[Homestead] Seed Savers Exchange firing of Kent Whealy

Gloria Morris gloriamorris59 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 24 20:56:30 EST 2008

Too bad. I used to be a member, and I went to one of their summer
gatherings. It was a good organization back then. I wonder what the other
side of the story might be.


On Jan 24, 2008 9:30 AM, Gene GeRue <genegerue at ruralize.com> wrote:

> Seed Savers Exchange is held in high regard by those of us who
> understand the need for genetic diversity. I have been following its
> growth for about thirty years. To me, it is an inspiring story. Now
> this unsettling news: Kent Whealy, who co-founded SSE with wife,
> Diane, in 1975, was fired by the Board of Directors.
> The connection to the following letter is posted at the top of the SSE
> website. There is also a letter from the Board of Directors and from
> his ex-wife, Diane, the co-founder of SSE:
> Seed Savers Exchange Advisors Support Board Actions
> Seed Savers Exchange is a world class institution which has led the
> way for planetary
> preservation of the genetic diversity of plants.  Its growth has been
> directed by an overarching
> vision first formulated by its co-founders, Kent Whealy and Diane Ott
> Whealy, and for more
> than twenty years refined and realized through the guidance and
> stewardship of a
> distinguished Board of Directors.
> Like any great institution, it is greater than the sum of its parts
> and any one individual.
> In recent years it has become increasingly clear that Kent Whealy has
> perceived the Exchange
> as his personal possession to be directed to serve his own interests.
> The Advisors have had
> their own issues with Kent.  The Board has prudently determined that
> his thoughts and actions
> had become antagonistic to the vision and responsibilities of the
> Exchange.  After a long
> period of counseling Kent, and his failure to follow direction, the
> Board circumspectly with
> competent legal advice decided unanimously to terminate his employment
> as Executive
> Director.  The duty of the Board to direct the affairs of the Exchange
> in a prudent manner
> required it to take this action.
> It is with great regret that we, the undersigned Advisors of Seed
> Savers Exchange,
> have learned that Kent has begun a campaign to reverse this course of
> prudent action by the
> Board.  He has sent to every Listed Member of the Exchange an
> intemperately worded letter
> full of misrepresentations of fact.  He has impugned the motivations
> of the Directors and has
> harmed the reputation of each of them.  He has attempted to enlist the
> participation of each of
> us Advisors in his campaign of destruction and defamation in a
> personal attempt to take
> control of this institution.
> We Advisors refuse to allow him to do so, and we agree with and
> support the prudent
> decisions of the Board of Directors of Seed Savers Exchange.  We
> commend each Director
> for acting responsibly in the best interests of the Exchange and in
> the faithful implementation
> of its vision and mission.
>  Suzanne Ashworth
>  Will Bonsall
>  Dan Bussey
>  Keith Crotz
>  Glenn Drowns
>  Laura Jackson
>  Craig LeHoullier
>  Laura Merrick
>  John Swenson
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