Passion for natural world inspires 3 new society members

Michael Colvin rock climbing

Michael Colvin

Michael Colvin, EDF Director, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, California Energy Program

“Even though I’m still relatively young, I focus on planned giving now because I want my legacy to reflect my values as I build my wealth over the next 30 years of work. In Judaism, there’s a tenant known as Tikkun Olam, which roughly translates to ‘repair the world.’ We repair and not fix, and in doing so we acknowledge that there will always be something else that will need our time and attention. Continued engagement with the world around us is the point. I chose to include EDF as a beneficiary of my IRA because that continued engagement, with multiple perspectives, is built into the DNA of the organization.

“When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, I saw Vice President Al Gore do a prototype of his ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Power Point lecture. I was captivated, and I turned to my friend and said, ‘This is it. I’m in…’ That was almost 20 years ago, and I have now been working on clean energy and climate change issues my entire professional career, with a focus on policy to decarbonize the utility sector. After working for the state for 10+ years, my ‘stretch goal’ was to work for a place like EDF.

“I describe myself as a pragmatic optimist and I think that aligns well with EDF’s mission of ‘finding the ways that work.’ For me, it starts with listening to what people are saying and understanding their underlying reasons; from there, you do what you can to find mutually agreeable solutions. EDF does that better than any other place out there.

“I love going outdoors to rock climb. I find that climbing fosters great community and emphasizes stewardship. You get to interact with nature in a tactile way, and that physicality creates a unique connection back to the world and with each other. The environment is meant to be shared, and I’m so glad that I can help share it with future generations through my work with and planned support for EDF.”

Pat Simmons

Pat Simmons

Pat Simmons, EDF member since 1979

Pat Simmons has been supporting EDF for nearly 42 years. She credits her move to Montana, the “Big Sky State,” with inspiring her to get involved with the environmental movement. “I have always loved camping and watching wildlife. So when I was asked to join a local wildlife organization to help with their finances, I knew firsthand how important it was to support organizations that protect local wildlife and ecosystems.” Over the next few years, her passion grew into supporting state organizations and ultimately national organizations, like EDF. “The Earth is our home. We have to save and maintain it, and nourish the life that shares our planet,” Pat says.

But it’s not just local work that keeps Pat excited to support EDF. “I love seeing the grassroots work to advance environmental causes here in the US, and it’s wonderful to see EDF work so closely with the Chinese to help support the international environmental movement, as well.” EDF’s technical and scientific approach also resonates with Pat. “We need to support organizations that are effective and use new technologies to affect meaningful change.”

When Pat sat down to assign beneficiaries to her life insurance policy, she wanted to make sure the money would be put to good use. “I don’t have children, so adding EDF to my life insurance policy made perfect sense. EDF has huge successes with its work in the past, and I’m proud to support an organization that uses science and innovation to solve our biggest problems.”

Michael Ross

Michael Ross

Michael Ross, EDF member since 1978

“My ongoing, years-in-the-making concern for the environment is the reason I support EDF. Our environmental problems are big, like water quality in the Great Lakes states where I live, and we need everyone to work together to solve them. Polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS) in Flint and other regions of the state are just one example of the important issues at hand.

“I see EDF bringing farmers, business leaders, fishing communities, policy makers and many others to the table to find solutions. This full-circle approach appeals to my Midwestern values. Working with EDF staff, I’ve found ways to help our environment and stay on track with my personal financial plans through charitable gift annuities. Simply put, these have been the right thing for me to do.”

Join Michael Colvin, Pat Simmons and Michael Ross in supporting our work to solve the most critical environmental problems facing the planet. Contact Cynthia Eubank DiLeo at 877-677-7397 or legacy@edf.org to discuss how you can leave a lasting legacy.