Meet the Faces: Kayla McBride
A friendly “Hello!” accompanied by a beaming smile is what you’ll get the first time to you meet Kayla McBride, our Operations Manager at The Land Trust for Tennessee. Kayla not only ensures continuity and efficiency in our daily operations – she also embodies our team culture and ensures that each person who comes in contact with The Land Trust is welcomed and appreciated.
A Middle Tennessee native, Kayla was born in Gladeville and grew up in Smyrna, Hermitage, and Nashville.
Philanthropy played a big role in Kayla’s high school and collegiate years. She served as the Service Chair of a social club at Lipscomb University for two years, coordinating service opportunities for students around Nashville, and as a summer camp counselor for two years at Horton Haven Christian Camp in Chapel Hill.
After working with youth in under-served communities at Rocketown for nearly five years, Kayla’s passion for connecting people to places then drew her to the mission of The Land Trust in 2016.
Q: Where does your desire to see special places throughout Tennessee conserved come from?
A: I’ve always held such a fondness for the outdoors, especially in Tennessee. I worked a lot with youth of different ages and can see the positive impact that recreational and open spaces has on them, both physically and mentally. It is up to each one of us to make sure that generations after us can enjoy the same beauty we do today. We’re impacting something so much bigger than ourselves when working to conserve the land around us.
Q: As Operations Manager at The Land Trust, it sounds like this role could also cover a lot of ground. What all does your job entail?
A: You mean, what all does it not entail? Kayla smiles. I love the day-to-day challenges of problem solving, organizing, and bringing people together. That’s really at the core of what I do.
Operationally, I ensure offices are stocked with supplies, set up and help configure IT equipment, implement stewardship guidelines for Glen Leven Farm, lead staff meetings, take meeting minutes for the Board of Directors, and make myself available should others need assistance elsewhere. I also assist our Senior Director of Finance & Operations with some finance responsibilities, like Accounts Payable, as well as some human resource responsibilities.
I also started a Culture Committee, which is a team of staff who are interested in planning fun, educational outings for the whole staff a few times a year. For example, we recently spent a day testing water quality and learning about the many fish and critters in the Duck River. So fun!
Q: Based on all of your work and volunteer experience, how do people and land conservation tie together for you?
A: We hold such a responsibility to steward what we’ve been given and to show unity through our care for each other and the land. I have enjoyed being able to witness the positive impact our work has on Tennessee – on both its residents and its landscape – and cannot wait to see how this impact grows for the future.
Q: What is something you have especially enjoyed since joining The Land Trust over three years ago?
A: I love the connectedness I feel to my home in being a part of this organization. I am fortunate to get the opportunity to learn so much about Tennessee and the many stories that come through the work we do with landowners.
I also love our team and the importance placed on culture within our organization. I’m grateful for the support I feel both professionally and personally through the staff, Board of Directors, and other great people we meet in the work we do. It’s really about creating a much larger community and giving back to the land we all love.
While an operations job may appear to be technical, systematic work, Kayla brings much more to the team than helping us configure computers and ensuring we never run out of envelopes. At The Land Trust, we often say that while we are a land conservation organization, we are truly in the people business – and Kayla plays a vital role in helping us build strong, trusting relationships in all we do.
Your support fuels our work from start to finish, from the first phone call to our office to monitoring conserved land every year to ensure it remains protected forever. Please consider a gift to support conservation in both our communities and wild, open spaces across Tennessee.