Feldman Stepping Down as Executive Director of Bethesda Green
He wants to replicate model in other places
Photo by Wendy Price
Dave Feldman said Wednesday that he will be stepping down as executive director of Bethesda Green—the nonprofit he helped launched in 2008 to provide environmental resources to the community.
Feldman said he will wait until the organization hires a new executive director before he officially resigns. “Six years seemed like the right time for a lot of reasons,” he said.
Feldman said Bethesda Green is in a strong position financially and is poised for growth. He said he is eager to take the organization’s model and implement it in other communities.
Feldman said he will continue as an advisor for the nonprofit after he steps down.
Feldman said during his tenure Bethesda Green’s revenue grew from $25,000 to $325,000. During that time, the organization launched an incubator program that has helped nurture environmentally-focused nonprofits and businesses, created an annual internship fair to connect students with jobs in the environmental sector, and established itself as a hub for resources on environmental sustainability for local businesses and community groups.
“We took a concept that didn’t exist six years ago and made it thrive,” Feldman said.
George Leventhal, the Montgomery County Council member who along with Seth Goldman, the CEO of Honest Tea, hired Feldman to start the nonprofit, praised Feldman’s tenure at Bethesda Green. He said the organization has received attention around the state as a model of how to develop a local sustainable economy. “We’re happy for him as he moves on in his career,” said Leventhal, “but he’ll be very difficult to replace.”
Added Goldman: “We found so much community energy for what we were doing and he did a great job harnessing that and making it into great programs.”
Leventhal and Goldman are both on the Bethesda Green board of directors.
Feldman came up with the framework for the nonprofit while working as a consul at the British Embassy between 2002 and 2007 when he said he noticed that the U.S. was lagging behind Great Britain in embracing sustainability.
Now, Feldman said he’s in the process of trying to set up a national, and possibly international, organization to work with groups who are trying to create sustainable economies. He said he believes local hubs, like Bethesda Green, are key because they can reach the individuals who make environmental sustainability happen.
“The hubs will create a home,” said Feldman. “They give residents and businesses a resource at the local level to deal with complicated environmental issues.”