Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) welcomed its new President and CEO, Russell King, who is taking the reins at the Naperville, Illinois-based nonprofit organization on October 28. King’s hire followed an extensive national search to replace J. Eric Smith, who is retiring as president and CEO after four years’ service to the organization.

King is a seasoned nonprofit executive with more than 25 years’ experience in the public sector, including multiple chief executive roles. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University, an MBA from LaSalle University, and is a graduate of the University of Delaware’s Institute for Organization Management. He is the author of four books, a long-time contributor to numerous online and traditional print media outlets, and has an extensive community service resume, including election to the Verona (Wisconsin) Area Board of Education.

Russell King

“We are truly delighted to have hired Russell to serve as our new president and CEO,” said TREE Fund Board Chair Steven D. Geist, BCMA, RCA. “He is a deeply experienced nonprofit executive, with formidable leadership, development, communications and financial skills. Russell has a proven track record of leading growth and transformation in the nonprofit sector, and the Search Committee truly admired his deep hands-on, mission-driven, servant leadership experiences throughout his career. We are confident that he will sustain and build on our recent successes under Eric’s administration, and we look forward to working together to benefit our urban and community forests and the skilled professionals who care for them.”

“Communication, collaboration, diversity, and servant leadership have been, and remain, the keys to my success with those I serve, whether staff, board members, donors, or the communities we support,” said King. “Although the depth and breadth of my experience and education may have uniquely qualified me for this role, what most defines me is the passion with which I immerse myself in a worthy cause. When I take on a mission, it becomes my driving force, my raison d’être. I now look forward to putting my abilities to work on behalf of TREE Fund.”