Access Fund Names Interim Leadership and Hires Search Firm to Find Next Executive Director

Access Fund announced today that it has named Zachary Lesch-Huie as interim Executive Director to take leadership of the organization at the end of June. Access Fund has also hired Notogroup, an executive search firm, to find a permanent replacement for Brady Robinson, who was at the helm of the organization for nearly eleven years and will be moving on to pursue a global conservation role with Tompkins Conservation.

Lesch-Huie has been with Access Fund for nearly seven years as the National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director. In that dual role, he's grown support for local climbing organizations and expanded Access Fund’s programs in the Southeast. Under his leadership, the national network has grown to well over 100 Access Fund affiliated local climbing organizations, many of which share joint membership with Access Fund. Lesch-Huie has led major land acquisitions, including Denny Cove and the recent Dogwood and Hell’s Kitchen purchases, and he has worked to successfully open and protect climbing on both private and public lands from Georgia to West Virginia. He will lead the organization until Robinson’s replacement has been onboarded.

“'Zachary is the right choice to lead Access Fund through this transition,” says Kenji Haroutunian, Access Fund Board President. “His seven years as Access Fund's National Affiliate Director, combined with his energetic and personable style, will be great assets as he takes the sharp end, with a strong executive team already in place.”

“I'm incredibly excited to step into the interim Executive Director role,” says Lesch-Huie. “Thanks to Brady's leadership and our remarkable team of staff, Access Fund's position is stronger than ever. Our mission and work remains urgent and our team remains focused on our ongoing projects and the opportunities ahead.”

Notogroup, an executive search firm based out of Portland, Oregon, has officially opened the search for Access Fund’s next executive director. Access Fund’s board of directors evaluated a number of executive search firms and chose Notogroup for its extensive experience placing leadership in the outdoor industry.

Notogroup will be looking for a leader to take the helm of the $3.2 million organization with a staff of 25 spread across the country. While Access Fund’s mission is tightly focused on protecting America’s climbing areas, the organization delivers on this mission through a diverse set of programs, including public policy and advocacy, stewardship and conservation, land acquisition and protection, local support and mobilization, risk management and landowner support, and climber education. Supporting these programs is a dynamic membership, development, and marketing team.

“Access Fund’s work is complex, nuanced, and critically important to the future of rock climbing in our country,” says Haroutunian. “We have a high-functioning staff, and our next leader will need to be a strong team leader and powerful advocate for a growing, increasingly diverse climbing community.”

Anyone interested in the executive director position at Access Fund should contact Candie Fisher, Vice President of Client Engagement, at Notogroup at [email protected] or by calling 503-953-8000.

Pictured above: Zachary Lesch-Huie, Interim Executive Director