“Thank You and Farewell…. For Now.”

John Sterling, Photo by Ryan Brennecke © The Bulletin/EO Media Group

Dear Friends,
How do I say farewell to The Conservation Alliance? This organization has been a huge part of my life for 23 years, and the sole focus of my career since 2004. Along the way, I have had the pleasure of working with individuals, brands, and conservation organizations for whom our mission of protecting North America’s wild places resonates on a deep level. I cannot overstate the gratitude I feel for The Conservation Alliance and for everyone who has contributed to its success over the past 30 years. I was drawn to the outdoor industry in my early 20s, and found a community of people who shared a love for the outdoors. I also found an organization – still in its formative years – that manifested that love by giving businesses the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to our wild places. I have been so lucky to get to lead The Conservation Alliance as we have evolved from a scrappy little group of volunteers to a lean but effective organization that has had a real impact on the culture of the outdoor industry, and made lasting contributions to conservation in North America.  During a time in which many people struggle to find meaning their work, I found far more: friendship; trust; and the satisfaction of contributing to a better future for our world.
I think a lot about the future, and how to squeeze optimism out of an increasingly bleak world. I find that optimism in my experiences at The Conservation Alliance. Everything we do is rooted in the belief that we can save our wild places for the future. And our track record of helping protect mountains and rivers, deserts and forests, oceans and climbing crags proves that anything is possible when people get together to fight for their shared values.
So, thank you all for being a part of this wonderful community of people, brands, and nonprofits that continue to lead with optimism. I’m humbled by the trust you have put in me over the past 15 years, and am so proud to pass the mantle of leadership on to Brady Robinson. I look forward to seeing you down the road, or better yet, along a trail that leads to some magical place. Farewell… for now.
John Sterling