Judy Bearup, Office and Building Manager & Personal Assistant to the President, contributes significantly to this organization. She manages the use of our LEED Platinum building and conference rooms; provides human resources and financial management support; plans and coordinates internal and external meetings and events; and assists President Chris Kolb with scheduling, correspondence, and other matters. Judy spent years working for the Michigan State Senate and House of Representatives and brings strong administrative, clerical and organizational skills to her position. An avid gardener, she completed the Master Gardening Program at Michigan State University and also studied at Lansing Community College and Davenport College.
Director of Development Joe Bower handles annual and major gift fundraising activities. He joined MEC in June 2016 after leading development efforts at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for 10 years. Joe previously worked as a reporter, editor, or freelance writer for a variety of local newspapers and regional and national magazines, including Audubon, Sports Illustrated, and National Wildlife. He has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. A native of Southwest Michigan, Joe lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, Maria, and their children, Sam and Matilda.
Policy Director James Clift directs MEC policy on clean energy, air quality, and water protection, among other issues. For more than a decade, he has led MEC’s work to intervene in utility rate cases and power supply cost recovery cases on behalf of residential ratepayers. Over that time, these efforts have saved ratepayers over $100 million and helped move Michigan toward cleaner energy choices. Clift was appointed to the Water Resources Conservation Advisory Council—one of numerous appointments to state- and gubernatorial-level work groups on conservation and resource issues. He currently serves on the Water Use Advisory Council, Air Advisory Council, Part 201 Criteria Stakeholder Advisory Group, and various agriculture-related stakeholder groups. A graduate of Central Michigan University and Wayne State University Law School, Clift has taught or lectured at schools across the state including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Oakland University, Wayne State University and Central Michigan University. Before coming to MEC, Clift worked in the Michigan Senate and served as a Policy Director, where he supervised a 12-member policy staff and was primarily responsible for environmental protection issues.
MEC's Director of Finance, Andy Draheim, lives in East Lansing with his wife, Shanna, their son, Joe, and twin daughters, Jillian and Abbie. After graduating from Manistee High School and Michigan State University's James Madison College, Andy worked on two local political campaigns in Michigan before earning a master's degree in American history from Indiana University. In 1995, Andy began a nine-year career with Common Cause, a citizens' lobby dedicated to fair, open and accountable government. He served Common Cause in a variety of capacities, including volunteer coordinator, grassroots organizer, policy analyst, lobbyist, foundation relations director and organizational development specialist. In August 2004, Andy and his family returned to Michigan after living in San Francisco for almost four years. He also represents the organization on the Michigan Campaign Finance Network Board of Directors.
Editor Elizabeth Fedorchuk brings more than 20 years of experience in internal and external communications to MEC's mission of protecting the health of Michigan's people and the environment. Joining MEC in 2004, she manages a full range of communications products and services. Elizabeth earned a bachelor's degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences and is an active community volunteer and arts supporter in the public schools. In her free time, she and husband Matt and children Emma and Julian love exploring Michigan beaches and trails on annual family vacations in Holland, Michigan and Les Cheneaux Islands in the Upper Peninsula.
Brad Garmon, Director of Conservation and Emerging Issues, oversees MEC’s policy work on natural resource protection and enjoyment, land conservation, and place-based economic development strategies. He joined MEC in 2001 after moving to Michigan from Kansas; he holds undergraduate degrees in Earth Science and Geospatial Analysis, and a master’s degree in English. Garmon was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Michigan State Parks and Recreation Blue Ribbon Panel in 2011, and also served on the Department of Natural Resources’ Public Land Strategy Steering Committee in 2012, and the Office of the Great Lakes’ Water Strategy Cabinet in 2013. He was appointed to the Michigan DNR’s Pigeon River Country Advisory Council in 2013; serves on the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan’s Resources and Environment Working Group; is a past board member of the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan and is currently chairing the Policy and Outreach Committee of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance Board of Directors.
Deputy Policy Director Sean Hammond helps MEC build and maintain relationships with lawmakers, stay abreast of new bills and legislative committee activities, and keep the organization's member groups informed about developments at the Capitol. A native of Potterville, Mich., Hammond comes to MEC with experience working in the Legislature and state agencies. He held a legal externship with Michigan's Senate Majority Policy Office, where he provided Republican lawmakers with policy analysis and legal memos on proposed legislation. He also has interned with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the office of Attorney General Bill Schuette and with state Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), who was then serving in the House. Hammond is a 2014 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law and a member of the State Bar of Michigan. He graduated with honors from Saginaw Valley State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in biology and minors in political science and chemistry. He and his wife live in Lansing.
