Lisa Rainwater is named new Catskill Center director
The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development announced Monday that Lisa Rainwater will be its new executive director.
Formerly the policy director at Riverkeeper in Tarrytown, Rainwater will be introduced to the members at The Catskill Center’s annual meeting on July 19 and take the helm in early August. In making the announcement, Catskill Center Board Chair Claude Shostal said, “We are pleased to welcome Lisa Rainwater as The Catskill Center’s new executive director. Her passion for the Catskills will further strengthen our connection to local communities, while her spirit and enthusiasm will generate new bonds and partnerships throughout the region. We look forward to embarking on this new journey, with Lisa’s years of community advocacy, government relations, and strategic planning guiding the way.”
Rainwater’s journey to The Catskill Center began in the Midwestern farm community where she grew up. She comes from three generations of dairy farmers who instilled in her a passion for community and place and an innate connection to the land.
Rainwater earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, sociology and cultural studies, and taught at the Universities of Oregon and Wisconsin.
In her not-for-profit career, she has worked with local communities to foster civic participation. In this capacity she has organized public events, overseen fund-raising efforts, and spearheaded public outreach campaigns. In addition, she has worked closely with local, state and federal elected officials and agencies on safe energy and clean water initiatives.
Most recently she has served as the policy director for the Hudson Valley group Riverkeeper, where she has worked since 2003 leading their campaign to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Rainwater has recently joined her new husband in his Catskills home. “I am so fortunate to call the Catskills home. The Catskill Mountains are an historic and sacred place. They nurture our spirit, provide economic opportunities, and give us a sense of place,” said Rainwater.
Interim Executive Director Deborah Meyer DeWan who is The Catskill Center’s Director of Policy and Program Development noted, “We’re thrilled to welcome Lisa to the Catskills and to The Catskill Center at this momentous time in our nearly 40-year history. The Catskills and our talented team will benefit from the thoughtful, energetic, intelligent commitment and inspiration that we know Lisa will bring to all of us. She has a wonderful appreciation for people in everyday life and for the profound importance of connecting.”