Board of Directors & Coordinating Council | Staff | Interns

Board of Directors and Coordinating Council

Gail Nordheim
Coordinating Council Member

Gail joined 350 Madison (now 350 Wisconsin) in 2016 and currently serves as co-lead of the State Policy Group. She strongly believes that working to protect the climate is the most important thing one can do. Gail held management positions in state and local government, and has worked as a management consultant. In her free time, she enjoys reading, bread baking, hiking, and being with her three grandchildren.


Tanace Matthiesen
Interim Board President, Coordinating Council Member

Tanace is Interim President of the 350 Wisconsin Board of Directors. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Tanace has lived in Madison since 1977. She has degrees in both Geography and Planning from the UW. Tanace spent her career working in a number of different capacities for the State of Wisconsin, including as a budget analyst for the DNR, a planner at the Coastal Zone Management program at the DOA, and a manager for the eminent domain activities at the DOT. Recently retired, she loves camping, traveling, reading, cooking, spending time with her three children and two grandchildren, and learning how to quilt and draw!


Bill Backes
Board Treasurer

Bill has served as Treasurer of 350 Wisconsin since May 2017. He is very passionate about climatology and climate change’s impacts on people and mother earth. He is married to Diane, and they have three adult children and two grandchildren. He worked in Respiratory Therapy at UW Hospital for more than 40 years and retired the summer of 2016. He has been very involved with the AFSCME since 1978 and was treasurer of UWHC Employees Union Local 1942 for 17 years. He is currently their financial manager, a delegate to the South Central Federation of Labor, and active with AFSCME Retirees Sub-Chapter 52. Bill is also on the board of the Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants where he represents AFSCME state retirees. He is on two church committees, including the Care of Creation Team. This team emphasizes and has studied Pope Francis’s Laudato si’ encyclical. Bill’s faith is a driving force for his environmental and social activism. He volunteers at the Emmitt Schulte Garden, which is part of the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens. He enjoys walking, gardening, traveling, playing cards (especially Sheepshead), and of course family.


Russ Bennett
Coordinating Council Member

Russ Bennett is co-lead, along with Dianne Brakarsh, of the Art Collective. More of a “maker” than an artist, he nonetheless both enjoys and is intrigued by how creativity might be infused into the work of 350 Wisconsin. A relative newcomer to 350, he was proud to be arrested at the state Capitol building in 2019 during the student-led global climate strike, and he has made many trips to the resistance camps along the Line 3 oil pipeline in Minnesota. Recently retired after 35 years of work as an R.N. doing community mental health, he is now committed to another form of caring: healing a wounded world, whereby we learn to treat this world, and each other, with kindness and respect.

 


Nikki Darga
Coordinating Council Member

Nikki Darga is the Volunteer Coordinator at 350 Wisconsin. Nikki comes to 350 with experience coordinating volunteers for a number of nonprofit organizations including the Henry Vilas Zoo, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, and the Dane County Humane Society. While at the Henry Vilas Zoo and Habitat for Humanity, Nikki also discovered a love of working with youth and has experience creating and running new teen programs that focus on career skills, professional development, and introducing young people to careers in the field of nonprofit management and environmental stewardship. Nikki has always had a deep love for animals and wildlife and spends her free moments spending time with her wide variety of pets. She also likes to spend time with other people’s pets and is a certified professional dog trainer. Her other hobbies include reading, learning new things, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with her friends.


Nada Elmikashfi
Board Member

At an early age, Nada Elmikashfi became passionate about climate change. Witnessing her Sudanese village get flooded year after year opened the door to a lifelong passion surrounding flood mitigation and resilience. After emigrating to Wisconsin, she studied Legal Studies and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin and organized for the climate org NextGen on campus. Nada joined Representative Francesca Hong’s staff in January 2021. She previously ran as a climate-focused candidate for Wisconsin Senate and served on the Sustainable Madison Commission. She is currently writing the Wisconsin Green New Deal and is a consultant for political campaigns on climate justice and sustainability. Along with being a columnist for Isthmus, Nada enjoys hiking and graphic design.


Marian Fredal
Coordinating Council Member

Marian Fredal represents the Climate Justice Team on the 350 Wisconsin Coordinating Council. Marian is a social and racial justice activist, and has worked with others to conduct racial justice trainings and education/support in the area of racial justice, especially with other white people. Marian is passionate about understanding climate change through and by following the lead of Black, Indigenous, and people of color. She spends her free time learning, writing, studying Spanish, and exploring the world of plants and mushrooms.


Phyllis Hasbrouck
Coordinating Council Member

Phyllis joined 350 Madison in 2013 and came on staff in 2016. She has been organizing for the environment, peace, and justice since 1974 and doesn’t plan to stop. She is the past director of Fitchburg Fields and the West Waubesa Preservation Coalition, and feels that there is no cause more important than preserving a livable climate. She loves meeting and supporting people in frontline communities who are threatened by oil pipelines. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, dancing, and learning foreign languages.


