Elachee CEO Honored with National Award

The Association for Nature Center Administrators has honored Elachee President/CEO Andrea Timpone with the prestigious 2020 Nature Center Leadership Award.August 6, 2020 (Gainesville, Ga.) – Elachee Nature Science Center is pleased to share that the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) has recognized Andrea O. Timpone as recipient of the 2020 Nature Center Leadership Award. This prestigious national honor pays tribute to her exceptional commitment and contributions to the nature center profession as a whole and her invaluable leadership at Elachee for over 35 years. READ the August 6, 2020 ANCA PRESS RELEASE

“The Association of Nature Center Administrators has been a tremendous professional source of guidance, resources and support since its founding over 30 years ago – for the Elachee organization and me,” comments Andrea Timpone, Elachee President/CEO. “I am honored by this award and so very grateful to all the nature center leaders across this country who have worked, and continue to work, to build the success and capacity of a great network of vitally-important educational programs and facilities.” Elachee President/CEO Andrea Timpone learns of her national recognition from the Association of Nation Center Administrators during a ZOOM staff meeting.

In this time of social distancing and digital interactions, it is only fitting that she learned of the award via a ZOOM meeting! In the middle of a July 6, 2020 staff meeting, the Elachee team watched with grins in place when the digital platform began filling with dozens of Timpone’s friends, family and colleagues. She was clearly surprised and at a loss for words when ANCA Executive Director Jen Levy shared the news. To recognize Timpone’s achievements, this national organiztion will host an awards ceremony during the 2020 ANCA Virtual Summit, September 14-17.

The Times also interviewed Andrea and the following is an excerpt from this article, originally published August 10, 2020. READ FULL ARTICLE, ‘Extraordinary Leadership’

She [Andrea] said her hope is that people who have visited the nature center or interacted with its supporters will realize how special Northeast Georgia’s natural surroundings are and that people need to take care of it.

“The decisions we make in our everyday lives and the actions we take as a community are very important as we move forward in making critical environmental decisions,” Timpone said. “As people have become more and more disconnected from our natural world, Elachee’s work, now and in the future, is even more important as it has ever been.”

Peer Accolades

Numerous peers wrote letters of recommendation to accompany Andrea Timpone’s ANCA nomination which the Elachee organization submitted, spearheaded by Director of Education Peter Gordon who said, “This is a wholly deserving award to a tremendous and influential leader and the organization she helped create.”

Following are a few excerpts of other remarks underscoring Timpone’s unwavering dedication. 

“Andrea is and has been an important pioneer, visionary and leader in the community of nature centers, not only in the southeastern U.S., but nationally,” wrote Chris Nelson, Executive Director, Chattahoochee Nature Center.

Corky McReynolds, recipient of ANCA’s 2004 Nature Leadership Award, wrote this. “Andrea represents a type of leader who is focused on the long-term possibilities, only using a lens to see what is best for a nature center and a community, not for personal advantage or position.”

“Andrea Timpone has nurtured programs that will ensure a lasting legacy of service to the community and region, without ever taking personal credit for her exemplary efforts,” wrote Jerry Hightower, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. “She has made a real difference in the lives of thousands of individuals by her, often unseen, work in support of Elachee. Under Andrea’s vision and guidance, the Nature Center has gone from a portable toilet alongside a gravel parking lot to an amazing [south Hall County, Ga.] facility that is a wonderful example of best management practices.”

About Elachee Nature Science Center

Elachee is busy year-round, welcoming over 70,000 annual visitors to delight in quality nature experiences. These range from PreK-12 school field trips and outreach programs, Camp Elachee summer day camps, seasonal public nature encounters and lifelong learning programs, to interpretive natural history, ecology and live animal exhibits.

A robust volunteer corps partners with Elachee in conservation and preservation initiatives. These efforts support and maintain the 8-mile hiking trail system in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, enjoyed by hikers from around north Georgia.

The Nature Center campus is also home to Elachee Nature Academy, an accredited and licensed school with nature-based Preschool and Kindergarten-1st Grade programs.

Elachee is a privately owned and operated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization relying on earned income and tax-deductible donations, planned gifts, memberships, grants, sponsorships and fundraising events to fund operations. The organization has a proven record of sound fiscal management, the name and brand recognition to attract individual, foundation and corporate contributions, and a diverse revenue stream ensuring the success of the organization in the non-profit sector. Learn more at www.Elachee.org.