Sustainable Woodstock announces new executive director

By Amanda Kuhnert

Caduto sitting (Greg Nesbit Photography 2011) cropped

This has been an exciting month at Sustainable Woodstock. We enter a new chapter in our organization’s history, as we bid farewell to Sally Miller, our executive director for the past nine years, and welcome Michael Caduto, our incoming executive director.

Sally has been the director of Sustainable Woodstock since its founding in 2009. We would not be where we are today without her steady leadership, hard work, and passion for the mission of Sustainable Woodstock. In honor of her many years of leadership, the board of Sustainable Woodstock will contribute to the East End Park development fund. Trees will be planted in Sally’s honor, a lasting reminder of her commitment to the East End project and to all of the organization’s work over the years.

Sally announced in April that she would be moving on to another opportunity. A hiring committee was formed, and a candidate was put forward at a special board meeting in late June. The board voted to take the committee’s recommendation and hire Michael Caduto as our new executive director.

Michael comes to Sustainable Woodstock with nearly 30 years of experience as an environmental advocate and educator, as well as a strong background in nonprofit leadership. He has devoted his life to bringing people closer to the natural world and helping others better understand the role that we all play in its stewardship.

An author, environmental educator, community organizer, storyteller, and ecologist — Michael is perhaps best known as the creator and co-author of the “Keepers of the Earth” series, as well as a number of other environmental books. His feature stories and op-eds have been published in major newspapers and magazines, including Reuters International.

He is the founder and director of PEACE (Programs for Environmental Awareness & Cultural Exchange), which offers a wide range of programs related to sustainability, natural history, ecology, and world cultural traditions. Most recently, he held the position of director of the Friends of the Morrill Homestead in Strafford, Vermont. He and his wife, Marie, live on a small farm in Reading.

“I am thrilled and honored to be Sustainable Woodstock’s new executive director,” he said, “and I really look forward to meeting people throughout town and hearing everyone’s ideas and visions for living sustainably.”

You can meet Michael in person at Bookstock on Sunday, July 29. At 1 p.m., he will present a family program based on his recently published children’s book, “The Garden of Wisdom: Earth Tales from the Middle East.” The talk will take place at the Forest Center in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.

SUBHED: Our past and future

At the board’ regular board meeting in early July, we sat around the table with our outgoing and incoming executive directors and talked about the past and future of our organization. There was a collective feeling of deep appreciation for Sally’s leadership throughout our first decade and excitement for the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Over the last nine years, Sustainable Woodstock has evolved into an important community organization,” Sally said. “It has been very rewarding to see how discussions about sustainability have become part of our local culture and how residents have supported our efforts. I like to think that we have made a difference. I look forward to seeing how Michael brings his own skills and ideas to Sustainable Woodstock.”

Michael and Sally will work together in the coming weeks to make the transition as seamless as possible.

“In the past nine years, Sally’s steady and hardworking leadership has resulted in a resilient and thriving organization,” said Pieter Bohen, chairperson of Sustainable Woodstock. “We have been blessed with her leadership, and we are blessed yet again with Michael arriving as our new executive director.”

SUBHED: Next up in our film series

Join us for a free screening of the documentary “Burned” on Tuesday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Woodstock Town Hall Theatre. “Burned” tells the story of the accelerating destruction of our forests for energy generation, and probes the policy loopholes, huge subsidies, and blatant greenwashing of the burgeoning biomass power industry. Following the screening, there will be a discussion with Co-Producer/Co-Directors Lisa Merton and Alan Dater and Associate Producer Chris Hardee.

The event is free and open to the public. Admission is by donation to support Pentangle Arts.

DO ONE THING: Take a walk in the woods and appreciate the role our forests play in climate-change mitigation.


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