2016 NC Land Trust Assembly Rising Conservation Leader of the Year: Hanni Muerdter
At the 2016 Land Trust Assembly in Raleigh in May, North Carolina’s 24 local land trusts announced annual awards for five conservation leaders, including our Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director, Hanni Muerdter!
Hanni started her career as a Project Conserve AmeriCorps Member in western North Carolina and continued her career by joining the staff at SAHC. She has made an impact in her current position by strengthening our land and easement stewardship program through the creation of modern policies and procedures that will ensure our easements will last.
Hanni is chair of the Blue Ridge Forever Conservation Committee; she has served in this role since 2010. She leads development of meeting agendas and facilitates knowledge-sharing among land protection and stewardship staff of 10 land trusts in WNC, which in turn enhances the capacity of these organizations to respond to an ever-changing conservation landscape. As Committee Chair she led the development of Blue Ridge Forever’s region-wide conservation vision with discreet
focus areas, and is currently updating that tool as the coalition moves into its second decade.
“Hanni’s dedication and approach to conservation are inspiring. She regularly takes on responsibilities well beyond expectations, manages her ever-more-complex workload with calm focus, and approaches every interaction with empathy. Inspiring, understanding, hard-working, and forward-thinking – these are all characteristics of a good leader, and Hanni embodies each,” said Jessica Laggis, Director of Blue Ridge Forever.
Hanni is an active member in the Asheville community. She is the past Chair of the Board of Directors of Jubilee Community Church. Under her leadership and organizational skills the church was able to create a more formal framework, which will guide the church into the future. She is also an accomplished actress in the local theater.