After 11 years as the president of the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy (AFC), Nancy Steele has stepped down from the position.

Steele co-founded the nonprofit (then known as the Altadena Foothills Conservancy) in 2000 with the goal of preserving open space in the foothills of Altadena and educating people about local open space and wilderness-related issues.

Under Steele’s watch, the conservancy developed a comprehensive overview of local land in need of protection, helped preserve 15 acres along the Chaney Trail Corridor in west Altadena, produced an educational film about early efforts to bring water to the San Gabriel Valley, created a demonstration water-wise park, created a plan for a 25-mile regional trails system, and, most recently, preserved 41 acres in Rubio Canyon, located in the Altadena foothills.

Steele will remain on AFC’s Board of Directors. Tim Wendler, who has served on the conservancy’s board for two years, is the new president.

“I couldn’t be happier about Tim Wendler taking over as president of the conservancy,” Steele said. “Tim brings a wealth of experience, a commitment to open space conservation, integrity, and a sense of humor to the board. I know the organization is in good hands.”

An environmental engineer by profession, Wendler is active in local open-space efforts as the former chair of Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory Committee and of the Pasadena Recreation and Parks Commission. Wendler is also a member of the advisory committee to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

“It’s an honor to take the reins from Nancy Steele, who has led our land trust to spectacular achievements,” Wendler said. “I look forward to our continued challenge to save our precious open spaces with the support of the community.”

New vice president

Lawren Markle, meanwhile, is AFC’s new vice president, taking over for Lori Paul. A professional public relations specialist and a former member of the advisory committee to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Markle was instrumental in helping to secure government funding for AFC’s recent acquisition of Rubio Canyon.

Paul co-founded AFC in 2000, and had served as the conservancy’s vice president ever since.

Board member Laura Garrett takes over as the conservancy’s secretary, board member Paul Rabinov as treasurer.