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Catalina Island Conservancy Board Selects Tony Budrovich to Replace Retiring President & CEO Ann Muscat

NEW LEADER HAS DECADES OF EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS 

AVALON, CA  (May 25, 2016) - Tony Budrovich, who has served as the Catalina Island Conservancy’s chief operating officer for more than a year, will become the organization’s new president and CEO on June 25, replacing Ann M. Muscat, PhD. Budrovich already lives on Catalina Island and has more than 30 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and public venues, including the California Science Center and its foundation. 

Muscat, who announced last year that she planned to retire in late 2016, will serve on staff as president emeritus until Oct. 7 to assist with transitioning important relationships, to continue campaign fundraising and to serve as a resource to Budrovich, as needed.  She has served as the Conservancy’s president and CEO for more than 13 years – the second longest tenure of any of the Conservancy’s CEOs.   

 “I will be leaving this job knowing that the Conservancy will be in great hands with Tony at the helm,” said Muscat. “In just one short year, Tony has already made significant contributions to the Conservancy’s operations. He is becoming known in the Island community, and he has clearly demonstrated he has the knowledge and the dedication needed to ensure the Conservancy will continue to fulfill its mission and implement its strategic vision.” 

The Catalina Island Conservancy’s Board of Directors conducted a 10-month national search before selecting Budrovich to serve as the organization’s sixth president and CEO in the 44 years since the Conservancy was established to protect and restore 42,000 acres of the Island’s wildlands.

“We are very sorry to see Ann leave, but we are very pleased to have Tony as the new president and CEO,” said Board Chairman Stephen Chazen, PhD. “We know that Tony has the commitment to the Conservancy’s mission, the management experience and the personal skills needed to lead this organization as it embarks on its next chapter.” 

Budrovich has been living on Catalina Island since he joined the Conservancy last year. In addition to overseeing the Conservancy’s operations, Budrovich has secured a major gift of 13 new vehicles from Toyota, begun implementation of a new ticketing system in Visitor Services and led an aggressive program of capital improvements, including the new pier at Whites Landing, employee housing purchases and remodels and the extensive planning processes to expand Catalina’s trail system and construct a new visitors’ center, The Trailhead.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to lead one of the state’s oldest and largest land trusts,” said Budrovich. “I will benefit from the solid foundation Ann created over the past 13 years with significant improvements in the Island’s ecological health, vastly expanded public access and increased financial resources. The Conservancy’s staff and volunteers are fantastic, and they are dedicated to our mission of conservation, education and recreation. Working with the Board, the Members, the executive team and staff, I am confident we will be able to realize the strategic vision for the Conservancy’s future developed by Ann and the team.”

Before joining the Conservancy, Budrovich served 18 years as deputy director of the California Science Center and senior vice president of the California Science Center Foundation.  There he was responsible for 350 staff, 150 volunteers and all operations. Among Budrovich’s many accomplishments, he led the construction projects for the Science Center’s second phase, Ecosystems, and for the new building that houses the Science Center’s most popular exhibit, the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Budrovich first developed his skills in public educational venues through leadership positions at Sea World Inc. and Marineland of the Pacific, a popular attraction on the Palos Verdes peninsula that closed its doors in 1987. He’s also worked with companies as a consultant focused on improving management and guest experiences and in the field of seawater desalination.

Budrovich grew up along the Southern California coast, and his love for nature and the environment increased as he became an avid scuba diver and spent more time on Catalina Island. He said he made at least 40 trips to the Island in the 35 years before he joined the Conservancy.

“With each trip, my appreciation grew for the Catalina landscape and the beautiful ecosystems within the 42,000 acres of land the Conservancy stewards,” he said. “I feel so very fortunate to be given this opportunity to help ensure future generations can experience that same sense of discovery on Catalina Island.”  


About Catalina Conservancy

Formed in 1972, the Catalina Island Conservancy is one of California's oldest land trusts. Its mission is to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation. Through its ongoing efforts, the Conservancy protects the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island, stewarding approximately 42,000 acres of land and more than 60 miles of rugged shoreline. It provides an airport and 50 miles of biking and nearly 150 miles of hiking opportunities within its road and trail system. The Conservancy conducts educational outreach through two nature centers, its Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and guided experiences in the Island’s rugged interior. Twenty miles from the mainland, the Island is a treasure trove of historical and archaeological sites. It also contains numerous rare and endangered animals and plants. The Island is home to 60 species – and counting – that are found only on Catalina. For additional information, please visit www.catalinaconservancy.org.