Conservancy Meets With New President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Stephanie Meeks, the new President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
Stephanie Meeks, the new President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, met with a group of New York preservationsits, including the Conservancy, as part of a nation-wide listening tour to learn about the issues and challenges facing the preservation community.
Meeks became President of the Trust in July of this year, following the 17-year long tenure of former president Dick Moe. Prior to joining the Trust, she served as President and CEO of Counterpart International, a non-profit international development organization working in twenty-five countries. Before Counterpart, Meeks held top leadership positions with one of the world’s largest and most influential conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy, for more than seventeen years, including Acting President and CEO and Chief Operating Officer.
Meeks asked participants to talk about what they are working on, as well as where the Trust might be of assistance.
Since Meeks comes out of the conservation movement, several people thought she could be helpful in honing preservation’s message so that people would recognize the benefits of preservation the same way they recognize the benefits of “going green”.
The Trust has been a leader in promoting best practices for non-profits that accept preservation façade easements. The Internal Revenue Service is now diligently auditing easements across the country, trying to lower benefits, even though Congress has reaffirmed the validity of tax breaks for easements, so participants asked that the Trust help encourage Congress to initiate a discussion among Congress, the IRS and easement-holding organizations.
In past years the Trust has put both Governors Island and Ellis Island on its list of endangered places. As long-time advocates for the historic buildings on the islands, the Conservancy encouraged Meeks to stay involved in the preservation issues on both islands.
Meeks said she intends to continue conversations in groups and individually with the preservation partners.