After 20 years with the Wege Foundation, Terri McCarthy, Vice President of Programs, retired at the end of May, 2015. Over the course of her career with the foundation, Terri played an integral role in many successful philanthropic efforts. Now Terri wants to thank the people who allowed so many programs and funding partners to grow and prosper during her tenure. As she puts it, “It is difficult for me to leave behind the great work, relationships, and achievements The Wege Foundation has allowed me to be a part of over the last two decades.
Before Terri retired, The Wege Foundation trustees implemented a matching gift program for Wege Foundation team members. Terri was honored to take part in the new program with The Foundation matching donations she made before she left.
One of Terri’s farewell gifts matched by The Wege Foundation went to the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund to convert an old farmhouse into a biological station on newly acquired property being added to the ACG, Area of Concervacion de Guanacaste in Costa Rica. Fluttering nearby are the three species of butterflies Dan Janzen discovered and named for Peter Wege, Ellen Satterlee, and Terri: the Porphyrogenes peterwegei, the Anacrusis ellensatterleeae, and the Anacrusis terrimccarthya.
Terri is deeply grateful to Dan Janzen, his wife Winnie Hallwachs, and the faithful supporters of the GDFCF for conserving the wildlands where these namesake butterflies now live. Terri, however, worries about their future because global climate change is heating the lowlands forcing all species, including insects, to move to higher elevations seeking cooler and wetter territory. But at the mountain tops, they can’t go any higher and will cease to exist as many species already have.
Even more than usual, Terri is looking forward to her next visit to the home she and her husband Steve have in Costa Rica because she can visit the renovated research station and the newly acquired property.
Other programs Terri took to heart were the Blandford Nature Center, Grand Rapids Public Schools Blandford School, the Center for Economicology and City High/Middle School. As a former high school science teacher, Terri understood the importance of environmental education and global-resource awareness. She subscribed to the same belief that Mr. Wege repeated often, “Get them outside when they are little so they understand the planet that supports us.” For Terri, another matching contribution to the construction for a new Blandford Nature Center Visitors Building was a natural.
Terri wishes she could list every single one of the wonderful people who have supported her over the years. She especially wants to thank Ellen Satterlee – CEO, the heart and soul of the foundation since 1987; there are not enough words to thank Ellen for her patience and confidence in our team including CFO Jody Price, Editor Susan Lovell, Administrative Assistant Kati Furtado. She also thanks Mark Van Putten for his national water-policy expertise and relationships that put the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative on the national agenda. And, of course, the board of trustees and next generation of the Wege Foundation who will breathe new life into their father’s and grandfather’s mission to “save the planet.”
But above all, Terri thanks and honors Mr. Wege,who had the vision, strength and humor to lead the way by planting the seeds of Economicology around the world!
*Pictured above: Ellen and Terri with Peter M. Wege at the University of Michigan in 2007 where he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.