Learn all about our current Board President, Kimber Leblicq, in this post. This is the second post in the series profiling our fantastic Board of Directors. If you missed the first one that introduced outgoing Board President David, you can view it here.
While Kimber is just beginning a term as Board President, she has been involved with Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest for a very long time. Kimber’s professional background is in communications, marketing, and fundraising in the non-profit sector in the Northwest. She is also a compassionate advocate for animal welfare and the environment and manages to make unique sculptural jewelry in addition to all of her other interests!
She has joked with founder Keith and former board member Mary Murray, that, if you counted the two of them, Kimber was the third volunteer for CSNW. This was before Keith purchased the property for the sanctuary, before there were staff, and before Keith had even learned about Burrito, Foxie, Jody, Missy, Annie, Jamie, and Negra.
In 2004 Mary and Keith met Kimber in a coffee shop to discuss Keith’s vision for the organization. Kimber immediately offered her skills and expertise to help advise and build what became the foundation of the organization during this early start-up phase.
Over three years Kimber and an advisory committee created a marketing and development plan; drafted a strategic plan; crafted the mission, vision, and values statements; wrote grant proposals to seek seed funding; reached out to other sanctuaries and primate advocates for a feasibility study; and set up the organizational structure to prepare for the day they were going to welcome chimpanzees. All of this preparation meant that there was already a strong organization in place before the chimpanzees arrived. And it certainly built up the anticipation for that day!
Before the Cle Elum Seven arrived in 2008, the official Board of Directors was formed and Kimber transitioned off of the committee. Kimber proudly watched the fledgling organization grow, and, in 2011, the board asked if she would like to join once again to serve in official capacity.
In her current role as Board President, Kimber is looking forward to launching our new strategic plan, which will drive the organization’s road-map for the next five years.
I’ll end with how she feels about CSNW in her own words, “Serving the Cle Elum Seven is the most important work that I have done as a volunteer. Giving them what they deserve fulfills me every day. I have a deep respect for our organization, for our staff, and for our army of volunteers who work hard to meet the needs of our chimps. Thank you also to our donors for their generous support. It’s a pleasure and an honor to work with like-minded and passionate people and thank you all for being a part of our family.”