HEC Announces Our New Leader

Sam Carpenter, former executive director of Indiana-based nonprofit fair trade retail outlet Global Gifts, has been named the new executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC). Carpenter was introduced at the organization’s annual Greening the Statehouse event October 15.

“Environmental issues are issues of our collective society,” said Carpenter. “That’s why HEC is so important: they rally and provide direction for those folks who want to make a difference and affect policy that creates a better Indiana. When I thought about what organization would allow me to have the greatest impact for future generations, the answer was Hoosier Environmental Council.”

In Carpenter’s 17 years leading Global Gifts, sales of sustainable goods grew from $196,000 to over $1.8 million and staff grew from one to 25 employees. Most recently, he has consulted with small businesses and nonprofits on strategic planning, turn arounds, and growth strategies. In 2010, he was named one of Indianapolis’ “Forty Under 40” by the Indianapolis Business Journal. A Kentucky native, Carpenter holds a masters degree in peace studies and conflict resolution from Ulster University in Northern Ireland.

As a citizen-volunteer in Indianapolis, Carpenter has been an active advocate for environmental issues. His advocacy has included meeting with legislators, speaking at rallies, and taking part in events related to mass transit, coal, and renewable energy.

The HEC board selected Carpenter after a nationwide search. “Sam has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations,” said Tom Barrett, HEC board president. “His skills in executive leadership include strategic planning, business development, fundraising, and marketing. Most importantly, Sam brings to HEC a passion for the environment and HEC’s mission.”

Carpenter will lead an Indianapolis-based staff of 15 full- and part-time employees working on climate issues, public health, air and water policy, forests and wildlife, and environmental justice.

“As a trusted source of information, the HEC staff earns a lot of respect for their level of knowledge and understanding of environmental policy,” said Carpenter. “There is a whole segment of Hoosiers who are concerned about their environment but may not have actively taken up the cause. I would like to help shape and spread the message that shapes opinion so more people can learn about the issues and take actions toward progress.”

“I have no doubt that Sam will build bridges in the environmental community and persistently lobby for the citizens of Indiana,” added Barrett.

Carpenter succeeds Jesse Kharbanda, who led the organization for more than 14 years before concluding his tenure last spring.

Carpenter begins part-time work at HEC October 19, and full-time work December 1.