Western National Parks Association Announces New CEO

Marie Buck. Courtesy of Barbara Sherman

(Tucson, AZ) July 13, 2022—Western National Parks Association (WNPA) announced today that Marie Buck has been named chief executive officer (CEO).

Buck was most recently chief operating officer (COO) for the Grand Canyon Conservancy (GCC) where she successfully managed operations, organization strategies, and systems. She previously served on the board of directors for GCC. As the senior director of business operations at Phoenix Raceway (NASCAR), Marie’s leadership was instrumental in the $180 million facility modernization project resulting in substantial increases in revenue and customer satisfaction.

“Marie has an impressive record of success leading and operating complex organizations in operations, human resources, retail, programs, and capital and business development projects,” said Les Corey, chairman of the WNPA board of directors. “She knows what it takes to successfully move WNPA forward, building upon the organization’s strong foundation and reputation, expanding partnerships, diversifying the organization’s revenue streams, and enhancing the visitor experience in the 71 national parks we serve.”

Buck has lived in Arizona most of her life and is an avid outdoorswoman. She enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, and whitewater rafting, and has worked 30 rafting trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

“WNPA is a nationally respected organization supporting the visitor experience and parks at the highest level. I’m excited to be leading such a visionary team,” Buck said. “The key to our momentum coming out of a pandemic is to remain fiscally sound and expand on the collaborative relationships WNPA has established with the parks and monuments with which we work, and ensure the highest service levels for all stakeholders. We must leverage our existing strengths and explore innovative approaches to connect visitors to their park experience that will create lifelong protectors of our natural and cultural resources.”

Buck succeeds Jim Cook who is retiring after more than 11 years.

Read more about Marie’s passion for public lands here.

About WNPA

Western National Parks Association (WNPA) helps make the national park experience possible for everyone. As a nonprofit education partner of the National Park Service, WNPA supports parks across the West, developing products, services, and programs that enhance the visitor experience, understanding, and appreciation of national parks. Since 1938 WNPA has worked to connect new generations to parks in meaningful ways, all with one simple goal: to create advocates who want to preserve and protect these special places for everyone for all time. Learn more at www.wnpa.org.