Liz Edsall McLaurin

President & CEO

As President and CEO, Liz McLaurin is a visionary leader for The Land Trust for Tennessee and its mission to conserve Tennessee’s irreplaceable natural and historic landscapes and sites. During her ten years of service at The Land Trust, Liz has expanded the organization’s impact and partnerships across the state, helping to make the accredited organization one of the most successful and respected land trusts in our nation.

During her tenure, Liz worked to expand the organization’s reach beyond Middle Tennessee to Chattanooga and the Cumberland Plateau by helping to establish a Southeast Tennessee office, managed a $1.2 million fundraising campaign and construction project to stabilize the historic home and outbuildings at The Land Trust for Tennessee’s 65-acre Glen Leven Farm near downtown Nashville, initiated youth and adult education programs at that site, and led a strategic planning process to chart the course for the organization through 2020.

Liz succeeded The Land Trust for Tennessee’s founder, Jeanie Nelson. During her first year as President and CEO, the organization achieved a record conservation year. In 2018, Liz spearheaded the relocation of the organization’s Nashville office to the historic Glen Leven Farm, rooting the organization in a place that embodies both its vision and mission.

Liz is a graduate of the 2018 Leadership Franklin class and serves on the Center for Nonprofit Management’s CEO Council, Metro Nashville’s Livable Nashville Committee, Nashville’s Plan to Play Steering Committee, the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, the Harlinsdale Committee of Friends of Franklin Parks and Tennessee State Parks’ Planning Committee.

Liz grew up all over the country, from the mountains of Vermont and North Carolina to the urban centers of New York and Philadelphia. She was drawn to Tennessee as a student by the sense of place that the Domain of The University of the South offered. Since then she has had a desire to ensure that Tennessee will be distinctive forever. She started her career in theatre, acting in both New York and in regional theatre. Before joining The Land Trust for Tennessee, Liz held various management and community-focused positions at Vanderbilt University, Nashville Public Television, Nashville Public Radio, Rhode Island School of Design Museum and Colgate University.

Liz lives with her husband and three sons on a farm in the Leiper’s Fork community of Williamson County. A vacation for the McLaurins involves camping in their Airstream and hiking, kayaking, fishing, and biking – with a little music on the side.

What do you love most about your job? “The moments I’ve loved most in my job have related to the bringing together of people and place and seeing transformations of all sorts related to that dynamic – the 16-year-old girl who had never picked flowers until a visit to Glen Leven Farm; the donor who made a gift to save a place that is important to her so that it will be important to somebody in 100 years; my son who explained to his kindergarten class that we all need all sorts of places, but you ‘can’t replace land when its gone.'”

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