June 20, 2001 – Through the National Parks Business Plan Initiative, graduate students from the Harvard University School of Business and the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs will be working with V.I. National Park staff for the next 10 weeks to analyze park operations and finances.
According to park Supt. John H. King, "The end result will be a business plan that will determine what level of funding support is necessary to meet the park's mission." He expressed hope that the plan "will encourage additional operational financing by Congress and other funding sources."
Anjali Gupta and Rob Lawrence, the business plan initiative consultants working with the V.I. National Park, said the initiative will provide park managers with "a financial and operational understanding of where the park has been, where it is, and where it needs to go." This information, they said, will then be used in developing financial strategies to enable the park to meet current and future needs.
The business plan initiative, created in 1998, is a partnership of the National Park Service, the National Parks Conservation Association, and a consortium of philanthropic organizations led by the Kendall Foundation. Its purpose is to strengthen the financial management capabilities of park units, thus enabling the NPS to understand and communicate the financial conditions and needs of park system units more effectively.
Through the initiative, 28 students are working at 13 national parks this summer. Previous initiative projects have been carried out in 33 parks. For more information, please contact Gupta or Lawrence at 693-9891.

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