In his eleven years with SCA, Dale Penny has remained true to the organization’s focus on youth in conservation and extended its reach into all 50 states. Under his leadership, SCA has conducted extensive outreach to young people from traditionally underrepresented urban areas with its "frontcountry" community programs, in addition to its traditional backcountry projects. Mr. Penny has played a pivotal role in SCA’s engagement of more than 50,000 alumni, with nearly 4,000 students annually performing roughly two million hours of service at 500 public sites throughout the U.S.
Mr. Penny’s other significant achievements include expanding the partnerships that entrust SCA with a variety of programs from its original partner, the National Park Service, to the U.S. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Geological Survey, and all three branches of the Department of Defense. He also has created partnerships with a variety of local civic and state government organizations, and engaged some of America’s most prestigious, conservation-minded corporations in funding internships that range from archeology to zoology. During his watch, SCA’s annual budget has grown from $9 million in 1997, to more than $34 million now.
Recently, Mr. Penny represented SCA at a Presidential Candidates’ Forum on National Service in New York, attended by both Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. The forum was hosted by ServiceNation, a national campaign for citizen service of which SCA is a member. In 2008, he was invited by then President George Bush to attend a briefing on volunteerism held at the White House. He has been sought out to testify on topics including conservation and service before the U.S. House of Representatives and to speak to numerous organizations, including the American Youth Foundation, where he serves on the Leadership Forum.
Mr. Penny spent 25 years at Up With People, rising to President and Chief Operating Officer. Up with People is an international non-profit educational and cultural organization, known around the world through the Up With People community service and musical programs. Through their international travels, college-aged men and women broaden their understanding of different cultures, develop leadership skills and practice an ethic of service. Mr. Penny traveled extensively over 4 continents dealing with national leaders in business, government, education and the media. He oversaw worldwide operations and educational programs for 15,000 students from 30 countries.
A Texas native, Mr. Penny received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University at Commerce. Mr. Penny currently resides in Vermont with his wife, Mindy, with whom he has two sons, Alex and David. Both of his sons have served in SCA programs and one is a crew leader with the high school program.