Illinois Conservation Foundation names Executive Director
The Illinois Conservation Foundation has announced the appointment of Eric Schmidt, of Westchester, as the new executive director of the Foundation, effective June 1. Schmidt will be responsible for day to day operation of the ICF, and will focus on fundraising and strategic planning for the future of the organization.
The job has been vacant since the departure last year of Mark Spangler. Travis Loyd, a former DNR deputy director, held the job briefly this year before being forced to resign for violations of the state's sick leave policy.
“I believe Eric Schmidt will be an outstanding addition to the Foundation, and I look forward to working with him and the ICF Board on an ambitious plan for the future of the Foundation,” said ICF Board Chairman and DNR Director Marc Miller. “Eric has a terrific track record in fundraising, especially as regards children and youth programs and education. I believe that makes him an ideal fit for the ICF as we move forward with building support for natural resources protection, outdoor recreation, and advocating for youth conservation education.”
Schmidt is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with extensive experience in not-for-profit fundraising and program management. Focused on education, conservation, and children's welfare, Schmidt has spent more than 15 years raising money for organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Advocate Children's Hospital, and the Brookfield Zoo. Schmidt led all fundraising activities surrounding the 2012 Ryder Cup, held in Medinah, Illinois, raising funds and awareness for Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Illinois PGA Foundation.