It is with deep sadness that I begin 2013 by sharing the news of the sudden and tragic loss of one of the brightest young leaders in the Environmental Paper Network, Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network.

In the words of Andre Carothers, chair of  RAN’s board of directors,

“Our young, bright and passionate executive director, Becky Tarbotton, died suddenly on Wednesday, overwhelmed by the surf on a sunny afternoon in Mexico while on vacation with her husband…and a circle of her closest friends.

As you can imagine, we are in shock. The world is less bright today. Just 39, Becky was a rising star in our movement. She was in charge of RAN’s campaigns until three years ago, when the Board asked her to lead the organisation. In a few short months, she established herself as a truly catalytic leader—a brilliant and effervescent campaigner who captivated, motivated and delighted everyone she met.”

In sharing the news with RAN’s supporters, Andre also says, “One of Becky’s many, many virtues was that she was unaware, in a most self-effacing and authentic way, just how deeply loved and respected she was as a leader and a visionary in our large and growing community.”

This is extremely evident via a tribute page set up by RAN at which I encourage you to spend a moment and visit. Our work to achieve the collective vision that Becky continually inspired us to believe in goes on with even stronger resolve. But right now, we are mourning such a sudden and tragic loss in our family of environmental advocates.