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Redwood Forest Foundation

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Meet Steve Pearson,
Redwood Forest Foundation's New Board Member

Steve PearsonSteve Pearson joined the Redwood Forest Foundation Board in March 2017. Over the past two years, he has been providing valuable engineering analysis and advice to RFFI’s North Coast Biochar project in addition to helping with grant preparation. “We are delighted to welcome Steve Pearson to the RFFI Board of Directors,”states RFFI President Mark Welther. “Steve’s career as an engineer and successful businessman will contribute a rigorous and practical perspective to the RFFI board. He has served for the past two years as a Redwood Forest Council community advisor, and recently stepped up to Chair RFFI’s Biochar Committee. Steve and his family have also generously supported RFFI’s programs. We look forward to Steve’s continued contribution to RFFI's development.”

Steve recently retired from AECOM (formerly URS Corporation) where he had worked for 30 years as a scientist, engineer, manager and executive. His last assignment was as Executive Chairman of the company’s Asia Pacific operations overseeing 11,000 employees in 10 countries. Previously, Steve was the Senior Vice President responsible for the North American Operations that covered most of the United States and Canada, with 14,000 employees and approximately $4 billion in revenue. Steve started his professional career with the City of San Diego Water Utilities department, where he developed the metropolitan area’s first industrial wastewater control program, including its enabling legislation. He then developed and researched a wastewater to drinking water system that included aquaculture, biological reactors, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and various disinfection techniques. Steve led these developments from small scale to full- size reclamation systems after getting them implemented through the public process.

Following a successful 14-year career with the City of San Diego, Steve joined Woodward-Clyde Consultants to help them develop a process engineering practice. He eventually became a managing partner and was instrumental in selling the partnership to URS Corporation in 1997. Steve then became the URS Corporations Operations Manager for Southern California. In the years that followed, Steve took on increasing executive responsibilities, first for the West Coast Operations, then Western United States and finally North America. In 2014 Steve worked closely with the Board of Directors in the sale of URS Corporation to AECOM, creating a $25 billion engineering and architecture powerhouse. After assisting with the stabilization of the company’s Asia Pacific operations, Steve retired in July 2015. Steve graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University and later received a credential from the Leadership Institute at the University of California at San Diego.

Steve’s extensive experience is already proving valuable to RFFI, especially in his role as Chair of the Biochar Committee. Steve is pleased to join the RFFI Board of Directors and tells us he, “relishes the opportunity to assist the RFFI Board, which is a perfect match for my background and interests in retirement. The furtherance of RFFI's Biochar Project is a particular passion of mine and an area where I can provide some assistance based upon my process engineering background." Steve currently spends time with his wife Jan, two sons, Erik and Jason, and four grandchildren, Grace, Ethan, and twins Draya and Arya. Steve and Jan love traveling, motor-homing, off-roading, boating, hiking and kayaking while splitting their time with their home in Arizona. Steve now has time for his hobbies of high-power rocketry, and car and wine collecting.

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