Deering Estate Foundation names Bonnie Barnes executive director

Deering Estate Foundation names Bonnie Barnes executive director
Deering Estate Foundation names Bonnie Barnes executive director
Bonnie Barnes

The Deering Estate Foundation recently announced that Bonnie Barnes has been selected as its executive director.

Barnes will be responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the foundation as well as fundraising, marketing and community outreach, reporting to the board of directors.

“We’re delighted to welcome Bonnie Barnes as the new executive director of the Deering Estate Foundation,” said Becky Roper Matkov, president of the Deering Estate Foundation Board. “While we will miss the current executive director, Larissa Siegel Lara, who is moving to Tallahassee, we look forward to working with Bonnie to build an even more exciting future for our nonprofit organization.

“Bonnie brings years of experience with private business and with nonprofits in both land preservation and ocean conservation.

We are confident that Bonnie will work well with our board of directors, our donors and community partners and with Miami-Dade County to carry on the growth trajectory the foundation has experienced over the past decade. I want to thank the entire search committee for its tireless efforts.” Matkov added. “The strong interest shown in the position, the quality and diversity of the applicants, and the difficult decision the committee faced all underscore the public awareness and the growing impact that the Deering Estate and the Deering Estate Foundation have on the South Florida community. We are excited to have Bonnie come aboard…”

Barnes comes to the Deering Estate Foundation with over 15 years in nonprofit management and a strong entrepreneurial background in marketing and advertising. After earning her MBA at Jacksonville University in 2006, Barnes launched into the nonprofit world as executive director of North Florida Land Trust, a land conservation organization, purchasing and protecting sensitive lands, as well as establishing major partnership programs to protect endangered species and provide public access to special places.

Barnes served most recently as development manager at Reef Environmental Education Foundation, a worldwide marine conservation organization headquartered in the Florida Keys. One of her key achievements at both organizations was establishing programs that ensure long-term sustainability through planned giving.

Barnes often can be found biking, kayaking, counting fish underwater, or swooshing down a mountain. No matter what she does or where she is, she remains a strong voice for the environment. She is relocating from nearby Key Largo and is excited at the opportunity to become involved in the community.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with Bonnie on the implementation of the joint strategic plan formalized in 2015,” said Jennifer Tisthammer, director of the Deering Estate. “The Deering Estate is very well poised to achieve its longterm vision to receive designation as a National Historic Landmark, elevating the status of the historic house museum and cultural and ecological field station, while anchoring us as a major cultural attraction. The leadership continuity provided by this transition will only strengthen our already productive and wonderful partnership with the foundation.”

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