Tag Archives: CEO

New Leadership for Filoli – Welcome Kara Newport

“On behalf of the Filoli Center Governing Board, I am delighted to announce the hire of Kara Newport as our new Executive Director,” said Donna Colson, Filoli’s Governing Board President. “Kara is a visionary leader with over two decades of experience in the non–profit sector including most recently serving ten years as the Executive Director of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to her horticulture experience, Kara brings to us a significant development and member services background having worked at The Franklin Institute, The Philadelphia Zoo, and Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.”

I am so excited to welcome Kara, who is a lover of gardens.  I know she will enjoy this incredibly beautiful and magical garden, historic house and learning experience… that we call Filoli!  — the editor

filoli 3 “Kara presently serves, and will continue to serve, as Treasurer for the American Public Garden Association. She has chaired many of their important committees including Finance, Benchmarking, and National Conference Program Selection. She is a regular presenter and contributor to the organization focusing on key industry topics such as garden tourism, horticulture trends, event planning, and design,” said Colson.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as the new Executive Director of Filoli; it is truly a national treasure. I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the talented team of staff, volunteers and Board members.” —Kara Newport

FilFiloli Rosesoli Mission Statement

Filoli is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and stewardship of the cultural traditions and natural history of this country estate for public education and enjoyment.

Jib Ellison, The CEO Whisperer

THE CEO WHISPERER  … an excerpt from the book, Force of Nature by Business Book Summaries

Authors: Humes, Edward

By age 30, Jib Ellison achieved a reputation as one of the top river rafters in the world, and he built a network of current and former corporate chiefs who sought him to lead their company-sponsored river expeditions. He got corporate leaders away from their offices and spreadsheets and out in nature where they could see, first-hand, the impact that their businesses were having. He also taught executives how to change corporate culture to foster innovation, teamwork, and communication, and he helped companies solve problems and manage crises.

In 2000, Home Depot, which was facing mounting pressure to address its enormous environmental footprint, enlisted Ellison to help create a program for obtaining and marketing wood certified as harvested in an environmentally responsible manner. Home Depot’s CEO agreed with Ellison that embarking on a sustainability initiative could bring Home Depot new business and market opportunities, in addition to making it a much greener company. This Home Depot experience proved to be a turning point in Ellison’s career. It cemented his belief in the notion that communities, companies, and whole countries need to live within natural limits, taking only those resources that nature can replenish, and limiting harmful waste to amounts that nature can safely absorb.

Through his lens of sustainability, Ellison saw the business argument in favor of going green, an opportunity that almost no business leader was seizing. Business leaders were not interested in talking about eco-efficiency because they thought it meant complying with onerous regulations, not blazing new trails voluntarily. Their assumption would turn out to be false. Ellison knew that those who were willing to embrace a “sustainability revolution” now would gain an enormous advantage in the future, and it was Ellison who would show Wal-Mart the way.


Ellison had one shot to prove that all this talk about profit and planet could lead Wal-Mart to the sweet spot where environmental commitment and rising stock prices go hand in hand. That chance came in the form of the corrugated cardboard box holding a toy car and truck set. Reducing the size of the box led to $2.4 million in annual savings for shipping the toys and meant some 4,000 fewer trees would have to be cut down for cardboard. About a million barrels of fuel would also be saved due to the reduced shipping volume. Ellison’s next task was to figure out where else this could be done. Because business growth and stock price were the first and foremost of Wal-Mart’s demands, any initiative had to consider return on investment first-sustainability was no exception to this rule. Ellison had to come up with a series of quick wins. It would take months of planning to figure out what those quick wins might be and to convince the company to pursue them. Ellison would have to burst the “Bentonville Bubble” where outsiders with new ideas are viewed with suspicion.

Data indicated that 90 percent of Wal-Mart’s impact on the planet comes from its supply chain, so any meaningful sustainability initiative would have to involve the company’s suppliers early on. Ellison recruited evangelists in the company for his cause. He arranged for Claire Watts, the executive vice president of apparel merchandising, to meet with cotton farmers in Turkey where the material for many of the clothes and other products Wal-Mart sells originates. The conventional cotton fields resembled a toxic wasteland, while the organic fields were beautiful and a pleasure to walk through. Affected by what she saw, Watts began working to commit Wal-Mart to buying organic cotton products. Within a year, Wal-Mart became the single largest purchaser of organic cotton in the world.

Teams of Wal-Mart managers were paired with outside experts to craft sustainability goals. Each team tried to find efficiencies in a different part of the business: energy, transportation, suppliers, waste, food, and packaging. As they looked at their operations with different eyes, they found and adopted the most efficient, least wasteful, most planet-friendly alternatives. Scott would argue that sustainability fit Sam Walton’s prime directive of efficiency and cost-cutting.


A New Addition in your Home?

This is a list of products that are low allergen and suitable for all of us that like to breathe!

When celebrity designer Robin Wilson, president and CEO of Robin Wilson Home, bought a new home of her own to accommodate her growing family (she gave birth last month), how did she design the nursery?

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For Wilson, a lifetime sufferer of allergies and Asthma, who recently became an ambassador for The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and is focused on eco-friendly design, creating a space that was both beautiful yet healthy for her new baby was important.

What you’ll find in the nursery:

FLOR carpet tiles in the baby nursery in a checkerboard lavender and green. The tiles are interchangeable if they become stained and can be sent back to the manufacturer for recycling. It is quite beautiful and can be customized to fit in and match the decor!

Benjamin Moore Aura low-VOC paint which is durable, looks beautiful and won’t off-gas leaving an obnoxious paint odor.

Argington furniture including a crib, changing table and dresser that are made in America from sustainably harvested woods and non-toxic paints and stains.

Hypoallergenic linens – One in four children suffer from allergies and seven million kids suffer from Asthma. Hypoallergenic products can make a huge difference in eliminating the “wheezes and sneezes.” They come in blankets, towels, mattress covers and more. (Robin’s line at BedBathBeyond.com) Robin also chose a soy mattress to make sure her baby’s sleep environment was free of toxins.

– Upholstered window shades are better than dust-catching curtains, and another good choice are blinds or shutters. Make sure to vacuum or wash them at least twice each year.

– A family heirloom – her grandfather’s rocketing chair which brings richness and family tradition to the room, and is a green alternative to new merchandise.

Don’t take a chance with your family. Toxic products are everywhere, however, there are great choices that are clean and beautiful.