Friends of the Rainforest is governed by a Board of Directors that includes scientists, conservationists, teachers and nature lovers from many fields.
Jeremy Crandell* is the owner of St. Louise Studios, a collaborative workspace for artists, fabricators and entrepreneurs, located at the northern end of the West Oakland Industrial Arts Corridor. He has served on the Black Rock City LLC’s Art Department for the annual Burning Man event as well as the Black Rock Arts Foundation’s Advisory Council. Crandell was a co-founder of Brightmail, Inc., the email protection platform, now owned by Symantec, the Director of Technology for Network for Good and a Senior Technical Producer at America Online. Earlier in his career, Crandell worked for the Soviet/Russian Refugee program for the State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Crandell received a bachelor’s degree in Politics and Russian from Principia College.
Teresa Crossland – As Monsanto’s Director of Facility Strategies and Operations, Teresa Crossland leads a team responsible for Monsanto’s Global Workplace and Facility Strategies, St Louis Capital Management and Site Operations and Maintenance and has worked in North America, China, South America and India. Teresa graduated from Washington University with a Masters in Architecture and is a registered Architect in the State of Missouri. She also holds a National Council of Architectural Board certificate. For the past 16 years, Teresa has worked for Monsanto and prior was the Assistant Director of Facility Planning at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Teresa is the President of the Creve Coeur Olivette Chamber of Commerce and Chesterfield Development Advisory Council Board Member. In 2013, she was recognized as “100 St Louisans You Should Know” by the Small Business Monthly. She served on the Chapel Hill Historic District Commission for two terms, a past member of the National Charity League, an active member of the Women’s Leadership Giving at Monsanto and a leadership sponsor for Monsanto’s Encompass Team.
has a Master’s Degree in Tropical Ecology from the Whitney R Harris World Ecology Center at University of Missouri-St. Louis (Her research was on the biotic and abiotic effects of opening a hiking trail in the rainforest. She spent 4 months in the Darien Region of Panama and managed the field research station at Cana.) She is a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm and looks forward to hiking, bird-spotting, and adventuring with fellow travelers. She led a trip to the BEN in June 2009 and has led trips since 1991 to Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, the Peruvian Amazon, Ecuador, and the Galapagos. She developed Curricula on rainforest education for which she received Eisenhower funding for her first trip to the Amazon. She has published rainforest educational activities online and distributed them via Fisher Scientific. She has given dozens of talks on rainforest to a wide range of groups, including public and private school s (pre-K-12), senior citizen groups, church youth groups, the St. Louis Audubon Society, conferences for ISACS (Independent Schools Association-Central States), ISSL (Independent Schools-St. Louis),AMS (American Montessori Society), NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), NABT (National Association of Biology Teachers), STOM (Science Teachers of Missouri), the Conservation Forum, and at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Sustainability Conference. She served 6 years on the board of directors of Save The Rainforest and served 18 years on the steering committee of St. Louis Rainforest Advocates. She has written many articles for the E-Newsletters of Save the Rainforest and St. Louis Rainforest Advocates. She has 30 years teaching experience (pre-K – 12th; except 5th) and is currently a teacher of high school science and math. She has received several teaching awards, including the St. Louis Zoo’s Teacher of the Year Award.
John Hoffner has worked for General Credit Forms Inc. for 39 years. He served for 12 years as treasurer for the BMW Car Club of America ST Louis Chapter, and was a board member for St Louis European Auto show benefiting St Louis Shriner’s Hospital for Children as well as sitting on the board and teaching for Tire Rack Street Survival ® Teen Driving School. His volunteer work includes Gateway Pet Guardians, Tenth Life Cat Rescue and CHAMP Assistance Dogs. He is a certified instructor for on track high performance driver training. John has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a minor in Business from Maryville University of St Louis. He is a husband and father of two, a daughter and son, grandfather of 2 boys and 3 girls.
