Volunteer Profile: Leyna Bernstein

April 18, 2019

INLC warmly welcomes new board member Leyna Bernstein. The founder and managing director of Leadership Search Partners, a national search firm out of California that works only with non-profits, Leyna now has her own small consulting firm in Spokane.

She brings a wealth of talent and experience to INLC. She has worked with a variety of land conservation organizations, including the Sonoma Land Trust, the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land, and the Save the Redwoods League. She learned about INLC because when a friend from the Sonoma Land Trust heard Leyna was moving to Spokane, she gave her a membership in the local land trust—INLC. Importantly, Leyna has a deep understanding of the not-for-profit business model and a passion for fund raising. In addition to an active professional life, she is an avid volunteer, championing everything from developing women board leaders, to women composers, to the San Francisco Jewish Film Institute. In Spokane, she is passionate about the Friends of Manito, the Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant, and Dining for Women.

Leyna grew up in Laguna Beach, California, and has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. After a successful career in California, she chose to move to Spokane in 2017 because she admires the community’s devotion to parks, libraries, and schools. Moreover, Spokane has access to mountains and outdoor activities, yet is still very much a city. In particular, she enjoys Riverside State Park.

Leyna has deep roots in conservation. She notes, “The importance of preserving open spaces and wild places was part of my upbringing.” As a child, every summer her family camped at Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows, where “a love of mountains really got in my blood.” Strikingly, whereas her home town of Laguna Beach used to be a small artists’ community surrounded by orange groves, undeveloped hills, and gorgeous canyons, “Now, it’s all paved, and turned into housing developments.”

For Leyna, INLC is an ideal place for her to use her time and considerable talents. The mother of grown children, she wants to work on conservation “in my own back yard, to see the seeds sprout and flower, and to be able to help preserve the things that brought me here to Spokane.” She is “grateful to be part of this organization with a wonderful legacy and exciting plans.” INLC, in turn, is extremely grateful to Leyna for joining us.