Conservancy Welcomes New Executive Director

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is pleased to welcome Janet Halstead as its new Executive Director. Halstead, who joined the Conservancy on July 15, 2009, brings a wealth expertise to the organization including non-profit leadership, program development, fiscal management and major gifts and fundraising experience.

Most recently, Halstead was executive director of the Chicago-based Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation, a position she held for twelve years. In this capacity, Halstead served as chief staff officer for the international service club association of 32,000 members in 67 countries, which is dedicated to improving the lives of women worldwide through service and advocacy at the local and global level. Prior to joining Zonta, she was Foundation Services Office/Foundation Manager for The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in Evanston, Illinois where she directed the programs and fund development operations of the $390 million foundation and international membership organization.

Halstead, who lives in Evanston with her husband Richard, a portrait artist and teacher, has long-admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright since her “first awe-struck glimpse of Fallingwater 30 years ago,” she explained “I moved to Chicago shortly thereafter so I have enjoyed visits to the public Chicago-area Wright structures for years.” She added, “Becoming part of the effort to preserve this unique architectural legacy through the work of the Conservancy is an extraordinary opportunity for me – both professionally and personally.”

Halstead cited the Conservancy’s record of “pro-active and critical advocacy work carried out by the Board and past Executive Director Ron Scherubel, and the Conservancy’s existing excellent informational resources” as a foundation upon which to expand the Conservancy’s membership and financial base. “The Guggenheim’s 50th anniversary, the prospect of the World Heritage List nomination of prominent Wright properties, and growing public appreciation of the constellation of conservation-ecology preservation issues in general, can all contribute to increasing awareness of our mission,” she noted. “Working with the Board and Conservancy members, I want to build on that awareness in strategic ways.”

She is looking forward to the Conservancy’s 2009 Conference in Buffalo and sees the event as an opportunity to meet a range of Wright experts, enthusiasts and homeowners, many of whom are Conservancy members, as well as to discover more about Wright’s built legacy in upstate New York. According to Halstead, “It will be a tremendous opportunity to learn.”

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