Corunna, MI – The Friends of the Shiawassee River, a nonprofit organization dedicated to help Care for, Share, and Enjoy the Shiawassee River through activities and events that support the health, public awareness, and enjoyment of the river, is pleased to announce the selection of Lorraine Austin as its new executive director. The Friends selected Lorraine after she served as the Interim Executive Director since September.
“We’re exceptionally pleased that Lorraine has taken on this leadership role,” said Nick Tereck, President of the Friends’ Board. “Her broad knowledge of science and education, coupled with years of experience working with many nonprofit organizations, both locally and elsewhere, make her well positioned to lead us going forward. Her passion and commitment to our cause coupled with the fact that she is well acquainted with our area and its residents, will enable her to plan more effectively for the future, collaborate with other organizations, and introduce innovative approaches to expand our programs.”
Austin was born and raised in Owosso and started her relationship with the Friends many years ago, first as a member, then as a Board member, and then as the organization’s Vice President. Before becoming Executive Director, acting as Interim Executive Director, she helped orchestrate the Friends’ move to their office in Corunna, the recent Giving Tuesday/Raise Up Shiawassee effort (in which she served as co-chair for the Shiawassee County effort), and the recent Shiawassee Water Trail State Water Trail designation.
With over 30 years of experience working with nonprofits, she has worked as the Curator of Education and Public Relations at the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana and the Staten Island Zoo in Staten Island, New York. After moving back home to Michigan, she served as the Executive Director of EarthShare of Michigan, Education Marketing Coordinator at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, and with the Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative in coordination with the Grand Traverse Conservation District. Most recently, she has volunteered with the Downtown Owosso Farmers Market, Community Cats of Owosso, DeVries Nature Conservancy, Shiawassee Arts Council, and other local efforts.
Lorraine holds a BS in Wildlife Management from Purdue University and an MA in Education from the University of Michigan – Flint.
For more information about the Friends’ organization, visit their website at www.shiawasseeriver.org, become a member of their Facebook family, or stop by their new office at 538 N. Shiawassee Street in Corunna.