I feel honored to have recently joined Eden to serve as Chief Executive Officer, CEO. For me, this is the fulfillment of a dream.
I have worked in the fields of parks, forestry and conservation for the last 30 years, most recently serving as Senior Vice President for The Trust for Public Land. Five years ago, my wife Cathy asked if we could host a party to introduce friends to a cause she was passionate about; rescuing people from human trafficking. I was struck by the connection between environmental degradation, human trafficking and extreme poverty. I joined Cathy in the quest for simple and powerful solutions. Hiring people who were vulnerable to restore their degraded lands seemed to be an obvious win for the people and the planet.
I was speaking about this idea at a Global Forum when I met Steve Fitch, President and Founder of Eden Reforestation Projects. He simply said, “That is exactly what we do! We hire the poorest of the poor to plant trees. We lift whole villages out of extreme poverty”. I soon found myself on a plane to Ethiopia with Steve to see the work. I was blown away by the effectiveness of the work. I joined the Eden board in 2010 and have now come on to work side by side with Steve to take Eden to scale. My role will be focusing on the administration, finances and fundraising (US operations). Steve will expand his magic to more countries; planting millions of new trees and providing thousands of people with jobs (International operations).
I have always had a love for the natural world and a desire to serve people. I am fascinated by other cultures and have had a long standing desire to work in majority world relief and development. So for me, joining Steve and Eden in a quest to plant a billion trees and lift tens of thousands out of extreme poverty is a dream come true.
Chief Executive Officer