Home > ROW Leadership

Matt Rosensteele, Executive Director

Matt graduated from DePauw University in 2007, and joined Peace CoMatt Rosensteele, executive directorrps in 2008. As a rural community development volunteer in La Florida, a small village in the Nandamojo watershed, he worked to develop a community bank and computer lab. He completed his service in 2010 and moved back to Costa Rica with his wife, Ann Marie, in 2011, to begin directing ROW.

Marcia Gómez Cortés, Program Director

Marcia Gómez Cortés

Marcia graduated from Costa Rica’s TEC University with a degree in forestry science. She has extensive experience working to promote sustainable land use practices among cattle ranchers throughout the country as well as expertise in nursery management and botany.

Tom Peifer, Technical Adviser

Tom Peifer holds a master’s degree in international agricultural development from the University of California, Davis. He has lived and worked in Costa Rica for close to 30 years. He is the founder and director of El Centro Verde, a learning center where land restoration strategies are tested and demonstrated. His work provides the basis for strategies that ROW promotes among Nandamojo landowners.

ROW Board of Directors

Will Raap, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board
Nancy Lewis-Heliotes, Co-Founder and Treasurer
Lito Fernandez, Hotel Playa Negra
Wes Light, Asociación Guanacasteca Pro Aguas y Bosques
Dana Kaleta, Milwaukee Urban Ecology Center 
Valerie Guthrie, Junquillal Leatherback Project 
Wayne Edwards, President/CEO Rock On Strategies
Larry Graziano, SalveMonos, Nandamojo Valley Chamber of Commerce

ROW Partner Organizations

NANDAMOJO VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: ROW founded and incubated the Chamber of Commerce as a way to unite the local business community around our vision for a sustainable future. In addition to the towns and villages within the watershed, the chamber’s area of influence includes the adjacent communities of Playa Callejones, Los Pargos/Playa Negra and Playa Avellanas. The chamber has grown to include 45 local businesses and community organizations. Visit their web site here.

COMITÉ PRO-BANDERA AZUL ECOLÓGICA DE LA CUENCA DEL RÍO NANDAMOJO (Watershed Ecological Blue Flag Committee): The Ecological Blue Flag program is a national initiative aimed at providing incentives for the protection of water resources. ROW organized the Nandamojo’s first watershed-level Blue Flag committee, which has been awarded this distinction for the past three years. In 2014, the Nandamojo was one of just 26 watershed in Costa Rica to be awarded this prize.

ASOCIACIÓN de CONSERVACION VIDA VERDIAZUL – AVIVE: Project started with funding by World Wildlife Fund, works to monitor and protect marine turtles, especially the leatherback that is in danger of extinction. Now an independent non-profit organization, this group performs important outreach activities and also does environmental education within local communities. Learn more about AVIVE here.

ASSOCIACIÓN SALVEMONOS-(SAVE THE MONKEYS): Organization dedicated to reforestation, biological corridors and “monkey bridges” over streets and highways in order to better harmonize development with the local populations of Howler monkeys.

AMIGOS DEL DIRIÁ: A group of concerned stakeholders from Santa Cruz are organizing themselves to protect the Diriá National park, which encompasses 5,400 hectares (13,350 acres) of primary and secondary dry tropical forest near the city. Find out about their efforts here.

TIERRA PACIFICA and PUEBLO VERDE ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES: These two sustainable developments, located within the Nandamojo, serve as proving grounds for the strategies that ROW promotes among watershed landowners. Visit Tierra Pacifica or Pueblo Verde to learn more.