Mary Vandevord is the new president and CEO of HeartLands Conservancy, an environmental nonprofit serving southwestern Illinois.
Vandevord, who served as chief operating officer and interim CEO, will lead the organization’s day-to-day operations and management.
“Mary has successfully prepared herself by leading the organization through a time of change and transition,” said Robert Hilgenbrink, chairman of the organization’s board. “Mary’s vision for the future of HeartLands is aligned with the board’s strategic priorities to expand the reach of our programs and strengthen its position as a leader in conservation in southwestern Illinois.”
Prior to joining HeartLands Conservancy, Vandevord has served in sustainable development and conservation positions at the cities of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Blanchard, Okla. Vandevord holds a master’s degree in regional and city planning from the University of Oklahoma-Norman and a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and development from Ball State University. She serves on several regional boards, including the American Planning Association -St. Louis Metro Section Executive Board and East-West Gateway Council of Governments’ Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocacy Committee and OneSTL Network.
“The board of directors is excited about the future of HeartLands Conservancy, and Mary has the passion for land conservation and ability to create the next chapter of HeartLands Conservancy’s story of success,” said Bill Reichert, vice chairman of the organization’s board.
In her new role, Vandevord will be responsible for overseeing the organization’s program development, fundraising, personnel, communications and finance. She also will lead efforts surrounding the Building Greener Communities program, which advances more sustainable efforts within the 50-plus communities of Southwestern Illinois.
A native of Dorsey, she and her husband, Rob, have a daughter and live in Edwardsville.