The leader of the nonprofit foundation that raises money for Yellowstone National Park will resign this week.

Yellowstone Forever announced Monday afternoon that president and CEO Heather White would resign, effective Friday.

John Walda, treasurer of Yellowstone Forever’s board of directors, will serve as interim president and CEO. White will work with Walda on a transition, according to a news release posted to the Yellowstone Forever website.

White has led the organization since 2016, when it formed following the merger of the Yellowstone Association and the Yellowstone Park Foundation. She said in the release that she was proud of what was accomplished in that time.

“It’s now time for me to explore new adventures, and for a new leader of Yellowstone Forever,” White said in the release. “It has been a privilege to help establish the mission, vision, and priorities of the organization, and to work with the board of directors and talented staff. I’m confident that Yellowstone Forever is poised for continued success.”

The news comes nearly a month after the organization laid off six employees. Dozens of employees have left the organization in the past year, and multiple sources have told the Chronicle that the organization is in significant financial trouble.

It also comes after a meeting of the group’s board of directors last week. Kay Yeager, chair of the board, said in the release that the organization appreciates White’s work.

“We are grateful for Heather’s leadership and her commitment to Yellowstone Forever and Yellowstone National Park,” Yeager said in the release. “Heather has been a tireless advocate for the organization and the park, has raised tens of millions of dollars for our mission, increased our brand awareness, and has brought energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism to her role.”

Walda retired last year from the top post at the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Michael Wright can be reached at or at 406-582-2638. Follow him on Twitter @mj_wright1.

Michael Wright covers the environment and wildlife issues for the Chronicle.

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