Equine Land Conservation Resource Elects Director Emeritus and New Members to Board of Directors & Advisory Council

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MARCH 14, 2012 – The Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is proud to announce the election of Nancy Hamill Winter to the honorary position of Director Emeritus, as well as Natasha Grigg and Joe Samuels to the Board of Directors and Dorothy Love Ballantyne to the Advisory Council. All appointments were approved during the ELCR Board of Directors meeting on January 31, 2012.

Nancy Hamill Winter of President, IL was awarded Director Emeritus status, a position given to past Board members with a record of distinguished service to ELCR. A Director Emeritus may be invited to participate in all Board meetings and functions (non-voting), will be eligible to be appointed by the Chair to serve on any of the Board’s committees, and may be called upon to assist the Board and the President in those matters where the individual’s interest, experience and expertise will best serve ELCR.

Winter served as ELCR President from April 2009 until April 2011 and is former Board member. As a lifelong and successful equestrian, she participated in the 1984 Olympic Selection Trials. A pioneer in the field of therapeutic horsemanship, Winter established three centers for disabled riders in the Chicago area and was a board member with of the former North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, as well as having served as a National/Regional Examiner, District Commissioner, and coach with the United States Pony Club. Winter also sat on Boards of several conservation organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, JoDaviess Conservation Foundation, Morton Arboretum, and Prairie State Conservation Coalition. "It was the culmination of my dedication to volunteer service, combined with my lifelong passions for riding and the outdoor environment, that led me to the Presidency of ELCR," said Winter. "It will be a pleasure to serve in this new role and I look forward to continuing my commitment to preserving open space for future generations of equestrians."

Natasha Grigg of Boxford, MA is active in land conservation as President of the Boxford Trails Association/Boxford Open Land Trust (BTA/BOLT, Inc.), as well as serving on the town of Boxford's Conservation Commission, Land Acquisition Committee and Community Preservation Committee. Grigg sets a positive example for other landowners by allowing BTA/BOLT shared-use trails to traverse her property which is under a perpetual agricultural easement. Grigg was recently invited to be on the LTA's (Land Trust Alliance) National Council. A leader in the driving world, Grigg is a past president of the American Driving Society (ADS); currently is an Honorary Director and Chair of the Nominating Committee; and is a retired Licensed Official of both the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the ADS. She also served on the Board of Directors for the former American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) and United States Equestrian Team (USET), as well as the USEF Board. A former rider and driver, Grigg has also enjoyed success in combined driving as a horse owner and sponsor of international driver Larry Poulin.

Joining Grigg on the ELCR Board of Directors is Joe Samuels of Charlottesville, VA. After graduation from Hampden-Sydney College, Samuels joined his father in the real estate business started by his grandfather in 1913. As a founding member and former Vice-Chair of the Albemarle County Acquisition of Conservation Easements Program, Samuels helped provide local farmers with an avenue to protect their farms and families' livelihoods. Samuels also serves on the Board of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and the Board of Worksource Enterprises. He is a member and former President of the Whitehall Ruritan Club and a former vestry member of St. Paul's Memorial Church. Samuels and his wife have protected in perpetuity their own Long Ridge Farm through a conservation easement. Daughter Kate Samuels is a rising star in eventing, competing at the Advanced level and pursuing a goal of competing on a U.S. team with her horse Nyls du Terroir. "Our family has long been practitioners and advocates of local agriculture and farmland protection," said Samuels. "I am honored to now continue this work with ELCR."

Dorothy “Dotty” Love Ballantyne of Bozeman, MT and Key West, FL was elected to the ELCR Advisory Council. Born into a horse-loving family, Ballantyne grew up riding and fox hunting while her father and mother, Harry A. and Margaret D. Love, bred thoroughbreds in the Green Spring Valley area near Baltimore, MD. After receiving a BA degree from Sarah Lawrence College and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Ballantyne worked for 14 years in the financial services industry managing market research, joint ventures, and a direct response distribution system for a large insurance company, as well as started a family of mutual funds, provided international business consulting, and established an educational exchange program with Vilnius University in Lithuania. Moving to Montana in 1995, Ballantyne donated a conservation easement on her Yellowstone River property to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. For the past 25 years, she has been involved in nonprofit organizations ranging from social service agencies to educational institutions, and has become increasingly involved in environmental organizations, including service as American Rivers Board member, Secretary, and Treasurer.

"Members of the ELCR Board of Directors and Advisory Council serve in critical roles for our organization, and I am pleased at the election of Natasha Grigg, Joe Samuels, and Dorothy Love Ballantyne who will be of tremendous benefit to us with their extensive knowledge, experience, and expertise," noted Larry Byers, President of the ELCR Board of Directors. "And as a past President and Board member, I'm delighted to have Nancy Hamill Winter rejoin ELCR as Director Emeritus to continue to assist us in our land conservation goals."

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): The Equine Land Conservation Resource is the only national not-for-profit organization advancing the conservation of land for horse-related activity. ELCR serves as an information and networking resource for land and horse owner, organizations, agencies and all equine enthusiasts on issues related to farm and ranch land conservation, land use planning, farm and ranch land stewardship/best management practices, trail access and sustainability, liability and equine economic impacts. For more information about the ELCR visit our website at www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.