Saturday, March 26, 2022 Press Releases

The Coastal Conservation League Announces Interim Executive Director and Executive Search Firm

by Diane Knich

Press release from the Coastal Conservation League

For immediate release: January 20, 2022

Media Contact: Diane Knich, Coastal Conservation League, [email protected], (843) 530-0211

The Coastal Conservation League Announces Interim Executive Director

and Executive Search Firm

The Coastal Conservation League has hired an Interim Executive Director and retained an executive search firm to find a permanent successor for former Executive Director Laura Cantral, who announced her departure last month.

This week, Denise Schlener joined the Conservation League’s team as Interim Executive Director. Denise brings not only decades of experience in the conservation, environment, and advocacy sectors—having worked in leadership roles at the Trust for Public Land, the Land Trust Alliance, the Open Space Institute, and more—but also specific expertise in leading these organizations at pivotal moments. As a member of Transition Leadership Partners, a network of interim nonprofit executives, Denise has recently served as both an Interim Chief Operating Officer and Interim Executive Director, in the latter role at the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

The Conservation League also has retained Koya Partners to help steer the search for the organization’s next Executive Director. Since its founding in 2004, Koya has developed an unparalleled reputation for excellence in recruiting strong leaders of mission-driven organizations and companies. The Conservation League’s search will be led by Nashville-based Kara Teising, who has over 18 years of experience in the executive search field, and has worked on numerous successful searches in the conservation and environmental spaces for organizations such as Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Outdoor Industry Association, American Alpine Club, The Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation, Conservation Lands Foundation, Western Resource Advocates, Montana Wilderness Association, and Santa Lucia Conservancy, among many others. We have deep confidence that with Koya’s partnership, we will identify a leader for the Conservation League who clears the very high bar set by Founder and former Executive Director Dana Beach, and former Executive Director Laura Cantral.

Ceara Donnelley, the Conservation League’s Board Chair, said, “While change is always challenging, we are energized by what is to come. This work has never been more critical—as we face rising seas, more severe storms and flooding, development consuming our sacred natural spaces, and farms struggling to survive and enhance our supply of local food—and rest assured, we have assembled a team that will ensure the work goes on, full steam ahead.”


About Coastal Conservation League:

Since 1989, the Coastal Conservation League has worked to protect the health of the natural resources of the South Carolina coastal plain and ensure a high quality of life for all of the people who live in and love this special place. The Coastal Conservation League is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Learn more and get involved at

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