EARTH University Foundation was formed to support the educational vision of EARTH University through generous gifts from the global community and other programs and initiatives. The Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mark S. Brouse retired as president of VISTA Staffing Solutions, Inc., the physician staffing segment of On Assignment. Mr. Brouse joined On Assignment as a result of On Assignment’s December 2006 acquisition of VISTA, a company he co-founded in 1990. Mr. Brouse began his career in pharmaceutical sales in 1980, and in 1986 joined CompHealth, a locum tenens staffing company, where he led specialty teams serving psychiatry and internal medicine clients before founding VISTA. Currently, Mr. Brouse is a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Northern Utah and is a past president of that board. He provides mentoring for social entrepreneurs via his participation in the Ashoka Support Network, which supports Ashoka fellows throughout the world. Mr. Brouse is also a member of the National Advisory Board for the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and is an active investor and member of the Salt Lake City Angels. Previously, Mr. Brouse served as a member of the board of Utah HealthCare Institute, a not for profit entity providing Salt Lake City with quality healthcare through St. Marks Family Medicine Residency, and PEHR Technologies, an electronic medical records company. He holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Chemistry from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Mark McGahan is currently President of MJM Holdings, LLC. Through December 2015, Mark was President of Cummins Power South, an Atlanta-based distributor sales and service organization affiliated with Cummins, Inc. Mark has experience in merging organizations and has successfully overseen transitions of Cummins Power South from a privately held corporation to a JV reporting to a Board of Directors to full acquisition by Cummins Inc., delivering growth, top financial results and leadership measures in each transition. Cummins Power South was awarded the Cummins’ Chairman’s Award for Six Sigma three times and consistently ranked in top 3 distributors in a multi-measure Cummins performance assessment. Mark resides in Buckhead with his wife Catherine and 3 children. Mark’s interests include boating, fishing, golf and yoga.
Kent Alexander is currently writing a book about the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He has most recently served as the Chief of Staff for the Nunn for U.S. Senate campaign. During his 30-year legal career he has served as General Counsel of CARE, General Counsel of Emory University, the Presidentially-appointed United States Attorney/Atlanta, and a partner with King & Spalding law firm. He co-founded Hands on Atlanta, which has since merged with Points of Light to become the largest volunteer service organization of its kind in the world. Mr. Alexander received a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Claire Arnold is the Founder and CEO of Leapfrog Services, Inc., a managed services provider. Yum serves on the Board of The Atlanta Rotary Club, Spelman College, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, Leadership Atlanta and Shepherd Spinal Center Foundation. She is also on the Board of Visitors of The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University as well as its Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, The Board of Councilors of The Carter Center, the Board of Directors of two NYSE firms and the Board of the Technology Association of Georgia, and is a member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress. Yum served for many years as a Trustee of Mary Baldwin College, most recently as Chair of its Board of Trustees, of The Westminster Schools, most recently as its Vice-Chair and of The Georgia Conservancy, also as its chair. Mrs. Arnold holds a B.A. and an Honorary Doctorate from Mary Baldwin College.
Ross Arnold is CEO and Chairman of Quest Capital Corporation, a private investment company. He serves on the board of Ursa Major Minerals Inc., Warren College and Duke University’s Advisory Board of the Nicholas School for the Environment. He graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctor degree.
Joshua Arnow is a project leader with a focus on strategic philanthropy and innovative initiatives that advance humanity’s transition to a sustainable future. He has extensive experience in real estate development and investment management. Josh currently serves as a director of the Arnow Family Fund, senior advisor to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge and is on the boards of Worldlink and The Sustainability Laboratory.
Michael Besancon is the former Senior Global Vice President of Purchasing, Communications and Distribution for Whole Foods Market where he also chaired the National Green Mission Task Force. He recently became a member of the Product Advisory Board for Frequentz. He has more than 40 years of experience in the natural and organic foods industry, having spent his career as an advocate for sustainability in agriculture and promoting environmental awareness on a global level.
Jane Black is the President of the Exposition Foundation, Inc. and the Exposition Company. She is currently the Chair of the Ben Franklin Academy Board of Trustees and the former President of the EARTH University Foundation Board of Trustees and Piedmont Hospital Foundation. She is an emeritus board member of the High Museum of Art and the Woodruff Arts Center. Mrs. Black received the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2007. She attended Mt. Vernon Junior College and the University of Georgia.
Ian Davidson is the Managing Director, International of The Martin Agency, a firm whose client list includes Geico, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the JFK Library and Museum. Prior to joining The Martin Agency, Ian worked at McCann-Erickson London for thirteen years as one of their top international account leaders, and at Publicis for nearly seven years, working across a wide range of business categories, including Personal Care, Retail and Cosmetics with Boots, and OTC Pharmaceuticals with GSK. Ian joined the Executive Committee of The Martin Agency in 2013.
