John W. Sentell

CEO of Lake Forest Open Lands Association

John Sentell is president and CEO of Lake Forest Open Lands Association, a nationally accredited land trust that has conducted land preservation and conservation work in northeastern Illinois for over 50 years. Prior to joining the Open Lands’ staff in 2010, John served as executive director and chief operating officer of The Wetlands Initiative, a leading Illinois environmental organization focused on developing economic-based projects to restore lost floodplain habitat throughout the Illinois River watershed. His additional non-profit experience includes an appointment as vice chairman of the MCDC Corporation, a public tax corporation serving the residents of Collin County, Texas. Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, John had a career in Fortune 500 marketing and new product development for Campbell-Ewald, Inc. and the Leo Burnett Company, as well as independent brand consulting. He was recently elected to serve as president of the statewide Prairie State Conservation Coalition, the collaborative organization representing all land trusts in Illinois. He is also proud to represent Lake Forest Open Lands as one of 50 organizations on the Land Trust Alliance’s National Leadership Council.  John is currently secretary of Camp Gingerquill (Grayling, MI), and formerly served terms on the board of Bluestem Communications and the Wetlands Initiative.

John graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Miami University, Oxford (OH) and lives in southeast Lake Forest with his wife Sue. A passionate conservationist and fly-fisherman, John is inspired by the deep conservation ethic of Chicago’s north shore communities that help support Open Lands’ conservation work.