A Fond Farewell to Theron (and Pela!)

After nearly three years at GreenBlue, Theron Jourdan, Project Manager for GreenBlue’s Forest Products program, recently relocated back to his hometown of Portland with his wife, Kelsey, and their dog, Pela, a frequent office visitor. Theron came to GreenBlue as part of our acquisition of Metafore in late 2009, which was the foundation for GreenBlue’s Forest Products program. Theron worked across various Forest Products initiatives and projects. Notable, under Theron’s dutiful management, EPAT underwent numerous upgrades and has continued to grow, both in terms of companies using the tool to evaluate the environmental performance of the paper they use, and mills reporting data.

All of us here at GreenBlue are sad to see Theron go, and a few of us offered up some words to thank Theron for all that he has done for GreenBlue during his time here. First up, we interviewed Tom Pollock, Theron’s colleague from the Forest Products program, on what he has learned about Theron over the years and what he will miss most.

Tom Pollock
How long have you worked with Theron? What was your first impression when you first met?
I’ve been working with Theron for a bit over five years now. My first impression of him was that he was cool customer who was willing to ready to contribute to the work we were doing straight away.

What do you see as Theron’s greatest professional accomplishments to date, whether at Metafore or GreenBlue?
I’ve always been really impressed with Theron’s ability to take the time to understand a complex issue or technical problem and then apply what he learned into the context of what we’re working on. For example, getting into the detail of how water quality is measured at various pulp mills around the world and bringing that information into a business and sustainability context. A lot of what we do is around innovation and new ways of thinking about things, and Theron has been really impressive in his ability to move with the issues and learn what’s needed. Specifically, Theron has many accomplishments in his time at Metafore and GreenBlue, but I would have to say that his work on the Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (EPAT) and all of his work with forest certification has been impressive.

Have you come to learn any fun facts about Theron over the years that the rest of us may not be aware of?
Where do I start? There’s too many to tell. Theron is an accomplished kayaker for anyone who doesn’t know and has even won two “best director” awards for his kayaking films at a reputable film fest in Portland, Ore. Theron has fought off a bear. He doesn’t wear shoes unless he has to. He’s a pretty good fisherman. I would even say he is good enough to probably be the second best fly fisherman at GreenBlue.

Theron is pretty unflappable. Have you ever seen him get mad? (If yes, can you tell us what the reason was?)
Never have. He probably even reasoned with the bear that charged him.

As a friend (and former bartender in college), what drink would make Theron happiest to find sitting in front of him?
Probably any good IPA. But as an active guy, it would definitely be an IPA after a day rafting or kayaking.

What will you miss most about working with him?
There’s a lot, but at the end of the day, Theron is just a really great guy. He is fun to work with and it was a blast to share the challenges, successes, and accomplishments with him over the years.

Geneva Hodges
Good luck on the west coast, Theron! We will miss your calm demeanor, witty one-liners, and dedicated work ethic. You were an amazing addition to the team, and I wish you all the best at Nike! On a selfish note, hopefully there won’t be any random bear attacks at the office now that you are gone…fingers crossed!

Minal Mistry
I guess Pala was the ambassador for the Forest Products group…I’ll miss the two thumps from when she would run through the office. First, of her head bashing the door, and then of her head on my desk asking for a treat. Of course eventually Theron would come around looking for her and find her under my desk.

James Ewell
1. Obviously the bear story is a pretty riveting inside joke.

2. I appreciated how mellow Theron’s personality is and the calming influence he had on the office as a “Buddha Boy.”

3. Pela was our mascot and our “slobbery joy.”

Anne Bedarf
I will miss both Theron and sweetie dog Pela!

Anne also provided this picture of Theron and Pela (and some of Pela’s friends) taken at GreenBlue’s annual “Bring Your Dog” to work day:

While we will all miss Theron’s presence in the office tremendously, the work of our Forest Products program continues under Tom’s leadership. Look out for the first official report from the Forest Products Working Group, which will provide clear, science-based guidelines to inform decision-making for paper design, procurement, use, and recovery, to be released within the coming weeks.

Please join us in wishing Theron the best of luck in his future endeavors!

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