Longtime Captains For Clean Water supporter Gene Nesbeda has joined the organization’s board of directors. Nesbeda has invested in Yeti Coolers, GE and other successful companies.
Throughout his 40-year career, Gene has focused on building, managing, and investing in for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, with the know-how to scale and grow people and processes. “I hope to continue to support the growth, health, and development of Captains For Clean Water which is something I have a lot of experience doing with small and large organizations.”
Gene helped found an international management consulting firm, then went on to serve as an executive and investor for companies like Yeti Coolers, General Electric Corporation, CITIC Capital Partners, and Cortec Group. He has also served on non-profit boards including the largest non-governmental organization in New York City. Gene holds a B.S. from the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Together with his wife Jennifer, Gene followed his love for the water to Florida to retire in 2018. They were shocked by the water crisis unfolding in their newfound backyard caused by a devastating red tide bloom that lingered for more than 12 months.
“2018 was my first full year in Florida. We couldn’t walk the beach. We had to put medical-grade filters in our home because we had respiratory problems. We couldn’t sleep in our house. Sixty miles offshore there were dead grouper floating in turbid water. We can’t let that happen again. We said, if we can’t be part of the solution, we’re going to move.”
Gene set out to get involved with organizations that were making an impact. “Captains kept popping up as a name that was non-partisan, exclusively focused on cleaning up the water with no other agendas. Captains continues to be the organization that moves the needle most effectively for all stakeholders.”
When asked what he hopes to achieve as a board member, Gene explained, “We need the resources to continue to amplify and educate the public on the issues and what impact they can have. We can help improve engagement for the right reasons and have people understand how important clean water is, not only for our personal enjoyment, but for the economy of Florida. This is the lifeblood of our state.”
Captains For Clean Water Executive Director, Capt. Daniel Andrews said, “Scaling our organization is the key to growing our impact and fixing these problems. It will take getting more people involved and that requires more resources. Gene is uniquely equipped to help us get there.”