Organization Release – 6/8/2018 10:00 AM ET
Schlais Brings Science and Operational Experience
CALABASAS, Calif. — Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) announced that David Schlais will join the organization as Interim Executive Director, effective June 8, 2018.
MRT’s Board of Directors Advisors President, Jim Hughes, on behalf of the MRT board, stated “After careful consideration, we are thrilled to have David Schlais join us as Interim Executive Director. David brings a stellar environmental science background, a wealth of operational experience, and a lifelong passion for nature to MRT – all of which are critical ingredients to achieving MRT’s mission. We are absolutely confident that David is the right interim leader for MRT who can elevate our restoration, acquisition, scientific and educational efforts in the Santa Monica Mountains while we search for an permanent Executive Director. We are very excited to welcome David as our Interim Director as we embark on our next chapter with renewed focus, a supportive community, an incredible team of passionate employees and a fundamental mission to restore our mountains’’s ecological fortune.”
Schlais has extensive experience leading and innovating environmental projects and partnerships, including having guided a number of institutions through pivotal transitions. Through his private equity experience, David has frequently worked with underperforming organizations to effect operational changes that increase revenues and impact. As the Head of Strategic Initiatives for UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES), Schlais led the revamping of a Corporate Partners Program, launched a GreenSparks high school platform, managed an annual $1M+ Gala, and played an integral role to inaugurate the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award. Prior to IoES, Schlais served as Vice President of Origination with The Gores Group, where he sourced acquisition opportunities from Fortune 500 companies. Schlais is also a published scientist in PLOS ONE for research on poison dart frogs in Costa Rica and has worked with various environmental organizations, including the Placer Land Trust and The Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Schlais began his career as a copywriter for JAKKS Pacific in Malibu, CA.
“I cannot imagine a more important or exciting time to join MRT,” said Schlais. “With over 37 years of experience restoring land, a distinct legacy in land acquisitions, a leading K-12 educational program provider, and a talented group of employees, MRT is well-positioned to foster greater biodiversity and health in the Santa Monica Mountains for people and nature. As a lifelong environmentalist and wildlife enthusiast, this is the perfect opportunity to combine my industry experience with my love for the outdoors. I look forward to working with this great team, having a lot of fun, and leading MRT to its next exciting phase.”
Schlais holds a Master of Business Administration from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University and a Bachelor of Science in English from Pepperdine University.