Erika Gonzalez-Akre is the project manager at the ForestGEO Ecosystems & Climate Research Lab at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute where she manages all aspects of ecological and botanical data collection and curation. Erika holds a B.S. in Earth Sciences Education (Universidad Pedagogica, 1997), a M.S. in Geology (Universidad Central de Venezuela, 2002) and a M.S. in Tropical Botany (University de Los Andes, 2007). Her interests include ecology, botany and conservation biology and how forest research can inform sustainable practices in local communities. Outside of ForestGEO, Erika serves as curator of the Harvill-Stevens Herbarium at Longwood University, the largest collection of Virginia native plants, and is involved in with her husband in community based conservation programs to protect endangered turtles in Mexico. Erika also serves on the boards of the Virginia Native Plant Society and the American Turtle Observatory.
Lynn Hoffman-Brouse is a photographer specializing in environmental portraiture and the documentary essay. She earned her MFA in photography at Rockport College in association with the Maine Media Workshops. She has taught at the college level and also as an Artist in the Classroom for elementary students. For the last 6 years, Lynn has worked in the not for profit sector for organizations including The Wilderness Society of Utah, Community Action Partnership of Utah, IVUmed and Round River Conservation Studies. She has recently founded TheDocumentaryProjectFund, a not for profit that will help sponsor important work done in communities around the country.
Ron Hoge became CEO of Pinnacle Engines in early 2011 after serving on its Board since its founding in 2007. He retired as CEO in 2016 but continues as its Chairman. Ron has forty years of business experience with executive leadership roles in eight different companies, from Fortune 500 firms to venture-backed startups. His background includes positions as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cummins Power Generation (Onan), President and Chief Executive of Magnetek, and President of a $1.5 billion aerospace division of Allied Signal. Overall, he has led businesses on three continents through startup, growth, reorganization, and disposition challenges. In addition to EARTH, he serves on the boards of ACCION International & The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Ron has a BA in Mathematics from Amherst College and an MBA in Marketing from Stanford University.
Alan Kelso is a Costa Rican businessman with an extensive background in the tourist and real estate industry in Latin America. He has vast experience in local residential and commercial development, and has been credited with bringing significant real estate investment capital to Costa Rica. He is currently the CEO in Ecodesarrollo Papagayo, S.A– the first environmentally sound luxury resort and real estate project in Costa Rica and one of the concessionaires of Polo Turístico Golfo de Papagayo– as well as other important corporations in Costa Rica such as: Desarrollos NHD, S.A; Hotelera Cali, S.A; Marina de Herradura, S.A; and Datagrama Comunicaciones, S.A. Mr. Kelso leads Sinergo Development Group as Chairman and CEO, developing tourist and real estate projects in different Latin American countries. Additionally, in the non-profit sector, Mr. Kelso is involved with Asociación Creciendo Juntos para el Desarrollo de Guanacaste (Growing Together for the Development of Guanacaste), an organization created within Ecodesarrollo Papagayo which contributes to the improvement of education in Guanacaste.
Therus Kolff is a strategic advisor to Life Science Partner, an Atlanta based executive search, consulting and development firm; Georgia Venture Partners; and, CHG Healthcare, Inc. based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Kolff has had a long career in business development in health care, working on a variety of ventures from funding to sale. He has been credited with launching the temporary physical staffing industry in the U.S., with his founding of CompHealth. He has served on the board of Piezo Partners and Cancer Technology Applications and the School of Public Health’s Advisory Council at Harvard University. Dr. Kolff holds a M.D. from the University of Utah and a M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management from Harvard University.
Gustavo Manrique is the President of Sambito in Quito, Ecuador, a company focusing on environmental sustainability. Gustavo is very pro-active in all issues regarding climate change and has been a spokesperson for such issues. He received an Agronomy degree from EARTH University and has been instrumental in maintaining EARTH’s relationships with its alumni in Ecuador. He has also played a pivotal role in EARTH’s fundraising efforts.
Adrienne Meisel is a Director of Center on Deafness and serves on the Chicago Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Land. She also serves as a community representative on the Health and Human Services Commission of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and is an Honorary Director of JVS. Adrienne’s early career was in education where she taught and supervised programs for the hearing impaired. She then moved into the area of financial services which exposed her to the domains of commercial banking and high net worth individuals and families. After 25 years with First Chicago and its successor organizations, she retired as a Client Advisor in JP Morgan’s Private Client Services group. Adrienne’s education includes a B.S. in Education from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in Speech from Northwestern University and an MBA from Loyola University. In her discretionary time Adrienne and her husband, Rand Sparling, enjoy hiking, camping, sea kayaking, bicycling and both domestic and foreign travel.
Charlotte S. Metcalf