Executive Committee Election

The following 6 people are running for the Executive Committee of the Northeast Ohio Sierra Club group. Please vote for up to 6 people. All members of the Executive Committee serve for 2-year terms.

GRACE CIPTAK
I have been a member of the Sierra Club and a volunteer with the Northeast Ohio Group for over 25 years. For the last nine years, I have also served on the Executive Committee as Treasurer of the Group. I would like to renew my term as Treasurer, so that I may continue to use my financial management skills to help the Northeast Ohio Group in their conservation efforts. My qualifications include CPA/MBA, 30+ years experience, both in industry and the non-profit sectors, and a deep commitment to preserving and protecting our environment.

JANE HALBEDEL
I have undertaken the study of climate change with zeal by my engagement in webinars, local conferences, and various symposiums. Several of these have included attendance at Lake Erie Waterkeeper seminars in Toledo and Cleveland. I attended the Rotary-sponsored symposium that occurred as a result of a three-day drinking water shutdown in 2014, in Toledo, that services 500,000 people due to microcystin within its drinking water. I have used this past, and more current knowledge, to forward emails with info/data as it relates to the work of NEO chairs and SC staff. Likewise, I share the information I deem helpful to the NEO board in its decision-making process in matters that are in someway climate-related or that pertain to Lake Erie. More recently I attended a workshop on the concerning issue of plastics within our precious lake. As past toxics chair, I am also keenly aware of how the recent historic and far-reaching California fires and the polluted atmosphere, as a result, not only can cause and/or compound respiratory issues; but have the propensity of making those directly impacted more inclined to develop CoVid-19. Engagement in virtual seminars works to expand and update my knowledge on various scientific aspects of climate change and its ever-increasing threat to humanity’s survival.

MICHAEL MELAMPY
I have been a member of Sierra Club since the mid-eighties and have served the NEO group in various capacities since the early 90’s. I have been chair or co-chair of the NEO Rainforest Committee since its inception way back in the nineties. That committee continues to meet regularly and has been responsible for organizing local conferences and lectures on a variety of rainforest-related topics. I represented NEO Sierra Club on the 2016 organizing committee for the People’s Justice and Peace Convention. More recent Club activities with which I have assisted include Ready for 100, interviewing political candidates for endorsement, and testifying at hearings in support of such issues as the LEEDCO wind turbine project and the ban on plastic bags in Cuyahoga County. Currently, I am active in the campaigns of Joan Sweeny and Phil Robinson, two Sierra Club endorsed candidates for the Ohio House of Representatives.
I am interested in serving on the NEO Executive Committee because I feel an obligation to better support NEO Sierra Club and the State Chapter. With the State Ex-Com suspended, local groups must step up their participation in regional and state environmental issues. We need to demonstrate to Sierra Club’s Board of Directors that grass-roots activism is alive and well in Ohio and that Ohio volunteers remain capable of running the Ohio Chapter. I am dedicated to pursuing Sierra Club initiatives, especially those dealing with renewable energy, both locally and around the state. To be successful with those initiatives, we must recruit more activists and build a Club environment that welcomes and supports them. I hope to engage with Sierra Club staffers and volunteers to begin building that environment, and NEO Ex-Com provides an opportunity for that engagement.

CHARLIE MITCH:
I value serving on the Executive Committee of the Northeast Ohio Group because of the opportunities for grassroots activism organized by the Sierra Club. I fascinated by the intersection of environmental issues with politics, which led to my serving as the Chair of the Group’s Political Committee. I see the necessity of developing a clean energy policy as critical for Ohio to thrive in a future dominated by the reality of climate change. I am also interested in issues of environmental justice and equity and the impacts on communities in our region that have historically suffered the most from air and water pollution perpetrated in the name of economic prosperity.

DENNIS MICHAEL PLANK
Please vote for me for the Sierra Club Northeast Ohio Group Executive Committee. I am on the Conservation Committee and I am especially interested in working on wetlands, human rights, population, and political issues. Also, I do outings into nature. I will continue to work on the following Sierra Club goals:
1. To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the Earth.
2. To practice and promote the responsible use of the Earth’s ecosystems and resources.
3. To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.
4. Use all lawful means to carry out these goals.

KATHY SCHAEFER
I have been a member of Sierra Club since 1979 and have done the following things:
Served on Ex-Comm before.
Fundraising: Ran Hessler Street Fair lemonade stand to raise money. Had idea for Sierra Club to do a garage sale to raise money for 2 members to participate in the Paris Agreement participation.
Conservation Committee: I have been a participant of the Urban Sprawl and Population Committee and later I started an Urban Issues Committee working to save green space in the city and save historic places to keep the inner ring strong and appealing to live in.
Outings: I was an outings leader for many years running hikes, bike rides, and cross-country and ski outings.

Inner-city outings: I helped with inner-city outings, trips, and functions.
Donations: I donate to special projects that work to save the environment.

Compiled by Fran Mentch (email).

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