RFFI is pleased to have Elias Henderson working with us again. Eli is a Mendocino Coast native who has spent most of his life working to improve communities locally and globally. He dons many hats in his role at the Redwood Forest Foundation including volunteer coordinator, project manager, community outreach adviser, and designated millennial. RFFI President and CEO Mark Welther tells us “Working with Elias has increased my confidence in the next generation. He has the leadership skills, vision, energy, passion and personal communication skills that are essential for carrying our conservation work into the future. That Elias grew up in the redwood community is an added bonus.”
Eli’s computer and video editing and production skills have proven invaluable. Working with Board Member Heidi Knott Gundling, he edited a film clip that was enjoyed by more than 45,000 viewers around the globe. His boundless energy and keen intellect inform and support a wide range of RFFI and URFC activities and events. He thrives on unconventional or difficult assignments and is quick to offer his help to RFFI staff and consultants. Elias studied political science and digital film at the University of California, San Diego. Upon graduation in 2015, he was awarded high honors for his thesis on the effects of epidemic disease outbreaks on international markets. He has worked in campaign consulting, guerrilla PR and marketing, and policy coordination. He spent time working in the San Diego entrepreneurial community as well as on Capitol Hill where he served as a congressional intern for Congressman Jared Huffman (CA-2). Elias also serves on the board of the Noyo Center for Marine Science.
From an early age, Elias has volunteered in communities at home and abroad. While a student in the Fort Bragg schools, he was president of both his middle school and high school Interact clubs, spearheading volunteer efforts ranging from local beach cleanups to the construction of a water well for a village in western Kenya. In the years since, he has traveled to over twenty countries, performing lengthy volunteer service at an orphanage in Romania and a monastery in Myanmar. Through these experiences Elias has gained an appreciation for the role of the individual in transforming communities and combating injustice.