POINT REYES STATION, CA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), the nation’s premier agricultural land trust, today announced that it has hired longtime conservation and environmental officer Lily Verdone as its executive director.
Verdone, a native of Northern California, has spearheaded initiatives to protect farmland, open space and fresh water during his 20-year career with global organizations such as The Nature Conservancy as well as small community land trusts.
Most recently, Verdone was senior director of Coastal Quest, an Oakland-based nonprofit that builds climate resilience in vulnerable coastal communities. As she takes the helm of MALT, Verdone becomes the first woman to officially lead the organization since the Marin County nonprofit was founded by rancher Ellen Straus and conservationist Phyllis Faber in 1980.
“Lily has the leadership expertise, interpersonal skills and conservation and land trust experience to further build on the successful work of MALT,” said Jennifer Carlin, who was Acting Executive Director of MALT. and now assumes the role of assistant director. “The board, staff and I really look forward to working with her.”
Verdone said MALT’s ongoing mission to preserve farmland for agricultural purposes inspires and energizes her.
“Agriculture is part of the connective tissue that connects many facets of life – from food systems to jobs and housing, to water supplies, wildlife habitat and local and regional economies,” a- she declared. “I have found the farming community to be a natural partner in this solution-based approach to conservation. Together, we can tackle the problems of food production, water, and open space with practical, on-the-ground results. »
Verdone brings solid references to MALT
Prior to joining Coastal Quest, Verdone spent more than a decade with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, where she led a series of environmental initiatives in California and Texas.
Verdone also served as Director of Conservation for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, where she led scientific research, habitat restoration, stewardship, and acquisition for the Los Angeles Coastal Land Trust. Her additional experience includes stints as an environmental consultant, research biologist and watershed coordinator. She has served as a director on non-profit boards and is an active volunteer for organizations focused on social and environmental justice.
Verdone earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and planning and a master’s degree in biology from Sonoma State University. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and two children.
Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a non-profit organization established in 1980 to permanently preserve agricultural land in Marin County and to establish Marin County as a thriving farming community in a healthy and diverse natural environment. Some of the Bay Area’s most beloved dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on MALT-protected farmland, which totals more than 55,000 acres. To learn more about MALT, visit malt.org.