Board of Directors
Green Burial Council Certification
Katey Bean, Director (Secretary), is a landscape architect in Washington state whose practice includes ecological restoration. Her thesis on green cemeteries earned an award from the Washington chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecs in 2006. Katey is interested in how green cemeteries can connect people in meaningful ways to their local environment.
John Eric Rolfstad, Director (Treasurer), is the Executive Director for the PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Association (PMA) in Washington state; the oldest and largest nonprofit memorial society. In addition, he is Executive Director of the PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Funeral Cooperative which is a member owned funeral home in Seattle, WA. Involved in social change for over 30 years, John Eric has also served on the national boards of Lutherans Concerned and Lutheran Gay and Lesbian Ministries.
Green Burial Council International
Rev. Charles Morris, Director (President), has been an ordained Catholic priest since 1983 and is currently on the faculty at Madonna University in Detroit where he teaches courses on sustainability. Rev. Morris has published papers in peer review journals in the fields of environmental justice. His work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning News, the New York Times, the Detroit Free Press, the National Catholic Register and Sierra Magazine. Rolling Stone Magazine named Fr. Morris to it’s Honor Roll in 2006. He currently contributes to the Eco-Catholic blog for the online version of the National Catholic Reporter. In 2011 he received a Michigan Green Leader award from the Detroit Free Press.
John Eric Rolfstad, Director (Vice President), is the Executive Director for the PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Association (PMA) in Washington state; the oldest and largest nonprofit memorial society. In addition, he is Executive Director of the PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Funeral Cooperative which is a member owned funeral home in Seattle, WA. Involved in social change for over 30 years, John Eric has also served on the national boards of Lutherans Concerned and Lutheran Gay and Lesbian Ministries.
Ed Bixby, Director (Secretary), is the owner and operator of Steelmantown Green Burial Preserve in New Jersey. Ed has led presentations on green burial for numerous organizations and has provided educational training for both funeral directors and cemeterians.
Merilynne Rush, Director, is a former home birth midwife and hospice nurse, is a Natural Death Care Educator who teaches individuals, families and groups about how to care for their deceased loved ones at home (home funeral). She is also a trained Advance Care Planning Facilitator through the Gunderson Health System. She was secretary of the National Home Funeral Alliance and founded and co-facilitates a monthly Death Café in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Lee Webster, Director, is a writer, hospice volunteer, home funeral guide and a public speaker on the benefits and how-to’s of home funerals and green burials. She is also the Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources and the current Vice-President of the National Home Funeral Alliance. Her career spans over 30 years in the areas of public relations and development, including writing grants, case statements and easements for several conservation groups and health agenecies in the non-profit sector.
Matthew Alcide, Director, comes from a diverse background with significant experience in both the nonprofit and funeral industries. He is currently the Development Manager for the Landscape Architecture Foundation in Washington, DC. Matt is a native of Long Island, where he spent five years working for a local funeral home. His extensive nonprofit background includes fundraising for universities, small foundations, and membership organizations. On his spare time, he offers consulting services to help small organizations improve operations to increase revenue and maximize their impact.