Land Conservancy of West Michigan announces new executive director

Land Conservancy of West Michigan announces new executive director

Kim Karn, the organization’s development director, will lead the organization effective February 8, 2021

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan is pleased to announce the selection of Kim Karn as its new executive director. Karn will succeed Joe Engel, who is retiring after five years of leading the organization. 

Karn joined the Land Conservancy as its development director in October 2019.  

Kimberly Karn

In her time with usKim has demonstrated not only her skills as a kind and energetic leader, but the depth of her commitment to the preservation of West Michigan’s natural areas,” said Bill Lawrence, board chair for the Land Conservancy“She is well positioned to lead the organization, and the board is excited to work with her.” 

Before joining the Land Conservancy, Karn lived in the Four Corners region of Colorado, where she was director of development for the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Prior to that, she worked in university advancement at the University of Washington. 

As the Land Conservancy’s development director, Karn quickly got to work reimagining the organization’s major donor and planned giving programs. Less than a year into her tenure, she successfully took on the challenge of leading the development team through the COVID-19 pandemic. Karn’s skilled leadership and collaborative attitude were key to the organization’s success in 2020. 

Kim Karn plants prairie seeds at The Highlands.

“It is a great honor to have been selected to lead the Land Conservancy in its work to preserve nature for future generations,” Karn said. “I am grateful for the board and staff’s confidence in me, and to have benefited from Joe’s guidance as I take on this new role.” 

As executive director, Karn will work alongside the Land Conservancy’s staff and board to implement the organization’s strategic business and conservation plans and advance the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“I am excited to continue working alongside a talented and passionate staff to keep nature nearby in West Michigan, Karn said.


    Great choice, and great leader for the future of the Land Conservancy. Congrats, Kim – !

    February 8, 2021at8:06 pm
  • Margaret Idema

    While I don’t know Kim well, she seems like a capable person to take the helm. The Land Conservancy will be in good hands, but you’ll be missed, Joe…see you around Ada!

    February 8, 2021at9:53 pm
  • Lucy Bradshaw

    Joe, sad to see you go but a happy retirement to you, enjoy! My best to Kim and to the continued stewardship and expansion of the amazing Michigan sites you at the Land Conservancy have worked so hard to protect and foster. My mom would be so proud.

    February 10, 2021at9:15 pm
  • Sharon Milholland, Ph.D.

    I had the privilege to work with Kim Karn for three years at a southwest Colorado non-profit. She brings the energy, charisma, principles, vision, and dedication essential to care for the land and its resources, collaborate with stakeholders, and lead an organization like the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. Congratulations, Kim!

    February 12, 2021at5:49 pm
  • Linda wininger

    So sad to hear you stepped down Joe. I just had a short discussion with you as to how you loved every minute of what you were doing.
    Wish we could have shared more. Just because.!
    Enjoy your full retirement.

    February 27, 2021at10:27 pm

Post a Comment

Sign up for our E-news!

Receive the latest West Michigan conservation news, events and volunteer opportunities in your inbox.
* = required field