A shining star for nature

We are thrilled to announce that Washington’s own Kate Janeway has won one of The Nature Conservancy’s highest honors, the Oak Leaf Award. Kate is the Chair of our chapter’s Board of Trustees and has served our organization in various capacities for more than three decades. 

As a global non-profit with thousands of staff in more than 70 countries, The Nature Conservancy is powered by the enthusiasm and dedication of hundreds of volunteer leaders around the world. At a time when it couldn’t be more critical to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends, we appreciate more than ever the generosity of our trustees who give their time and talent in service to nature and people.

Each year, our organization recognizes a small handful of these individuals whose commitment to our mission is truly extraordinary.

Kate planted saplings during a 2018 Board of Trustees retreat near Roslyn, Washington. Photo by Hannah Letinich.

They represent the very best of volunteer leadership on behalf of The Nature Conservancy.  From among a group of exceptionally dedicated people, a few stars shine extra brightly.  One of these stars is Kate.

History of the Oak Leaf Award:

In 1960, The Nature Conservancy created our first logo: an oak leaf, to emphasize our role as protectors of land and our natural heritage. Our logo has evolved over time, but still prominently features oak leaves. The first Oak Leaf Awards were given in the mid-1960s, making this TNC’s longest-standing recognition program.

Kate joined The Nature Conservancy as a staff member – employee #10 – of what was then the combined Washington and Alaska Field Office in the 1980s. After moving with her family to Ohio, she joined that chapter’s Board of Trustees in 1988, followed by service with the Alaska and Washington state boards.

In the last four years, Kate has led the Washington Board of Trustees with vision, passion, savvy and boldness. She has recruited diverse and talented new trustees, engaged donors, been a vocal participant in Washington, D.C. and Washington state politics, engaged with indigenous partners, and was an active participant in a multi-state Women on Climate summit. She provides tireless support and encouragement to the board and our staff, and has been an active champion to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.  She is relentlessly positive and inspires all who come into her orbit.

Kate (in red jacket) has been a vocal advocate for TNC’s policy and budget priorities at the local, state and federal levels. While in Washington, DC for TNC’s annual Volunteer Leadership Summit in June, she participated in a rally in support of permanent, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). TNC photo.

A “Woman of Influence”

In 2018, Kate was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as an exemplary community service leader. Read our interview with Kate on that occasion.

Kate is a passionate advocate for TNC’s global mission and the role we must play in the 21st century.  She has led the Washington chapter to take a bold stand on climate change, committing to policy and action that will continue to lead the state, nation and The Nature Conservancy. In 2017 she was instrumental in guiding the Washington chapter to play a leadership role in major climate change initiative that was placed on the November 2018 ballot.  She provided tremendous leadership and support as we battled for that groundbreaking measure.

With thoughtfulness, optimism and enthusiasm, Kate inspires fellow Trustees and staff each day. We couldn’t imagine a recipient more deserving of an Oak Leaf Award.  She is truly a force of Nature.

Learn more about our volunteer Board of Trustees

Banner photo: Kate receives the Oak Leaf Award on June 13, 2018 from Global Board Chair Tom Tierney. (c) The Nature Conservancy.