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Ian McSweeney sees land protection as a future investment


WEARE - Ian McSweeney sees protecting land as an investment in his children's future, and through the Russell Foundation, he works to help others reach a common goal of conservation.

McSweeney, 36, is the executive director of the Russell Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Gordon and Barbara Russell that is tasked with assisting private landowners, organizations and municipalities to work through the complicated process of preserving open space through purchases and easements. From raising funds to navigating the legal negotiations associated with land conservation, McSweeney offers advice and assistance.

"I really have a passion for the working landscape," said McSweeney. "The farm and forest are very important to our way of life in New Hampshire, but there's not a system of support to help landowners who have working land to expand the viability of their farms and forests."

Though he knew in college that his purpose in life was giving back and helping others, McSweeney didn't realize until he was older that his mission would draw him to the land. He studied psychology and was heading toward a career in social work but instead found himself working in real estate.

It was through McSweeney's experience working with landowners and builders that he realized that there is a disconnect between conservation and development - a lack of understanding that the two interests aren't mutually exclusive. But there are few people around to help developers and conservationists see the benefits of working in partnership and exploring how those partnerships could work. In 2005, McSweeney joined the Russell Foundation to assist the organization in building those bridges between developers and conservationists.

Since his time at the foundation, McSweeney has helped to raise more than $6.2 million which has been used to set aside more than 4,000 acres of conservation land in southern New Hampshire. McSweeney said he sees his work as an investment in his children's future and in the preservation of a way of life that makes New Hampshire the place he wants to raise his family.

"There's no greater satisfaction than taking the proverbial Sunday drive and knowing that I've personally taken a role in protecting the land around us for the future," said McSweeney. "It's very important to me."

        

March 16 Reception!

Join the New Hampshire Union Leader, Citizens Bank and the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire as we honor this year’s 40 Under Forty class.

When: March 16, 2016 – 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Grappone Conference Center – Concord, NH

Tickets: Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online by clicking the button below or you can arrange for tickets by calling 603.206.7834 or emailing ewhalen@unionleader.com.

THANKS TO OUR PROGRAM SPONSOR

Class of 2016

Kris Mailepors: 'Better leaders produce better results'

Kris Mailepors: 'Better leaders produce better results'

Neil Nicholson: 'He's never lost sight of the importance of helping others'

Neil Nicholson: 'He's never lost sight of the importance of helping others'

John Vaccarezza: 'Mr. Vacc' has settled in with Central Pride

John Vaccarezza: 'Mr. Vacc' has settled in with Central Pride

Michael Dimos: A big booster for Manchester

Michael Dimos: A big booster for Manchester

Brent Kiley: A leader's job is to listen

Brent Kiley: A leader's job is to listen

Amy Manzelli: Busy mom is an attorney focused on the environment

Amy Manzelli: Busy mom is an attorney focused on the environment

Charles Lloyd: Finding success in giving back

Charles Lloyd: Finding success in giving back

Subash Acharya: Bhutan native helps refugees become self-sufficient

Subash Acharya: Bhutan native helps refugees become self-sufficient

Cam Brensinger: Building a foundation for the future

Cam Brensinger: Building a foundation for the future

Christine DeAngelis: Focused on Rochester children, economics

Christine DeAngelis: Focused on Rochester children, economics

Joshua Bourdon: Derry councilor sees potential in everybody

Joshua Bourdon: Derry councilor sees potential in everybody

Deo Mwano: Giving back has been a healing process

Deo Mwano: Giving back has been a healing process

Anthony Correnti: Eye doc sees constant challenges

Anthony Correnti: Eye doc sees constant challenges

Jennifer Creasey: Franklin native gives back to her city

Jennifer Creasey: Franklin native gives back to her city

Peter Laufenberg: Helping students along the career path

Peter Laufenberg: Helping students along the career path

Maria Noel Groves: Herbalist spreads the word on wellness

Maria Noel Groves: Herbalist spreads the word on wellness

Allison Joseph: MY TURN executive helps at-risk youth

Allison Joseph: MY TURN executive helps at-risk youth

Jason Bergeron: His family embraces 'live for today'

Jason Bergeron: His family embraces 'live for today'

Michael Browning: His goal is creating game changers

Michael Browning: His goal is creating game changers

 Suraj Budathoki: New U.S. citizen advocates for human rights

Suraj Budathoki: New U.S. citizen advocates for human rights

 Kat Antonioli: Nonprofit co-founder believes it's better to give than to receive

Kat Antonioli: Nonprofit co-founder believes it's better to give than to receive

Jackie Christensen: onCampus creator 'cuts through the noise'

Jackie Christensen: onCampus creator 'cuts through the noise'

Jennifer A. Vadney: Opening doors to new homes

Jennifer A. Vadney: Opening doors to new homes

Jessica Chabot: P.R. pro volunteers to help veterans

Jessica Chabot: P.R. pro volunteers to help veterans

Jason B. Grosky: Prosecutor's commitment to civic life is a juggling act

Jason B. Grosky: Prosecutor's commitment to civic life is a juggling act

 Dr. Adrian Thomas: Surgeon's evenings filled with family

Dr. Adrian Thomas: Surgeon's evenings filled with family

Kendra Bell: Proud to be from the North Country

Kendra Bell: Proud to be from the North Country

Tara Albert: Key to her success caring for the environment is loving the job

Tara Albert: Key to her success caring for the environment is loving the job

Joseph Manzoli Jr.: The power of a superhero

Joseph Manzoli Jr.: The power of a superhero

Jason Beaudet: Transforming design into reality

Jason Beaudet: Transforming design into reality

Jennifer Malone: Vet goes the extra mile to provide creature comforts

Jennifer Malone: Vet goes the extra mile to provide creature comforts

Martha Frechette: Working with dogs 'just makes your day'

Martha Frechette: Working with dogs 'just makes your day'

Shaloo Savla: A drive to be part of the solution

Shaloo Savla: A drive to be part of the solution

Maria Proulx: A strong work ethic pays off

Maria Proulx: A strong work ethic pays off

 Katherine Peters: Commitment to energy efficiency, public service drives career

Katherine Peters: Commitment to energy efficiency, public service drives career

Kevin Smith: Leading Londonderry forward

Kevin Smith: Leading Londonderry forward

Meredith Stidham: Committed to social justice

Meredith Stidham: Committed to social justice

Dave Tencza: Protecting NH's most vulnerable

Dave Tencza: Protecting NH's most vulnerable

Gina Powers: State House lobbyist thrives on volunteer work

Gina Powers: State House lobbyist thrives on volunteer work

Fr. Kyle Stanton: Young priest a pastor to two flocks

Fr. Kyle Stanton: Young priest a pastor to two flocks

Class of 2017 Nominations

Please summarize below the nominee's professional and volunteer accomplishments, and other special factors that you feel make them deserving of this recognition. Please include complete contact information for nominee.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 program, contact Shannon K. Sullivan, Community Relations Manager, 603-206-7833 or ssullivan@unionleader.com.

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