During its annual planning session, the Board of Directors of the Dunwoody Nature Center unanimously voted to appoint Michael Cowan as executive director, succeeding Alan Mothner. Michael previously served on the Board of Directors following a 10 year stint as AT&T Accessories Team business director. During this time, he was recognized as the company’s official “Environmental Champion” for his efforts to improve sustainability of retail packaging by reducing waste, requiring use of 100% recyclable paperboard and the introduction of plant based plastic. He also led the development and introduction of the world’s first sustainable zero-draw wall charger that reduced energy consumption used to charge cell phones.
“I am honored to take up the mantle of success that the Nature Center has achieved in our mission of inspiring a love of nature and cultivating environmental understanding and stewardship,” Cowan says. “I am eager to continue forward with the fulfillment of our strategic and parks master plan, as well as our capital campaign as we make the Nature Center an emblem of environmental sustainability throughout our community, the metro Atlanta region, and the state of Georgia.”
Cowan will be a familiar face to Nature Center visitors, having lived in the community for nearly 20 years. He has served in Dunwoody on the Sustainability Committee for the past four years, the last two as Chair of the Committee. He also serves as an active leader with Boy Scout Troop 434. In this capacity, Cowan has held roles as treasurer, governing committee, assistant scout master, merit badge counselor and has led two crews on a 15 day trek in the wilderness of New Mexico at Philmont Scout Ranch. An active volunteer with the Atlanta Area Council of the Scouts of America, Cowan is chairman of the Hightower District Golden Eagle campaign, a table host at Golden Eagle luncheon, and has been recognized with the Trailblazer Award for his efforts.
Nature Center Board President, Catherine Lautenbacher, says, “Michael brings an unparalleled level of professionalism and management experience to our team. We are excited to have him lead us in our next stage of growth and service to the community.”
Cowan holds a BS in management from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Emory University. He and his wife, Jean, have two high school aged children (Dunwoody and Chamblee Magnet) and all share a passion for environmental stewardship.