TREE Fund names Dr. Paul Putman as its new President and Chief Executive Officer

May 1, 2023 

Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) is pleased to announce the selection and hire, following an extensive national search, of its new President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Paul Putman, who will take the reins at the Naperville, Illinois-based nonprofit organization effective July 1, 2023.


“TREE Fund’s Trustees are truly excited to have Dr. Putman joining the organization as our new President and CEO,” says Dr. Arnold “Beau” Brodbeck, who chairs TREE Fund’s Board. “Paul brings a unique set of fundraising, communication, and leadership skills that will help advance TREE Fund’s mission of funding research and education to support the professions of arboriculture and urban forestry.”


Dr. Putman will be coming to TREE Fund from Cleveland Foundation, the world’s first community foundation, where he has served in both the Grantmaking and Philanthropy departments for nearly 15 years. As a Program Officer with the Community Responsive Grantmaking team, Paul facilitated grantmaking across multiple sectors by focusing on efforts to strengthen nonprofit organizations and improve access to services for underserved populations. In the Philanthropy department, Paul served as a Donor Relations and Technology Officer, and most recently, as Senior Director of Philanthropic Services, leading a team of professionals in working with individuals, families, and nonprofits throughout greater Cleveland to help them achieve their philanthropic goals. Prior to joining the foundation, Paul spent a decade leading the Center for Leadership and Service at Cleveland State University (CSU).


Paul earned his doctorate in urban education from CSU with a focus on leadership and lifelong learning. Paul earned his master's in psychology, with a specialization in diversity management from CSU and his master's in education, guidance, and counseling from Eastern Illinois University. Paul earned his bachelor's in English from Kent State University. He is also a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®). Paul has published in multiple scholarly journals and authored several book chapters. He is currently co-editing a book on careers in adult education outside of the academy. Paul is a mentor with College Now Greater Cleveland and currently serves on the boards of the Cleveland Public Library Foundation and the American Council on Gift Annuities.


“I am thrilled to join TREE Fund’s team,” says Dr. Putman, “and I look forward to working with the board, staff, partners, and volunteers to continue the stellar track record of research and education for professionals and others caring for and living with trees in our urban communities. I’m excited to turn a personal passion into professional purpose.”


About TREE Fund: TREE Fund is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in urban forestry and arboriculture. Since 2002, TREE Fund has distributed over $5.1 million in research grants, scholarships, and funding for environmental education to advance the science, practice and safety of tree care and engage the next generation of tree stewards.

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TREE Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to support scientific discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the fields of arboriculture and urban forestry.