Board of Directors | Coordinating Council | Staff

Board of Directors and Coordinating Council

John Greenler (he/they)
Board President

John served as 350 Wisconsin’s first Executive Director 2021–2023. He has been professionally focused on climate science, outreach, education, and advocacy for many years. 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.


Tanace Matthiesen (she/her)
Board Vice President

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! As Board Vice President, Tanace also serves as facilitator for the Coordinating Council.


Bill Backes (he/him)
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.


Nada Elmikashfi (she/her)
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.


Kermit Hovey (he/him)
Board Secretary

Kermit currently serves as Board Secretary and participates in direct actions and outreach of various 350 Wisconsin teams and campaigns. He has also served as Coordinating Council member, founding co-lead of the Community Climate Solutions (CCST) Team, and founding lead of the CCST Middleton Community Working Group. 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.


Kurt Kimber (he/him)
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.


Stephanie Salgado (she/ella/they/elle)
Board Member

Born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Stephanie moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2015. She graduated with honors from Vel Phillips Memorial High School as an ESL student and from UW–Madison with degrees in Environmental Studies and Political Science and with certificates in Chicané/Latiné Studies and Public Policy. Stephanie founded the Memorial High School Green Club after awareness of the interaction of systems of oppression led her to climate justice activism. The Club helped organize the 2019 Madison Climate Strike, out of which emerged the Youth Climate Action Team (YCAT), a nonprofit that mobilizes young people to demand climate justice. Stephanie was subsequently invited to join the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, which issued its landmark report in December 2020. Stephanie now works as the Madison Community Organizer for Voces de la Frontera, an organization committed to intersectional understanding and environmental justice.


Laura Scandurra (she/her)
Board Member

Laura Scandurra is a former diplomat credited with catalyzing public-private partnerships, building networks and coalitions, and driving strategic initiatives at state, national, and global levels. Her global experience spans Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Laura moved to Madison in 2019. Her personal mission is to build awareness and drive collective action toward a sustainable economy that protects people, wildlife, and nature.


Hayley Tymeson (she/her)
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.


Coordinating Council

Russ Bennett (he/him)

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.


Dianne Brakarsh (she/her)

Dianne Brakarsh is the co-lead, along with Russ Bennett, of the Art Collective, as well as a member of the Climate Justice Team. With degrees in dance, education, and business, she is a choreographer, dance educator, and movement therapist, working with people of all ages. Dianne is passionate about using the arts in activism and has created and organized performance pieces for various environmental and social justice causes for years. When she is not teaching, creating new work, or volunteering, she enjoys hiking, paddling, skiing, reading, playing games, and especially climbing and hanging on things.


Kathleen Fitzgibbon (she/her)

Kathleen Fitzgibbon co-leads the Regenerative Land Relations (RLR) team with Sharon Barbour. She first joined 350 Wisconsin via the Art Collective while visiting a water protectors’ camp in Minnesota. Believing that some of the strongest levers of action available to us lie in policy and local politics, she also joined the Dane County Community Working Group, becoming its co-lead shortly thereafter. The regenerative agriculture team of that group later grew into today’s RLR team. While working with that group, she came across Savanna Institute, an agroecological nonprofit that advances agroforestry in the Midwest. She now works there as Operations Manager, combining her interests in the environment, agriculture, and logistics in her professional life as well as her volunteer efforts. Kathleen finds climate work a good remedy against feelings of powerlessness in the face of the climate crisis and a great way to get more involved with local communities.


Jean Haughwout (she/her)

Jean is a white, cis-gendered, straight woman who has spent her career as a medical provider working with people with intersecting marginalized identities and the systems that oppress them: white supremacy, the prison industrial complex, capitalism, homo and transphobia. She feels passionate about grounding her day job in volunteering with community organizations to better understand and (hopefully) be part of disrupting these systems. In previous years, she has volunteered with LGBTQ and racial justice groups, and though she is new to climate work, she does see them as inextricably linked. She feels strongly that the climate crisis was built on principles of extraction and marginalization of others and that the solutions must center non-white perspectives. Jean is glad to be on the Climate Justice Team and to be part of the Coordinating Council. She approaches this with humility and recognition that she has much to learn. She enjoys playing music, cooking, gardening, meditating, and reading.


Kelly Kearns (she/her)

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.


Tanace Matthiesen (she/her)

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! Tanace serves as facilitator for the Coordinating Council.


