A new executive director, Tod Cossairt (left), is stepping up to lead the Green Coalition, as the interim director, Tim Nafziger, steps down.
Cossairt, an environmental sustainability educator who presently serves as the regional coordinator for the national Green Schools Alliance, was chosen by the board of directors this month to fill the post. In his interview with the board, Cossairt stressed his experience with strategic planning, his plans to work collaboratively, and hopes for finding new opportunities for young people in environmental leadership both in the Coalition and in the Ojai Valley.
Cossairt served for many years as the Director of Environmental Sustainability at Besant Hill School, designing and implementing a sustainability strategic plan for their Upper Ojai campus, while serving as well as a full-time educator and administrator. He stepped down from that position in order to have more time to spend on his work with with the Green Schools Alliance, and to work more collaboratively with local schools and organizations.
Cossairt stressed that “the assurance of a sustainable environment is a responsibility for any resilient community that wants to have a future. The ecological big picture for a sustainable future is really quite simple. We want to ensure the next generations have: a clean and healthy atmosphere to breathe; safe and sufficient water resources to drink; and a regenerative soil structure to grow healthy food.”
Tim Nafziger, the outgoing director, expressed his support for the new director and the Coalition. “It’s been deeply rewarding to work with the Green Coalition through this transition,” he said. “I came into this role focusing on building capacity and infrastructure to hand over to a long term Executive Director and I’m very pleased with the choice the board has made in Tod Cossairt. I look forward to continuing to stay connected with the coalition in coming months and years.”
Severo Lara, the president of the board, spoke of his gratitude for Nafziger’s leadership and long-term commitment. He stressed his satisfaction with the choice of Cossairt. “I first want to thank Tim Nafziger for providing temporary leadership to the Green Coalition. He did a fantastic job and exceeded the board expectations,” he said. “We look forward to continuing work side by side with Tim. I am very happy to have the opportunity to work with Tod Cossairt. His experience, talents and strengths will fix in with the board just right, and will be able to provide strong leadership to keep working with us and others on crucial environmental issues.””
Since its founding in 2006, the Green Coalition has been working to make possible a more resilient and sustainable Ojai Valley. Besides water conservation efforts and events such as Earth Day, the Green Homes tour, and the San Antonio Creek clean-up, we have allied on specific efforts with local groups such as Food for Thought, the Sierra Watershed Progressive, and the Ojai Film Festival.
Header Photo credit: Tod Cossairt (Wills Canyon)