The Board of Directors of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper has announced today that effective immediately, Jill Spisiak Jedlicka takes the lead as the new Executive Director of the environmental non-profit organization.
“Jill has over fifteen years of extensive experience in environmental protection, policy and clean water advocacy that has contributed to the improvement of our local waterways,” stated Gregory Stevens, Riverkeeper Board Chairman and member of the Executive Director Search Committee. “Through our exhaustive search process, it was evident that Jill’s strong record of success, unique ability to form non-traditional collaborations, and her reputation as a highly respected environmental leader in this region were values our Board believes are critical to continuation of our progress at Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.”
Ms. Jedlicka is a native of Western New York and has been serving as Riverkeeper’s Director of Ecological Programs for the last nine years. She holds a BS in Environmental Studies and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University at Buffalo. Her extensive background also includes serving as the federally-designated Coordinator of the Buffalo River Remedial Action Plan, as well as five years with the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning.
“I am both honored and humbled by being selected as the new Executive Director and “Riverkeeper”, said Ms. Jedlicka. “I was born and raised in Western New York and understand that the revitalization of our community is directly linked to the protection of our greatest natural asset, our fresh water. Riverkeeper has a both a talented Board and dedicated staff whom I am eager to work with as we enter the next phase in the evolution of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.”
In addition to the new Executive Director, Riverkeeper has also hired a new Advancement Director, Ms. Alexandra McPherson. Ms. McPherson has worked nationally and internationally for the past fifteen years on environmental campaigns advancing solutions to toxic pollution, global warming and resource scarcity.
After twenty years of making significant progress on cleaning up local waterways and improving the opportunities for public access to the water, Riverkeeper is charting the course for the next stage of organization. The new leadership comes at a critical time for the region’s water resources. There is positive forward momentum on waterfront revitalization such as the Buffalo River remediation and restoration, the Niagara River Greenway implementation and Outer Harbor redevelopment. However, it is countered by new and emerging threats to water quality including invasive species like Asian carp, hydraulic fracturing wastewater management, and non-point source pollution.
By forming unique collaborations with various agencies, non-profits and private businesses, Riverkeeper has brought millions of dollars of water-based investments into Western New York and will continue to play an integral role in the revitalization of the region’s ecology and economy.