Deering Estate Foundation names Bonnie Barnes executive director

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Barnes brings more than 25 years of private and public sector experience to the Deering Estate Foundation

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

Bonnie Barnes

“We’re delighted to welcome Bonnie Barnes as the new executive director of the Deering Estate Foundation,” says 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. 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 on June 19th.”

Bonnie 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, Bonnie 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. Bonnie 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.

Bonnie can often 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 our environment. Bonnie 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. The Deering Estate is very well poised to achieve its long-term 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,” said Jennifer Tisthammer, director of the Deering Estate.


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