About Us

About Us

Founded in 1970, the Ecology Center is organized for one purpose -- to develop innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet.

Overview

We believe that the central question of our time is how human beings are going to thrive in the world without destroying the earth's ability to sustain us. In the face of enormous environmental challenges, virtually all sectors of our society are now scrambling to create solutions, and the Ecology Center plays a critical role in advancing the best models.

 

To do that, we do the following:

  • We educate consumers to help keep their families healthy and safe.
  • We push corporations to use clean energy, make safe products, and provide healthy food.
  • We provide people with innovative services that promote healthy people and a healthy planet.
  • We work with policymakers to establish laws that protect communities and the environment.

Staff

Meet the Ecology Center’s savvy, experienced, and tenacious staff. We believe that leadership starts right in our office, click below to learn more about our team. 


Katy Adams
Education Director

Erica Bertram
Communications and Marketing Director

Jason Bing
Healthy Buildings Director

Alexis Blizman
Legislative & Policy Director

Jennifer Canvasser
Environmental Health Organizer

Tracey Easthope
Director, Green Chemistry & Safer Materials Project

Susan Froelich
Senior Development Officer

Mike Garfield
Director

Jeff Gearhart
Research Director

Charles Griffith
Director, Climate & Energy Program

Laura Han
Operations & Finance Associate

Mara Herman
Health Outreach Coordinator

Yma Johnson 
Grants Director

Brigit Macomber
Finance Director

Julia Madden
Development Associate

Rebecca Meuninck
Deputy Director 

Nicki Milgrom
Director, Sustainable Food Program

Gillian Z. Miller
Staff Scientist

Vince Roncelli

Transit Organizer

Melissa Cooper Sargent

Green Living Resources Director

Kathryn Savoie
Detroit Community Health Director

Lindsey Scalera
Farm to Institution Campaign Director
     

Board

Meet the experienced, visionary board behind the Ecology Center:

Frank Parkinson, President
Mr. Parkinson is an attorney with DeLoof, Hopper, Dever & Wright in Ann Arbor. He has worked as an entrepreneur, real estate developer, green builder, real estate broker, and LEED-credentialed professional in Illinois and Michigan. He has spent the past four years actively involved with The Climate Project, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about climate change.

David Stead, Vice President
Mr. Stead is principal and vice president of Resource Recycling Systems, a nationally recognized environmental consulting and engineering firm that works on projects to build a sustainable and waste-free future. He has consulted with communities and businesses across the United States.

Beverly Ghesquiere, Treasurer
Ms. Ghesquiere is recently retired from an accounting career with large firms and small nonprofit organizations, most recently at Dawn Farm, which provides drug and alcohol treatment for both residential and outpatient clients in the Ann Arbor area. Ghesquiere earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Bryn Mawr College and an MBA in accounting and finance from the University of Chicago.

Christine Green, Secretary 
Ms. Green has practiced law in Washtenaw County for more than 25 years, specializing in civil rights, employment discrimination, wrongful termination and personal injury. Green also has served Scio Township in a number of roles since her election to the township board of trustees in 2008.

Michael Garfield, Director
Mr. Garfield has served as Director of the Ecology Center since 1993. He has led advocacy campaigns that successfully raised over $200 million in public funds for land preservation, recycling, and public transit. He has testified before numerous federal and state legislative committees, participated in various stakeholder committees, and served on public advisory boards.

 

Jennifer Adlhoch
Ms. Adlhoch is a community activist who served on the LocalMotionGreen Board of Directors from 2006 until the organization merged with the Ecology Center in 2013.  Before her children were born, she worked at the Illinois Attorney General’s office in the environmental division, and then as an Assistant Attorney General for Macomb County.

Stuart Batterman
Dr. Batterman is professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and professor of water resources and environmental engineering in the U-M College of Engineering. Among numerous other projects, Batterman was the principal investigator on "The Detroit Asthma Morbidity, Air Quality and Traffic" study.