Steve Mahfood has a 40 year track record as an innovator and leader in the environmental, energy and natural resource fields. Steve has a deep appreciation for the environment and has broad and diverse experience that spans several continents. After working in North Africa and the Middle East in environmental programs for Project Hope and CARE he came back to the US where Steve has held a number of environmental leadership roles including leading environmental health and environmental finance agencies and managing key research in energy, climate and natural resource issues. Steve was appointed for 8 years by three successive governors as Cabinet Secretary to lead the Missouri Department of Natural Resources 2200 employees and $330 million budget. In that role he was responsible for managing the environmental, state parks, energy, geological, cultural and historic resources of the state. During his tenure Steve added over 60,000 acres to the state park system and led the development and construction of the first LEED Platinum state office building which now houses the Missouri DNR. He also represented Missouri and the US in a number of prominent roles including chairing the NAFTA-US Governmental Environmental Advisory Commission(GAC), serving on the EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) for 13 years, presenting programs on environmental issues for the Marshall Fund, and having received the “United States Presidential Environmental Achievement Award” in 1989. His work was also the subject of a “60 Minutes” episode because of his leadership in negotiating the first agreement in US history for a corporate buy out of the houses of Missouri citizens whose children were being exposed to lead contamination and smelter emissions. Currently he is advising the Nature Conservancy and many influential organizations on climate change, energy, environmental, natural resource and carbon management issues. Steve holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Yale University Environmental and Management Leadership Program.
Tom Newmark* was president and co-CEO of New Chapter, Inc., a certified organic provider of leading multivitamins and herbal formulations until his retirement in 2012. He is co-owner of Luna Nueva Extractos de Costa Rica that operates a model biodynamic and certified organic ginger and turmeric farm in the volcanic rainforest at the edge of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. Tom is co-founder of Semillas Sagradas, a sanctuary for endangered medicinal herbs of the neo-tropics. He is on the board of Scientific Advisors for the organic Center for Education, on the board of Biodynamic Trade Association, a member of Organic Trade Association, the American Herbal Products Association, the American Botanical Council, the NNFA, the Society of Integrative oncology and the Bar Association of Missouri. Tom received his BA and his JD from Washington University and had twenty years experience as a trial lawyer. Tom has several patents and has authored numerous articles. His books include Beyond Aspirin and The Life Bridge. Tom is currently collaborating with scientists at Columbia University on the first herbal clinical trial for the prevention of prostate cancer using proprietary formulation Zyflamend.
Dr. Patrick Osborne obtained his Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom in 1978. He has 35 years’ experience in tropical ecology research, education and environmental consultancy in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Kenya, Tanzania and the Philippines. He was Head of the Biology Department at the University of Papua New Guinea and Deputy Director of the Water Research Center at the University of Western Sydney in Australia. He served as the Executive Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis from 1996-2012. He has published papers on the ecology of wetlands and lakes, co-authored Freshwater Plants of Papua New Guinea (University of Papua New Guinea Press) and the second edition of his student text book, Tropical Ecosystems and Ecological Concepts (Cambridge University Press,) was published in 2012.
Dr. Peter H. Raven* has served as Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, and George Engelmann Professor of Botany, Washington University in St. Louis, since 1971 until his retirement in 2010. He is now President Emeritus of the garden. He has visited Costa Rica since 1966, and has served as a member of the Board and also President of the Organization for Tropical Studies. The Garden supports the work of Bill Haber at Monteverde and is currently producing the Manual Flora de Costa Rica, an account of all the plants of the country, in cooperation with INBio and the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica. The Garden’s staff of some 45 Ph.D. level scientists is conducting research throughout the tropics of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Dr. Raven is currently chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, chair of the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society, and a member of the board of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science. A native of California and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (A.B. 1957) and U.C.L.A. (Ph.D. 1960), Dr. Raven was a member of the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University for nine years before coming to St. Louis. He is a member or foreign member of some two dozen academies of science around the world and served as Home Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences for 12 years.
