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New SCCF environmental policy team starts this week

By Staff | Sep 9, 2020

James Evans and Chad Gillis. SCCF

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation enters a new era as James Evans becomes environmental policy director on Sept. 8, joined by Chad Gillis as policy advocate.

Evans comes to SCCF after serving as director of Sanibel’s Natural Resources and Gillis from the Naples Daily News and News-Press, where he reported on the environment. Each brings 20 years of experience in water quality, land management and Everglades restoration issues to their new roles.

“We are excited to welcome them to our SCCF family and to take our policy work to a new level with this supercharged team,” Chief Executive Officer Ryan Orgera said.

Evans and Gillis will work with Policy Assistants Leah Reidenbach, who has a background in water quality science and science communication, and Holly Schwartz, who worked in management with Lee County Government for 21 years and specializes in legislative and growth management issues.

The team is excited to carry forth the policy work established over the past 14 years by Natural Resources Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel, who retired in May. The new colleagues are also eager to deepen and expand the advocacy efforts needed to restore and protect the region’s waterways.