Farewell George Watland!
George has served as Senior Chapter Director since April 2014. Prior to his selection as Senior Chapter Director, George was the Chapter’s Conservation Coordinator. His work with the Sierra Club started as a Water Committee volunteer with the Angeles Chapter.
George has been the heart and soul of the Angeles Chapter. He has led us through difficult times and recognized challenges for the opportunities they presented. Instrumental in bringing us back from the brink of bankruptcy to our robust financial situation today, he has guided our financial team and office management on a steady course. When presented with contentious situations between our many volunteers, office staff, field staff, and others, he has always maintained a calm, judicious demeanor. Confronted with the infiltration of the Chapter by a volunteer actually acting on behalf of an organization intent upon discrediting the Sierra Club, George worked closely with the National staff to minimize the threat. George has worked hard to establish a good working relationship with the field office and other like-minded local organizations. His technical knowledge and computer savvy have helped move the Chapter forward.
His care and concern for the Sierra Club has not been limited to the Angeles Chapter. For the past two years, George has served as a member of the Chapter Director Representatives team. He has represented them on subcommittees involving Chapter finance and unionization of Chapter staff. When forced to close out the previous Angeles Chapter Political Action Committee, George took the lead in establishing a new California Sierra Club Political Action Committee (PAC) representing the chapters in California. He has continued in an administrative role with the PAC.
George has announced his intention to retire at the close of 2019. When the Chapter staff and the Chapter Executive Committee were asked what characteristics they most wanted to see in our next Chapter Director, the universal response was a clone of George. Ethical, calm, judicious, reasonable, creative, and dedicated are all words that try to convey some sense of this absolute treasure.
The act of honoring another person is a powerful celebration, and what better way to acknowledge George's inspiring legacy and immeasurable contributions to the Chapter than by giving a tax deductible gift in his name to the Sierra Club Foundation.
By Sharon Koch