Appleton - Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheon - TNC 1993
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Appleton - Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheon - TNC 1993

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As the person who helped develop - and who personally implemented - the first Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheon for The Nature Conservancy of Texas (Austin, 1993), I wanted to share the ...

As the person who helped develop - and who personally implemented - the first Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheon for The Nature Conservancy of Texas (Austin, 1993), I wanted to share the history of the event. I'm proud that today the event continues to raise millions for The Nature Conservancy. The graphic design Mike Hicks created for various aspects of this first-ever event was quite cutting-edge, and I also wanted to share it publicly in appreciation. Thanks go again to Ronald W. Kessler of Austin for his leadership, as this event would not have been possible without his determination to see it happen in partnership with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. And, I would like to thank the late Robin Shivers, one of several volunteers. In truth, she worked hardest in the trenches with me day-to-day to secure funding and to ensure a strong showing.

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Appleton - Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheon - TNC 1993 Document Transcript

  • 1. The Nature Conservancy of Texas Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheon “Rebuilding the NaturalInfrastructure: Public & PrivateInvestment in the Environment” Austin, Texas February 11, 1993 Carolyn M. Appleton, CFRE
  • 2. In 1993, I was a new employee at The NatureConservancy of Texas. I had moved from Austin toSan Antonio, the organization’s headquarters inTexas, and I began developing relationships withnew supporters across the state, in the hope ofraising significant funding for land conservation.At the time, TNC was one of the first business-oriented conservation organizations in Texas. Weworked hard to set ourselves apart from thecommon image of “nature” groups, which at thetime meant “left wing” and “anti-business.”The graphic designs reproduced herein are by my friend MikeHicks of HIXO, Inc. in Austin, Texas.
  • 3. One of my favorite volunteers from The Universityof Texas at Austin, Ronald W. Kessler (then anattorney with Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue), wassomeone on whom I counted for guidance in allmatters. It took a bit of convincing to get Ron tojoin the advisory council of The NatureConservancy of Texas, but thankfully he did, and hebecame an enthusiastic supporter. Ron was thenincoming Chairman of the Greater Austin Chamberof Commerce.The political climate in Austin in 1993 was suchthat environmental groups disliked the businesscommunity and there were fairly constant shoutingmatches between them as reported in local media.The environmentalists believed the businesscommunity did not care about the environment.
  • 4. Ron and I discussed trying to mediate thiscontentious situation by bringing the two factionstogether for a series of events in February, 1993 – abreakfast for legislators and lobbyists, and aluncheon for environmentalists and members of thebusiness community. The breakfast was ultimatelyheld at the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin; theluncheon at Etter Alumni Center at The Universityof Texas at Austin.Initial organizational discussions were orchestratedby Ron with key staff of the Greater AustinChamber, and the current and future Chairmen ofthe Board. Roger Kinzel of the Austin American-Statesman agreed to endorse the project. It tooksome negotiating to convince them to support theevent, but eventually they did ~ that was due to RonKessler’s influence.
  • 5. We felt strongly we needed to separate ourselvesvisually in terms of image from otherenvironmental groups, through the printed piecesproduced to promote the February events. Ienlisted the help of Mike Hicks and Rob Miller ofHIXO, whose work is world-class.Mike and his team developed the items illustratedherein, as well as an award presented to acorporation that demonstrated environmentalstewardship and leadership. In 1993, that companywas 3M, in recognition of its protection of a largeswath of Golden-cheeked warbler habitat (as well asother environmentally sensitive buildinginnovations). The award was presented to 3Mduring the luncheon. It was a large glass vase set ina wrought iron base, and it was filled withbluebonnet seeds.This project was frowned upon by many peoplewithin The Nature Conservancy at the time, both inTexas and nationally.
  • 6. In fact, TNC’s national office preferred all stateoffice staff focus on writing grant proposals tosecure funding, and avoid special events entirely.Yet in Texas, we knew special events werecommonly accepted cultivation tools fornonprofit organizations.The urgency of quelling Austin’s environmentalbattles at the time led me to forge ahead. TheTexas director and his state developmentcoordinator in San Antonio were not verysupportive; I went ahead even though thedirector informed me pointedly, “if this works,great, if not” … I would assume theresponsibility. This indicates how “dicey” theseevents were perceived to be – both from thebusiness and environmental group standpoints.
  • 7. My thanks go to the outstanding volunteers listed onthe following page who made the first CorporateConservation Leadership Luncheon an inspiringsuccess! We did it!Since its inception in 1993, the event has been heldin cities across Texas and in other states. It hasraised millions of dollars for The NatureConservancy over the years. It would never havebeen possible without them.Photo above ~ the late Frank W. McBee, Jr. is pictured with me during theevents in February, 1993. “The Lion” was teasing me, so I’m respondingwith a wry look. Frank, founder of Austin’s first Fortune 500 company,Tracor, is greatly missed. He was a good mentor and friend.
  • 8. Ronald W. Kessler Robert A. Ayres Dr. Larry Gilbert Dr. Patricia Hayes The late Dr. Clark Hubbs Roger KinzelThe late Lowell H. Lebermann, Jr. James D. Marston The late Frank W. McBee, Jr. The late Robin Shivers Daphne DuPont Vaughan Primary Donors Browning-Ferris Industries Del Webb Corporation Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue H-E-B Grocery Company Motorola
  • 9. The HIXO design package illustrated on thefollowing pages includes :1) Save the date postcard2) Five-panel invitation – I have scanned thebreakfast invitation (the luncheon version was ofthe same design).For more information about HIXO, please see: hixo.com/The support Mike Hicks and Rob Miller providedto me personally during this critically importantbut highly stressful project continues to be deeplyappreciated.
  • 10. My Story Continues ….After this project concluded - as well as a fabulousSan Antonio gala co-chaired by Caroline AlexanderForgason and Karen Hixon (the first-ever TNCTexas gala, which I also staffed personally) - I choseto move to Dallas to help open a remote office forThe Nature Conservancy of Texas.After two unsuccessful attempts to establish apresence in Dallas, with the help of Robert L.Thornton, III the office did eventually become areality. Using the Austin event model, we presentedtwo Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheonsthere, in concert with the Dallas Regional Chamberof Commerce. The luncheon was also presented inHouston despite initial reticence by TNC staff,where it became quite popular.
  • 11. For more information: Carolyn M. Appleton, CFRE 210-913-5055 E-mail: cappleton@earthlink.net Website: home.earthlink.net/~cappleton Blog:carolynmappleton.wordpress.com August, 2011