It’s with a heavy heart that the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust bids farewell at the end of this month to Associate Director Lee Cataldo.
BTLT surely struck gold when we hired Lee as coordinator of our comprehensive fundraising campaign in 2012. She handled that role with her trademark hard work, thoughtfulness, and thorough organization. It was obvious from day one that Lee had much more to offer BTLT and our community and we are deeply grateful she chose to put her heart, soul, experience, and knowledge to work on behalf of the Land Trust’s mission for the past 10 years.
Lee’s role with the Land Trust has grown through a period of rapid change, and she has left her mark on all aspects of this organization. She currently serves as Associate Director, performing many essential roles including overseeing our community engagement efforts. She has also been a critical leader as we undertook meaningful reflection and planning regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and land access issues. Lee has been the driving force behind key partnerships in many areas, including local and statewide trail development, local watershed protection, relationships with our New Mainer and Wabanaki neighbors, and many more.
Lee’s curiosity, work ethic, creativity, and interest in understanding the intersection between culture, place, and resiliency have made her an exceptional leader of BTLT’s programs, organizational needs, and strategic partnerships. Of note, Lee has spent many years building relationships within the Wabanaki community and building a deeper understanding of how the conservation world can and must support indigenous connections to land. Lee’s remarkable productivity and her capacity to translate ideas into action have moved our organization forward in innumerable ways, both small and large.
In a small, community-centered nonprofit like BTLT, where we all share common goals and give ourselves completely to implement our mission, we become very close. It may sound cliché, but it is nonetheless true, we all feel like family more than co-workers. Lee has left an indelible mark on each of us personally and on the organization. Lee has decided that it is time for her to delve more deeply into her passion for biocultural restoration and place-based resource management efforts, and to have more time and energy for her family and community. Although we are sad to see her go, we trust that her path and BTLT’s will continue to intersect. We are happy she is following her heart, and we can’t wait to see where her talents take her.
Thank you, Lee, for helping us to grow as individuals and as an organization.