A Namas-Day In The Life: Rodney Elam

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What is your name, occupation, and company/organization you work for?

Rodney Elam, Business Partnerships Coordinator, Trees For The Future


What’s a typical day in your life like?

My typical day involves a lot of outreach to existing business partners and engaging new ones. I also check and update our social media accounts to better educate people on the mission of Trees For The Future (TFTF). I mainly use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Often I reach out to our program staff in the field if we have a special request from a business partner that is interested in an update in a specific country where we plant trees.


What have Trees for the Future taught you about life?

I have learned that trees are not only good for the environment but can be used to better the lives of people. I think sometimes in the U.S., we only think of trees in terms of aesthetics. While trees are beautiful, they can also produce food and be a source of nutrition for families and communities. They can be also be used for firewood and they help revitalize soil. Trees also have great medicinal value. TFTF has taught me how trees can have a sustainable impact upon communities around the world.


How did you get involved with Trees for The Future?

I applied for TFTF at a time when I was becoming more environmentally conscious. I sold my car in 2010 and began biking. I lived in Washington, DC and with the metro and the city being biker friendly, I decided it was time to let go of my car. I was really interested in fundraising for an organization that I would be proud of and that my family would be proud of. I was delighted when I was hired as the Business Partnerships Coordinator. It’s an organization with a great mission and my five year old daughter Julianne is so proud that her dad helps the environment, and because of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, she totally gets it and understands the importance of tree planting and protecting the environment.


What’s your favorite part about working for a socially conscious company?

I enjoy educating people about how TFTF can benefit peoples’ lives and ensuring that we take care of our environment now is essential to our future. I also like working for a company in which I can incorporate environmental consciousness in my personal life. We have a number of business partners that make some really great products and my wife especially likes trying out their environmentally friendly products.


Favorite place in the world?

Nashville, TN. I love the food and the pulse of the city. It’s a very vibrant city and I love my alma mater, Tennessee State University, which is located in the heart of Nashville.


What’s your hidden talent?

I have the ability to make babies smile. I don’t know why but this happens all the time when they see me.


Favorite quote.

“Change your mentality and your environment will change around you.”


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