Ep 123: The Single Best Sign of a Healthy Nonprofit (with Carlos de la Rosa and Rosanne Siino)

nonprofits are messyDo you know the single best indicator of the health of a nonprofit? There is one KEY ingredient for a healthy nonprofit. And it’s even more important during a crisis.

In this episode I talk with Carlos de la Rosa and Rosanne Siino, Executive Director and Board Chair of the Lindsay Wildlife Preserve.

Hint: Notice I invited an E.D. AND a board chair on the podcast… The “co-pilots” of the organization.

Carlos and Rosanne tell me all about the Preserve and in particular about the process of hiring Carlos as executive director.

They also tell the story of how they were affected by Covid 19. On Friday the 13th of March 2020, everything was shutting down; Lindsay was closing the doors to the 100,000 people who support their mission.

What structure, buffers, reserves, or relationships were in place that could (and did) sustain them through the ensuing months?

My guests discuss how they used the down time to create opportunities for a sustainable future and tell us what allowed Lindsay Wildlife Preserve to not only survive, but thrive.

About Dr. Carlos de la Rosa

Dr. Carlos de la Rosa is an Aquatic Ecologist by training and a Conservation Biologist by practice. He obtained his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Pittsburgh, PA, and has recently been Adjunct Professor and Senior Researcher at the University of Costa Rica and the National University of Costa Rica, biodiversity advisor to the Organization of American States, the US Agency for International Development, and other organizations in the US and in Central and South America.

Carlos has worked extensively in environmental education programs, sustainability issues, and conservation of wildlife and wildlands. He has led wildlife protection and conservation programs in California, Florida, and Central America and is committed to communicating to the public the urgency for a better relationship with nature and wildlife.

Previously he served as Director of the La Selva Biological Station for the Organization of Tropical Studies, in Costa Rica; Chief Conservation and Education Officer for the Catalina Island Conservancy, in California, USA; Program Director for The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve in Florida; Education Director for the Environmental Lands Division of Pinellas County, Florida; and Director of the Riverwoods Field Laboratory for the South Florida Water Management District, where he worked as a researcher in the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.

Carlos is completing three new books exploring the natural history, ecology, restoration, and conservation of natural habitats within the cultural context in which they exist. His writings have been published in scientific journals as well as in popular media. His nature photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and in Costa Rica.

“I am very excited to be part of this amazing organization. Developing a strong, positive, and nurturing relationship with nature and wildlife is one of the most important things that people can do to address many of our current environmental issues. And I can’t think of no better place to do this than at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience.”

About Rosanne Siino

Rosanne Siino was among the founders of Netscape in the 1990s. She brings to the Lindsay Board the same creativity, “think big” attitude and positive energy that launched the first commercially successful web browser. After a long career in high-tech marketing, Rosanne received a doctorate in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford, where she has been a lecturer/researcher since 2007. Rosanne teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in branding, leadership, and organizational dynamics, and consults with technology companies, startups, and nonprofits on effective teamwork, management and messaging. In addition to serving on the Board, Rosanne brought her love of animals and incredible teaching and communications skills to Lindsay as a volunteer wildlife educator for many years.