Looking forward:
A message from Bill Schleizer

It’s quite exhilarating for me to welcome you to our FY16 annual report. In my 12 years at Delta Institute, I’ve woken up almost every day inspired by the belief that by rolling up our sleeves, working together, and asking big questions we can come up with new ideas to create a vibrant Great Lakes region.

Forward. The motto of my home state of Wisconsin. Wisconsinites are known for their hard-working and resilient disposition, their practical outlook on life, and a proud history of progressive experimentation (also, a love of dairy, beer, football, and cold weather). Growing up in central Wisconsin, those values shaped my worldview and curiosity about how things work and interact with each other. Eventually, this curiosity drew me to an ecology degree and a master’s in environmental analysis and decision making (skills that are put to good use every day here at Delta).

Forward Momentum. The problems facing the Great Lakes region are complicated. With climate change impacts, threats, and strained resources, we can no longer deny the urgent need to tackle the problems that our landscapes and communities face. We have to gain momentum, find creative ways of planning and doing, and account for the impact our decisions have on people and planet. That’s why we use a systems approach to problem-solving here at Delta. We examine how decisions are made, policies are created, and practices are implemented to identify the most effective leverage points to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Forward Together. Partnership is central to Delta’s mission — and with the complexity of the challenges we face, collaboration is an absolute necessity. None of the work highlighted in this report was accomplished by us alone. In the last year, we partnered with community-based organizations, government agencies, impact investors, peer nonprofits, businesses, universities, and even utilities to work towards realizing our vision of a more resilient Great Lakes environment and economy.

I invite you to join us in collaboration. Team up with us on projects, connect us to your colleagues, join our events to learn about the problems we’re trying to solve, and help us create impact by supporting our work.

I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish moving forward together.

— Bill Schleizer, CEO, Delta Institute

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