The Conservation Trust of North Carolina

A  statewide environmental advocacy and land trust organization

Reid Wilson, Former Executive Director Conservation Trust for NC

I had been executive director for 13 years of CTNC and wanted to bring new energy to my job and to the organization, and avoid stagnation and burnout.  

It was absolutely great working with Teri.  She got me to focus on ambitious goals for the organization and a vision for what North Carolina can become with CTNC leadership.  

She helped me connect the vision to the specific nuts and bolts of how to achieve it – fundraising, management and staff structure, board development – so that the vision isn’t just a concept.  

She helped me pull my focus out of the weeds and lift my eyes to the horizon, to what’s possible if the board and staff dream big.  

She challenged me to think about things in a way that took me out of my comfort zone, which helped me grow.  

As a result, the board and staff created a bold vision as we completed our 25th anniversary year.  We’re investing more in development so that we can accomplish much more.  We’ve added talented new staff that enable me to spend my time focusing on strategy and big issues rather than on day to day details.  We truly see our future as unlimited.

As I write this, Governor Cooper has appointed me as the Chief Deputy Secretary for the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  I am thankful my work with Teri has, without a doubt, helped me be prepared for this new opportunity of a lifetime.

About our Partner

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina is a statewide non-profit that envisions all North Carolinians have access to clean air and water, outdoor recreation areas, and healthy local food.  They accomplish this through the conservation of land with critical streams, habitats and sustainable farms using the land trust model.  To ensure the future of the movement, they implement cutting edge hands-on leadership development programs for young diverse environmental leaders, and connect people across the state directly to nature through trail development and support of local programming.


Reid had been at CTNC for over a decade and was beginning to feel burned out.  He was looking for a way to re-invigorate himself as well as the organization which had been at a plateau in fundraising for several years.


Develop a unified vision for the organization that would energize a new movement of environmental sustainability across North Carolina.


We worked with Reid to first re-kindle his own passion for CTNC and clarify what results he wanted to see CTNC create over the next decades to genuinely meet the needs of the state.  As this vision developed and became clearer in Reid, we facilitated a board retreat enabling board members to share their individual visions and for Reid to share his.  Within a couple of hours a unified shared vision was created that both and board and Reid were beyond excited about.  We helped Reid work with his staff to engage them in this visioning process as well and to see how their personal values contributed to this new way forward.


Develop a strong team with the capacity to double the impact of CTNC making the vision a reality.

Solution: There were members of the team who were not in the right positions to execute on the new vision.  We worked to Reid to first identify the qualities and skills required for key organizational positions to be able to execute on a bigger vision.  We helped Reid evaluate existing staff in relation to these needs and re-create a new staff structure that put the organization in a much stronger position to execute on the new vision and goals.  This meant half as many people reporting to Reid, new responsibilities for many team members, a gracious existing of others and hiring new team members with more capacity.

We helped Reid get clear about this new structure, achieve board buy-in for the changes, intentionally communicate these changes to the team and take effective compassionate action to put the structure into place including hiring the right people for the right positions.


Double CTNC’s fundraising capacity.

Solution: Working together we identified the critical need to hire a top-notch resource development director and to give her the staff and financial resources to consolidate all fundraising efforts into a unified strategy directly tied to the new vision and goals of the organization.  We analyzed individual donor lists, created further segmentation and a strategy for asking existing high-level donors to take leadership roles in creating this new vision with larger gifts as well as strategically reaching out to share the new vision with others.  Working with Reid, we helped him develop a compelling case statement for the new vision and tie all fundraising activities back to this statement.  We analyzed individual email campaigns and appeals, sharpening the language, tying it back to the vision resulting in more conversions faster.  As a result, CTNC fundraising, especially among individual donors began to rise significantly.

Rewriting the Rules (A Case Study)

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Ten Steps to Improved Communication at Work

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Essential Elements of Sustainable High Performance

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