“Nature Matters” June 2, 2014, Gala Summary

Jun 4, 2014 9:00 AM ET

The Nature Conservancy’s “Nature Matters” Gala was held on June 2, 2014, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City to celebrate the ways that nature matters locally and around the world. The event had 600 attendees and raised over $2.1 million. Funds raised through the Gala will support The Nature Conservancy’s mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

So why does “Nature Matter?” We are connected to it in our everyday lives—from the air we breathe and the food we eat, to the water we drink and the places where we play. Nature nourishes, strengthens and restores our minds, bodies and souls.

Yet, our growing needs for food, water and energy are straining the natural systems on which we depend. Working on land and in oceans, lakes and rivers, our global staff of more than 3,600—including 600 scientists—works on the ground in over 35 countries to find and develop solutions to protect the planet and our livelihoods.

Through our collective efforts, we can restore and strengthen nature so that it in turn strengthens, restores and connects us as it has done for generations. Just as we depend on air, water, soil and wildlife for our wellbeing, the natural world depends on us as well.

In addition to celebrating why nature matters, the 2014 Nature Conservancy Gala recognized two honorees for being conservation leaders: Disney and The Butler Conservation Fund. The Nature Conservancy is honored to recognize the extraordinary support and commitment of these conservation leaders.

  • Environmental stewardship and nature conservation are a rich part of The Walt Disney Company’s history and a vital focus of its future. For over 25 years, Disney has collaborated with The Nature Conservancy on innovative approaches to protecting important lands and waters.
  • The Butler Conservation Fund, and its founder Gilbert Butler, is dedicated to supporting the conservation, restoration, and protection of the environment as well as providing opportunities for outdoor education, especially for the younger generations of today.

Dan Harris, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” and the weekend edition of “Good Morning America,” hosted the evening.

Attendees included:

  • Mark Tercek, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy
  • Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company
  • Dan Harris, Co-Anchor of ABC News “Nightline” & “Good Morning America” Weekend Edition
  • Gil Butler, Founder and President of the Butler Capital Corporation
  • Bill Ulfelder, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in New York
  • Steve Denning, Chairman of General Atlantic/Nature Conservancy Global Board of Directors
  • James Goldston, President of ABC News
  • Emily Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Chris Licht, Executive Producer of CBS News’ “CBS This Morning”
  • Javier Saralegui, President and Chief Operating Officer of Univision.com
  • Dan Chung and Alex Alger, CEO and CIO at Fred Alger Management and Chairman of The Nature Conservancy’s New York Board/Co-Principal of Fred Alger Associates
  • Tom Secunda, Global Head of Bloomberg’s Financial Products and Services
  • Steve Mandel, Founder and Managing Director of Lone Pine Capital
  • Bernard and Lisa Selz, Managing Partner of Selz Capital LLC/Philanthropist
  • Ted and Connie Roosevelt, Managing Director at Barclays Capital/Conservationist
  • Roy Vagelos, Chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Photos can be found at:  http://www.patrickmcmullan.com/site/event_detail.aspx?eid=47322&home=1.

For more information please contact Rachel Winters, rwinters@tnc.org or (267) 210-2189.


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.