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Hidden Villa Executive Director Announces Transition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 28, 2021, at 3:00 PM PST

Contact: Peter Hartzell
Board Chair, The Trust for Hidden Villa
[email protected]

LOS ALTOS HILLS, CA – Chris Overington, Executive Director at Hidden Villa, announced today that he has made the decision to transition out of his leadership role at the nonprofit organization. He will remain with the organization through November, supporting the Board of Trustees, Staff, and community with defining the role of the new Executive Director in implementing Hidden Villa’s recently completed Strategic Plan and ensuring the organization’s long-term financial sustainability.

“It has been a profound honor and privilege to serve as Hidden Villa’s Executive Director over the past 15 years. In collaboration with our dedicated Staff and Board of Trustees, a phenomenal pool of volunteers, innovative community partners, and exceptionally generous donors, I am equally humbled by, and proud of, all that we’ve accomplished together. Literally hundreds of thousands of children, youth and families have been able to enjoy the unique beauty and experience(s) that Hidden Villa has to offer during that time, and they give me great hope for the more sustainable, healthy, and just world of the future that we aspire to”, said Overington.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees we thank Chris for his dedicated leadership,” said Peter Hartzell, Hidden Villa Board Chair. “He has shaped Hidden Villa into a vibrant, strong, aspirational organization. We are also excited about the challenge he is giving to us, to reimagine the role of Executive Director and use this transition to begin the next phase of the organization; building on the legacy of the Duvenecks while stretching to realize the full potential of our vision and mission.”

David Duveneck, Board Member of Hidden Villa, commends Chris on all that he has accomplished. “Chris Overington has grown with Hidden Villa and grown the work of Hidden Villa in his 27-year journey with us. An educator at heart, Chris brought that dynamic into every corner of Hidden Villa as an educational organization. His presence has been deeply felt, a steady hand navigating the ranch through the changing times we all have lived through. He has been the Day Camp Director, Intern Coordinator, Director of Environmental Education, and Director of Programs and Partnerships, culminating in a fifteen-year position as Executive Director. Hidden Villa has had a rare luxury in Chris: a person who embodies the values of the Duveneck Family, and has stewarded the legacy with integrity and grace. As he releases the  burden of leadership I hope he continues to stay involved with all of us at Hidden Villa.”

During the pandemic, Hidden Villa’s 1600 acre organic farm and wilderness area remained open to the public. While public visitation and farming continued, a vast majority of their services were put on hold including in-person Summer Camp, Environmental Education field trips, Youth Development retreats, Community Programming, and Hostel and Facility Rentals. During the past 17 months, the organization shifted its focus to free and low-cost online educational experiences while planning for the return of in-person programming. Residential Summer Camp has already returned in 2021 and Hidden Villa is expecting a gradual rebound to other in-person programs this fall. During the duration of the pandemic, the organization also invested heavily in an ambitious strategic planning process that produced a new Vision, Mission and Values Statements; a Theory of Change; and a set of four impact areas upon which Hidden Villa will focus.

“In the spirit of the Duveneck family, this is an exciting time for Hidden Villa to embrace the opportunities offered by this time of transition and our new Strategic Plan and vision. I see a bright future ahead and am dedicated to supporting this transition in leadership so that the organization can continue to have the greatest impact on the areas outlined within that Plan; the Mitigation of Climate Change, Healthy Local Food systems, Placed Based Outdoor Education for All, and an Antiracist and Just Society”, said Overington.

“The Board and I will be collaborating with Chris to facilitate a smooth transition in leadership,” said Peter Hartzell. “To begin, we have formed a Board-led search committee to drive the process of selecting a new Executive Director to lead Hidden Villa into the future. The search committee will be seeking diverse input from our community of program participants, partners, volunteers, donors, and staff as we define the role of our new Executive Director. We will also be engaging a professional search firm to assist in finding the best pool of candidates to consider. Anyone who wants to share their input is welcome to send me a message at [email protected] Together, we will find an exceptional leader who will engage our community and help deliver on the Impact Areas defined in our Strategic Plan”.

For more information, please contact Hidden Villa Board Chair, Peter Hartzell at [email protected]