New Friends of Acadia leader addresses the future

President and CEO Eric Stiles shares his vision with the Mount Desert Islander and during a livestream with Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider.

Via the Mount Desert Islander:

BAR HARBOR — Eric Stiles started his new job as president and CEO of Friends of Acadia on June 30 and had planned to talk about FOA’s vision for the future at the organization’s annual meeting July 6 at the Bar Harbor Club.

But he wasn’t able to attend because of a family emergency.

Last Friday, he gave the Islander a glimpse of what he had wanted to tell FOA members and the community.

“Having a high quality, welcoming experience in nature should be a fundamental human right,” said new Friends of Acadia CEO and President Eric Stiles. “But for many there are barriers. Our national parks are meant to serve the nation. How can we do that in a more inclusive and equitable manner and make sure there aren’t segments of folks who are left out?”

Stiles said the lack of affordable housing for Acadia’s seasonal employees threatens to affect the park’s ability to fulfill its mission at the highest level of excellence.

“If Acadia National Park is one of the nation’s gems, doesn’t it deserve the top talent in the country? But right now, the lack of affordable housing is a tremendous barrier. By addressing that and other barriers, we are trying to create a leveling of opportunities. Doing that means Acadia National Park will be able to recruit a more diverse talent pool.”

Stiles said the challenges presented by climate change are “daunting,” and he stressed that they require visionary, long range solutions.

Read the full story from the Mount Desert Islander: New Friends of Acadia leader addresses the future

What's ahead

FOA President and CEO Eric Stiles chats with Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider