Judy Bearup, Operations Director, 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 CEO Conan Smith 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.
Development Director 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.
Communications Director Elizabeth Fedorchuk brings more than 30 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.
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 Program Director for Legislative Affairs, Energy and Drinking Water Policy.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.
Tina Reynolds, Program Director for Environmental Health, 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.
CEO & President Conan Smith is an experienced nonprofit leader, policy innovator, and respected public official. Smith has been a long-time advocate for the environment, public health and equity in Michigan. Starting as a volunteer and working his way up to leadership positions as a program director, executive director and board member, he knows nonprofits from the ground up. Smith previously served for 12 years as executive director of Metro Matters, a southeast Michigan nonprofit called one of the “Most Innovative Companies” by Michigan Business Review. He served for 14 years as an elected county commissioner and has served in leadership positions on numerous public and private boards, including state-level appointments by both Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Gov. Rick Snyder. Smith is also a lecturer in intergovernmental cooperation at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Smith lives in Ann Arbor, the third generation in his family home.
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.
Tom Zimnicki, Program Director for Sustainable Agriculture and Ground and Surface Water Policy, 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.