David Greenlees is Trellis Arch’s President and co-founder. David’s inspiration for Trellis Arch grew out of his search to find a volunteer opportunity with an international humanitarian organization. Despite the clear need for volunteers, each organization he contacted told him they were not equipped to support individual, short-term projects. Undeterred, he booked a flight to Kolkata, India and started a fundraising campaign for orphans living in remote areas of West Bengal and Odisha. In just a few weeks his friends and family contributed $2,715 to the effort. David converted the dollars to rupees and purchased much needed clothing, bedding, and supplies for hundreds of orphans living in 6 different locations. He also handed out hundreds of friendship bracelets that his daughters created for the children there. The smiles on the faces of those kids after receiving such a simple gift became the driving force behind creating Trellis Arch.
David was born in Winfield, Illinois and was raised in Pontiac, Michigan. He graduated from The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice in 1992 and was later commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He is a Life Loyal member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and proud to be an Epsilon man. David remained on active duty as an artillery officer until 1999 when he transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2002. Since that time, his diverse legal career includes service as a San Diego Deputy District Attorney, an intellectual property litigation associate with the law firm Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, and notably as the Chief Senate Legal Counsel to the 7th Olbiil Era Kelulau in the Republic of Palau. In 2008, David opened a solo law practice in Michigan providing defense counsel to indigent clients in his hometown. David is licensed to practice law in California, Michigan, and Washington, D.C.
From 2009 to 2013, he served as the operations officer in the Marine Corps’ Office of Legislative Affairs where he planned and executed the Marine Corps’ legislative strategy in the U.S. Congress and frequently escorted Members of Congress on overseas delegation travel throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. David retired from the Marine Corps in 2016 after 24 years of service.
In 2015, David began working as a contractor for the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls at the U.S. Department of State. His office is responsible for defense industry compliance with the federal laws and regulations governing the export of defense articles, technical data, and related defense services through commercial channels. The office works closely with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security on a host of compliance and enforcement activity.
A raconteur, music lover, and jet-lag addict, David has traveled to 47 countries on 5 continents. His passion is helping others and spending time with his wife Lydia, his two daughters, and their two dogs, Roxy and Odie.