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A nonprofit that raises money for Yellowstone National Park announced it has a new leader and that the chairwoman of its board has resigned.

Yellowstone Forever announced Monday that Lisa Diekmann, a philanthropist from Bozeman, will become the organization’s president and CEO starting August 17.

Diekmann was the first executive director of the former Yellowstone Park Foundation, Yellowstone Forever’s predecessor. During that time, Diekmann raised more than $30 million.

Diekmann said in a news release Monday that she’s honored to be chosen for the role at a “critical point in time for the organization.”

“I look forward to developing a successful plan for the organization’s future, including the re-start of the Yellowstone Institute, and to enhancing relationships with our partners and supporters,” she said.

She said Yellowstone Forever has seen a strong recovery in its philanthropic efforts recently. Diekmann also noted that retail locations that are open are stable.

“And, I am optimistic that circumstances will allow a re-open of the institute in the near future,” Diekmann said.

Heather White, the nonprofit’s former CEO, resigned last year after the organization laid off six employees. Leading up to White’s resignation, dozens of employees left the organization, and multiple sources told the Chronicle that the organization was in significant financial trouble.

The news release also announced that the nonprofit’s first board chairperson, Kay, Yeager retired from her role after 16 years. She served since Yellowstone Forever’s inception more than three years ago and was previously the chairperson of the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Yeager spoke about her accomplishments over the past years including raising more than $23 million for the park since the Yellowstone Association and the park foundation merged.

“With a new leader in place, this is the right time for me to retire from the board. I’m confident Lisa will be an outstanding leader, and I wish her much success,” Yeager said.

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly applauded the appointment of a new CEO. He said Diekmann was the right person for the job because she knows Yellowstone, its affiliates and has a proven track record of success.

“I commend the board on selecting such a high-quality candidate, and we look forward to working closely with her to make Yellowstone Forever one of the best park partners in the country,” Sholly said.

He also thanked Yeager for her service both with Yellowstone Forever and the park foundation.

“We especially value her longstanding support and the millions in contributions she’s given to Yellowstone’s major projects over the years, including the Roosevelt Arch, Old Faithful Visitor Center and park’s wolf program,” Sholly said.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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