Former St. James Winery marketing manager named Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation executive director

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Tricia Burkhardt

The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation Board of Directors appointed Tricia Burkhardt as the executive director of the nonprofit devoted to advancing the conservation and appreciation of Missouri’s natural resources, including fish, forest and wildlife.

Burkhardt was the marketing communications manager at St. James Winery and Public House Brewing Company in St. James, for two years. 

Burkhardt replaced Kevin Roper, who retired June 30 after serving as executive director for five years. 

Burkhardt is a marking communication professional with more than 15 years of experience in agriculture and conservation, and was hired in 2018 as the foundation’s director of development and social media. 

For the last 18 months, the foundation said she has transitioned from that role to Interim Executive Director through a robust, hands-on training program. 

“Growing up on a farm in Osage County has instilled the importance of conserving, preserving and protecting our natural resources for the next generations,” says Burkhardt. “Without clean water, healthy soils, and robust habitats, we don’t have much. It is my purpose to make sure my children, their children, and their children’s children can fish and float our rivers and hike and hunt our lands. I look forward to continuing to build partnerships for our state’s conservation heritage.”

Her background includes agriculture journalism, animal health and row crop integrated marketing communication, international program support, beverage brand marketing, special events programming, foundation budgeting, fundraising, planned giving, grants, sponsorship sales, strategic planning and digital marketing. 

She was a counselor at MorganMyers, an agriculture communication firm, in Waterloo, Iowa, for 12 years working with clients such as Merck Animal Health, Pfizer Animal Health, Novartis Animal Health, Case IH, Kruger Seed, Rabobank Agrifinance, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Missouri Farmers Union and Missouri Biotechnology Association. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Journalism and in Animal Sciences from the University of Missouri.

According to the foundation, using innovative, consistent, and frequent messaging and marketing strategies to connect to different audiences, Burkhardt has grown Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation's donor database by more than 7,000 people over the last two years. 

She has worked on multiple endowments and conservation easement projects to protect endangered species and species of concern, including the Indiana bat. 

She thrives on interacting with people and executing creative ideas that better serve conservation efforts in Missouri.

For over 100 years, her family has been farming along the Maries River in Osage County. Their dedication to conservation inspires her to fully enjoy and help protect Missouri’s natural resources. Tricia and her husband, Matt, have two sons. 

The whole family loves spending time outdoors, including backpacking, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and kayaking.