Kermit Hovey
Board Secretary, Coordinating Council Member

Kermit serves as Board Secretary, Coordinating Council member, Community Climate Solutions (CCST) Team Co-Lead, and CCST Middleton Community Working Group Lead. Kermit’s life work has expressed his Christian faith through building up and sustaining not only the church, but the disadvantaged, as well as the environment (creation) for as long as he can remember. That triple focus converged in 2012 when he became overwhelmingly convinced of society’s failure to sustain a livable climate. In joining the then-new Madison chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350.org, he began a long journey of varied action, advocacy, and effort. From protesting in the streets to lobbying in legislators’ offices, from the state capitol to the U.S. capitol, from public hearings in city halls to testimony in federal administrative meeting rooms, he has advocated for climate action. From coordinating efforts to pass the Middleton Climate Referendum to helping convene secular and faith-based climate events, campaigns, and conferences, he has mobilized, directed, and educated climate advocates. He is grateful for all the individuals and organizations he has had the privilege of leading, collaborating with, and working for in this effort to protect the climate from the ravages of human-caused global warming. In his free time, squeezed too often in-between meetings, he especially enjoys reading, writing, and biking. Kermit perseveres with the ever-appreciated support of his wife, Diana, and three adult children: Christine, Joseph, and Cyndi.


Seth Jensen
Coordinating Council Member

Seth credits the feminist movement for teaching him the value of community-based organizing. He foresees our planet benefiting greatly from upcoming victories in Wall Street’s Moment of Truth: People versus Fossil Fuels, a campaign persuading big banks to stop funding climate change. With the Covid-19 pandemic in decline, Seth has been resurrecting and reinventing a bodywork practice, all while attempting to strike the right balance between the roles of climate activist and massage therapist.


Kelly Kearns
Coordinating Council Member

Kelly represents the Monthly Meeting Team on the 350 Wisconsin Coordinating Council. Kelly is recently retired from being a botanist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, coordinating work on invasive plants. She does other social justice and community work, mostly through the James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation. She spends her free time growing vegetables and exploring natural areas.


Kurt Kimber
Board Member

Kurt has been actively involved with MN350 since 2011 and wants to leverage some of that experience for 350 Wisconsin.  “Climate change is clearly an existential threat to the biosphere; civilization needs to radically change to come into sync with the natural world, our home, and do so in a racially just manner.” In addition to climate justice activism, Kurt (who lives in Minneapolis with his partner Angie) runs his family’s farm, aspiring to grow plant-based food for local consumption and to have the farm become part of a growing, flourishing local food web.


CJ Koepp
Board Member

Born and raised in the Driftless Area, CJ serves as a member of the 350 Wisconsin Board of Directors. As Chair of the Wisconsin Student Climate Action Coalition, she organized for climate action, divestment, and environmental justice by coordinating marches, actions, and formal complaints on the UW–Madison campus and in the greater community. She is currently interning at the Environmental Law & Policy Center, where she is leading a research project analyzing statewide low-income solar programs. She graduated in May 2021 from UW–Madison, where she studied Political Science and Environmental Studies with a Certificate in Leadership. She hopes to attend law school in the future to become an environmental attorney. She enjoys painting, reading, hiking, birding, plant rearing, and field trips with her cooperative house!


Emily Park
Coordinating Council Member

Emily represents the Communication Action Team on the 350 Wisconsin Coordinating Council (CC). Emily is also involved with the Divest & Defund Team and has participated in multiple actions, including two acts of civil disobedience. Emily works as a Fossil Free Fed Campaign Organizer, splitting her time between 350 Wisconsin and 350 US. Before moving to Madison, she lived in Cleveland, OH, and St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with degrees in Earth & Planetary Science and Environmental Studies. Emily grew up in Boise, ID. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, knitting, crafting, gardening, hiking, playing needlessly complicated board games, and talking to her cats.


Stephanie Robinson
Coordinating Council Member

Stephanie has served as 350 Wisconsin’s Development Director since 2018. She leads the Fundraising Team and manages donor relations, fundraising drives, sponsorships, events, and grant writing. Stephanie has a master’s degree in urban planning and began her career leading environmental studies and air quality/clean transportation projects for local and regional agencies. She currently chairs a Wisconsin Climate Table campaign to encourage strong renewable energy commitments at the local level, and equity in climate action planning. In her free time, Stephanie loves spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and doing crossword puzzles.


Hayley Tymeson
Board Member

Hayley started volunteering with the Community Climate Solutions Team in 2020, hoping to feel a little less powerless in the face of climate change. She moved to Madison in 2019 after graduating from the University of Washington with her master’s in Public Health, and is currently an epidemiologist with the Department of Health Services. A data wonk in both her personal and professional life, she loves using research and data to tell stories that will drive climate action. In her free time, she likes reading all things fantasy and science fiction, rock climbing, and going on bike adventures around Madison.


