Founding Board Members

The 40 Acre Conservation League is thankful for the collective vision our founding board members have developed. Unlike most other land trusts and conservation groups, we are undoubtedly the most diverse land trust in the country and the only conservation land trust whose purpose is centered on economic justice.

Our Founding Board Members do not come from environmental backgrounds which is the strength of this organization. This Founding Board consists of Black entrepreneurs from humble low-income and working class beginnings whose roots are completely urban, not in open spaces. These contrary characteristics will be the strength of this organization as we seek to conserve pristine and scenic lands, pursue economic justice throughout this process, and also connect our communities to the beauty, majesty, and healing of open spaces.

waterfall during daytime

"This Founding Board consists of Black entrepreneurs from humble low-income and working class beginnings whose roots are completely urban, not in open spaces."

Jade Stevens
Board President

Jade Stevens is an award-winning marketing guru, public relations strategist, and writer with professional management experience in the public and private sectors. She has been engaged in community, government and media relations; crisis communications; events and communications planning; issues and crisis management; philanthropy and cause-related marketing; social media, digital and website content management.

Stevens is proud to have been able to offer her insight to an expansive list of clients in categories spanning from banking, entertainment, technology, healthcare and financial services. Her relationships have earned clients’ coverage in top tier media including New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles News Group, CalMatters, Huffington Post, La Opinión, Blavity, Buzzfeed, Complex, Telemundo, and Univision, among others. A frequent public speaker on public relations and communications topics, Jade serves as a lecturer at California State University, Dominguez Hills communications program. She is past president of the Young Professionals at the Public Relations Society of America, Los Angeles chapter, and still advises a number of elected officials on media relations.

Stevens attended the University of Redlands, earned her Bachelor of Science in public relations and advertising from CSU Dominguez Hills and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing and business analytics from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

Blake Milton
Board Secretary/Treasurer

Blake Milton is a financial analyst at Sanli Pastore & Hill and brings more than a decade of financial and construction sector expertise. Mr. Milton is often called upon to provide financial opinions, for arrange of industry sectors, that include valuations for shareholder buy-outs/disputes and company reorganizations; contentious divorces; fairness and solvency opinions; business succession and planning for large estates; litigation support; economic and forensic analysis; damages/lost profits calculations; and special situations requiring company financial analyses.

Mr. Milton comes from a family of entrepreneurs providing a range of services in the construction sector, including architectural and engineering services. Mr. Milton is a graduate of CSU Sacramento with a bachelor’s degree in Business.

Reuben Stewart
Director

Reuben Stewart is American real estate and health care entrepreneur, having founded Highpointe Care where he serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Lee-Mae Financial, a real estate investment company, where he serves as a Managing Partner.

Born in Lynwood, California to Charles Sr. and Peggy Stewart, Reuben is the fifth of seven children. He attributes the successes he has experienced, personally and in business, to his upbringing to his faith which was nurtured at Greater Emmanuel Temple Church, of the Apostolic Faith, under the leadership of the late Bishop Carl W. Stewart. Reuben worked at his church providing janitorial services while exploring careers in music, traditional retail sales, online retailing, logistics, and real estate financing.

An adept networker, Mr. Stewart founded multiple ventures before settling on online retailing and investments in real estate. Through these successes, he bootstrapped the capital to found Highpointe Care, providing housing, recreation, and quality of life assistance for the developmentally disabled community. Highpointe Care, under Reuben’s leadership, has enjoyed exponential year-over-year growth and substantially expanded its service offerings across the Inland Empire of Southern California.

Mr. Stewart has is a believer in the power of perseverance and the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship. He enjoys mentoring Black entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs on the ideals of compassionate capitalism, and faith-driven success in enterprise.

Reuben is a graduate of Downey High School and is married to Leona Stewart. They have three sons and one daughter.

(Reuben Stewart shares no relation to Cameron Stewart)

Cameron Stewart
Director

Cameron Stewart is a modern-day Entrepreneur and serves his community in many varying capacities. For the last 20 years Cameron has created businesses in health care, transportation, financial services and consulting. Cameron also serves as board treasurer for the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC). BOC is an independent not for profit organization dedicated to supporting quality patient care by offering highly valued credentials for professionals and businesses. Cameron has extensive knowledge of real estate and he is a licensed General Contractor. Cameron has completed many development projects across the state of California.

Cameron has a passion for serving his others and his goal is to empower his community. He provides free classes on entrepreneurship, business, and personal finance. Cameron also is an advocate for health equity and access for those in underserved communities. Cameron sits on the board for California Community Development (CCD), and the California Department of Healthcare Access and Information. 

Cameron graduated from the prestigious Tuskegee University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He is currently enrolled at Harvard Business School, graduating in 2023.

Cameron is a family man with a wife and three daughters. He aspires to be an integral part of positive and systemic change.

(Cameron Stewart shares no relation to Reuben Stewart)

Derek Smith:
Director

Mr. Smith has over 28 years of entrepreneurial experience in general contracting, construction management and real estate development experience in the Bay Area. As Managing Member of Marinship Development Interest LLC, Mr. Smith has completed over 500 projects for numerous public and private agencies throughout California. 

Mr. Smith is currently involved with several green energy ventures including microgrids, battery storage and EV charging that are all working to assist CA in achieving its carbon neutral goals by 2045. Mr. Smith serves on the California Lithium Recovery Initiative.