Wild Rivers Conservancy hires next Executive Director

Matt Poppleton will serve as the organization’s second executive director beginning in July.




2 minute read

The Wild Rivers Conservancy Board and Staff are pleased to share the hiring of the organization’s next Executive Director, Matt Poppleton.

Poppleton has been the Executive Director at YMCA Camp Widjiwagan in Ely, MN since 2017. Prior to that he was the Outdoors and Outreach Manager at REI in Bloomington, MN.

Search Committee chair Loralee DiLorenzo said, “I am thrilled to announce that Matt accepted our offer and will become the next Executive Director of the Wild Rivers Conservancy. His experience and values align well with the Conservancy’s mission”. Poppleton is an experienced Executive Director with a demonstrated record of leading successful outdoor and environmental organizations. He has 20 plus years of experience in outdoor programs, building successful teams, fundraising, program development, risk management, working collaboratively with, and convening partners across sectors around outdoor programming centered in community and social wellbeing.

Poppleton has a passion for the outdoors, shaped by his education and professional experiences. He has served in leadership roles where he worked creatively and collaboratively across the outdoor industry, nonprofit and environmental sectors. Poppleton’s experience ranges from direct programming of outdoor experiences for youth and individuals as the Executive Director of YMCA Camp Widjiwagan and the Y of the North Adventure team, to broad nationwide strategies focused on creating an outdoors movement, like REI’s #OptOutside initiative.

Poppleton will be taking over leadership of Wild Rivers Conservancy early in July. He will lead the organization after the retirement of first Executive Director, Deb Ryun. Wild Rivers Conservancy is the official non-profit partner of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, focused on inspiring stewardship to forever ensure the rare ecological integrity of the St. Croix and Namekagon Riverway. The Conservancy focuses on water quality, land conservation, river corridor and watershed stewardship, and celebration of the rivers.


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Wild Rivers Conservancy hires next Executive Director