Charlotte Jameson brings extensive experience in politics, environmental policy, and issue advocacy to her role as Energy Policy and Legislative Affairs Director. Charlotte received her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Chicago and her master's degree from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Charlotte got her start in politics working for Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington, DC and then later in a research and policy role with Obama for America during the 2012 presidential campaign. Prior to joining Michigan Environmental Council, Charlotte was the Government Affairs Director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters. Charlotte grew up in Durham, North Carolina and she still occasionally pines for warm weather and southern food. She currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her two dogs.
President & CEO Chris Kolb has spent his career defending natural resources, public health and civil rights as an advocate and elected official at the state and local levels. As a State Representative, he was instrumental in important environmental legislation, including land bank authorities, lead poisoning prevention for children, regulation of dangerous polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), establishment of a fund to help clean up leaking underground storage tanks, and numerous land use initiatives. He also introduced the concept of renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, and other progressive energy legislation. Kolb was appointed in 2015 by Gov. Rick Snyder to co-chair the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, which investigated the city’s drinking water crisis, found state-appointed emergency managers and the Department of Environmental Quality chiefly responsible, and provided recommendations to prevent similar disasters statewide. Kolb currently serves as co-chair of Gov. Snyder’s Environmental Justice Work Group. He is also a member of the Detroit Community Health Assessment Steering Committee.
Kate Madigan, Energy and Climate Specialist and Michigan Climate Action Network Director, works out of Traverse City, representing MEC in northern Michigan. She specializes in energy policy and assists MEC's communications and energy teams with research, writing, and advocacy. Kate joined MEC in 2005 as the Deputy Policy Director based in Lansing. In this role, she worked closely with MEC member groups and Michigan's elected officials to strengthen our state's environmental protections. Prior to joining MEC, Kate worked for three years for Environment America as its safe foods advocate in Los Angeles and then as an advocate for Environment Michigan in Lansing. A Michigan native, Kate holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and the Environment and a master's degree in management from the School for International Training in Vermont. Madigan lives with her husband Ross and their two children in Traverse City.
As Communications Specialist, Nicole Pomish develops MEC’s public outreach by communicating with journalists from across the state, creating content for online and print publications and through social media engagement. Nicole began working for MEC in June of 2018 and has previously worked as a Campaign and Advocacy Intern at Clean Water Action and as the Communications and Legislative Intern for the National Association of State Foresters in Washington, DC. Nicole grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI, and has a degree in Social Relations and Policy from James Madison College at Michigan State University. She enjoys exploring new places, but nothing compares to Northern Michigan with her family.
Health Policy Director Tina Reynolds focuses her time on critical environmental health issues including ending childhood lead poisoning, healthy food access, clean outdoor air, Green and Healthy Homes, asthma, promoting active communities and building relationships within the medical community to work on shared priorities. She has extensive experience in the law and state public policy development. She holds a law degree from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. She has worked as a law clerk, as an environmental policy analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives, as a legislative assistant for the 53rd House District (Ann Arbor) and as legal counsel for the 18th State Senate District (Washtenaw County). Reynolds is coalition manager of the Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Homes (MIALSH); chairs the Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan (HKHM) Healthy Food Access Policy Action Team; and is an active member of many environmental health coalitions in Michigan. Reynolds grew up in Keego Harbor, MI. She lives in East Lansing with her three children, Logan, Paige, and Gywn.
Community Engagement Director Sandra Turner-Handy’s work focuses on environmental issues, environmental justice, and public policies within the City of Detroit. As former chief of staff for State Representative, then State Senator Hansen Clarke of Detroit, Turner-Handy found her niche in civic engagement of residents around environmental, economic, and social issues affecting their quality of life. Turner-Handy received an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master's degree in leadership development, and is currently completing a doctorate in education with a focus on leadership development. A lifelong Detroiter, Turner-Handy is an executive board member of the Detroit Food Policy Council, CLEARCorps/Detroit, Doing Development Differently in Detroit (D4), and the Michigan Organization to Impact Obesity and Nutrition (MOTION). She also serves as a process leader of Detroit Future City, a member of the executive team of Impact Detroit, member of the Detroit Environmental Agenda, the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative, the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, and the lead on the Denby Neighborhood Alliance. As a member of the Denby community, she has worked with graduating seniors on redeveloping the Denby community, both in the classroom and in the community.
As Agriculture Policy Director, Tom Zimnicki leads MEC’s efforts in advancing a policy agenda focused on innovative and pragmatic ideas that encourage environmentally sustainable agriculture throughout Michigan. Prior to joining MEC in October 2016, Tom worked as an environmental consultant in Kalamazoo where he specialized in the use of market-based solutions to incentivize nonpoint source runoff controls for municipal and agricultural entities. A native of Allen Park, Tom earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Adrian College and holds a master of science degree in environmental science and a master of public affairs degree from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.