Meet Aaron Fishman
Aaron is an explorer, constantly seeking new experiences to expand and share his knowledge. His adventures have taken him to an island off the coast of Japan teaching French baking techniques, the frigid waters of Newfoundland learning how to roll a sea kayak, and the kitchen of a Oaxacan grandmother for a private lesson on the stewing of black beans. Aaron's traveling motto is show up, start talking to people, and see which paths reveal themselves. He rarely makes reservations and has been known to drive hours in the opposite direction for an opportunity suggested by someone intriguing.
Aaron's journey to Indonesia followed in the same vein. When he and his wife's plans to join the Peace Corps in Botswana went awry, they cashed in all their frequent flier miles to "anywhere warm and interesting" and found themselves volunteering with an NGO in Bali. Their arrival coincided with cashew season, and while Aaron taught the public health staff about wound care and nutrition, they taught him about cashews. When Aaron learned that this impoverished region ships their cashews to India and Vietnam for processing, he saw an opportunity to provide jobs, training, and produce uniquely "local" cashew — processed where it's grown. Within a few months he garnered the support of 4 local investors and launched East Bali Cashews. In the first year, the company produced 180 tons of cashews, providing 130 new jobs and employing a 90% female workforce.
Aaron believes that community development is best achieved and sustained through empowering people, especially women. As guardians of health and education within the family, women of East Bali Cashews not only earn money to invest in their children, but are encouraged to develop management skills. Goals for 2014 include building the region's first preschool adjacent to the factory and doubling cashew production.
Our Company Mission
- To produce delicious, high quality cashews for an international market
- To create a business model that is replicable throughout Eastern Indonesia, providing additional income and community development in cashew growing regions
- To consider environmental and social sustainability in all aspects of our business
- To provide employment and professional development opportunities for women
Want to get involved?You're in good company!
Many people have already invested through our Indigogo fundraising project, independently, or are
on our board of directors (see below). There are several ways to get involved and invest in East Bali -
Call us at: +62 361-4721486 or +62 361-4721487 or fill out this form.
Board of Directors
"...more than 15 years of experience in natural resource management, community-based planning, forest conservation and sustainable forest management."
Rezal Kusumaatmadja has more than 15 years of experience in natural resource management, community-based planning, forest conservation and sustainable forest management. He is the co-founder of Starling Resources, a Bali-based consulting firm. After the merger of Mazars and Starling Resources, Rezal continues to serve as an advisor to Mazars Starling Resources sustainability consulting practice. Rezal serves on the board of serving as an advisory board member to the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), a collaborative initiative of the ClimateWorks Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. In 2010, Rezal was selected as one of three finalists of the Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Rezal holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaii and a bachelor's in city and regional planning from Cornell University.
John D. Claussen
John Claussen is the Western Pacific program officer at the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2012, John enjoyed more than 15 years as a consultant advising and designing environmental, conservation, and economic development initiatives and investment strategies with business, government, and non-profit clients throughout North America and Asia. A resident of Indonesia from 2004 to 2012, he has particularly deep experience in Southeast Asia and the island nations of the Pacific. In all of his work John has focused on linking economic needs with healthy ecosystems and on developing practical, long term solutions leading to sustained management of natural resources. John was previously a partner at Mazars Starling Resources, a global business advisory firm (formerly Starling Resources, a firm he co-founded in 2004). He was also an associate with California Environmental Associates and has worked with a number of companies in the Silicon Valley. John co-founded the non-profit Conservation and Community Investment Forum and serves on the Board of the Trust for Conservation Innovation. He holds a bachelor of science in biology from Valparaiso University in Indiana. When not focusing on work John enjoys hiking, scuba diving, baseball, and reading with his two young daughters.
"...focused on linking economic needs with healthy ecosystems and on developing practical, long term solutions leading to sustained management of natural resources..."
Denise Abe has been living in Bali for 17 years where she and her husband, Balinese architect Ketut Arthana, raise their 3 children. Formally trained in medicine at the University of Southern California, Denise developed her skills in cross cultural, community-based health while serving as the medical director of the International District Community Health Center in Seattle, Washington. Denise later earned a master's in public health from the University of Washington and currently volunteers her time as the medical consultant for several nonprofit organizations in Bali, including the East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP), Yayasan Kemanusiaan Ibu Pertiwi (YKIP), Yayasan Rama Sesana (YRS), and Annika Linden Foundation (ALF). Denise's other volunteer ventures in Bali have been as a school administrator and board member for Dyatmika School and chairman of the Ubud Children's Library, a private organization dedicated to improving literacy among Balinese children. In addition to her volunteer efforts, Denise's main business interest is as a co- managing partner of 3 successful restaurants in Ubud and Sanur, Bali.
"...developed her skills in cross cultural, community-based health while serving as the medical director..."
Charles Wiriawan grew up in West Java in the shadow of the tallest passive volcano in the province, Mount Ciremai. During the late 1990s he moved to Beijing, and saw the effects of a far more polluted environment. Charles returned to Jakarta in 2006 and resolved to help protect the environment and educate communities about climate change. He believes that it is economically viable and socially responsible to focus on sustainable development, and that this is the best way for Indonesia to retain its natural beauty. Charles now works as a Program Manager for the Eka Tjipta Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental education and conservation.
"He believes that it is economically viable and socially responsible to focus on sustainable development, and that this is the best way for Indonesia to retain its natural beauty."