As most ADK members have heard by now, ADK is continuing its organizational transformation with the decisions to promote Neil Woodworth to chief executive officer and hire a new executive director. This step was driven in part when Neil approached me and expressed a desire to spend more time with his family and at his new home in Wanakena. The Executive Committee recently began an intensive search to locate the best candidate possible to fill this role. By the time you read this, the interview process will be well under way.

This move was anticipated by the Executive Committee several years ago. After an extensive review of the job descriptions and responsibilities, and in view of the fact that we operate numerous businesses, we better defined individual roles, allowing each member of senior leadership to focus on his or her core areas of expertise while ensuring that all management tasks are covered.

To that end, the Executive Committee, recognizing the importance of Neil Woodworth’s legal skills, has decided that the new executive director must have a law degree, with some legal skills supporting that degree. Finally, beginning this process several years ago ensures that we will manage the transition rather than having the transition manage us.

As a direct result of those early efforts, in early 2019 ADK will have a chief executive officer (Neil Woodworth), an executive director (to be determined), a chief financial officer (Bruce Katz), and a chief operating officer (Wes Lampman). Woodworth will continue to be responsible for oversight of all operations, as he has done for the past twenty years. Lampman and Katz will continue to be responsible for day-to-day operations and financial management of ADK, as they have been doing. As soon as the new executive director starts, Woodworth will begin training that person in all of his current duties, with a focus initially on conservation and advocacy, focusing on how ADK manages our efforts in Albany and in particular managing the legislative efforts, especially the end-of-session tasks that are so critical. After that, he will continue training the new ED on all the other essential tasks, such as chapter relations, donor relations, and state-wide initiatives. Woodworth will continue this work until he and the Executive Committee believe the new ED is ready to assume his role, which we anticipate will require at least a year. When the new ED is deemed ready to assume all of Woodworth’s tasks, Woodworth will no longer serve as CEO, but (pending negotiations) will remain involved with ADK on an advisory basis, to help both the new ED and ADK navigate the intricacies of working with the governor’s office, other state offices, our chapters, our donors, and our members. We do not anticipate hiring another CEO.

This has been a long journey for the Executive Committee, one fraught with many potential pitfalls. It has been my unique privilege and pleasure to work with everyone on the commit-tee and I can assure all ADK members and donors that this has been a very well-thought-out process. I am confident that, due to the extraordinary hard work put in by the Committee, we will be very successful. And as always, please remember, we are ALL ADK.

– John Gilewicz, ADK President

For more articles like this pick up  your November-December edition of the Adirondac available now. Members can view the magazine in their Members Area on the website. Non-members can purchase the magazine in our online shop.