Crystal Cove Conservancy names new CEO

Crystal Cove Conservancy (The Conservancy), the nonprofit dedicated to preserving the resources of Crystal Cove State Park, has announced Kate Wheeler will take over as president and CEO, effective August 12, 2019. Wheeler brings more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, including fundraising, education, finance and community engagement, to The Conservancy most recently she served as Director of Strategic Relationships at the International Fund for Animal Welfare and prior to that as Director of Partnership Development at The Conservancy from 2015-2017.

“It’s such a wonderful turn of events to return to Crystal Cove in this new role,” said Wheeler. “The Cove is an incredibly special place for the locals, visitors, students, artists and conservationists — it will be an honor to lead its dedicated team to expand educational opportunities and continue to preserve and restore the legacy of Crystal Cove.”

“Kate is the right leader for The Conservancy and we are thrilled to not only have her back on the team, but to lead our organization into the future,” said Jeff Cole, Chairman of the Board. “We believe her extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and her solid understanding of The Conservancy’s operations make her the ideal choice.”

Wheeler, a resident of Laguna Niguel, has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1994, primarily focused on helping organizations achieve their programmatic missions through fund development, community engagement and strategic planning for national and international organizations. Wheeler holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of San Diego and has taught at both USD and National University’s Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. She will work alongside The Conservancy’s staff and Board of Directors to move critical initiatives forward at an important time in the Cove’s history.

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