Press Release

Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) Introduces Conservation Leader Lily Verdone as Executive Director

September 7, 2022

Verdone Brings Nonprofit Management and Environmental Experience to the Role

POINT REYES STATION, Calif., Sept. 8, 2022 — The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), the first farmland trust in the nation, today announced that it has hired Lily Verdone, a long-time conservation and environmental leader, as executive director. 

Verdone, a Northern California native, has led initiatives to protect agricultural land, open space and fresh water during her 20-year career working inside global organizations such as The Nature Conservancy as well as small, community-based land trusts.  

Most recently, Verdone was senior director of Coastal Quest, an Oakland-based nonprofit building climate resilience for vulnerable coastal communities. As she takes the helm at MALT, Verdone becomes the first woman to officially lead the organization since the Marin County nonprofit was founded by rancher Ellen Straus and conservationist Phyllis Faber in 1980.

“Lily has the leadership expertise, people skills, and the conservation and land trust experience to further build on MALT’s successful work,” said Jennifer Carlin, who was MALT’s interim executive director and now assumes the deputy director role. “The MALT board, staff and I truly look forward to working with her.” 

Verdone said MALT’s ongoing mission to preserve agricultural land for agricultural use inspires and energizes her.

“Agriculture is part of the connective tissue that stitches together many facets of life — from food systems to jobs and housing, to water supply, wildlife habitat, and local and regional economies,” she said. “I have found the agricultural community to be a natural partner in this solution-based approach to conservation. Together we can tackle the problems facing food production, water and open space with practical, on-the-ground results.”

Verdone Brings Strong Credentials to MALT 
Before joining Coastal Quest, Verdone spent more than a decade with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, where she led a range of environmental initiatives in California and Texas. 

Verdone also served as conservation director for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, where she directed scientific research, habitat restoration, stewardship and acquisition for the coastal Los Angeles land trust. Her additional experience includes stints as environmental consultant, research biologist and watershed coordinator. She has been a director on nonprofit boards and is an active volunteer for organizations focusing on social and environmental justice. 

Verdone earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and planning and a master’s degree in biology from Sonoma State University. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and two children. 

About MALT
Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a nonprofit organization created in 1980 to permanently preserve Marin County farmland and establish Marin County as a thriving agricultural community in a healthy and diverse natural environment. Some of the Bay Area’s most highly acclaimed dairy and meat products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT, which totals more than 55,000 acres.

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Peter Fugazzotto
Director of Communications, MALT
(415) 663-1158 ext. 323

Colleen Martell
Martell Communications for MALT
(408) 832-0147