Press Release: TREE Fund names J. Eric Smith as its new President and CEO


TREE Fund names J. Eric Smith as its new President/CEO

 Naperville, IL, August 21, 2015 – The TREE Fund is pleased to welcome its new President/CEO, J. Eric Smith, who will take the reins at the Naperville, IL foundation August 24.

A South Carolina native, Smith is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. He served for ten years with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and the Department of Energy. Since leaving Federal service, he has spent 20 years in the public sector working in fundraising, communications, public relations, operations and executive management, most recently as the Executive Director of the Salisbury House Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa.

17741079020_307d1ddb3a_z“As an avid outdoorsman, hiker and lover of green spaces I am a life-long beneficiary of the arboriculture industry’s contributions to the health and beauty of our planet,” Smith said. “I am excited by the opportunity to help the industry address the challenges to the urban forest posed by climate change, urbanization and other ongoing social and scientific changes. There are few things more powerful than knowledge, and I believe that the types of primary research and education programs that the TREE Fund makes possible can and should be widely communicated and leveraged to benefit as many communities, businesses, citizens and industries as possible.”

Randall H. Miller, TREE Fund Board Chairman, expressed confidence in the foundation’s new leadership. “Eric’s unique skill set includes the intelligence of a nuclear physicist, the dedication and discipline of a naval officer and the fundraising and interpersonal skills of an experienced public sector executive. He is eminently qualified to lead the TREE Fund into the future, and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

About TREE Fund

The TREE Fund is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in urban forestry and arboriculture (the science of caring for trees in a landscape). Since 2002 the TREE Fund has distributed nearly $2.6 million in research grants, scholarships and funding for environmental education to advance the science, practice and safety of tree care and engage the next generation of tree stewards.

With support from individual and corporate donors and major sponsors STIHL Inc., Bartlett Tree Experts, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Arborjet, Asplundh, ISA, KASK, TCIA and Florida Chapter ISA, TREE Fund research has contributed to:

  • Better understanding of air pollution reduction and carbon sequestration by trees
  • Quantification of the benefits trees provide to urban settings
  • Improved survival rates for trees in difficult sites
  • Improved strategies for vegetation management by utilities
  • More effective disease and pest management strategies for urban trees

For more information, visit

Speak for the trees with a gift to the TREE Fund!

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