A farewell and a celebration the Guild’s Southwest office

Matt working a prescribed fireWritten by Eytan, Matt, and Esmé.

As in forests, change is a constant here at the Guild. It is bittersweet to announce that long-time staff member Matt Piccarello has taken a new position with The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico. Matt brought a passion for southwestern forests, human communities, and youth training and education during his eight years with the Guild. During that time Matt grew and built programs that had meaningful beneficial impacts. It has been a pleasure and honor to work alongside him all these years. In his own words:  

“I feel so fortunate to have worked at the Guild as long as I did. I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to the entire team for all I have learned from you and for your support during this transition. The Guild’s great team is ready to pick up where I left off on projects I was working on. The Guild is a special organization, made so by the people that work there and its mission. I’ll have nothing but fond memories when I look back.  I look forward to working closely with the Guild in my new role as Forest and Watershed Health Manager with The Nature Conservancy.” 

With change comes new opportunities and I am pleased to announce the well-deserved promotion of Esmé Cadiente to Southwest Director. Starting with the Guild in 2016, Esmé has brought tremendous work ethic, leadership, forest restoration expertise, and relationship building skills to the organization. Additionally, Esmé brings a vision for how the Guild can more effectively achieve our mission in the Southwest. As Southwest Director, Esmé is already making strategic decisions while advancing forested landscapes to be more resilient. In her own words:  

Esmé working on a fire“Working alongside Matt for the last six years has been such a treat. I have learned a lot from him about community forestry, and our leadership styles balance and complement each other well. He will be missed in the Guild office, but we are fortunate that we will still be working alongside Matt as a partner with TNC. I am pleased to accept the position of Southwest Director. When I came to the Guild six years ago, I was also coming home to the landscape where I grew up. A landscape that nurtures and feeds my soul—since being a young child running barefoot through the Rio Grande, to now taking my own daughter on walks to smell the vanilla sweetness of the ponderosa pines. The work the Guild does is extremely important in maintaining these forests for the next generation – so they may have the same fond memories of experiences spent in the landscapes of the Southwest. My vision for the Guild’s Southwest office is to build alignment with all the collaborative forestry and shared stewardship projects in this landscape. I want to promote a multifaceted effort that integrates the implementation and monitoring systems from each project so they complement one another and eventually reach landscape resilience goals. Providing youth development opportunities, especially in rural forested communities, and nurturing the next generation of forest stewards is a huge piece of this work and is woven into every project we conduct here in the Southwest. I look forward to the years to come, especially now that forest restoration is becoming a priority for more than just those in the profession.”