St. John, USVI – July 22, 2020 – Island Green Living Association has elected two new board members to the esteemed board of directors: Curtis Penn and Shena Esannason, both USVI residents and pillars in the community. The St. John-based non-profit is known for its sustainability accomplishments including waste reduction via their chipping/composting program; renovation of the hurricane-damaged Island Green building and reopening of the Resource Depot; support for bans of plastic straws and toxic sunscreen; community environmental education programs, etc. Additionally, the board elected Harith Wickrema, David DiGiacomo, Akhil Deshwal, Rob Crane and Dr. David Minner to its newly formed Executive Committee, charged with driving the priorities of Island Green.
“We are fortunate to have Curtis and Shena among our esteemed board members and pleased with our newly elected Executive Committee,” said Harith Wickrema, Island Green President. “We have an ambitious agenda for 2020-2021 – expanding our mission to include food security/sustainability in the territory while continuing to promote ‘rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle,’ composting, eliminating dangerous Styrofoam and disposable plastics, community education on environmental toxins, etc. These individuals will play a crucial role in helping us achieve our goals.”
“It is an honor to be part of Island Green Living Association,” said Esannason. “Finding sustainable solutions that protect our territory while supporting the needs of our community is imperative. I look forward to lending my talents to those efforts.”
Shena Esannason has worked for the VI Waste Management Authority on St. John since 2007 and is the owner of SGE Health & Life Coach. She is dedicated to the environment and also cares deeply about the community. Esannason is running for the Virgin Islands Board of Elections in order to ensure a fair election process and encourage young people to become the next generation of voters and leaders. She has served on boards such as The Head Start Policy Council as Secretary from 2013-2016 and The Coral Bay Community Council from 2018-2020. In 2019 Esannason became a participating member of The Rotarian-St. John Chapter and a volunteer for the Junior Achievement program. She is a certified health and life coach and is currently working on her BA in psychology. Esannason is the proud mother to three children.
“It is vital that we protect the environment not just for our community but for the island’s livelihood – tourism,” added Penn. “I feel privileged to be a part of Island Green and the vital efforts to safeguard the natural beauty of the territory through sustainability and resiliency measures.”
Curtis Penn has been integrally involved in the territory’s tourism and hospitality arenas for decades. His Caribbean Seashells Vacation Villas and Seashell Boat Charter are highly regarded and favorites of visitors to the islands. Penn served for 21 years with Caribbean Villas & Resorts and successfully started and sold several other businesses prior to focusing solely on these two companies. In addition to considerable business expertise, Penn is profoundly committed to sustainability and preserving the natural beauty of the territory. Penn co-produces and co-sponsors the Love City Live Culture & Art Festival St. John, and is a current board member of Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park. He is married and has four daughters.
In addition to Esannason and Penn, current Island Green board members include David DiGiacomo (vice president), Rob Crane (treasurer), Akhil Deshwal (secretary), Mark Lichtenstein, Dr. David Hall, Jim Dobrowolski, Randy Thurman, Dr. David Minner, Ralph Antolino Jr. and Harith Wickrema (president).
Island Green’s flagship Resource Depot, located at Susannaberg next to the VITEMA building, continues to operate Wednesday – Saturday, accepting donations of used home goods and building materials, with sales benefiting the organization’s endeavors while keeping valuable resources out of over-burdened landfills.
Established in 2004, Island Green Living Association is a registered not for profit organization on St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI. www.islandgreenliving.org.