Who We Are
Trustees and Staff
Jonathan Cloud, Executive Director
Serial entrepreneur and nonprofit executive, designer/builder, conservation and renewable energy expert.
Jonathan is the Executive Director and co-founder of Possible Planet (an alternate name for CRCS, the Center for Regenerative Community Solutions) and its Regenerative Financing division. He has been helping catalyze action toward sustainable development in municipalities, communities, and businesses for more than 40 years. He worked for the Canadian Government in policy, program management, and evaluation of energy and environmental issues. Jonathan ran a solar design and construction firm pioneering green building techniques and other sustainability projects in Canada and the United States.
In New Jersey, Jonathan developed and successfully proposed legislation regarding small hydro, co-led the state’s first energy aggregation programs, and continues to champion PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) in the legislature.
Jonathan holds a master’s degree in sociology from York University in Toronto and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology with honors from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is the recipient of a UN Environment Medal. He has authored a number of articles and web sites addressing a range of topics, from climate change to the development of new currencies and new ways of living and working in communities. He was Senior Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 2005-2016.
Victoria Zelin, Director of Development
Business development consultant, former Deloitte Sustainability Practice Business Development leader, Yale MBA
Victoria is the Co-Founder of the Center for Regenerative Community Solutions (CRCS) and Director of Development for New Jersey PACE (NJPACE). She speaks publicly and has been published on the subject of sustainability (“Who Will Be the Rock Stars of Corporate Sustainability?” Science, Wisdom, and the Future: Humanity’s Quest for a Flourishing Earth, Collins Foundation Press, 2012).
Most recently, she sold Deloitte’s sustainability consulting services to major corporations. Previously, she sold organizational change consulting services to F500 companies. She is masterful at getting to the heart of the issue, articulating a compelling case for change, and inspiring people to take action. Earlier, she co-founded the Sustainable Leadership Forum, a peer network in Central NJ that empowers people in their own sustainability initiatives.
Victoria has an MBA from Yale’s School of Management with a specialization in organizational development and a BA in cultural anthropology from Duke University.
“My mission is to help people and communities thrive economically, socially, and environmentally through regenerative financing. Regenerative financing creates value beyond financial capital—it generates a flow of value that unleashes other forms of capital: knowledge capital, natural capital, political capital, and more. Social capital is essential in regenerative financing; it determines what gets done, based on relationships of trust, shared goals, inspiration, acknowledgment, and teamwork.
“Our nonprofit, Possible Planet, leverages regenerative financing to improve the community in many ways, from lowering the carbon footprint, to creating local wealth, jobs, and economic development, to helping commercial property owners save money on energy, and more. We see regenerative financing as the tip of the spear, helping communities to evolve into the resilient, equitable, and inclusive ecosystems they are capable of being.”
Gus Escher, Director of Finance
Investment banker, land use planner & former NJ local elected official. Gus is also principal of First Enterprise Consulting, LLC, investment bankers of Princeton, NJ.
Gus is an Investment Banker and Managing Member of First Enterprise Consulting LLC, a Project Consulting firm for Alternative and Renewable Energy Facilities. He consults on projects from Concept – to Development Management – to Financial Structuring/Proformas – to Team Coordination – and to Equity and Debt Execution.
Prior to First Enterprise Consulting, he has served in leadership positions at Citicorp Securities, PNC Capital Markets, RBC Captial Markets and BB&T Capital Markets – all specializing in project development and finance. Gus is licensed by the SEC/FINRA in all 50 states, with Series 7, Series 63 and Series 79 designations.
He holds a BA from Princeton University, and a Masters of Urban Planning, also from Princeton University.
Trustees at Large
Founder/CEO at TrueValueMetrics developing Multi Dimension Impact Accounting
Peter Burgess has formal training in engineering, economics and accountancy which has given him the background to understand problems from many perspectives, and introduce practical effective solutions.
The same skills that were effective in the corporate environment were also very effective in planning and evaluation in the field of international socio-economic development. Peter did many assignments for the World Bank, the UN (mainly UNDP) as well as private commercial clients. Worked in more than 50 countries over a period of more than 20 years.
Peter has used good basic accounting and key item control to measure performance and identify profit improvement possibilities. Structured metrics so that everyone was pulling in the same direction to achieve corporate goals. Used similar techniques to improve factory performance and manage costs on large construction projects.
Background and education:
Read engineering and economics at Cambridge University. Trained as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers and Lybrand (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) in London. About 20 years professional and corporate management experience including VP Manufacturing and VP CFO. Also assignments for World Bank, IFC, UN agencies and others in the international relief and development sector for another 20 years. Experience with management information system development in corporate, government and NGO sectors.
Sustainability Change Agent
Matt Polsky is a sustainability change agent and Senior Fellow for Sustainability Innovation and Multidisciplinary Thought at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Institute for Sustainable Enterprise.
He has unique cross-sector experience working in business, government, for environmental groups, and as an adjunct professor. He was the Sustainability Team Leader at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. He has taught sustainability and energy courses at six New Jersey colleges. He was a marketing manager at AT&T Microelectronics’ Energy Division, a market researcher at Lane Bryant, and a marketing coordinator at BBD&O. Matt was co-chair of one town’s Green Team, advised another town’s Green Team, is on two Sustainable Jersey Working Groups, and is advising Sustainable Jersey in their development of “Gold” level certification for municipalities. He has also worked with a number of municipalities to preserve open space.
As a perpetual student, he has a BA in Psychology from Rutgers College; an MBA in Economics, an MA in Humanities & Social Thought, and a Certificate in Global Affairs, all from NYU; and completed the Corporate Environmental Leadership Seminar at Yale. He has taken additional courses with some of the giants of the sustainability field.