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The Climate Trust Board Expertise Expands to Include Sourcing and Developing Investment Opportunities

Published: September 27, 2016 by Editorial Team

Kasey Krifka, The Climate Trust
Live on P.R. Web – September 27, 2016

The Climate Trust, a mission-driven nonprofit that specializes in mobilizing conservation finance, is pleased to announce two strategic additions to its Board of Directors—Marc Hiller, Acquisitions Director at GreenWood Resources, Inc. and Jason Johns, Partner at Stoel Rives LLP.

Climate Trust Capital, an independent firm of The Climate Trust, recently launched a carbon investment fund to provide upfront capital to early-stage projects in the U.S.; aiming to demonstrate that financial performance can be tied directly to verified environmental performance. Hiller’s expertise, particularly around structuring and negotiating forestry transactions, complements the investment fund endeavor, providing scope and rigor to the board’s project evaluation capacity.

“Both Marc and Jason bring with them a track record of success and a deep knowledge in their respective industries,” said Laura Beane, Board Chair and Vice President, Operations and Management Services for Avangrid Renewables. “Their combined decades of conservation, financial and legal expertise, will bring an invaluable perspective to The Trust’s investment fund efforts, and we are delighted to welcome them to our board leadership team,” added Beane.

marc-hiller_squareHiller has extensive experience in timberland acquisition activities, working for almost two decades as a forester with private equity firms, small- and large-scale forest managers, and wood-product manufacturers and retailers. Hiller has served on for-profit Boards and advised international banks, NGOs, and trade associations on forest management, investment, conservation, and legality verification. Prior to his time at GreenWood Resources, he was part of the teams at International Forestry Investment Advisors, The Forest Trust, and Rainforest Alliance. Hiller currently serves as Treasurer for Ecologic Development Fund, an organization that supports local communities to restore and protect tropical ecosystems.

Jason JohnsJohns has been working in the renewable energy industry for the past decade. As a partner at the law firm Stoel Rives, Johns has overseen power marketing and federal energy regulatory issues associated with renewables project development across the nation. Johns also works with several Fortune 500 companies, including the nation’s largest tech companies, on structuring their energy supply portfolios.

“We conducted an exhaustive search for someone who would further strengthen our board’s breadth of talent and background, and we are delighted to have identified two such outstanding individuals,” said Sean Penrith, Executive Director for The Climate Trust. “Marc has a rare mix of financial and sectoral expertise that will be of incredible value as we evaluate opportunities for investment, while the addition of Jason’s industry-specific legal expertise is critical as our business strategy grows and evolves,” added Penrith. “I’m confident that both Marc and Jason are going to make an important and positive impact on our business.”

Hiller expressed his interest in joining The Climate Trust because of the nonprofit’s focus on mobilizing finance for forestry projects. “I am excited to support The Trust in its effort to identify, evaluate, and close on natural resource investments with positive environmental and social impacts.”

Johns shared Hiller’s excitement, stating, “I have long admired The Climate Trust as a market leader, but I have been doubly impressed with their dynamic leadership team,” said Johns. “I have tremendous respect for the important work of The Trust I’m honored to be joining their board.”

The new board members join The Climate Trust at an exciting time, as the organization begins to allocate the first $5.5 million tranche of capital via their pilot investment fund. Both Jason and Marc will join The Trust’s overarching Board of Directors, overseeing all non-Oregon programs and activities.

Image credit: Flickr/Chris Ford