Forest Society names new President

Jack Savage will become president of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests upon the retirement of current president, Jane Difley. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONCORD — The Board of Trustees of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is pleased to announce that it has selected Jack Savage of Middleton as the organization’s fifth president.

Savage will succeed Jane A. Difley upon her retirement on Sept. 30.

Savage has served as the Forest Society’s vice president of communications/outreach since 2005.

“After a comprehensive nationwide search, the board of trustees is pleased to find the best individual to lead the Forest Society right here at the Conservation Center,” said Deanna Howard, chair of the board of trustees. “Jack is the best choice from a deep pool of interested and highly qualified candidates. He has a successful track record of leadership and bottom-line responsibility in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. The board found Jack’s knowledge of New Hampshire, vision for our organization, and deep commitment to the mission of the Forest Society contagious. We look forward to working with Jack and guiding the future success of the Forest Society under his leadership.”

The nationwide search was facilitated by Kittleman & Associates, an executive recruitment firm headquartered in Chicago, Ill. An extensive initial pool of prospects was narrowed to a group who interviewed with the search committee made up of current and past Forest Society Trustees and chaired by Trustee Charlie Bridges. The search committee’s decision was ratified by the full board of trustees on Sept. 11.

“I’m pleased to be handing over the reins of the organization to someone with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the past 14 years,” said Difley, the current president who will be retiring on Sept. 30. “I have full confidence in Jack’s ability to work with our board, our extraordinary staff, and our generous members to advance the mission of the Forest Society.”

Savage has been a key contributor to many of the Forest Society’s successes over the last decade, including the defeat of the Northern Pass transmission line. As a vice-president he was part of the leadership team running the Forest Society’s day-to-day operations. He has guided the organization’s evolving use of digital media to accomplish its land protection and advocacy goals, and overseen the expansion of its education and volunteer programs.

“I have a deep respect for work and history of the Forest Society,” Savage said. “I believe that our mission to perpetuate New Hampshire’s forests is more relevant than ever. I also recognize that as an organization, we must continue to adapt to a changing world and a changing climate. I want to thank the board for giving me this opportunity.”

Savage’s family has roots in the forest products industry and was owners of the Charleston Lumber Company in Charleston, W.V., in the 20th century.

He and his wife Cheryl own a modest Certified Tree Farm in Middleton, where they have lived with their dogs and horses since 1993.

Savage was on the board of the local land trust, Moose Mountains Regional Greenways, serving as the chair of the board for three years. He has been engaged in his local community serving various times as selectman, chair of the planning board, chair of the ZBA, and for the past 12 years as the town and school district moderator.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests was founded in 1901 to “perpetuate the forests of New Hampshire through their wise use and complete reservation in places of scenic beauty.”

The Forest Society owns and manages 185 Forest Reservations totaling 56,000 acres located in more than 100 New Hampshire communities. As a land trust it holds more than 700 conservation easements protecting an additional 130,000 acres statewide.

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