Scott Culbertson has been named the Executive Director of Friends of Ballona Wetlands, bringing more than 30 years of development, team building and management experience to an organization fighting to preserve, protect and restore one of California’s remaining coastal wetlands. Culbertson’s agency experience coupled with a successful marketing and finance career, and longtime passion for the environment will further propel the organization as the primary voice of the Ballona Wetlands.
“Scott brings strong leadership skills from his previous experience with non-profits, and we look forward to his passion and vision to help us achieve our mission of stewardship of, advocacy for, and education about the Ballona Wetlands,” stated Ballona Friends Board President, and Professor at Loyola Marymount University Professor Jim Landry. “We are very excited to welcome Scott as our new Executive Director of Friends of Ballona Wetlands.”
Nearly 40 years ago, under the watchful eye and energetic commitment of its Founder and Board Member Ruth Lansford, Friends of Ballona Wetlands was born out of the passion of a handful of Playa del Rey residents to champion restoration and protection of the Ballona Wetlands thru education, advocacy, and stewardship.
“I’m delighted Scott has come on board to lead our cause on a new and exciting path,” stated Lansford. “He has already hit the ground running and his extensive non-profit background is serving him well, continuing and expanding the Ballona Friends’ position as the primary protector and restoration advocate for the Ballona Wetlands.”
Culbertson is a self-proclaimed “intrepreneur” and fixer, and does not shy away from taking the lead to turn ideas into effective and profitable finished products. His experience ranges from working with brand marketing to entertainment to finance with such companies as Unilever, RPMC, Activision, and Mediacentrix.
But it was his passion for children and education, as well as the environment and science and technology that led him into working with nonprofits. It was at the Los Angeles inner-city agency A Place Called Home where, for more than 10 years, Culbertson was dedicated to supporting and helping provide opportunities for youth living and growing up in one of the most challenging zip codes in Los Angeles. As the Associate Director of A Place Called Home, Culbertson was accountable for fundraising, special events, marketing and communications, board development, and collaborations. He was also a member of the executive management team dealing with all agency matters.
“I am honored to serve this remarkable organization that changed the fate of an environmental gem,” said Culbertson of his new position. “Today more than ever, the Ballona Wetlands, like so many other important ecological sites, faces many challenges and an uncertain future. I strongly believe we have an obligation to continue the important work that was started 39 years ago at Friends of Ballona Wetlands. And, with a dedicated and knowledgeable staff, an engaged and supportive board, steadfast partners, and the community’s support, I look forward to helping sustain this urban oasis.”
Founded in 1978, the non-profit Friends of Ballona Wetlands’ mission is to champion the restoration and protection of the Wetlands, involving and educating the public as advocates and stewards. Each year, the Friends hosts more than 9,000 participants – community members of all ages and student groups (pre-K to post-grad) for interpretive wetlands educational tours, volunteer projects and hands-on restoration.