Los Angeles Conservation Corps Announces Changes in Executive Leadership Team

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Bruce Saito, Executive Director Emeritus, and Dan Knapp, Deputy Director, Move On to Support Corps Movement in Different Capacities; Wendy Butts Continues to Lead as CEO

The Los Angeles Conservation Corps, a local non-profit dedicated to transforming the lives of at-risk youth and enhancing the City of Los Angeles, announced today that Bruce Saito has stepped down as Executive Director Emeritus to build his own consulting practice. Mr. Saito will continue to support the LA Conservation Corps over the next few months as its government relations consultant.

In 1986, Mr. Saito was hired by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Mickey Kantor, to help start the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. He served as Executive Director from 1995 until 2014, when he stepped down to become the Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Advisor to the Corps. Under his leadership, the LA Conservation Corps grew from a budget of less than $1 million annually to over $23 million.

“We are so grateful to Bruce for his vision and tremendous contributions since the Corps’ inception,” shared Wendy Butts, Chief Executive Officer of the LA Conservation Corps. “He brought a passion and an energy to this organization that is unparalled. We are fortunate to continue to have his support and expertise, in his role as a consultant, as we continue growing as an organization.”

Mr. Saito shared, “The LA Conservation Corps is a wonderful organization that has served youth in need and the community for nearly 30 years, and it has been a great honor to serve as the Corps’ Executive Director. I’m proud of the work we’ve done and the young lives we’ve changed. I am very optimistic about the Corps’ future and am confident in Wendy’s ability to take the organization to new heights. ”

In addition, the LA Conservation Corps announced today that Dan Knapp, Deputy Director, will July 31
to pursue other opportunities in the corps movement. Mr. Knapp started at the LA Conservation Corps in 1996 as an environmental science teacher, and went on to help develop key projects such as City pLAnts, and partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Ms. Butts remarked, “Dan’s contributions were valuable to the success as an organization. We’ll miss his passion and purpose and wish him well as he embarks on his future.”

Mr. Knapp shared, “During my tenure at the Corps, I’m grateful to have worked with some of the most dedicated and talented people you can imagine. But, more importantly, I had a chance to get to know the incredible young people we serve. Though I’m moving on, I’m excited to see what’s next for the Corps. Wendy has been instrumental in the agency’s growth over the last year, and I have every confidence that she will successfully usher the Corps into the next generation.”

Bo Savage will remain as the Corps’ Deputy Director. Wendy Butts will continue serving as the LA Conservation Corps’ Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the organization which employs more than 100 staff in five sites throughout the Los Angeles area.

About the LA Conservation Corps
The LA Conservation Corps is the nation’s largest urban conservation corps. We employ young people between the ages of 18-24 from LA’s most poverty-stricken communities in our environmental job skills training program, and enroll those without diplomas in our affiliated charter school. Corpsmembers build parks and community gardens, plant trees, recycle tons of waste, remove graffiti, clear forest trails and deliver energy efficient messages to LA residents for local utilities. Select Corpsmembers intern at our SEA Lab, a marine science education and marine animal rescue facility in Redondo Beach. Each day, as they heal their own communities and beyond, our young environmental stewards learn they have much to offer the world and are inspired to attain their academic and career goals.

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Kea Duggan
LA Conservation Corps
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