It is with enthusiasm and confidence that I welcome Karolo Aparicio as EcoViva’s new Executive Director! EcoViva’s Board and the Search Committee have just completed a five month search to find a new ED after Yael announced in November that she would be leaving the end of March. Karolo comes to EcoViva with extensive fundraising experience serving most recently as the Director of Donor Services for the Global Fund for Women. He has also worked as the Development Director for the San Francisco Chapter of the Sierra Club and as Director of Individual Giving at International Rivers.
Karolo’s vision and work priorities have been environmental sustainability and social justice, internationally and domestically, and he is connected with the networks in the Bay Area committed to these issues. On a personal level, Karolo was at ease during his four tiers of interviews and moved us all with his warmth, passion, and competence. “Extremely likeable and impressive,” is how I describe him. He will begin working for EcoViva on April 16, and started meeting with Yael and the staff on as Friday March 14. He will visit our partners in El Salvador before and in preparation of our joint Board meeting in June.
While I welcome Karolo with great expectations, I also want to acknowledge the tremendous contributions that Yael Falicov, our departing ED, has made to EcoViva and our partners. During her five years she brought us from Austin to Oakland, where we have become connected in the Bay Area and she has attracted talented and dedicated staff. Yael has tightened the connection and communication with our Salvadoran partners building their trust and at the same time greatly increasing our financial, technical and solidarity support for their work. Yael has helped build our Board into the current enthusiastic, informed, and dedicated body we are today. Because of Yael, Karolo inherits an organization on the rise with much greater resources and potential. I am sure these sentiments are shared by the rest of the Board. Working with Yael has been more than a pleasure. It has been exciting, inspiring, motivating, fulfilling and quite often just fun. There are not enough superlatives to express her understanding, commitment, sensitivity, thoughtfulness and caring. I am sure she will remain a stalwart of support for EcoViva and the Mangrove Association.