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Owner and primary consultantJessica Simons has led Verdant Stewardship since 2013. Jessica was previously a natural resources specialist for nearly ten years for the Southeast Michigan Resource Conservation and Development Council, where she developed and managed an initiative to help communities and businesses respond to forest health threats. This multifaceted program included research, outreach, demonstration projects, and partnership development across public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors. An accomplished communicator, she has also contributed to several national publications and presented at leading industry events. 

Earlier in her career, she conducted forest inventories for the USDA Forest Service, biodiversity surveys for the Nature Conservancy, and forest health research at the University of Michigan. Jessica is a board member and advisor for the Cerulean Center, a trustee for the Great Lakes Section of the Forest Products Society, a member of the Forest Stewardship Council, and a founding organizer of the Urban Wood Network. She holds an M.S. in natural resources from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in biology from West Virginia University.