Staff

John Greenler
Executive Director

John serves as the Executive Director for 350 Wisconsin. For the past 15 years he has been professionally focused on climate science, outreach, education, and advocacy. This work has included engaging business executives, government leaders and nonprofit representatives to collaborate on the issue of climate. He has also taught multiple undergraduate courses related to climate and clean energy, and managed teams that work at the intersection of science and action. In the past, he directed the Climate and Clean Energy Initiative at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. He was also Director of Outreach at the Wisconsin Energy Institute of UW–Madison, and was faculty in the Biology Department at Beloit College. Racial, environmental and climate justice are important concerns for John, and he has been involved in related work through local, regional, and national Quaker organizations. During his free time, he enjoys being outdoors with his wife and two daughters, taking photographs, and playing fingerstyle guitar.


Nikki Darga
Volunteer Coordinator, Business Manager

Nikki Darga is the Volunteer Coordinator at 350 Wisconsin. Nikki comes to 350 with experience coordinating volunteers for a number of nonprofit organizations including the Henry Vilas Zoo, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, and the Dane County Humane Society. While at the Henry Vilas Zoo and Habitat for Humanity, Nikki also discovered a love of working with youth and has experience creating and running new teen programs that focus on career skills, professional development, and introducing young people to careers in the field of nonprofit management and environmental stewardship. Nikki has always had a deep love for animals and wildlife and spends her free moments spending time with her wide variety of pets. She also likes to spend time with other people’s pets and is a certified professional dog trainer. Her other hobbies include reading, learning new things, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with her friends.


Phyllis Hasbrouck
Community Organizer

Phyllis joined 350 Madison in 2013 and came on staff in 2016. She has been organizing for the environment, peace, and justice since 1974 and doesn’t plan to stop. She is the past director of Fitchburg Fields and the West Waubesa Preservation Coalition, and feels that there is no cause more important than preserving a livable climate. She loves meeting and supporting people in frontline communities who are threatened by oil pipelines. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, dancing, and learning foreign languages.


Mariah Lelewicz
Communications & Development Fellow

Mariah is the Communications and Development Fellow for 350 Wisconsin. Mariah is a recent graduate of St. Norbert College where she leaned into the liberal arts experience and took classes in almost every subject available, from political science to film to sociology. While on campus, Mariah worked for the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning, where she gained experience working with volunteers, organizations, and students. While in that role, she realized that nonprofit work was something she was passionate about. Mariah is excited to be working with 350 Wisconsin, combining many of her interests and passions into this very important work.


Emily Park
Fossil Free Fed Campaign Organizer

Emily splits her time between 350 Wisconsin and 350 US. For 350 Wisconsin, she helps with communication needs — social media, email blasts, communication strategy, and other needs. For 350 US, Emily is working on the Fossil Free Fed Campaign, which is demanding that President Biden nominate a climate advocate to chair the Federal Reserve System, and that the Fed use its regulatory powers to limit the funding of fossil fuel companies and projects. She recruits local 350 groups and other climate allies to join the campaign, assists them in planning and executing their actions, and helps them expand their membership and capacity.


Stephanie Robinson
Development Director

Stephanie has served as 350 Wisconsin’s Development Director since 2018. She leads the Fundraising Team and manages donor relations, fundraising drives, sponsorships, events, and grant writing. Stephanie has a master’s degree in urban planning and began her career leading environmental studies, and air quality/clean transportation projects for local and regional agencies. She currently chairs a Wisconsin Climate Table campaign to encourage strong renewable energy commitments at the local level, and equity in climate action planning. In her free time, Stephanie loves spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and doing crossword puzzles.


Kyla Smith
Climate Justice Organizer

Kyla Smith (she/her) joined the 350 Wisconsin team as their Climate Justice Organizer in September 2022. She has experience in environmental justice work through developing community needs assessments as well as project recommendations for nonprofits in Detroit. Kyla recently graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Biology degree from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. During her time there, she created the student organization Diversity in STEM Education, which aims to support underrepresented students within STEM disciplines academically, socially, and professionally. Kyla not only uses her education and work experiences in her justice work, but also pulls from her life experience as a Black, Queer Woman who grew up in the Madison area in a low-income family. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her cats and partner, try new foods, hike, spend time in nature, read, and binge-watch Netflix and Hulu TV shows.


Fall 2022 Interns

 

Noemy Lesieutre

Noemy Lesieutre is a freshman at UW–Madison majoring in Community and Nonprofit Leadership, with certificates in social justice and education and sustainability. She is an intern working with 350 Wisconsin’s communications and fundraising teams. However, she has been a part of 350 Wisconsin in various ways since 2019. Outside of her internship with 350 Wisconsin, she runs her own organization called In Pursuit Of Sunshine.


Evie Sellers

Evie is a junior at UW–Madison studying Political Science and Environmental Studies, with certificates in Public Policy and History. She is extremely excited to be working with 350 Wisconsin as a part of the Low-Income Energy Burden team! Her love for the environment came from visits to Yellowstone National Park and has only grown since then. Her previous experiences with policy and government include interning at the Wisconsin State Capitol and with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Environmental issues she is most passionate about include environmental justice, climate action, and clean energy. Evie is currently planning to go to law school after college and hopes to pursue a career in environmental law and/or environmental policy.