The Eden Projects President and Founder, Steve Fitch, grew up in the Philippines and loved to explore nature. In 1997 he returned to his boyhood home and was shocked by the destruction that had taken place. The jungles had been cut down, the topsoil was eroding into the ocean as a result of the deforestation, and the coral reefs were being smothered from all the soil runoff. In 1998 Steve began working in Ethiopia and saw deforestation’s tragic consequences on lands and lives there as well. Villagers shared how their crops were diminishing and their climate was changing.
In the early 2000′s he received an invitation from Haile Mariam, (Southern People’s Region President then, now President of Ethiopia), to take over a defunct reforestation nursery. Steve’s answer was obviously “yes!” Funds were raised, staff came together, and now, almost 10 years later, Eden Reforestation Projects has planted millions of seedlings and employed thousands of people.
Chief Operating Officer
Christopher is our Swiss Army knife. He brings a variety of business tools to the growing complexity of Eden's operations. With a background in finance, he oversees the financial aspects of Eden as well as marketing, IT and operations. He's a PC lover, (so don't let him hear you mention Apple), and will often pause mid-sentence to watch a beautiful car drive by.
Vice President for Program Management
Debbie has 10 years of experience as the Children’s Director at a local church, and she’s brought all that expertise with her to The Eden Projects and now works with schools, churches and children’s programs all over the country. When she’s not at work you can probably find her enjoying a weekend on the river with her Fire Captain (husband…hubba hubba) and her two kids.
Haiti International Project Leader
Affectionately known around the office as “Captain Compost” for his unrivaled knowledge of all things compost, Rick has transitioned from his career as a senior pastor to The Eden Projects where he is now heading up our projects in Haiti. In addition to knowing everything about composting, he’s pretty good at body boarding as well!
Between her job as a catering chef, a substitute teacher and mother of two, Angie has somehow found the time to make herself an invaluable member of the Eden team. She loves her husband of 26 years, gardening, her urban farm and her dogs (as long as they stay out of the chicken coop)!
James & Alissa Shattenberg
Madagascar International Project Leader & Sarobidy Center Director
Jamie was born and raised a missionary kid in Madagascar. So naturally he’s found himself back there with his wife Alissa working as our International Project Leader. Alissa is a licensed midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner and has been putting her expertise to use as the Director of the Sarobidy Center. If ever there was a couple that could single-handedly save the world, it would be these two. When Jamie isn’t wrestling alligators (we have pics to prove it) and Alissa isn’t saving lives, they keep busy with their three children.
The Eden Board
Founder - President, Eden Reforestation Projects
Board President - Senior Vice President, Western Union
Board Secretary - Conservation & Real Estate