We are happy to introduce you to Casey Trees’ new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Omolara Fatiregun!
Casey Trees: Who is Omolara Fatiregun? Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Omolara Fatiregun: Omolara is an immigrant’s kid. My parents are from Nigeria and came to the U.S. in the 70s. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. My hope is that in all of my interactions, people come away feeling like Philly really must be the City of Brotherly Love!
CT: As the COO, what does that job consist of? What might a typical day look like?
OF: Professionally, I am drawn to helping the philanthropic sector do good well. That means researching and deploying best practices in program delivery, evaluating performance, communicating successes to stakeholders, harnessing the energy and commitment of volunteers, and working with public systems to advocate for things that I believe in. I actually get to do all of this as COO of Casey Trees.
In my first week, I attended a training focused on helping teachers incorporate stewardship of D.C.’s tree canopy into middle school lesson plans, participated in a tree planting with the Office of Foreign Missions (and planted my first tree!) and started creating a framework for strategic planning, budget development, and evaluation of our Casey Trees programs.
I think the most important part of my job, is learning about what my coworkers do and what they need so I can work as a thought partner to support their efforts.
CT: What attracted you to Casey Trees?
OF: Casey Trees has a great mission. I am an urban kid who grew up in a concrete jungle. Though love for the vibrancy of city living is engrained in my DNA, I have always been drawn to the serenity of natural landscapes. D.C. is the best of both worlds for me. In the District, I get to live in a thriving urban center that just happens to be the City of Trees! I am honored to join the Casey Trees team as we work to protect and restore D.C.’s tree canopy.
CT: What advice would you give to someone who might be embarking on a career path similar to yours?
OF: In the early years of professional development, I believe fostering intellectual curiosity and learning/doing new things is important. This ensures your excitement about work and keeps you humble as you pursue diverse areas that challenge different parts of your brain. More importantly though, I believe learning new things from different environments helps you hone in on what you really want to do while cultivating a deep and diverse skillset.
CT: What’s your favorite D.C. weekend activity?
OF: Running, walking trails in Rock Creek Park and Dumbarton Oaks with my dog on Sundays is probably the best part of my weekend!
CT: What are you watching on Netflix now?
OF: I am a boob tube fan and crime dramas are my favorite: Hannibal, How to Get Away with Murder, True Detective (Season 1 NOT Season 2) and The Killing were some of my recent favorites. I think I’ll check out The Bridge next.
Big welcome to Omolara!