The Friends of the Shiawassee River is pleased to announce the selection of Lorraine Austin as its new executive director. Lorraine had served as interim executive director since September. The Friends of the Shiawassee River (FOSR) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help care for, share and enjoy the Shiawassee River through activities and events that support the health, public awareness and enjoyment of the river.
“We’re exceptionally pleased that Lorraine has taken on this leadership role,” said Nick Tereck, president of the FOSR Board of Directors. “Her broad knowledge of science and education, coupled with years of experience working with many nonprofit organizations, both locally and elsewhere, make her well positioned to lead us going forward. Her passion and commitment to our cause, coupled with the fact that she is well acquainted with our area and its residents, will enable her to plan more effectively for the future, collaborate with other organizations and introduce innovative approaches to expand our programs.”
Austin was born and raised in Owosso and started her relationship with the Friends many years ago, as a member, a board member and then as the organization’s vice president. Before becoming executive director and acting as interim executive director, Lorraine helped orchestrate the Friends’ move to their office in Corunna, the recent Giving Tuesday effort (in which she served as co-chair for the Shiawassee County effort) and the recent Shiawassee Water Trail State Water Trail designation.
Lorraine has more than 30 years of experience working with nonprofits. She has worked as the curator of education and public relations at the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, IN, and at the Staten Island Zoo in Staten Island, NY. After moving back home to Michigan, she served as the executive director of EarthShare of Michigan, education marketing coordinator at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo and with the Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative, in coordination with the Grand Traverse Conservation District. Most recently, she has volunteered with Community Cats of Owosso, DeVries Nature Conservancy, the Downtown Owosso Farmers Market, the Shiawassee Arts Council and other local efforts.
Lorraine holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from Purdue University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Michigan – Flint.
For more information about the Friends of the Shiawassee River, visit www.shiawasseeriver.org or stop by the new office, which is located at 538 N. Shiawassee St. in Corunna.