Rachel Robillard (she/her)

Rachel works alongside Susan Millar as co-lead of the Community Climate Solutions Team (CCST). By day, Rachel’s professional journey is rooted in healthcare IT, but her heart is in creating a sustainable world for future generations, particularly for her young daughter. She spoke at her first city meeting to fight deforestation as a kid in her hometown in Michigan and has recently begun to speak out again in Madison, her home for the past 15 years. Never able to stay in one lane, her approach is characterized by an unwavering commitment to “everything, everywhere, all at once.” She tackles sustainability challenges with a comprehensive and inclusive mindset, striving for holistic solutions that benefit both the environment and the community. In her spare time, she plays intramural sports and volunteers with her daughter’s school and Girl Scout troop.


Chris Unterberger (he/him)

Chris Unterberger is a Wisconsin native born and raised in the rural community of Adams-Friendship. He attended the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he earned his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences studying the molecular mechanisms of prostate and breast cancer. He has volunteered with 350 Wisconsin and 350 Wisconsin Action for two years, advocating for state and federal policies and lawmakers fighting climate change. He has been a member of the Coordinating Council since June 2023. 


Staff

Emily Park (she/her)
Co–Executive Director/Communications Director

Emily is one of 350 Wisconsin’s Co-Executive Directors. Emily joined 350 Wisconsin as a volunteer in 2019 and held positions on the Coordinating Council and Board of Directors before joining staff in 2021. She has organized and engaged in activist work around fossil fuel infrastructure and financing, community sustainability, clean energy deployment, and state and federal policy. As Communications Director, Emily also works with the Communication Action Team (CAT) on 350 Wisconsin’s social media, media outreach, and messaging strategies. Emily grew up in Boise, Idaho, and has also lived in St Louis, MO and Cleveland, OH and has been a resident of Madison since 2015. Emily has a degree in Earth & Planetary Sciences and Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. In her free time, Emily enjoys crafting (and collecting crafting supplies), reading, hiking, and cooking.


Stephanie Robinson (she/her)
Co–Executive Director/Development Director

Stephanie is honored to step into the role of Co-Executive Director. She joined 350 Wisconsin’s staff as Development Director in 2018, managing donor relations, fundraising drives, sponsorships, events, and grants. Stephanie began her career leading major NEPA environmental studies for proposed transit improvements and directed air quality and clean transportation projects for local governments and regional agencies. Stephanie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). She received a master’s degree in City Planning with a Resource Management concentration from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Government from Cornell University. In her free time, Stephanie loves spending time with family, reading, gardening, hiking, and doing crossword puzzles.


Kristen Clark (she/her)
Development Manager

Kristen joins the 350 Wisconsin team as the Development Manager, bringing her organizing and fundraising skills from her previous work at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and Mandela Barnes for Wisconsin senate campaign. Kristen is finishing her Political Science and Environmental Studies degrees at the University of WisconsinMadison. Kristen traces her start as an environmentalist to her childhood enjoying the nature and landscapes of her hometown Sparta, Wisconsin, which instilled a devout sense to connect with nature and fiercely defend the planet and its people. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and hanging out with her golden retriever Bailey in her free time!


Nikki Darga (she/her)
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.


Maddie Loeffler (she/her)
Office Administrator

Maddie Loeffler joined 350 Wisconsin as a volunteer in 2019 and now serves as the Office Administrator on staff. She grew up in Madison and recently graduated from UW–Eau Claire with a degree in Environmental Geography and American Indian Studies. At UW–Eau Claire, she was involved in sustainability work, student governance, and environmental advocacy. In her free time, Maddie enjoys baking, painting, crocheting, hiking, and spending time with her family, friends, and little gremlin dog.


Mariah Lelewicz (she/her)
Fundraising & Communications Coordinator

Mariah is the Fundraising and Communications Coordinator 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.


Britnie Remer (she/her)
Fossil Fuel Organizer

Britnie joins 350 Wisconsin as the organization’s Fossil Fuel Organizer. She has spent most of her life living in Wisconsin, finally putting down roots in Wausau in 2012. Brit graduated with a degree in Business Management and has been wearing all the hats as a small business owner/operator since 2014. Her passion for, and dedication to, movement work comes from her experience with the Poor People’s Campaign, where she has been organizing for several years. Britnie has particular interest in the effects of the climate crisis and fossil fuel industry on poor and low-income individuals and communities. In her personal life, she loves hiking, kayaking, birding, camping with her partner, Eric, and spoiling their three cats, and she is training to become a yoga teacher.