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  1. #1

    Default Anyone know why the ATC's new 1st female Pres./CEO Suzanne Dixon resigned abruptly?

    Been catching up on the summer's events and noticed that after only 22.5 months of service Ms. Dixon is leaving the ATC. Weird she wouldn't make it a round 2 years. (Her predecessor Ron Tipton went 4 years.) She also departs after much fanfare surrounding her arrival to continue her career. By contrast only a few sentences mention her replacement Ms. Marra in the announcement of her departure. She's also taking leave before her departure to be with family. And not ease the transition? The only thing that stands out to me is that the announcement came just 2 months after her rousing AT Strong speech at Trail Days in the wake of the tragedy. I was there and she didn't seem like a leader just days away from giving up her position.

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  3. #3

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    people have lives and families and some times the job they have has to take a back seat to something else.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    people have lives and families and some times the job they have has to take a back seat to something else.
    Right. But this isn't a job as the GM at an Applebee's. Usually when one signs on to be the president and CEO of a major organization like the ATC there's an expectation as part of the hiring process that there be a 3-5 year commitment. Especially an outside hire where a search was conducted. Dixon spent 20 years at her last job and intends to continue her career. In the big scheme of things 22.5 months is sticking your head in the door - hell it takes about a year to master a new gig like that. I wondered if it had something to do with the recent tragedy as her sudden, and apparently unexpected departure, comes directly on its heels.

  5. #5

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    How could she or anyone in the ATC have prevented the incident on trail?

    I'd bet she found a better or higher paying job. There's no point in having loyalty to your employers these days so I don't blame her if that's the case.

  6. #6
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Or, maybe she wasn't doing as good a job as the directors wanted? There were some minor deficiencies in their latest audit, but most organizations have a few, so I doubt that's it. FWIW, ATC isn't what I'd call a "major organization". It has about $10 million / year in revenue. Monetarily, maybe 1/3 the size of AMC, 1/20 the size of Sierra club. But, the scope of the asset management part (the AT and corridor) is a huge public trust. CEO/President pay for her predecessor, Tipton, was about $200K. A nice income, but not exactly Wall Street money either. If you read her profile on linkedin.com most of her prior jobs seemed more focused on fundraising/development than trust management. Also, her replacement, Sandra Marra, is/was her boss - the Chairman of the Board of ATC. So, maybe the boards' vision wasn't being carried out to their satisfaction. Or maybe she just wasn't a good fit. Or she got a better job. Or she wants to thru-hike and her crummy employer wouldn't give her a leave of absence Could be anything.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylegs76 View Post
    Right. But this isn't a job as the GM at an Applebee's. Usually when one signs on to be the president and CEO of a major organization like the ATC there's an expectation as part of the hiring process that there be a 3-5 year commitment. Especially an outside hire where a search was conducted. Dixon spent 20 years at her last job and intends to continue her career. In the big scheme of things 22.5 months is sticking your head in the door - hell it takes about a year to master a new gig like that. I wondered if it had something to do with the recent tragedy as her sudden, and apparently unexpected departure, comes directly on its heels.
    In post #11 of the following thread, it was pointed out that of the 8 president/CEOs in ATC history, only 3 have lasted more than 2 years. So this is not unusual.

    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...=Suzanne+dixon

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    so if it was a male ceo that resigned after 22 months would you question it?

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    I got an ear full on this topic from a person who works at the mid Atlantic ATC office and the gist was she was not a good fit for the job and vice versa. It sounded like the organization needed someone to keep it on course rather than to change direction.

  10. #10

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    [QUOTE=FrogLevel;2253917]How could she or anyone in the ATC have prevented the incident on trail?

    I think this was the preventable incident that would have got lots of folks terminated for so many reasons that are obvious it isn't worth listing them:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckPGLGZt_4A

