The Center for Jackson Hole announced today that Gerben Scherpbier, a 2017 Emerging Leaders Program (“ELP”) alumnus, is joining The Center as a program assistant. Scherpbier will work in a part-time capacity to capture the institutional knowledge integral to the operation of both SHIFT and the ELP.
“For too long, the ‘how-to’ for our organization’s operations has remained undocumented,” said Christian Beckwith, who founded SHIFT, the ELP and The Center for Jackson Hole. “As we look at next steps for the organization, documenting roles, responsibilities and timelines in a format that can be shared with future leaders is critical to our success.”
The idea for doing so with a manual came about in discussions with Scherpbier, who served as Director of Dartmouth College’s Outdoor Orientation Program in 2014.
Each year, an incoming senior runs the Dartmouth program with the help of a written manual that was compiled over the course of the program’s 75-year history. The director uses the manual to execute the program’s objectives, adding his or her own experiences and insights over the course of the year. The result is a living document that provides direction while also being responsive to changing conditions.
Scherpbier’s role with The Center for Jackson Hole will be to compile a similar manual that can be used to ensure that the first five years of SHIFT are documented and that can serve as both a roadmap for its initiatives and a basis for ongoing innovation and progress.
“Participating in the Emerging Leaders Program in 2017 provided me with a jolt of energy, urgency, and a sense of community,” said Scherpbier. “I want to help document this program so that it can continue to foster the connections that led to valuable partnerships and friendships for me at last year’s SHIFT.”
Scherpbier’s project is part of a bigger objective for The Center: an intergenerational transfer of power that trains past and future Emerging Leaders to take on more of the responsibility of running SHIFT and The Emerging Leaders Program.
“We recognize that we need to do more than talk about empowering the next generation,” said Beckwith. “We need to support the entry of the next generation into leadership positions—and Gerben’s work will help us establish a framework for doing so.”
As part of this process, The Center has begun working with ELP alumni on key roles. 2016 ELP alumnus Alfonso Orozco joined The Center for Jackson Hole board in early 2017. Now, he is being joined on the board by 2017 ELP alumnus Len Necefer. And in January, The Center hired 2016 ELP alumnus Grace Anderson as Marketing Coordinator and to help run the ELP.
“SHIFT and The Emerging Leaders Program are symbiotic,” said Beckwith. “By structuring SHIFT to channel the experiences and perspectives of Emerging Leaders, we not only prepare the next generation of leaders to work alongside the ‘veterans’ in the outdoor recreation/conservation communities; we allow their perspectives to help shape the national dialogue.”
“It will take more than training a dynamic group of young people, though, if we really want to empower a new generation of stewards. Substantive change requires that the veterans in the space support tomorrow’s leaders in their work—and part of that support means lending them our resources when they need it, and then trusting them to lead the way.”
“I’m inspired by the passion and creativity that Christian, Grace and the Board bring to their work, and I look forward to joining the team,” said Scherpbier. “I hope that my work can help to solidify the foundation that The Center for Jackson Hole has developed for creative collaboration in the promotion and protection of public lands.”