David Gibson has stepped aside as executive director of Protect the Adirondacks, but he is continuing to work for the organization as an adviser on conservation issues, the Adirondack Explorer has learned.
Gibson had been the executive director of Protect since its creation last year, when the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks merged with the Residents’ Committee to Protect the Adirondacks. Before that, he had served as executive director of the Association since 1987.
Gibson confirmed that the board changed his title at its March 6 meeting, but he referred most questions to board members.
In another change, Protect’s board of directors has eliminated the position of Gibson’s assistant, Ken Rimany. Gibson praised Rimany for, among other things, his help in raising $1.5 million for the Center for the Forest Preserve in Niskayuna, which the Association created before the merger.
“He put his heart and soul into the organization, and he will be sorely missed,” Gibson said.
Charles Clusen, the chairman of the board, who also holds the title of chief executive officer, will take on the executive director’s duties temporarily. But Clusen said Protect is launching a search for someone to oversee the staff. This person will hold the titles of president and chief executive officer.
Asked why Gibson was not assigned the new post, Clusen replied, “It’s a matter of transformation. We’re moving on. He’s been in that job twenty-three years.”
Clusen said the changes are part of a larger initiative to strengthen Protect. “This has nothing to do with Dave’s performance or his conservation efforts,” he said. “We’re delighted he’s staying with us.”