Marc Hunt Joins the Open Space Institute to coordinate new southern Appalachians program

NEW YORK, NY - August 10, 2005 - The Open Space Institute is pleased to announce that Marc Hunt is joining the organization as field coordinator for the Southern Appalachian Loan Fund. Marc was previously Director of the Charter School Loan Fund for the Center for Community Self Help, a $1 billion nonprofit community development financial institution. Marc has extensive experience in lending and program management. Also, with an earlier career in the whitewater outfitting industry, and having grown up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, he is an avid outdoorsman with a love for the landscapes of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. 

Marc will be responsible for administering the Southern Appalachian Loan Fund, acting as liaison between OSI and the land trusts in western North and South Carolina, northern Alabama, Georgia, and eastern Tennessee. “The Southern Appalachians is one of the most biologically rich places on earth, with its rivers providing drinking water for millions of people and its landscapes providing recreational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of others, and it is under extreme threat,” said Peter Howell, vice president and director of the Open Space Institute's Conservation Finance Program. “Having Marc heading our program in the region allows us to more effectively assist land trusts and accelerate important conservation work,” Howell added. 

With its new loan fund in the Southern Appalachians, the Open Space Institute not only expands its work geographically, but, with the addition of Marc, also adds valuable experience to its program. For the past several years Marc developed lending policy and headed external collaboration for Self Help's charter school loan fund with a current portfolio of $35 million. Prior to working for Self Help, Marc co-founded Sunburst Adventures, a whitewater outfitting company, and after selling the company to Nantahala Outdoor Center, served as Chief Financial Officer for that company. Marc continues to be active on various nonprofit boards. Marc is looking forward to bringing his financial skills to the service of the environment of the Southern Appalachians. 

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