When people are informed and engaged, healthy societies and their environments thrive.
In February, 2004, Bob Mobley put together a panel of concerned and interested clients to discuss the feasibility and need for an organization focused on bringing leadership values and behaviors into the cultural fabric of our public school educational community. It was determined that there is a real need for such an organization. The panel urged the focus initially be on education in Idaho. Because of its size and the demographics of the K – 12 public school population in Idaho, it was felt that this would be an ideal starting point for a leadership program focusing on administrators, teachers, students, parents and their communities. As an outcome, The Sun Valley Leadership Institute was born as a non-profit 501 c 3 corporation. Its mission and goal is helping all individuals involved in secondary education, and their organizations, become a more desirable and effective place for students to learn. It seeks to achieve this outcome by focusing on developing individuals who are effective and inspiring leaders in all fields across all disciplines.
Bob Mobley is a widely experienced, highly effective consultant to senior executives and leaders of corporations and institutions throughout the world. He started his predecessor company, Mobley Associates, in 1978, with the aim of helping individuals become more effective in their roles, with particular emphasis on refining and achieving the mission of the organization by embracing ethical leadership values. Over the course of thirty years, Bob has worked with many of the world’s top corporate and institutional leaders.
A graduate of Yale University, where he majored in history, Bob did graduate work at Columbia University earning an MA in Education. In 1969, Bob attended Oxford University on an English Speaking Union Fellowship.
David S. Smith
Founder and President
David grew up in New York and Washington DC and graduated from Williams College with a degree in Political Science. He spent 7 years in Africa, with experience in 43 countries, working first with the Ford Foundation, and later as a bush pilot, and also as a photojournalist covering some of the continent’s messier conflicts. He returned to the United States and worked in the film industry. Since the early 1990s, David has devoted himself full time to work as a conservationist, and also serves as Chairman of the Board of the St. Catherines Island Foundation.
In 2004, David and his wife Jordan founded CAVU and moved to Costa Rica as a hub for operations throughout Latin America. While Jordan managed a growing staff and all financial matters and important strategic decisions, David produced and directed 14 community outreach films in 10 countries in 3 languages – a number of which are still in use in schools and broadcasting systems in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, among others.
David also conducted hundreds of low-level aerial overflights, with both NGOs and multiple government agencies in Latin America, mapping the Meso-American Barrier Reef System, and documenting damaged watersheds and deforestation as far south as the Peruvian Amazon. David is a commercial/single/multi-engine/land/sea/glider/instrument rated pilot with over 4500 hours experience on three continents.
With the birth of two daughters and our return to a base in Santa Fe, New Mexico, CAVU is currently focused on critical issues here at home.
When not working, David enjoys time with his family and friends – hiking, camping, fishing…and skiing above all else.
Founder and Executive Director
Jordan grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from the American University of Paris with a degree in International Economics. She then moved to Istanbul, Turkey, where she was employed by the brokerage firm FinansInvest, and conducted quantitative market analysis of the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
Following the collapse of the Turkish Lira in 2001, Jordan returned to the States and was working for Wells Fargo in New Mexico when she met her future husband. Jordan and David founded CAVU in 2004 and moved to Costa Rica as a hub for operations throughout Latin America. With the exception of a much-needed sabbatical after the birth of her second daughter, Jordan has served as CAVU’s Executive Director since its inception. She has managed a growing staff and all financial matters, as well as important creative and strategic decisions.
With our return to the United States and a home in Santa Fe, Jordan now serves as an active board member of Communities in Schools of Santa Fe. She directs funding from the Jordan and David Smith Fund at the Santa Fe Community Foundation, focusing on education, the environment and economic development. She also serves as a director of the St Catherines Island Foundation.
When she’s not busy with the various endeavors of work life Jordan enjoys skiing, yoga, cooking and camping. She loves languages, cultures, human relations and problem-solving.
Dr. Sebastian Troëng is the Executive Vice President at Conservation International. The Division covers 10 countries in Latin America and its team of 120 staff delivers conservation outcomes so people can thrive. Dr. Troëng holds a Masters degree in marine environmental protection from the University of Wales and a Doctoral degree in animal zoology from Lund University, Sweden. He has worked on ocean health and development issues for over 20 years, including in Costa Rica, Panama, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Fiji, Australia, Greece, UK and USA. Sebastian has published extensively on conservation and the economic benefits of ecosystems. In 2010, Sebastian was named a “40-under-40 International Development Leader” in Washington DC. He enjoys being over and under water to observe submarine vistas, diverse and abundant ocean life, and engage with the human communities who depend on healthy ecosystems.
David Godfrey is Executive Director of the nonprofit Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC). Formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, the STC is the world’s oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. Founded in 1959 by Dr. Archie Carr—the world’s leading authority on sea turtles—the Florida-based STC continues a 50-year-long effort to study and protect sea turtles in the U.S. and around the world.
Godfrey has been involved professionally in environmental conservation for over 20 years. Since 1993 he has been focused on sea turtle and coastal habitat issues. David has authored numerous articles and papers on environmental matters, with an emphasis on coastal protection and sea turtles. He has participated in numerous sea turtle research projects, and he has written and/or narrated numerous documentaries and videos pertaining to sea turtle and coastal conservation issues.
During his tenure with STC, Godfrey led the effort to establish Florida’s sea turtle specialty license plate, which is now the main funding source for sea turtle protection in Florida. Godfrey is Chairman of the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program, which awards annual financial support for sea turtle research and education projects benefiting Florida sea turtles. He also is a member of the World Conservation Union’s Marine Turtle Specialist Group.
In his spare time, David enjoys surfing, fishing, cycling and occasionally the frustrating game of golf.
Jeff Phipps, a Florida native, received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. Since then he has been involved in many conservation and development projects both within the state of Florida and beyond. From 2011 to 2014 Jeff held a seat on the Board of the Tallahassee Housing Authority, he is also on the Board of the Old Westbury Gardens since 2008 and the Sea Turtle Conservancy since 1991. Jeff is a father of two and resides with his family in Tallahassee Florida. He often lends a hand to his wife Mary Phipps who over the last ten years has built a flourishing farm that includes eight acres of USDA certified organic vegetables, a honey operation, an ever-growing herd of beef cattle and a thriving Community Supported Agriculture program. Jeff’s commitment to the environment comes from a long line of family involvement who believes in environmental sustainability, he is the grandson of Sea Turtle Conservancy co-founder John H. Phipps. Currently Jeff is the owner of Growth Operations.
Kevin is a Captain with United Airlines flying international routes throughout the world. During his 30 years of airline experience he has also been and instructor pilot and a check airman.
Previous flying includes a stint as a bush pilot in Alaska and flying his floatplane in British Columbia. Additionally he has over 16 years of experience flying throughout Mesoamerica from Mexico to Panama. Kevin has been an enthusiastic proponent for environmental conservation and social/education projects since college, working with various organizations on a volunteer basis. He feels that education and empowering people with information can effect positive change for the people involved.
In his free time Kevin enjoys river rafting with his wife throughout North America.
Ken grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York, hunting grouse, woodcock and deer, and fishing for bass and trout. A graduate of Cornell University, he has been a teacher, a non-profit development director, executive director, board member and board chairman, and worked extensively in both the non-profit and for profit worlds. Most recently he was the Senior Staff Writer for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership as well as host, writer and field producer of their show “Life In The Open” on the Versus cable network. He has resided in Montana for the past twenty years.
As a CAVU board member, Ken is delighted to be working with others who share his passions: conservation, film, natural resource management and community engagement.