Mark Tercek of The Nature Conservancy to speak at Founders Day


Lake Erie College is proud to welcome Mark Tercek, president and chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), to campus as the keynote speaker for the College’s annual Founders Day event.

Tercek will present “Don’t Complain, Blame, or Worry. Do Something: How You Can Take Action on Climate Change Now.” The event will take place Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the Helen Rockwell Morley Memorial Music Building.

As the world’s largest conservation organization, TNC addresses the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Lake Erie College announced a partnership with TNC in 2016 to facilitate career pathways and research opportunities for LEC students.

Tercek, who is originally from Cleveland, joined TNC after 24 years at Goldman Sachs where he served as managing director and partner. Starting in 2005, he led the firm’s environmental strategy and its Environmental Markets Group. Inspired by the opportunity to help businesses, governments and environmental organizations work together in new, innovative ways, he left Goldman Sachs in 2008 to head up The Nature Conservancy. 

Tercek brings deep business experience to his role. His leadership as board chair of NatureVest, the conservation investing unit of TNC, exemplifies his approach throughout the organization. Established in 2014, NatureVest seeks to create and execute investable deals in a variety of sectors around the world that deliver conservation results and financial returns for investors.

In addition to his role at TNC, Tercek is the co-author of the Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling book Nature’s Fortune:  How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate. 

In 2016, Mark was appointed by President Barack Obama to the president's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He also served on the New York State 2100 Commission, which was created in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to advise Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state on how to make infrastructure more resilient to future storms. Tercek is a member of several boards and councils, including Resources for the Future, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy SolutionsHarvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP), and NatureVest. He also serves on the Williams College Board of Trustees.

In his lecture on Nov. 21, Tercek will address one of the biggest global challenges we face—climate change. He’ll discuss what actions TNC is taking to address this challenge, and why the organization has adopted climate change as its number one priority. He will also make the case that when it comes to climate, we don’t have the time to simply worry, complain, or blame the producers of the fossil fuels we all consume and benefit from. Tercek will describe what direct actions everyone can take—right now—to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the fastest and biggest way.

Tercek’s speech at Lake Erie College’s Founders Day aligns well with the College's approach to green initiatives, including a new major in environmental science, the new LEC Sustainability Committee, and the LECSC's speaker series, all of which seek to inspire environmental consciousness among the LEC community.

Founders Day is an annual celebration at Lake Erie College where students, faculty, staff and friends gather to recognize the institution’s deep rooted traditions and its founders. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will be held in the Arthur S. Holden Center immediately following the event.

If you are interested in bringing a group to hear Mark Tercek's speech, please contact College Events Director Leah Jackson at or register online at

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