[Sent on behalf of Verde board co-chairs Desirée Williams-Rajee and Juan Muros]
Dear Verde Community,
On behalf of the Verde Board of Directors, we are excited to share our decision to hire Tony DeFalco as Verde’s next Executive Director, effective July 1. Our founder, Alan Hipolito, will take on a new role, Director of Special Projects, starting on that same date. We will celebrate Alan’s leadership and many accomplishments at the Cully Park celebration on June 30 (Stay tuned for more details).
Tony’s involvement with environmental protection and social justice goes back to the 1990s and has involved work in air, land, energy, water and spirit. Many of you know him from his work helping to establish the Center for Diversity and the Environment.
Since 2008, Tony has been involved with Verde volunteering from 2008-2010 to help establish Verde Energy, working in the community to jump start the development of Cully Park and Living Cully from 2010-2012, being hired as the Living Cully Coordinator in 2012, and promoted to Deputy Director in 2016.
Tony helped start Verde Energy and has a strong understanding of our social enterprises. He is experienced with Verde’s advocacy efforts, helping to expand opportunities for minority- and woman-owned businesses in the green infrastructure sector and moving public agencies like the City of Portland and Metro toward more inclusive green infrastructure policies and practices. We will be well served by Tony’s experience in developing Cully Park and running Living Cully, efforts that have brought important new assets to our community and have created wider understanding of holistic community development
The board collectively thanks Alan for his commitment, hard work and vision over the last 15 years to establish and maintain the amazing organization we all know as Verde! His leadership has led to good paying jobs for hundreds of people, the building of Cully Park and many other environmental assets in our communities, and the establishment of Living Cully. His work has also resulted in a fundamental shift in how communities and decision makers think about environmental protection, from an exclusive practice benefitting the few, into an inclusive practice benefiting many. All of these achievements have made Verde into one of the most esteemed environmental organizations in Oregon and the US
We also express our appreciation for Alan’s leadership inside the organization, thoughtfully building advisory groups to nurture the growth of our social enterprises, building up and supporting staff over the years and creating a culture of community, innovation, love, respect, and self-care. Always grounded in community, Alan’s leadership is humble and never self-serving, a practice we can certainly use more of right now!
Lastly, we thank Alan for helping to lead an intentional and thoughtful Executive Transition.
The Verde Board and staff are enthusiastic about Tony DeFalco’s new role as Executive Director and we are ready to partner with him to continue our success!
Please join us in offering congratulations to Tony and gratitude to Alan!
Juan Muros and Desirée Williams-Rajee, Verde Board Co-Chairs