A new president is in the future

Markku Kostamo has led A Rocha Canada since its founding in 2001.  In early years he was the Executive Director and, after a 2014 re-structuring to adapt to the organization’s growth, he was named President.

Since July 2017, however, Markku has been on medical leave.

In January 2018, he and the Board of Directors decided that he would not return to his former role.

This has been a season of significant adjustment as the National Management Team has adapted over the past seven months to managing the organization without Markku’s leadership.  In his absence, Rick Faw, VP of Programming, has taken on the role of Acting President, and he will continue as Interim President as the Board turns its attention to a presidential search process.

“For those friends of A Rocha who know Markku personally – please know that he is doing much better now, and he and Leah and their girls are all fine,” says Rick Faw.

Markku Kostamo
Markku Kostamo
(A Rocha Canada Co-Founder)

“It has been a hard season, but he and Leah have often noted that many good new things are growing as a result of the challenges.  One of many good, long-term results of Markku’s leave is that the National Management Team has really united and stepped up to the challenge of leading the organization in his absence.  Responsibilities have been distributed, the response to the Christmas fundraising appeal was excellent, and we are meeting our operational revenue goals,” he says.

Rick Faw (Interim President) with Markku Kostamo (Co-Founder)
Christie Goode (VP of Advancement)
Christie Goode
(VP Advancement)

“Markku’s contribution to A Rocha as a co-founder (along with his wife Leah) and more recently as President, cannot be overstated,” says VP Advancement, Christie Goode.

“A Rocha Canada has grown from nothing to a budget of $2.4 million, 40 staff and creation care programming in four provinces,” she says.  “It is a unique organization that engages both faith-based and non-faith-based partners to provide environmental education and conservation research and restoration, and it does so with a winsome spirit that inspires hope for the future.  And a lot of that “spirit” of the organization is thanks to Markku and his gentle light-heartedness.”

For some time Markku has considered whether a role with A Rocha International might be in his future.  Over the coming months, that will be explored with ARI staff and the Canadian Board and management team.


A public event to honor Markku’s years of service will be announced in the near future.

Markku & Leah Kostamo
(A Rocha Canada – Co-Founders)

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