Kulshan CLT announces new executive director

The Bellingham Business Journal

On May 1, Kulshan Community Land Trust Executive Director Paul Schissler will move into the new role of policy advisor at the nonprofit agency and Dean Fearing will take over Schissler’s position.

Schissler, who was one of Kulshan CLT’s incorporators in 1999 and was its first executive director, proposed a succession plan in February that recommended Fearing for the executive director position. In the plan, Schissler also suggested a smooth springtime transition into a new era of leadership at the largest community land trust in Washington.

“Dean knows Kulshan CLT really well, and he spent 18 months getting ready to take the helm,” Kulshan CLT Board President AnnMarie Jordan said. “We feel fortunate to have Dean as our next executive director and Paul continuing as advisor.”

Fearing was hired in 2008 as the land trust’s associate director and Schissler’s understudy and successor, a position in which he helped make land and homes affordable.

“I am excited at this opportunity to lead an organization that is so well respected in our community and has made home ownership possible for more than 100 individuals and families,” Fearing said. “I look forward to working with supporters and more homebuyers throughout Whatcom County as Kulshan CLT continues to grow and serve our community.”

For his part, Schissler is looking forward to stepping into the policy advisor role for the organization. As policy advisor, Schissler will continue to work with Kulshan CLT on assignments that build momentum around the organization’s strategic goals, and he will remain involved as Fearing takes the helm.

“Over the past years, when asked about my professional and personal plans, I told Kulshan CLT’s board of trustees that I did not envision myself staying long-term as executive director,” Schissler said. “I’m proud of the long line of capable board members and staff who built this organization, and I will remain one of its most ardent advocates.”

Kulshan Community Land Trust, one of more than one hundred community land trusts in the nation, is a nonprofit corporation that owns land and holds it “in trust” forever. Community land trusts aim to provide affordable homeownership by acquiring land and removing it from the speculative, for-profit market.

For more information call (360) 671-5600 or visit www.kulshanclt.org.

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