Board of Directors
Green Burial Council Certification
John Eric Rolfstad, Director (President & 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.
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.
Candace Currie, Director, is the director of planning and sustainability at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge and Watertown, MA. She began her cemetery experience as a volunteer in the horticulture department mapping some of the 5000+ trees throughout the 175 acres. Today, she locates new graves within the historic core of Mount Auburn to be sold for natural burials and promotes the vision of one of Mount Auburn’s founders, Dr. Jacob Bigelow, who wrote in 1831: “The elements which have once moved and circulated in living frames do not become extinct nor useless after death: they offer themselves as the materials from which other living frames are to be constructed.” In addition to her work with Mount Auburn, Candace volunteers with Green Burial Massachusetts. She holds LEED Green Associate credential and a Master of Arts in Landscape Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design of western Massachusetts.
Green Burial Council International
Matthew Alcide, Director (President), 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.
Ed Bixby, Director (Vice President), 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.
Lee Webster, Director (Secretary), 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 agencies in the non-profit sector.
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.
John Eric Rolfstad, Director (Treasurer), see above for bio