LINCOLN – Matt Harris of Lincoln was named CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation on July 1, becoming the second to hold the title in the organization's 42-year history.
"Certainly an opportunity like this is both exciting and humbling at the same time," said Harris, who succeeds the retiring founder John Rosenow. "We have such a strong legacy as an organization…I'm excited about the future. I just know we're going to make good things happen."
According to a press release from the Arbor Day Foundation, the foundation is "the nation’s largest membership-based environmental nonprofit organization," with the mission of "inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees."
To date, the foundation is responsible for planting some 250 million trees on five continents.
Moreover, the Tree City USA program is the platform for urban and community tree-planting programs nationwide, with nearly 140 million people benefitting from local city forestry in more than 3,400 Tree City USA communities.  
“The work of the Arbor Day Foundation is as important as ever,” Harris said in the release. “We stand poised to expand our leadership role in ensuring that trees are recognized as a vital part of solving challenging global issues. People’s lives are positively affected every day by trees.
“Planting trees helps to address pollution, water quality, climate change, hunger and poverty around the world."
Harris said the foundation was well-prepared for his transition into the role of CEO.
"This transition had been planned for many years," Harris said. "This was the right time to make that transition complete and move into our next chapter… We have so much talent on our team. We have committed members all over the world."
The Foundation also owns and operates Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, a national historic landmark, and Lied Lodge & Conference Center.