Introduction to New Chair – Dianne Mathes

In June of this year, Sheila Ziman finished her term as Chair of the Land Trust and I was elected as the new Chair.

My name is Dianne Mathes and I am delighted, if apprehensive, about being the Chair. Having worked closely with Sheila over the past few years, I know how hard she has worked for the Land Trust and the commitment and accomplishments that have resulted. They are big shoes to step into. I am the first Chair of the Land Trust who is not retired: I am a full-time social worker/therapist in private practice and I do counselling with children, adults and families. I believe strongly that volunteer work has to be shared by all of us and if we want the energy and visions of younger people, we have to make not for profits work for all of us.

As a professional, I have a background in not for profit management. I was the founding Executive Director of the Emily Murphy House in North Vancouver, BC and the founding Executive Director of the Barbra Schliefer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto, both resources for women who have experienced trauma in their lives. And I can only hope that my life’s work as a therapist has given me some skills in working with people from many different walks of life.

My husband and I are permanent residents of Haliburton County, having lived here for the past six years. Originally a native of Newfoundland, I grew up in Ontario and also spent seven years on the West coast of Canada. I am an avid canoeist, my father was a tripping instructor on the Muskoka Lakes back in the 1940s, and before I could walk he put a paddle in my hands and started to make sure that I loved and appreciated all that nature is and holds. While I lived and raised a family in Toronto, the woods and lakes were always my sanctuary and my home and it is this connection and respect that made me join the Land Trust and further my commitment to the protection of land.

While my reasons for joining the Land Trust are personal, this organization is young and has grown quickly and I hope that my experience in management and with people can contribute to supporting the Land Trust in this new phase of growth. The Board of the Land Trust has worked extremely hard in this past year to develop a vision and practical goals to support our growth for the future. We need to expand our membership and secure our funding base, and while we are excited about these new goals, we will be asking all of you to help us. For you, our membership are the Land Trust and the reason we are able to protect the lands we own and we need your energy, your ideas and your time as we undertake this next phase of growth.

I look forward to this challenge and to working with all of you,

Dianne Mathes

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