Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Jacob had a passion for the natural world at a young age – especially snakes. After receiving an A.S. degree in Biological Park Management in 1989, he worked in the Herpetology departments of several zoos. On an exploration trip to Belize, Jacob fell in love with the country and eventually moved there in 1993 to found BFREE, serving as Executive Director ever since. Jacob is Chairman of Belize’s Monkey River Watershed Association, President of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund, and CEO of Crioco Cacao, LLC, a for-profit cacao and chocolate company.
His interest in cacao has grown since discovering wild cacao trees at BFREE and Jacob and his team are exploring the environmental, social, and economic benefits of shade-loving cacao as a tool for conserving and restoring tropical ecosystems. When not in Belize, Jacob enjoys spending time with his three grown children in the USA.