Banking innovation Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Finalist
Social Entrepreneurship

Steven K. Morgan likes to challenge his employees.

The founder and CEO of Wildlands Inc. has grown the company to become nationally recognized in the mitigation and conservation banking industry. The company stewards more than 40,000 acres and Morgan wants his team to reach 100,000 acres. It’s a bold challenge, but employees have easily accepted it because of Wildlands’ culture of innovation and personal creativity.

Morgan has created a company culture where employee ideas are embraced. In fact, Morgan encourages employees at all levels to engage in new market opportunities. By helping add natural habitat to the company’s list, employees are able to see accomplished and tangible results. Adding to that feeling of achievement is Morgan who is always there to celebrate employee and company wins.

Morgan has developed ways for the company to innovate by taking several approaches to acquiring land. He has mainly grown the company through aggressive land acquisitions, but what’s unique to Wildlands approach is much of the land isn’t for sale. Morgan has formed a strategy to gain trust with land owners and demonstrate a commitment to preserving the natural habitat.

Wildlands has also developed mitigation banks for threatened and endangered species and is expanding into new markets to provide solutions for historical damage to the environment and water quality nutrient trading.

The company has grown to more than 100 employees with offices and projects in California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. New markets continue to be evaluated, including restoring habitat in China.

Seen as a true pioneer in the industry, Morgan can be credited for banking being accepted by federal and state resource regulatory agencies. His commitment helped pave the way for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers establishing federal guidelines on mitigation in 2008.

How to reach: Wildlands Inc., (916) 435-3555 or www.wildlandsinc.com