David Robnak joined the board in 2012. He has previously gone on ecotours with his family to the rain forest in Belize, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands. He strongly feels that all rainforest need to be protected, and was glad to join the board to help the Rainforest. David received a Bachelor degree from Indiana University in Business, with a minor in small business and entrepreneurship. He is president and owner of Central Paper Stock, a paper and plastics recycling company. Last year, Central Paper Stock recycled enough paper to save 1,263,000 trees and recycled over 3,000,000 pounds of scrap plastic. David lives in St. Louis with his family.
Steven Tomey is a St. Louis native who has spent his life exploring wild places and sharing it with those around him. His youth was spent roaming the creeks, rivers, and woods of Missouri, leading to a degree in Biology from UM-Columbia. Steve immediately went to work at the St. Louis Zoo, fulfilling a childhood dream to help with endangered species. During his 5 years at the zoo, Steve worked in the Bird House with hornbills and toucans, then the Elephant House, caring for Black Rhinoceros, Asian Elephants, and Pygmy Hippos. He travelled on safari to the Okavango Delta with zookeepers from around the country and saw elephants in the wild daily.
Steve traded in his shovel for a chalkboard and began a career as a science teacher in 1993.
Earning his MEd in Secondary Education at UM-St. Louis, Steve taught in Maplewood before landing at Lindbergh High School, where he remains today. At Lindbergh, Steve has designed several outdoor classes for students, including Field Biology, AP Environmental Science, Missouri Seasons, Outdoor Photography, and revamping the Environmental Club into a field trip/ service project-oriented group of over 25 students.
Steve’s passion in education has been to get kids outside and take them to see real environments.
Steve has lead over 80 student trips to the Ozarks, canoeing and visiting the many springs of our
state. He has taken regular, summer trips with his club to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Costa Rica since 2000. Steve looks forward to continuing his greatest joy as a teacher: taking
students to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and giving young people a global perspective of life, biodiversity, and our role as stewards of nature.
Co-Founder, Rachel Crandell in memoriam
Rachel Crandell retired June, 2001 after teaching for 20 years at Principia Lower School in St Louis and 9 years running a nursery school on her family’s farm in Indiana. Rachel taught numerous seminars for teachers and gave hundreds of slide shows around the nation about tropical rain forests. She and her husband Dwight have 3 grown children and 3 grandchildren. On their Indiana farm they grew all of their own food organically including goats, chickens, pigs, and horses (though they didn’t eat the horses). Rachel volunteered with Girl Scouts, 4-H, was elected to school board and active in the Christian Science church. She worked for the Smithsonian Institution and the Nation’s Capitol Girl Scout Council as a Field Director the first year after receiving a BA from Principia College in English and Art History. Later, she received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster U in St Louis. She was a lifelong environmentalist and served as President of the St Louis Rain Forest Advocates, leading trips to the tropics (25 times since 1989) hoping to give folks a peek at conservation and the impact our lives at home have on distant endangered places — hoping to change habits and thinking. Rachel passed away on Sept 7, 2009.
Co-Founder, Dwight Crandell in memoriam
Dwight Crandell retired on June 30, 2001 after serving 15 years as Executive Vice President of the St. Louis Science Center and 5 years as Assistant Director and Executive Director of the Museum of Science and Natural History in St. Louis. He also spent 9 years on the staff of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana, 1 1/2 years at Mount Vernon (George Washington’s Home in Virginia) and 5 years in the United States Air Force. He was a member of Rotary International, American Association of Museums and AAM/ICOM, an Associate of the Monteverde Conservation League and earned degrees of Bachelor of Arts (History and Education), Principia College and of Master of Arts (History Museum Studies), Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University College at Oneonta, NY. With his wife Rachel he enjoyed traveling in Central and South America since 1990 and supporting educational/conservation activities in Belize, Ecuador, Bolivia and Costa Rica as well as numerous conservation and cultural organizations within the United States. Dwight passed away on Feb 16, 2008.