GENESEO— This past week, the Genesee Valley Conservancy announced stewardship director Benjamin Gajewski as its new executive director.
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The announcement was made shortly after previous director Sally Walker unexpectedly resigned late last year to take a position in Lexington, Kentucky at the Paso Fino Horse Association. Before Walker had assumed the role of executive director with the Conservancy at the start of 2012, Gajewski served as interim executive director for several months in 2011.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing my role here in the organization,” stated Gajewski.
Gajewski, a Canandaigua native, graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2007 with a BA in sociology and a minor in environmental science. He began his time with the Genesee Valley Conservancy as an intern in 2007 while in college. Gajewski was then hired as temporary staff, and eventually became the second staff hire moving on to the position of stewardship director which has, until now, been his title for the past six years.
As stewardship director, Gajewski was in charge of keeping in touch with the owners of the lands preserved by the Conservancy. Now, he will assume the role of taking in active acquisitions in order to drum up interest, and will organize fundraising all while looking to increase the Conservancy’s membership base.
“I’ve really seen all the different aspects [of the Conservancy] which will be really helpful now that I’ll be overseeing all of these things,” said Gajewski.
The Conservancy is seeking to build upon their past year’s successes with Gajewski at the helm. Last year alone, the Conservancy completed two significant projects spanning 700 acres between them. There are several current projects on hand at GVC that Gajewski hopes to wrap up sometime in 2013.
Run by its staff and the board of directors, the Genesee Valley Conservancy has been open since 1990. Over the past 23 years, the Conservancy has protected 14,400 acres of land. With a familiar face leading the way, the Conservancy will look forward to taking on many new projects in 2013, continuing to preserve land within the Genesee Valley region.