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Facing the Future Undaunted

Ted Ladd, 2019 Conservationist of the Year

The first time Edward H. “Ted” Ladd paid a visit to Dover’s Noanet Woodlands in the early 1980s, he encountered a hiccup on the way to the top. Vague (and long-since-replaced) signage steered him off course. No matter: he bushwhacked his way to Noanet Peak, stepped just beyond the summits rocky outcrop, and took in an exhilarating view of the Boston skyline. 

That indefatigable spirit has defined the life and work of Ted Ladd, The Trustees’ 2019 Charles Eliot Award winner. By merging a conservationists passion with an executives expertise, Ted has been instrumental in advancing the organizations mission for nearly 40 years. He immerses himself in a subject, establishes a perspective, looks off into the near and distant future, and asks the hard questions,” says Trustees President & CEO Barbara Erickson, who counts Ted as a trusted advisor. What if we dont do this right? What if we arent brave enough? What if our approach is too meek? Then he gets to work. 

One of the big issues...of our time, is trying to allocate resources between the present and the future—and the future almost always gets starved.

– Ted Ladd

Around Boston, Ted is perhaps best known for his work in the business sphere, where he presently serves as Chairman Emeritus of Mellon Investmentthe North American investment management firm of BNY Mellon, with assets under management of $500 billion. Once he leaves the boardroom, however, Ted indulges a lifelong love of the outdoors, whether its sailing off Cape Cod, exploring locales from the Grand Tetons to Antarctica, or hiking Trustees destinations around the Commonwealth.  

In 1983, concerned about development within his community in Dover, Ted joined The Trustees. He became a devoted advocate for the organizations mission, serving as a corporate trustee, a member of the advisory board, and eventually serving on the board of directorseven donating a conservation restriction on his familys property along the Charles River to The Trustees in 1991. I have a personal prejudice that one of the big issues, particularly of our time, is trying to allocate resources between the present and the futureand that the future almost always gets starved,” Ted once said.

Perhaps in response to that ongoing sense of urgency, Teds commitment to The Trustees has both deepened and broadened over time. In 2006, he co-chaired a campaign that raised a record $63 million for the organization. In 2017, he played a vital role on the fundraising committee for the 50th anniversary celebration of Worlds End. Now, in addition to a fourth term on the Trustees’ Board of Directors, he chairs the Boston Waterfront Task Force. And no matter the season, the view from Noanet Peak frequently lures him back in every season. I relish the opportunity for quiet contemplation,” Ted says, and the temporary illusion that we are all living in a world more nearly perfect than it is. 

Trustees AM&D 2019 Ted Ladd

Conservationist of the Year Ted Ladd at the 128th Annual Meeting of The Trustees, with (from left) Board Chair Peter Coffin, Board Vice Chair Eunice Panetta, and President & CEO Barbara Erickson; photo by Krista Photography

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