Leadership change at Friends of the San Juans – Executive Director Stephanie Buffum steps down

Submitted by Friends of the San Juans.

Friends of the San Juans announces that Executive Director Stephanie Buffum has submitted her letter of resignation and retired as of March 1. Under Stephanie’s 19 years of leadership, Friends has become central to the protection of what is loved by many about the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea, including the health of marine ecosystems, fragile shorelines, forest and open space habitats, and the tranquility of communities that thrive in San Juan County.

“Our local communities and the Salish Sea ecosystem have benefited from Stephanie’s leadership,” said Friends President Janet Alderton. “The Board is enormously grateful for her nearly two decades of dedicated service.”

Alderton will be leading the search for a new Executive Director to take the organization forward. Board Vice President Toby Cooper is presently serving as the Acting Executive Director and will do so until the new director is hired and on-board.

“It has been my great honor to have served this organization and this region,” said Buffum. “One of my favorite parts of this job has been the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with countless volunteers who share our vision of island and marine conservation. It has been an amazing journey, and I feel blessed to have had the privilege to work on behalf of people and nature at all levels of decision-making.”

Today, our beautiful islands and the Salish Sea continue to face many challenges. The Friends Board, staff, members, and volunteers remain deeply dedicated to our mission-driven work, as we have been for 40 years.

Founded in 1979, Friends of the San Juans is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to protecting and restoring the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea for people and nature.