Looking Forward: Rose Leadership Transition

Rose Foundation Founder and past Executive Director, Tim Little

Rose Foundation Interim Executive Director, Aiko Pandorf

The Rose Foundation is at an exciting juncture of change and potential as we ease into our third decade. Formed in 1992 by Tim Little and his co-founder Jill Ratner, The Rose Foundation is proud to announce the appointment of Aiko Pandorf as interim Executive Director.  

As Chair of the Transition Committee and on behalf of the Board of Directors, we are thrilled to welcome Aiko Pandorf. As Interim Executive Director, Aiko will build on Rose’s storied history and help us write a new chapter. Her steady-handed leadership style and collaborative approach builds on the organization’s strengths as we usher in exciting new opportunities for the Rose Foundation.  She is a wonderful guide and an asset to Rose.”  — Willard Brown, Board Member 

Tim and Jill have an unwavering commitment to justice for communities and the environment. Together, with a dedicated Board and staff, they have worked to develop a dynamic organization that empowers marginalized groups and environmental efforts. The Rose Foundation’s grassroots and mitigations grantmaking programs were initially built through Tim’s deep connections to local organizations and community activists. The Rose Foundation’s ability to reach frontline groups continues to make a difference in our shared pursuit of environmental justice, conservation and consumer rights.  

Tim Little has devoted the past 30 years to building the Rose Foundation we know and love today. Alongside Jill Ratner, Tim grew Rose from a 2-person team to a 19-person organization, fundamentally committed to grassroots initiatives promoting stewardship of nature, protecting people’s rights, and advancing environmental justice. Today, the Rose Foundation is locally and nationally recognized as a nonprofit that is a testament to Tim’s values and leadership. After working at the Rose Foundation and now serving on its Board of Directors, I am confident Tim’s legacy will live on in the fabric of the organization, and I am ready for the elevated 2.0 version of Rose!” Laura Fernandez, Board Member  

The Rose Foundation has grown dramatically in the last 30 years. Over the past 3 years alone, the organization has almost tripled its asset base. With this growth has come the expansion of Rose’s grantmaking and youth leadership programs, the addition of new staff members, and the refining of internal systems. On the horizon, the Rose Foundation is committed to growing the impact of our work and the grassroots groups we are privileged to support. We see the organization as a vital partner to small and mid-sized groups fighting for environmental and community justice. 

Some exciting developments include:  

  • This year, we are expanding our grassroots training and capacity-building services. We are piloting a coaching and mentorship program with 2-3 Cal Wildlands grantees, increasing our virtual training offerings to delve into critical topics like fundraising, governance, budgeting, and volunteer engagement, as well as hosting a fully in-person 2024 Grassroots Grantee Convening. Grassroots values are at the heart of the Rose Foundation’s mission. That’s why we are thrilled to create touchpoints that foster peer knowledge sharing, support resource exchange and build community among grassroots groups.
  • This summer, New Voices Are Rising students are installing air quality monitors and collecting data to create a community-informed air quality mitigation plan to share with key policymakers and governmental agencies. Thanks in part to support from the CA Air Resources Board, the next generation of activists are using science and data to organize for cleaner air in the communities where they live.
  • Next month, Rose is launching a new website. We hope it serves as a tool to inspire you with the powerful stories grantees share, the lessons learned in the bigger ecosystem of conservation, justice and community power, the opportunities Rose offers and more. 

Thank you for being part of the Rose Foundation community now and in the future. We are embracing being in a state of transition, honoring our past and planning for what’s to come. Fostering stewardship, building community and demanding justice are and remain the cornerstones of our mission work.  

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