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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 8, 2002

Nature Conservancy makes executive director official

Advertiser Staff

The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i has named Suzanne Case its executive director.

Case, who was the organization's acting executive director for the past year, succeeds Rex Johnson, who guided the program from December 1994 to July 2001.

Case also served as legal counsel for the conservancy's Hawai'i program from 1987 to 2001.

The organization's board of trustees made the announcement last week.

"Suzanne Case brings real expertise and experience to the job," said board member Sam Cooke, who headed the search committee. "Her knowledge of the organization, her ties to the local Hawai'i community, her legal background, her reputation and work ethic, and her expertise in Hawaiiana all combined to make her the senior candidate."

Under Case's direction this past year, the organization acquired its 11th Hawai'i preserve at Ka'u on the Big Island, started a new marine program and helped protect a critical nesting site for the endangered hawksbill turtle by purchasing Kamehame Beach on the Big Island.

Case will oversee an staff of 55 and an annual operating budget of $4.5 million. The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i has offices on O'ahu, Maui, Moloka'i, Kaua'i, Lana'i and the Big Island.

Case said the conservancy's work will focus on three major areas:

  • Establishing and paying for partnerships on all the major islands to protect Hawai'i's native forests and watersheds.
  • Halting the influx of alien pests into the state.
  • Working with the state and other partners to protect Hawai'i's coastlines and marine resources.