White is expected to step down effective June 14, 2019.
A spokesperson for the group said that John Walda, treasurer of the board of directors of Yellowstone Forever, will serve as interim president and CEO, effective immediately. Walda retired last year from the National Association of College and University Business Officers where he was president and CEO. White will work with Walda on a transition.
“We are grateful for Heather’s leadership and her commitment to Yellowstone Forever and Yellowstone National Park,” said Kay Yeager, chairman of the board of Yellowstone Forever. “Heather has been a tireless advocate for the organization and the park, has raised tens of millions of dollars for our mission, increased our brand awareness, and has brought energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism to her role.”
“I’ve worked for almost three years to help accomplish the merger of the two predecessor organizations of Yellowstone Forever—Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation—into a single foundation,” White said. “I am proud that Yellowstone Forever is now reaching more people than ever before with our educational mission and digital reach. Since 2016, we have provided millions in cash grants to the park and in-kind aid. It’s now time for me to explore new adventures, and for a new leader of Yellowstone Forever.” White added that “it has been a privilege to help establish the mission, vision, and priorities of the organization, and to work with the board of directors and talented staff. I’m confident that Yellowstone Forever is poised for continued success.”
Walda will spend time in both the Bozeman and Gardiner offices of Yellowstone Forever. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to help serve the organization and its mission,” said Walda. “Yellowstone National Park is among the world’s greatest natural treasures, and I’m humbled to be asked to lead the organization that supports the park. During my 13 years on the National Advisory Council and board of Yellowstone Park Foundation and then Yellowstone Forever, I have seen firsthand the tremendous time, talent, and financial contributions that our organization provides to the park. I look forward to working more closely with the leadership of the park, our donors and supporters, and our employees.”