Gene Duvernoy steps down as president at Forterra

Seattle Times
By Lynda Mapes

The nonprofit conservation group, Forterra, sees a change at the top and new directions for work that has so-far preserved 275,000 acres of open space and wild lands for the future.

Gene Duvernoy has stepped down from the helm of Forterra, a regional sustainability nonprofit corporation that is changing the definition of what it means to be a land trust.

Forterra long ago outgrew its original name, Cascade Land Conservancy, both literally and figuratively. Today, Forterra dedicates itself to using real-estate deals to preserve and sustain communities, both human and natural, all over Washington.

“Space to grow and move is what it all boils down to, a place to be,” said K. Wyking Garrett, president of the board of directors for Africatown Community Land Trust and the keynote speaker at Forterra’s annual breakfast last week, where more than 1,500 people contributed more than $1 million to support Forterra’s work.

Grown to 50 employees, Forterra has come a long way from the two-person office in the attic of his house where Duvernoy, 66, co-founded the land trust in 1989, building on the work of dedicated volunteers like Gerry Johnson, now at Pacific Law Group.

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