Island Green Living Association has elected three new officers during the March 31 meeting of the board of directors. Long-time board member Mark Lichtenstein, who has served since 2017, was elected vice president; Curtis Penn, board member since 2020, is now treasurer; and Trey Goldsmith, who joined in January, will be part of the executive committee. Two officers, Harith Wickrema (president) and Akhil Deshwal (secretary), will continue to serve in their roles.
The newly elected officers bring a wealth of experience and a deep dedication to sustainability and the territory to their positions. In addition to Goldsmith, Gregory Guannel, Ph.D., director of the Caribbean Green Technology Center (CGTC) at the University of the Virgin Islands, and Brad Camrud, St. John homeowner, marketing executive and longtime Island Green benefactor, also were elected to the board in January.
The St. John-based non-profit unveiled a new logo earlier this year as well, pictured above, which better represents Island Green Living’s commitment to sustainability and the circular economy, while promoting the tenets of “rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle.”
“All of us on the board consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to give back through such programs as our new plastics recycling program, aluminum recycling, the Resource Depot thrift shop, composting, food security initiatives, advocacy promoting environmental legislation and education, and more,” said Harith Wickrema, Island Green Living board president. “We thank the officers who helped get us here, welcome Mark, Curtis and Trey as they take up the reins as officers as well as Brad and Greg as new members of the board.”
Vice President Mark Lichtenstein has more than three decades of sustainable waste management experience, including with disasters. In addition to his Island Green Living role, he currently serves as executive operating officer, and he leads sustainability and regenerative strategies at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, N.Y. He served eight terms as president of the National Recycling Coalition. Lichtenstein also co-founded and facilitated the Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Recycling Partnerships.
Treasurer Curtis Penn has been integrally involved in the territory’s tourism and hospitality arenas for decades. His Caribbean Seashells Vacation Villas and Seashell Boat Charter are highly regarded and favorites of visitors to the islands. Penn served for 21 years with Caribbean Villas & Resorts, and he successfully started and sold several other businesses prior to focusing solely on these two companies. Penn is profoundly committed to sustainability and preserving the natural beauty of the territory and is on the board of Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park.
Trey Goldsmith, new executive committee member, serves as outside general counsel to several institutions in the U.S. and U.S.V.I., and chief operating officer and general counsel to RapierMed LLC, a USVI financial services firm. He has broad experience in the United States with international deal structuring and overall business planning, governance and crisis management.
Goldsmith brings a unique perspective to Island Green on matters of waste reduction and disposal from his position as special counsel to the board of the U.S. Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority and as outside general counsel to several U.S. electric cooperatives, each of which regularly addresses matters of integrating distributed power generation through rooftop solar and related renewables.
New board member Brad Camrud has a master’s degree in international marketing as well as more than 35 years of experience in brand management and market research. Camrud founded The Link Group, a top 50 U.S. market research organization, in 1994. Prior to that, he worked as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble.
Camrud has demonstrated a long-term commitment to sustainability through his support of Island Green on St. John and environmental focused organizations throughout the U.S. He is a lead supporter of the Solarize St. John, Solarize St. Thomas and Share the Sun St. Thomas programs, which subsidize home solar panel and battery back-up installations. He also owns personal properties in Sarasota, Fla., Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and St. John, USVI, which operate near net zero carbon emissions.
As director of CGTC at the University of the Virgin Islands, new board member Greg Guannel, Ph.D., leads the organization and its mission to enhance the resilience and sustainable development of the U.S.V.I. by working on applied research projects and providing subject matter expertise and thought leadership on topics related to civil infrastructure resilience, renewable energy technology and policy, sustainable material management and water resources management.
Originally from the Caribbean, Guannel has an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Ecole Supérieure des Travaux Publics (Paris), an M.S. in Ocean and Coastal Engineering from Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University.
Other board members include Harith Wickrema (president), Rob Crane, UVI President David Hall, Jim Dobrowolski and Randy Thurman.
Established in 2004, Island Green Living Association is a registered not for profit organization on St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI. www.islandgreenliving.org