New at TST this year, employees were encouraged to become involved in an organization they were passionate about that also focuses on some form of conservation. This could be anything from animal conservation to environmental conservation. To learn more about the amazing organizations team members chose, continue to read, and stay tuned for how they’ve been involved throughout the year!
Team Members: Travis Yordi, Vice President and Dave Reed, Senior Product Manager
Organization: Pheasants Forever
Travis Yordi: I’m apart of Pheasants Forever for several reasons, but first and foremost is their well-deserved reputation as The Habitat Organization. Habitat loss in Iowa has equated to less than one-tenth of one percent of our original prairie and only 5% of our wetlands remain. Pheasants Forever focuses on habitat creation, improvement, and restoration to provide for abundant populations of our wildlife. The efforts of the organization lead to opportunities for everyone; people who like to spend time in the field hunting, people who like to hike, birdwatch, or those who just appreciate being in the outdoors. My hope is that my membership leads even more of these opportunities for the next generation.
Dave Reed: Pheasants Forever has over 130,000 members along with a long history of working towards creating or enhancing wildlife habitats on over 15 million acres across the country. Members work with farmers and ranchers to protect and improve soil, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat on their land. I joined this organization because I believe it is important that we try and restore and preserve as much natural habitat as we can. To learn more about this organization and to find a chapter near year, visit https://www.pheasantsforever.org/.
Team Member: Nate Jones, Senior Technology Consultant
Organization: Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
An organization that I am involved in is the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI). CFI is a non-profit that is dedicated to protecting and conserving the ecosystem on the highest peaks in Colorado. Ever since I was a boy, I have been fascinated with the idea of climbing the highest peaks in my home state. Of the thousands of peaks in Colorado, 54 of them exceed the magic height of 14,000 feet above sea level; the infamous “fourteeners”. It has always been a life-long goal of mine to climb them all, and although the responsibilities of life can sometimes get in the way, I still plan on reaching the goal with my current count being 40. All the peaks are different and present their own unique challenges, but one thing they all have in common is the attraction of visitors every year. This can have a large impact on a fragile alpine ecosystem, and the CFI is making a difference through active stewardship and public education. To learn more, visit https://www.14ers.org/.
Team Member: Josh Plowman, Developer
Organization: The Tide
The Tide is a part of the non-profit organization Only One. The Tide focuses and funds various projects to protect the ocean. I am currently donating money to the cause, but in the future, I think it would be awesome if we could use our FieldNote app to help map out the locations of habitats that need to be protected and use our software to manage the rehabilitation efforts. To learn more and donate to the cause, visit https://only.one/invite/JOSHU785.
Team Member: Matt Hollen, Application Developer
Organization: Waukee Lions Club
I joined because it runs in the family; my dad and my grandpa were Lion’s Club members and I also wanted to give back to my community. The Lion’s Club of Waukee has a close relationship with the Waukee Parks and Rec and every year the club helps to plant trees, bushes, and flowers in the parks around our community. They also have adopted a local park, Alice Nizzi, in Waukee and we help with cleanup and maintaining the grounds. To learn more about what the Waukee Lions Club does for their community, visit https://e-clubhouse.org/sites/waukee/.
Team Member: Nibaldo Urzua, Technology Consultant
Organization: Go4Graham Foundation
Go4Graham is a community-based movement to shred the stigma surrounding mental health by promoting mental wellness through physical activity, connection, and education. I support this organization because I truly believe in their mission to make mental health a more normalized topic of conversation. That is why Go4Graham exists, to provide a community and to start the conversation of the importance of mental health. For the past seven years, I have been an ambassador on the Go4Graham cycling team, competing in several races each year. If anyone has any questions about this organization/cycling team or would like to get involved, please do not hesitate to reach out or visit www.go4graham.org.
Team Member: Ting Zhang, Senior Product Manager
Organization: National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation is the largest, most trusted conversation organization in America. Through habitat protection, restoration and management, the National Wildlife Federation aims to help various species from becoming extinct. Right now, I am just giving back by donating money, but in the future, I hope to volunteer with the organization. To learn more, visit https://www.nwf.org/.