ted Stiles, focused on land preservation, Lisa extended FoHVOS’ mission both to land stewardship and to encouraging the public to enjoy and appreciate the protected open space.

On behalf of the board and community, I want to thank Lisa for bringing FoHVOS into the hearts and minds of so many in the Valley and beyond. She regularly wrote in her weekly online missives, as well as her columns in a variety of local publications, about FoHVOS and nature. In fact, often in these journalistic pieces, she credited others as ‘Forces of Nature’ for their passion and hard work in protecting open space. We think it is fair to say that Lisa is one as well!  

We will miss Lisa as our executive director and as the strong force behind implementing our mission. She will be a hard act to follow, but we want members, partners, and supporters to know we will continue to build on the themes we have developed over the past 36 years. You can place your trust in FoHVOS as we remain committed to advancing preservation and stewardship throughout the valley.

For all Lisa has done for FoHVOS and for conservation in Hopewell Valley, we say Thank You!

Dan Rubenstein

President of FoHVOS