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Lindblad to step down as SCCF’s CEO in January

By Staff | Oct 29, 2018

Dr. Ryan Orgera

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and its board of trustees announced that Dr. Ryan Orgera will take over as chief executive officer effective Jan. 1.

“While this is a very bittersweet transition for me and my family, I am completely confident that I’m passing the baton to the right next leader for the Foundation,” Chief Executive Officer Erick Lindblad, who is stepping down after 32 years of service, said. “I am eager to work side-by-side with Ryan through two months of orientation prior to my departure.”

To ensure a smooth transition, Orgera started working full-time at SCCF on Nov. 1, and Lindblad will remain at SCCF through the end of December.

“The strategic planning and recruitment process spanned 18 months,” Vice President Doug Ryckman, who chaired the search committee, said. “It was thorough, expansive and we had candidates from across the U.S. and several other countries. The search resulted in finding Ryan, who is an outstanding choice for this organization’s next CEO. The Search Committee and the Board of Trustees were enthusiastic and unanimous in their selection of Ryan. He was definitely our first choice.”

Orgera comes from The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he was an officer working on marine conservation projects across the globe. His work included efforts to save vulnerable shark species through The Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species and global efforts to stem illegal fishing. Among the roles he held earlier in his career, Orgera was the legislative director of the Coastal States Organization and has taught environmental geography courses at The George Washington University. He also served as the Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, making him Nelson’s primary expert on ocean and coastal policy issues.

Holding a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of South Florida, Orgera earned his Ph.D. in geography and environmental sciences from Louisiana State University. A published author, he is also fluent in French, Spanish and Italian. Orgera grew up on Lemon Bay in Charlotte County, and his family continues to reside in Southwest Florida.

“I’ve traveled the world, and no matter how many places I visit, the nature of Southwest Florida touches me like no other. It is in my fiber,” he said. “It is a profound honor to follow in Erick’s enormous footsteps. I am grateful and eager to help steer SCCF through the challenges and achievements of its next 50 years.”