Legacy Names Executive Director

Diana Kern Assumes Duties February 4

Trustees of Legacy Land Conservancy announce the appointment, effective February 4, of Diana Kern to lead the organization as Executive Director.

Kern brings more than a dozen years of experience in nonprofit executive leadership, fund development, relationship management, budget management, board support, and staff development to her new role at Legacy. Most recently, at Eversight, she served as Executive Director of Michigan operations and then Vice President of Philanthropy. She previously served as Vice President of Programs for NEW (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work), a nonprofit based in Ann Arbor that provides educational, consultative, and technological tools and solutions to nonprofits and boards.

Legacy’s conservation efforts safeguard fresh water, protect wildlife habitat and recreational lands, and preserve the agricultural heritage and economic impact of local working farms. Since 1971, Legacy has partnered in the communities it serves to protect more than 9,000 acres in Jackson and Washtenaw Counties.

“Over nearly 50 years of conserving land in Southern Michigan,” notes Simon Whitelocke, President of Legacy’s Board of Trustees, “Legacy continues to assume responsibility for ensuring that the conservation values underpinning our agreements with land owners are upheld in perpetuity. It’s an enduring commitment that grows every year.

“Diana Kern’s experience with strategic planning, community partnerships, and workforce development,” Whitelocke adds, “will be critical for continuing Legacy’s work for years to come.”

Legacy’s long-term goal in the region is to protect 25,000 acres of the most ecologically significant forests, wetlands, grasslands, and shorelines, as well as the area’s high-quality farmlands.

“Diana’s demonstrated ability to empower colleagues, optimize Board involvement, and engage constituents in a compelling mission make her an ideal leader for Legacy at this point in the organization’s history,” says Whitelocke.

Before entering the nonprofit world, Kern was an Executive Vice President for McKinley, where she was responsible for more than 400 employees nationwide and $423 million in residential real estate assets. A graduate of Oakland University, Kern has served extensively on nonprofit boards and committees for such organizations as The Ark, Ann Arbor Skatepark Committee, and Humane Society of Huron Valley. She is the 2003 recipient of the Randolph W. White Memorial Award for Community Service in Housing.

“Legacy has achieved its decades of success by establishing and nurturing vital relationships throughout Washtenaw and Jackson counties,” says Kern. She adds, “I am honored to join an organization that has done so much to protect and enhance our quality of place, and I am inspired to lead alongside the individuals and partners who will continue to move Legacy’s mission and vision forward in the years to come.”


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