The Conservancy of Southwest Florida announces the appointment of Robert L. Heidrick to the role of chairman of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Board of Directors. In addition, six new community and business leaders were elected to serve a four-year term as members of the Conservancy board of directors. The elections took place during the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Annual Meeting held on Jan. 17 Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club with more than 700 members in attendance.

Heidrick replaces outgoing chairman Dolph von Arx, who led the Conservancy during its “Saving Southwest Florida Capital Campaign” and served as board chair from 2008-2012. In addition to Heidrick, the officers of the Conservancy Board of Directors include Vice Chairman Andrew D.W. Hill; Conservancy President & CEO Andrew McElwaine; Treasurer George Gibson and Secretary Sue Dalton.

Heidrick was vice Chairman and managing director of Spencer Stuart’s Global Industrial Practice, which accounted for over 20 percent of the firm’s revenues. At the same time, he was responsible for senior-level executive search engagement and dedicated more than half of his time to conducting assignments for the firm’s Board Services Practice. Heidrick received the McGinley Award in 2007, given annually to the partner who exemplified the spirit of the firm by delivering the highest level of service. Heidrick is also on the Board of Directors of the Forum Club of Southwest Florida, Naples; Rush University Medical Center (Vice Chairman), Chicago; and Glenwood School for Boys & Girls (Vice Chairman), Chicago.

“On behalf of the Conservancy and the board of directors, I welcome Bob to the role of chairman,” said McElwaine. “His extensive corporate leadership combined with his passion for the Conservancy mission will be instrumental as we introduce the new, expanded Conservancy campus to the public.”

Heidrick is joined by six new board members: Wilson Bradshaw, president of Florida Gulf Coast University; Dennis C. Brown, co-managing regional office attorney for Bond, Schoeneck & King; Jane Pearsall, a former Conservancy Capital Campaign cabinet member; Anne Drackett Thomas, retired senior manager of Proctor and Gamble; Jay Tompkins, a retired former partner at Columbia-Naples Capital LCC; and Nancy White, a former legislative assistant and a licensed real estate associate. They replace outgoing board members Edie Andrews, Jenny Cheng, Maureen Lerner, Kermit Sutton and Eva Sugden Gomez. The new board members join existing Conservancy board members Dawn Allyn, Ted Corbin, Paul Corddry, John Fumagalli, John R. Hall, Lois Kelley, Kenneth Krier, Lisa Merritt, Patsy Schroeder, Lynne Shotwell, Lynn Slabaugh, Jeannie Smith, Tucker Tyler, Gene Windfeldt and Ian Wright.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida began in 1964 when community leaders came together to defeat a proposed “Road to Nowhere” and spearheaded the acquisition and protection of Rookery Bay. The Conservancy is a not-for-profit grassroots organization focused on the critical environmental issues of the Southwest Florida region with a mission to protect the region’s water, land and wildlife. This is accomplished through the combined efforts of environmental education, science and research, policy and advocacy and wildlife rehabilitation. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic treats more than 2,400 injured, sick and orphaned animals each year and releases about half of them back into their native habitats. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Nature Center is located in Naples, Fla. at 1450 Merrihue Dr., off Goodlette-Frank Road at 14th Avenue North. For information about the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, call 239-262-0304 or visit