By Samantha Weishaar, Associate Director

Ranchland Trust of Kansas (RTK), a non-profit affiliate of the Kansas Livestock Association, recently named Lynn Gentine as executive director. She is a Kansas native from Little River, but has pursued many career opportunities across the U.S., including Las Vegas, Detroit and Montana. Her passion for Kansas landscapes and agriculture has brought her back to her home state. Her previous roles will bring 20 years of experience in grant writing and project start-up, promotion and marketing to RTK. Leading many other organizations to success, Gentine has seven years of experience in personnel evaluation, supervision and management. She has a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Kansas.

“We are extremely excited to have Lynn on our team as our very first full-time executive director. She brings a wealth of experience in the areas of development, leadership and relationship building – all the things we need to take RTK to the next level,” said Cade Rensink, RTK Board Chairman.

At RTK Gentine will be responsible for professional leadership, management and growth of the organization. She will provide overall leadership for fundraising, strategic planning, organizational development, administration of conservation projects and financial oversight.

“Conservation of agricultural landscapes is an intersection of heritage, environmental, economic and cultural priorities. Previous roles in cultural resource management and preservation, combined with creating outdoor opportunities for the state parks of Kansas, have deepened my appreciation for the need to protect Kansas’ sense of place, environment and culture,” Gentine said.

Gentine will lead RTK’s voluntary land conservation programs. She is excited to start working with landowners and staff to conserve special working landscapes in Kansas. She recognizes the importance of conservation for future generations of farmers and ranchers.

“Change is inevitable. Neglecting to respect our heritage and reconcile the needs of the future is not. I feel it is more important than ever to dedicate a collective effort to protect Kansas’ working and agricultural landscapes,” Gentine said.

She is looking forward to discovering new things at RTK. She is especially looking forward to discovering strengths of staff and board members and building on those strengths.

“I am most excited about getting to know the people, working together to accomplish goals and see projects come to fruition,” she said.

RTK’s success will depend greatly on moving forward with RTK’s brand new strategic plan, which was revised in 2018. Her goals this year include putting RTK in a strong position to advance the strategic plan and mission of the organization by providing momentum, structure and persistence.

According to Gentine, a team needs to focus by consistently communicating and evaluating the status of various responsibilities to advance project goals in unison and on target. “Plan to work and work the plan,” she said.

Her management and leadership style is fun and unique, which will greatly benefit the RTK team.

“One of my favorite things to say to a team member is, ‘That’s a great idea. How can I help you?’ If a team member has a skill or interest that happens to fill a project void, plus benefits the outcomes, let their passion and vision elevate the project,” Gentine said.

Other than work, she enjoys being outdoors, kayaking on the Kansas River, attending ball games and working in the yard. She likes to stay active by jogging, hiking or occasionally shooting clays. She also became a big hockey fan while living in Detroit.

Gentine resides in Topeka with her husband of 29 years and three children, all of whom will be attending Kansas State University next fall.

Rensink said, “Lynn has an impressive set of credentials and an inspiring personality. The board is confident in the direction she will take RTK and the staff is eager to pool their talents to grow the organization. We are all very grateful to have Lynn Gentine as executive director.”

Please join us in congratulating her as she begins her new journey with the RTK team. Her first day is Monday, April 22.

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