Dough Widener

The Piedmont Park Conservancy Board of Directors has appointed Doug Widener as the nonprofit’s new chief executive officer.

As the executive director of the Lincoln Park Conservancy (LPC) in Chicago, Widener’s nearly three decades of experience across nonprofit leadership, community building, and sustainable practices will further the Conservancy’s vital mission of ensuring park access for all across metro Atlanta, according to a press release.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy began an extensive national search in 2022 across more than 20 states following the retirement announcement of outgoing CEO Mark Banta last July. Banta served in the position for nine years and will transition leadership to Widener this fall.

In addition to his transformative work to revitalize an iconic Chicago landmark, Widener has also left a lasting impact on the field of sustainability through his leadership roles at the U.S. Green Building Council, where he advocated for environmentally conscious practices in various state, regional and national positions. Widener hopes to expand upon his dedication to nurturing a deeper appreciation of the natural environment – a passion born from his background in educational programming at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum as well as time spent as co-chairman of education and communication at the Chicago Wilderness Alliance.

“I’m thrilled to join the Piedmont Park Conservancy. I believe that parks and open spaces are vital to help us connect with each other, disconnect from the hustle of urban life and recharge our bodies and our beings,” Widener said in the press release. “The Piedmont Park Conservancy plays a vital role in stewarding this wonderful resource for all Atlantans. I look forward to working with our great Board, donors, partners, staff and community in charting a vision for the Park as a world-class destination…for now and generations to come.”

“We are at an exciting juncture in our partnership with the City of Atlanta. Doug’s joy for his work, combined with his talent for connecting and collaborating strategically with others, inspires our confidence in his ability to continue leading our beloved Piedmont Park into a promising future,” says Ellen Sacchi, Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Board Chair. “His leadership and commitment to community engagement make him a perfect fit to drive our organization’s mission forward.”

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