MUSIC & MEDIA EXECUTIVE EVAN HARRISON JOINS KISS THE GROUND AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
10-year environmental non-profit readies next wave of promotion for Regenerative Agriculture as solution for climate, water, health crisis; Co-Founder Ryland Engelhart transitions to newly created role of Chief Mission Officer.
November 1, 2022
Los Angeles–Kiss the Ground, a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on promoting regenerative agriculture as the solution to our climate, water and health crises, announced the hire of Evan Harrison as Chief Executive Officer. Ryland Engelhart, co-founder and previously Executive Director, will remain committed to Kiss the Ground and support Evan and the team in the company’s growth in his newly created role of Chief Mission Officer.
Following a thorough search led by Berkhemer Clayton involving over 300 candidates, it was Evan’s significant leadership experience, unique style, and growth-oriented mindset, coupled with his immense passion for the regenerative movement, that separated him from other highly qualified candidates. The board recognized that Evan understood the growth phase Kiss the Ground was poised and ready for and the factors that would set the organization up for its next wave of growth.
“Evan’s superpower is not just storytelling but adapting a narrative and super-charging it for relevancy and impact in a digital world,” shared Kiss The Ground Board Chair Katy Saeger. “Not only does Evan understand the necessity of creating emotional connections, but his strategic vision and thoughtful approach to leadership, efficiency and creating real impact on the ground is exactly what the organization needs to scale. Without question, Evan is the perfect person to partner with our founders and lead this next phase of Kiss The Ground’s growth.”
Evan brings significant storytelling prowess and digital innovation experience to Kiss the Ground. He helped transform iHeartRadio (formerly known as Clear Channel Radio) into a multi-platform content creation company in his role as the company’s first President of Digital, creating the iHeartRadio music service. After spending a decade at BMG Music, he joined a handful of his BMG colleagues at AOL, where together they created groundbreaking music programs such as AOL Music’s “Sessions” and “First Listen,” which debuted hundreds of new songs by the most prominent artists in the world, putting AOL on the map as a legitimate innovator in the music space. He also held leadership roles at Univision, Townsquare Media, and as a music festival producer.
Evan is a lifelong surfer and environmentalist. His love for the ocean is what first sparked his crusade and interest in environmentalism, which developed further when he joined the board of Surfrider, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches.
Kiss the Ground’s mission is to awaken people to the possibilities of regeneration and inspire participation in this movement through storytelling, education, and advocacy. Since being established in 2013 with the goal of creating societal awareness around the extraordinary potential of soil health, Kiss the Ground has educated and activated tens of millions through inspirational and engaging programming, including a full-length Netflix documentary, Kiss the Ground, that unearths a scalable solution to the climate, water, and food crises: regenerative agriculture.
“Ryland, Finian, the entire Kiss The Ground team, Board, and network of supporters have inspired Millions and started a regenerative movement to solve our global climate, water, and health crises. Now, together, we’ll take the massive groundswell they’ve developed over the last decade mainstream,” said Evan Harrison CEO, Kiss The Ground. “We have a tremendous slate of multi-platform programming for early next year, including our Farmer Stories Series and the Possibilities of Regeneration, a story co-written and narrated by an indigenous food systems scholar and educator, Lyla June Johnston. For the Holiday Season, we’ll launch our RE:CONNECT giving campaign.”
After Evan joined in August, he reorganized Kiss The Ground’s leadership team to align for growth in three primary areas with sights set on driving mass awareness and forever changing the future of agriculture in America: Story-telling across multiple platforms, diverse education programs, and advocacy. The latter has made especially tremendous progress this year through our coalition-led effort, Regenerate America, focused on increased Regenerative funding via the Farm Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act. In addition to Ryland’s move to Chief Mission Officer, co-founder Finian Makepeace assumed the role of Chief Strategy Officer, Karen Rodriguez was promoted to Chief Administrative Officer, and Richard Wegman remains Chief Operating Officer. Erica Campbell took over for Finian Makepeace as the organization’s Policy Director, Nathan Rice remains the Communication and Marketing Director, and Kylie Wagner will help develop and streamline the organization’s Education programs.
Kiss the Ground is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to awaken people to the possibilities of regeneration and inspire participation in this movement through storytelling, education, and advocacy. Since being established in 2013 with the goal of creating societal awareness around the extraordinary potential of healthy soil, Kiss the Ground has educated and activated tens of millions across the world.