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On Friday, August 2nd, Galapagos Conservancy’s President, Johannah Barry entertained the crowd at the Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference hosted by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals DC Chapter (AFP-DC). Held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center in Fort Washington, MD, the sold-out conference drew 1,500 fundraising and direct marketing professionals hoping to make meaningful connections and benefit from the expert advice of their industry peers.
Barry was tasked with inspiring and energizing attendees in her keynote address titled Endless Forms Most Beautiful: Saving Galapagos in the 21st Century, in which she shared the unique opportunities and challenges facing the Conservancy in preserving and protecting the Galapagos Islands.
Her passion for Galapagos was evident in the stories she told of the remarkable conservation efforts of this unique archipelago. The tales of removing invasive goats from Isabela Island and repopulating Pinta Island with giant tortoises highlighted a few key successes of a massive environmental conservation program, while the loss of Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island tortoise, served as a reminder of the fragility of the isolated Galapagos ecosystem. Attendees were treated to a stunning slideshow of iconic Galapagos flora and fauna, including blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, sea lions, and lava lizards, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at George’s journey to post-mortem preservation in New York.
Conference attendees were treated to a humorous “Toast to the Tortoise!” during Barry’s presentation, in which she concluded with a touching photo of a hand drawn sign that stated, “Noah left the best animals in Galapagos.” We, at Galapagos Conservancy, couldn’t agree more.