June 10, 2019—Heather White, CEO and president of Yellowstone Forever, will resign from her role, effective June 14, it was announced today by Kay Yeager, chairman of the board of Yellowstone Forever, the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park.
Yeager also announced that John Walda, treasurer of the board of directors of Yellowstone Forever, will serve as interim president and CEO, effective immediately. Walda retired last year from the National Association of College and University Business Officers where he was president and CEO. White will work with Walda on a transition.
“We are grateful for Heather’s leadership and her commitment to Yellowstone Forever and Yellowstone National Park,” said Yeager. “Heather has been a tireless advocate for the organization and the park, has raised tens of millions of dollars for our mission, increased our brand awareness, and has brought energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism to her role.”
White said, “I’ve worked for almost three years to help accomplish the merger of the two predecessor organizations of Yellowstone Forever—Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation—into a single foundation. I am proud that Yellowstone Forever is now reaching more people than ever before with our educational mission and digital reach. Since 2016, we have provided millions in cash grants to the park and in-kind aid. It’s now time for me to explore new adventures, and for a new leader of Yellowstone Forever.” White added that “it has been a privilege to help establish the mission, vision, and priorities of the organization, and to work with the board of directors and talented staff. I’m confident that Yellowstone Forever is poised for continued success.”
Walda will spend time in both the Bozeman and Gardiner, MT, offices of Yellowstone Forever. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to help serve the organization and its mission,” said Walda. “Yellowstone National Park is among the world’s greatest natural treasures, and I’m humbled to be asked to lead the organization that supports the park. During my 13 years on the National Advisory Council and board of Yellowstone Park Foundation and then Yellowstone Forever, I have seen firsthand the tremendous time, talent, and financial contributions that our organization provides to the park. I look forward to working more closely with the leadership of the park, our donors and supporters, and our employees.”
About Yellowstone Forever
Yellowstone Forever is the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park. We partner with Yellowstone National Park to create opportunities for all people to experience, enhance, and preserve Yellowstone forever.
Our combined operations include 11 educational Park Stores with gross sales of over $5.1 million; the Yellowstone Forever Institute, which offers more than 600 in-depth programs each year; a supporter program of 85,000 Yellowstone enthusiasts raising funds to support critical park priority projects; and an online community of over 1 million worldwide.
Yellowstone Forever has provided over $106 million of cash support and over $64 million of in-kind support since 1933. Our mission of engagement and support through education and fundraising for the park will ensure Yellowstone remains for generations to come.