Toronto, ON – Environmental Defence announced today that, after nearly 10 years as Executive Director, Dr. Rick Smith will be departing the organization as of December 31, 2012.  Sarah Winterton, Environmental Defence’s long-time Managing Director, has been appointed Acting Executive Director as of the New Year while the Board of Directors conducts a search for Rick’s replacement.
“It is with regret, but with thanks for his considerable accomplishments and confidence in the organization’s strong foundation and bright future, that the Board of Directors has accepted Rick’s resignation,” said Bob Davies, Environmental Defence President and Chair.  “Rick has led Environmental Defence to unprecedented success.  Over the past 10 years the organization has more than tripled in size and has become one of Canada’s most prominent and eloquent advocates for the protection of the environment and human health.  Quite simply, Canada is a better place today because of Rick and Environmental Defence’s efforts.  Ontario’s Greenbelt — the largest in the world — Canada’s groundbreaking role in banning the hormone disrupting chemical BPA from baby bottles, and the creation of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act are just some of the many, many victories that Rick and Environmental Defence have been key to securing. Slow Death by Rubber Duck:  How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life is Affecting Our Health, the bestselling book co-authored by Rick and Environmental Defence’s past President Bruce Lourie, has helped redefine the pollution debate not just in Canada but internationally.” 
Davies continued:   “Though we are sorry to see Rick go, the Board of Directors is delighted that Sarah Winterton, a seasoned leader in Canada’s environmental sector, has accepted our offer to serve as Acting Executive Director while the Board conducts a search for Rick’s replacement.  Over the next two months the Board will be working closely with Rick and Sarah and the organization’s exceptionally talented staff team to achieve a smooth and effective transition.  In anticipation of the publication of Rick and Bruce’s second book in late 2013, the Board is also pleased to note that Rick will continue as a volunteer special advisor to Environmental Defence’s toxic chemical programme. ”
“On behalf of Environmental Defence’s Board and staff, I would like to congratulate Rick on a job very well done and wish he and his wife Jennifer, and their two sons Zack and Owain, all the best as they pursue this new chapter in their lives.” Davies concluded.
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 232; 647-280-9521 (cell) skohls@environmentaldefence.ca