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Or, maybe she wasn't doing as good a job as the directors wanted? There were some minor deficiencies in their latest audit, but most organizations have a few, so I doubt that's it. FWIW, ATC isn't what I'd call a "major organization". It has about $10 million / year in revenue. Monetarily, maybe 1/3 the size of AMC, 1/20 the size of Sierra club. But, the scope of the asset management part (the AT and corridor) is a huge public trust. CEO/President pay for her predecessor, Tipton, was about $200K. A nice income, but not exactly Wall Street money either. If you read her profile on linkedin.com most of her prior jobs seemed more focused on fundraising/development than trust management. Also, her replacement, Sandra Marra, is/was her boss - the Chairman of the Board of ATC. So, maybe the boards' vision wasn't being carried out to their satisfaction. Or maybe she just wasn't a good fit. Or she got a better job. Or she wants to thru-hike and her crummy employer wouldn't give her a leave of absence Could be anything.
    You're only talking about the transparent non-profit and not the for-profit sister company where the real cash is. Look closer.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    so if it was a male ceo that resigned after 22 months would you question it?
    Yes. And if it were a male the ATC wouldn't have trumpeted his gender at their press release when he took the job as if gender mattered. Because we're all equal. Right? Of course Ron Tipton lasted for 2 years and 2 months longer than a female much his junior who wasn't apparently up to snuff. What are we to learn from this? Are we all indeed equal?

    I think this was an ATC fumble and the completely inappropriate 'AT Strong' speech Dixon gave from the roof of the very bus used to carry the killer closer to his victims is emblematic of a history of poor judgement from a now skipperless ship with a broke rudder and no compass. Not to mention that ancient shuttle has no seats or seatbelts and is used to plug a business that Dixon plugged while exonerating the boob who gave aid and comfort to an enemy of hikers. If I was Stronghold's folks I'd puke at seeing that!

    Question "authority"!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    I got an ear full on this topic from a person who works at the mid Atlantic ATC office and the gist was she was not a good fit for the job and vice versa. It sounded like the organization needed someone to keep it on course rather than to change direction.
    Well, looks like someone knows how to answer a question without a question! Thank you. That's what I thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylegs76 View Post
    You're only talking about the transparent non-profit and not the for-profit sister company where the real cash is. Look closer.
    Look where? I've read ATC's (and others) financial statements and irs 990's for many years. There are corporate partners/sponsors which generate revenue to ATC, bit I know of no for profit ATC entity. I really don't think there's a deep state conspiracy here.

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  16. #16

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    Ah well, Facebook orations. Who can argue with that.

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    For a community of people who talk of quitting their jobs to pursue their dream of hiking the trail, it seems silly of us to worry too much about somebody who decided they didn't like their job enough to stay at it, or had other life circumstances that required her to take a step back.

    I have thought a bit about that recently as Andrew Luck retired from the Colts. Yeah, I was a tad disappointed (as a colts fan) but he is now going to go do what he wants to do. The fact that thousands of people wear his jersey and are devoutly loyal to the company he used to work for has no bearing on the fact that he didn't want to do that job anymore.

  18. #18

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    [QUOTE=madgoat;2253943]For a community of people who talk of quitting their jobs to pursue their dream of hiking the trail, it seems silly of us to worry too much about somebody who decided they didn't like their job enough to stay at it, or had other life circumstances that required her to take a step back.

    I think the bigger issue is not Dixon's career arc, but that this is emblematic of the trail's governing entity, the somewhat grandiosely self-proclaimed Guardians Of The Trail, again rejecting change. Which is a disturbing move considering how fast and how much the trail has changed in the just the last ten to twenty years. Especially surrounding the remarkable impact of skyrocketing use numbers. Dixon was an outside hire who had been the senior director of the National Parks Conservation Association. That she should be rejected by the ATC, or vice versa, should be an alarm bell for hikers and donors alike. I'm reminded of the time my grandparents hired a contractor who told them they needed a new roof and they fired him, only to let it rain in their attic for another year before getting a new roof. Dixon's replacement Marra seems like a return of the matronly old guard from within, instead of a fresh young voice and perspective from without. While Dixon's hamhanded and insensitive handling of the Trail Days Knute Rockne from the roof of a profit seekers murder accessory now makes more sense when you consider that it was likely the last personal act of rebellion from someone who had either just quit, just been fired, or a combo of each. At any rate, Sandra Marra won't be climbing onto any vehicles to give rousing speeches to the teeming multitudes! It appears she won't be climbing any mountains either. The ATC dumped a young avid conservationist and outdoorsperson for an old bean counting lunch lady. Great.

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    I commented on this topic in another thread and I was castigated for it as being a purveyor of "speculation." It's interesting to see this thread with a lot of speculation, so I'm going to repeat what I said before. She was pushed out. I've seen it before through decades of working for corporations and all the earmarks are there. They quickly replaced her with a board member and although her employment was to continue until the end of this month, the new CEO is in place and has been for some time.

    IMHO Crossup is spot on target.
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