COO Linda Cacossa leaves a legacy as a leader in local and regional land preservation.
Written by LisaBeth Weber.
Linda Cacossa, Chief Operating Officer of Heritage Conservancy since 2011, has announced her retirement, effective August 1, 2023. Linda has been an integral part of the growth and sustainability of the organization for close to 13 years, and her impact will be felt for years to come. Initiatives she set in motion and practices she put in place will continue to advance the organization’s mission and impact in the community, instill donor confidence at every level of giving, and ensure the financial health of Heritage Conservancy.
Linda Cacossa first came to Heritage Conservancy through the recommendation of Marv Woodall (Chairman Emeritus). “Linda was a great example of the right person at the right time for Heritage Conservancy,” says Woodall. “She immediately began to instill confidence and team spirit into the organization when she arrived. I knew I could always trust her good judgment and recommendations. Linda was a major force in helping to revive and create the incredibly strong organization which exists today. Thank you, Linda, for everything you did for our organization.”
Linda brought to Heritage Conservancy more than 20 years’ experience in land planning, environmental issues, and nonprofit management. Combined with her business background in finance and operations, this made Linda uniquely qualified for her role. “It has always been important to me to be good stewards of our donors’ generosity,” Linda shares. “We strive to make sure our donors know that the organization is financially sound and that their donations are in good hands. We’re stewards not only of the land we preserve, but also of their gifts.” During her leadership, the organization increased donor outreach and achieved sustainable financial footing. Linda credits the collective efforts of the Heritage Conservancy team: “I’m incredibly proud of our great team and what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”
Linda plans to stay involved in the organization as a community supporter. She and her husband Phil are members of Heritage Conservancy’s Legacy Society, whose members have included the Conservancy in their estate plans.
The entire Conservancy team expresses their gratitude to Linda Cacossa for all she has done to move the mission forward. “In many ways, Linda has been the heart and soul of Heritage Conservancy for more than a decade,” says the organization’s President, Bill Kunze. “I am grateful for everything she did to make the Conservancy such a positive force in the community and great place to work. Personally, I will miss our close partnership so much. While it’s difficult to imagine our team without Linda, her mentorship of rising leaders on the team is a gift that will keep giving for years to come.”
Following Linda into leadership roles at Heritage Conservancy will be two longtime staff members. Kris Kern, who joined the staff in 2013 and currently leads the organization’s Resource Protection team, will become Vice President. Katie Paone-Kulp, who has been a key member of the Conservancy’s fundraising team for most of her 10+ years with the organization, will become Director of Development.