CONTACT:Cynthia Sarthou, (504) 525-1528, ext. 202,Cyn@healthygulf.orgLeadership Changes at Gulf Restoration NetworkStatement from the Executive DirectorOn August 2, 2013, Aaron Viles left his position as GRN’s Deputy Director to assume a leadership role in Faithful America, a social change startup dedicated to reclaiming Christianity from the religious right and putting faith into action for social justice. Aaron has played a critical role in growing and guiding GRN over the last nine years and will be missed. From founding the Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG in order to block destructive liquefied natural gas terminals in the Gulf to heading GRN’s response to the BP drilling disaster, Aaron has effectively shaped GRN’s collaborative and hard-hitting strategies to protect and restore the Gulf.However, Aaron worked with us to identify a uniquely qualified candidate to assume his leadership of GRN campaigns. On July 29, 2013, Steve Murchie assumed the position of Campaign Director. Steve has extensive experience in building and implementing effective campaigns, including working with groups across the Gulf to pass the RESTORE Act that will bring 80% of the fines and penalties arising out of the BP drilling disaster to the Gulf, and serving on the Southeast Climate and Energy Network steering committee. Steve comes to GRN most recently from National Wildlife Federation, but has also worked with the Pew Environment Group, the National Environmental Trust, Florida Consumer Action Network and Texas Campaign for the Environment in his impressive career as an advocacy leader.Also on July 29, 2013, Jordan Macha, long time Gulf States Representative of the Sierra Club, joined GRN as our Gulf Policy Analyst. Jordan will focus on ensuring that RESTORE, NRDA and other BP drilling disaster related resources are used to effectively and strategically restore the natural resources of the Gulf and the communities dependent upon them. In her five year career with the Sierra Club, Jordan has proved to be an effective advocate on energy issues throughout the region, from fighting coal-fired power plants and advancing clean energy policy at the Louisiana Public Service Commission, to working with communities across the Gulf Coast post-BP drilling disaster. She has also engaged in electoral politics, helping elect Patrick Murphy to Florida’s 18th district in the 2012 elections.Any portion of this statement may be quoted with attribution to Cynthia Sarthou, Executive Director, Gulf Restoration Network.For future media inquiries, contact Steve Murchie, GRN’s Campaign Director, at Steve@healthygulf.org or 504-525-1528, ext. 207, or Raleigh Hoke, GRN’s Communication Director, at Raleigh@healthygulf.org or 504-525-1528, ext. 204.