About ~ Louise Misztal
Executive Director – Sky Island Alliance
Louise grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at 8,000 feet and has been in love with mountains ever since. She came to Tucson, to attend college because of, you guessed it, the beautiful mountains, and the wonderful science programs at the University of Arizona. She studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and then years later studied Geographic Information Systems. Louise loves hiking creeks, looking for birds and swimming holes, learning new plant names and snoozing in her hammock.
Louise Misztal has worked at Sky Island Alliance for the past sixteen years in various positions ranging from volunteering to serving as Conservation Director. She now serves as Executive Director and is committed to crafting creative solutions to pressing conservation issues and building collaboration among diverse partners. Previously, Louise was the principal architect of a regional climate change adaptation workshop series designed for resource managers to advance understanding of impacts on ecosystems and wildlife. This led to critical new work to survey, protect, and restore fragile spring ecosystems. She was also principal investigator on a project to collaboratively develop a climate-smart landscape conservation design for the Sky Island region, focused on springs, streams, and grasslands.
Sky Island Alliance has been protecting and restoring the diversity of life and lands in the Sky Island region of the U.S. and Mexico for over 30 years. We work primarily in Arizona and Sonora and are the only organization dedicated to conserving the entire Sky Island region. We use science, education, and advocacy to connect the binational landscapes, people, and wildlife of the Sky Islands for the benefit of all. Each year our 13 staff members work with hundreds of volunteers and students from the local community to study wildlife and springs, and to bring damaged ecosystems back to thriving health.
Company / Organization Website URL: skyislandalliance.org
Company or Guest Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/Sky_Islands
Company / Org Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/SkyIslandAlliance
Company or Guest LinkedIn URL:linkedin.com/company/sky-island-alliance
Company Phone: (520) 624-7080
About the Host:
Barbara McClure, Executive Director
IMPACT of Southern Arizona
3535 E Hawser Street
Tucson, AZ 85739
SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter |
Barbara McClure wakes up each morning passionate about going to work at a place that improves lives and inspires futures every day! She has been the Executive Director of a Tucson social service nonprofit called IMPACT of Southern Arizona, for ten years. What is it that keeps you passionate about your role Barbara?
Barbara has been a visionary and planner with decades of experience as a small business owner and in nonprofit leadership; her innovative ideas and strategic thinking, along with a talent for bringing the community together, has helped grow IMPACT five-fold in a very short time. Her talents and interests are diverse but all center around helping people, improving the community, bolstering education, building capacity and sustainability, being vocal about the rights and conditions of others, experiencing art, nurturing all inhabitants of your garden, and enjoying life to the fullest.
And now Barbara is about to experience another exciting chapter in her life with hosting a brand-new Radio Show Podcast here on the Tucson Business RadioX Network starting in November.
IMPACT of Southern Arizona is a 20 – year old social service nonprofit stabilizing families and seniors, and moving people out of poverty. IMPACT’s programs are designed to stretch household budgets so earned income can be spent on necessities such as improved housing conditions, fuel to get to work, utilizes, and needed medical attention and prescriptions. Its clients are your neighbors! People come to IMPACT because it is a welcoming place where they are always treated with dignity and respect, and where they find resources, referrals, coaching, and help to attain the skills that can move them forward into self-sufficiency.
Barbara grew up in Pasadena CA, moved to Long Beach for college, got married and started our family then moved to Seattle area ten years later. Took our youngest son on an 11-month motorhome trip to get to Tucson – Homeschooled for 10th grade.
We vacationed at a rustic cabin when I was growing up, where we had no phone or television; and spent all our time outside fishing, hiking, horseback riding, listening to old radio shows, playing pool, reading comic books from the local small grocer, and using our imaginations all day long. I always admired the superheroes who defended people and cities like Gotham and Metropolis, so when our three boys were born, we named them after familiar character: Colin (Bryce for an overlay of Bruce Wayne, Kent, and Parker. Our first grandchild was born last year, and as in the family tradition, named Logan, after the Wolverine. I used to always tell them they were my superheroes – and they still are today!
Barbara loves working with numbers and has always loved math and the organization of things, so accounting seemed perfect, but I soon realized that I if I became a CPA I would have to spend many months inside doing tax returns, and that did not appeal to me as a long–term career! I have a great imagination and enjoy creating things, so thought I should find a better path that might nurture that side of my personality. I was working in the shipping industry in SoCal at the time and fell in love with import and export, so shifted my majors to Marketing and International Business. Those were wonderful fits, and I imagined graduating and moving to the largest port on the planet, in Germany; then, I met my future husband and things took a different turn.
A little bit about how Barbara got into Nonprofit work:
All along with my husband and I were always involved in nonprofits and community volunteer opportunities, and often said it was too bad we could not make a living doing those things we loved so much. Leadership roles in PTO, Boy Scouts, Historical Societies, Junior League, Elks, Rotary and more. Then when we moved to Tucson I looked for a local opportunity to impact my community. A Board position was about to open at IMPACT, and my local bank branch manager, Peggy Smoot, suggested I would be very passionate about getting involved in the mission work there. I worked in the Food Bank.
There are thousands of nonprofits in Tucson. What makes IMPACT Unique is that they bring the community together to stabilize families and move people out of poverty. Our true success lies in partnering with a large number of businesses, agencies, social clubs and other nonprofits. We invest $2.5 million in the community each year, and we do it all with a lean staff of amazing professionals supported by more than 170 volunteer shifts each week! We have put great systems in place to run efficiently, effectively and with a commitment to sustainability and integrity, protecting the community’s investment in our work, striving for perfect audits, being innovative, building capacity and most importantly – treating everyone with dignity and respect. We are an award-winning nonprofit with numerous nods to incredible customer service. Our clients are your neighbors… We improve lives and inspire futures of people living in Southern AZ.
So, IMPACT is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and you have been at the helm half that time. Share with me the things IMPACT has accomplished over the years, and the things you have planned for this celebratory year.