Derek Thomas, founder and chief operating officer of Newland Communities, the nation's largest privately owned residential developer
Last Child Inspires Rethinking among Land Developers
The Sacramento Bee reported in July 2006 that Sacramento’s biggest developers, Angelo Tsakopoulos and his daughter Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, who together run AKT Development, “have become enthusiastic promoters” of Last Child in the Woods. “This book is really going to change how we build neighborhoods," said Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis. Meanwhile, Derek Thomas, founder and chief operating officer of Newland Communities, the nation's largest privately owned residential developer, has committed his company to changing its design approach. “We need to find more ways to integrate community into nature,” he told CBS News in a report on nature-deficit disorder. [+] read more
Economic Outlook Sparks Business Enthusiasm for Nature. The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), which represents hundreds of companies selling everything from backpacks to kayaks, reports good sales of upscale products — but sales of traditional entry-level gear are nearly dead in the water. Discouraged by the trend, some companies have dropped their entry-level product lines. The rapid increase in child inactivity and obesity has “sent a big message to the industry that we need to do something to reverse this trend," according to Michelle Barnes, OIA’s vice president for marketing. This sense of economic self-interest extends well beyond the Outdoor Industry Association.