Ross Freeman, Stevens Pass Ski Area’s Environment and Sustainability Manager, has been hired to be the city of Mercer Island's first Sustainability and Communications Manager. Freeman is scheduled to start April 1.
Mercer Island issued the following information about the Freeman and the new position:
The City announces the hiring of Ross Freeman as the City’s first Sustainability and Communications Manager. Ross comes to Mercer Island with a strong background in sustainability and communications and will join the City starting April 1. According to Noel Treat, Deputy City Manager, “The City is very fortunate to have recruited and hired a candidate with Ross’s strong background in both sustainability and communications.” He was hired after a very competitive process that included more than 160 applicants.
Mercer Island has a long history of focusing on sustainable practices in the City’s work. The hiring of the Sustainability and Communications Manager follows the work last year of the City’s Sustainability Policy Task Force. The Task Force’s final report strongly encouraged the City to hire an employee to focus on and coordinate sustainability efforts. With Ross’s leadership, the City can continue its focus on expanding and improving the sustainability work that is already underway.
Ross has spent the last five years as Stevens Pass Ski Area’s first-ever Environment and Sustainability Manager, where he developed a company-wide sustainability program aimed at 1,000 staff and 400,000 guests per year. Under his guidance, Stevens Pass received many environmental honors such as repeated recognition as one of the top ten greenest ski areas in an independent survey, and winning the most coveted environmental award from the ski industry’s trade association. Stevens Pass was named Washington State Recycler of the Year in 2012, and last fall Ross earned a place on Seattle Business magazine’s annual Green 50 list. The resort’s achievements have received consistent coverage on local radio, TV, and in regional newspaper outlets, and include notable milestones, such as the installation of the first electric vehicle chargers at any mountain pass in the country.
After completing his M.S. in Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ross worked for six years as staff scientist, policy analyst, and outreach specialist with the Northwest office of American Rivers, a national conservation organization. His work focused on protecting river ecosystems, rebuilding salmon populations, and administering a habitat restoration grant fund. He was intensely involved in communications, outreach and lobbying as part of this work.
His prior background also includes positions as an environmental journalist, environmental science educator, grassroots organizer, field ecologist, GIS technician, and National Park Service climbing ranger.
As a Seattle native and avid outdoors enthusiast, Ross spends his free time enjoying whitewater rafting, mountaineering, and backcountry ski adventures across the Pacific Northwest.