About Howell Conservation Fund

Our Vision



Unique in the philanthropy sector, HCF combines funding and project delivery under the roof of one entity. We see conservation challenges as opportunities, applying an entrepreneurial approach, pilot program testing and scaling as our model for execution. We work with locally and globally recognized organizations to enhance scientific understanding as we solve at the “root cause” of conservation issues.

Led by our founder, Brett Howell, HCF is agile and designed for rapid action. Governance is supported by a lean Board of Directors.  Advice and specific project expertise comes via our Advisory Board.  

If you're a visionary leader interested in finding breakthrough solutions to global environmental issues, we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate.

Our Vision

Unique in the philanthropic sector, Howell Conservation Fund (HCF) takes a hands-on approach, combining project delivery and funding under the roof of one entity. We see conservation challenges as opportunities, applying an entrepreneurial approach, pilot testing and scaling as our model for execution. We work with locally and globally recognized organizations to enhance scientific understanding as we solve the root cause of conservation issues.

Led by our founder, Brett Howell, HCF is agile and designed for rapid action. Organizational governance is provided by our Board of Directors.  Our Advisory Board offers specific project expertise and guidance. 

If you're a visionary leader interested in finding breakthrough solutions to global environmental issues, we are always looking for opportunities to collaborate!

Our Team

Brett Howell

Brett Howell

Executive Director & Founder

Brett has been a conservationist since his youth growing up in coastal California.  He takes an approach similar to Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax character"speaking for the trees" so people and nature thrive.  

With more than 15 years of experience at the intersection of conservation and business, Brett has grown from a youth passionate about the environment into a pragmatic leader who understands what success looks like from start to finish within conservation efforts, non-profit management, and philanthropic giving.   

Brett lived the Howell Family motto, Tenax Propositi - tenacious of purpose - when his determination on the Henderson Island Plastic Pollution Expedition pushed his crew to the limits of their endurance to successfully clean 100% of the beach despite multiple unforeseen headwinds.  

Brett founded Howell Conservation Fund to create along-term, venture philanthropy-focused organization that will drive catalytic change in the conservation space – ensuring a future for people and nature alike on planet earth.

Brett has been described by the global media as a conservationist who bears more than a passing resemblance to Buzz Lightyear.  The Howell Family motto is tenax propositi – tenacious of purpose.  Brett lived this motto when his determination on the Henderson Island Plastic Pollution Expedition pushed his crew to the limits of their endurance.

Brett founded Howell Conservation Fund to create a long-term, venture philanthropy-focused organization that will drive catalytic change in the conservation space.


Brett has been described by the global media as a conservationist who bears more than a passing resemblance to Buzz Lightyear. Brett lived his family motto, tenax propositi - tenacious of purpose - when his determination on the Henderson Island Plastic Pollution Expedition pushed his crew tothe limits of their endurance to successfully clean 100% of the beach despite multiple unforeseen headwinds. Brett founded Howell Conservation Fund to create a long-term, venture philanthropy-focused organization that will drive catalytic change in the conservation space.

Board of Directors

David Wootton

David is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Equius Partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. Inspired early by family backpacking trips in Yosemite National Park, his passion for the outdoors fuels his drive for protecting our world’s most valuable resources and supporting sustainable solutions that promote a better tomorrow.

Justin Howell

Justin has split his career between private equity and building startups and believes that solving the climate crisis is the defining challenge for this generation.

Stephanie Brown

Stephanie is a dedicated fundraiser with a penchant for connecting people with causes in hopes of leaving the world a better place. Having raised nearly $20M for conservation efforts, Stephanie currently serves as OCEARCH’s Development Director.

David Wootton

David is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Equius Partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. Inspired early by family backpacking trips in Yosemite National Park, his passion for the outdoors fuels his drive for protecting our world’s most valuable resources and supporting sustainable solutions that promote a better tomorrow.

Justin Howell

Justin has split his career between private equity and building startups and believes that solving the climate crisis is the defining challenge for this generation.

Stephanie Brown

Stephanie is a dedicated fundraiser with a penchant for connecting people with causes in hopes of leaving the world a better place. Having raised nearly $20M for conservation efforts, Stephanie currently serves as OCEARCH’s Development Director.

David Wootton

David Wootton

David is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Equius Partners in the San Francisco Bay Area. Inspired early by family backpacking trips in Yosemite National Park, his passion for the outdoors fuels his drive for protecting our world’s most valuable resources and supporting sustainable solutions that promote a better tomorrow.

Justin Howell

Justin Howell

Justin has split his career between private equity and building startups and believes that solving the climate crisis is the defining challenge for this generation.

Stephanie Brown

Stephanie Brown

Stephanie is a dedicated fundraiser with a penchant for connecting people with causes in hopes of leaving the world a better place. Having raised nearly $20M for conservation efforts, Stephanie currently serves as OCEARCH’s Development Director.

Advisory Board

Johnny Briggs

Johnny has over a decade of professional experience in environmental science, policy and the implementation of global advocacy projects. He specializes in ocean conservation – delivering projects from the Polar regions to the heart of the Pacific.

Matt Goldenberg

Matt is a seasoned veteran of the marketing and advertising world using his expertise to drive sustainability awareness and efforts for a better world for all beings.

Scott Nuzum

Scott is a venture designer, investor, and entrepreneur who works with organizations to build more equitable, resilient, and sustainable futures. His passion for conservation and the environment is borne from a lifetime of backcountry camping and bluewater sailing.

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