Farewell to Guillermo Vila Melo

Guillermo Vila Melo

It is with great sadness that the Savory Institute announces the passing of one its dear Network members and former EOV team members, Guillermo Vila Melo, who passed away earlier this month due to COVID-19.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of a great teammate, friend, and extraordinary human being. Guillermo’s generosity, professionalism, heartfelt engagement and care, and passionate dedication were unwavering and inspiring to all of us at Savory. We will continue to move his work with the Altiplano communities forward knowing he would have been rejoiced!

Guillermo was a core member of the Ovis 21 team that recently managed Savory’s global EOV program, so we wanted to allow Pablo Borrelli of Ovis 21 to share his sentiments:

Guillermo was one of our first trainees in the Holistic Management Intensive training in Buenos Aires in 2015. After a long career on South American camelids, he embraced the cause of land regeneration. After that, he became an unconditional collaborator of Ovis 21. He started working pro-bono for some time, and later we were able to hire him. His first job was the translation of the Holistic Management textbook, handbook, and e-books into Spanish. He proved to have remarkable will and dedication, and he produced invaluable products for all the Spanish-speaking Hubs. 

In 2019, the opportunity arose to include him in our team in a permanent way. Ovis 21’s contract with the Savory Institute to manage the EOV program and its Quality Assurance required us to have a dedicated group. He and Paola Imberti were the obvious choices. They had what was needed: passion and rigor to support the EOV Hubs across the world. He contributed to the development of new training materials, processing spreadsheets, development of the EOV platform, and supporting all the Hubs along the deployment of EOV worldwide. He proved to be accountable, dedicated, perfectionist, humble, and a great teammate who gave all that he had with no speculation.

After passing the reigns of managing the EOV program for SI, we decided to keep Guillermo as a Hub Verifier to manage our quality assurance within Ovis 21. He had all the merits for that position, because of the zeal and detail he could put on the job, being “the sheriff of EOV” as he liked to call himself. He also oversaw a pilot project with 3LM, the UK Hub, to contribute to BART technology development, which is a significant innovation for the whole network. 

Guillermo caught COVID during mid-May, and passed away on June 12th.  He left a wife and three sons, and a lot of friends and colleagues that enjoyed his high personal values.

As he would expect, we will keep working to finish the job that we shared, and he will come with us in our journey to regenerate land, business, and rural families. Always in our memories, and in our hearts. Thank you, Guillermo, for all that you did for the Savory Network, for the greatness of your spirit, and the excellence of your tireless work.”

– Pablo Borrelli
Guillermo speaking on his love for camelids
Guillermo training locals in Bolivia
Savory Institute

Savory Institute

The Savory Institute is on a mission to regenerate the grasslands of the world and the livelihoods of their inhabitants, through Holistic Management. Since 2009, Savory Institute has been leading the regenerative agriculture movement by equipping farmers, ranchers, and pastoralist communities to regenerate land within culturally-relevant and ecologically-appropriate contexts.
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