Al Beeton
Before his retirement from his academic career, Beeton was chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory from 1996 to 2002. He began researching the Great Lakes in 1955, and earned a Ph.D. in limnology and aquatic zoology from the University of Michigan.

Jennifer Cornell
Ms. Cornell is a public relations consultant who has handled media relations and marketing communications for ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, HealthMedia, University of Michigan, Hallmark, Ann Arbor SPARK, the Michigan Venture Capital Association, and the Ann Arbor Hands--‐On Museum. She recently served on the board of the Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan, and has also served on the boards of St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center and Michigan Innovators.

Kathleen Howard 
Ms. Howard is widely recognized for her leadership and personal commitment to providing workforce opportunities for women, the disabled, older Americans, minorities, immigrants, and the economically disadvantaged. After years of working in human resources, she is completing a law degree at Wayne State University.

Craig Hupp 
Mr. Hupp advises clients on compliance with environmental law as a member of the Detroit-based law firm Bodman PLC and represents them in a wide variety of environmental matters. He has served as a mediator in environmental disputes, and served in an advisory role to the Governor’s Climate Action Council.

Riyaz Kanji 
Mr. Kanji is a partner in Kanji & Katzen, PLLC, a law firm with offices in Seattle and Ann Arbor that represents Indian nations and tribes across the country on a wide variety of issues including sovereignty and governance, treaty fishing and hunting rights, Indian gaming, and environmental protection.

Doug Selby 
Mr. Selby is a 'building-science expert' and managing partner in Meadowlark Builders, a design/build construction firm that he co-founded in 2004. Since its founding, the firm has become Michigan’s leader in LEED-certified home construction, and a national leader in high- performance new homes and energy efficient renovations of existing homes.

Rashida Tlaib
Ms. Tlaib represented southwest Detroit and two adjacent downriver communities in the Michigan legislature for six years. When she was elected in 2008, Tlaib became the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature, and only the second Muslim woman in history to be elected to any state legislature in America. The eldest of 14 children, Rashida Tlaib attended Detroit public schools and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wayne State University. She went on to earn a law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in 2004.

 

Recycle Ann Arbor

 
Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA) is our recycling subsidiary private, non-profit organization that was founded in 1977 as a program of the Ecology Center.
 
In 1981, RAA merged with the Ecology Center and received the first contract from the City of Ann Arbor to collect recyclables from the curb. Through the years, RAA continued to grow into one of the largest recycling programs in the country.
 
Today, RAA is led by CEO Kirk Lignell, who brings an engineer’s perspective to the role. Recycle Ann Arbor started Michigan’s first curbside recycling program in 1978, and currently operates the state’s largest community Drop-Off Station, the ReUse Center, the Ann Arbor curbside recycling program, and Recovery Yard Roll-Off Containers, the state’s only non-profit construction recycling organization.

Supporters

The Ecology Center is proudly supported inpart by the following foundations*. 

*Funders as of 2014-2015

Thank You for your support!

And Thank You for the support and generosity of our over 3,000 annual members!

Become a member today!

Financials

As a 501(c)(3), the Ecology Center’s audited financial statements and IRS form 990 are available to the public. To view, click the links below.

2015 Audit
2015 IRS Form 990

 

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Ecology Center Statement of Values: Diversity and Inclusion

The Ecology Center works to develop innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet. We are a dedicated community of individuals tackling the most pressing health and environmental issues of our time with integrity, persistence and science. Through our expert staff and over 40 years experience, we provide credible information, strategic action, and education on complex environmental issues.

A commitment to equity and fairness is a critical component of any healthy organization, and that equity must extend to issues of race and income.  Our organizational commitment to equity extends not only to internal practices and opportunities, but also to the way in which our organization interacts with our community, our region, and the world.  We embrace an explicit goal that our campaigns, priorities, and activities increase equality and justice for all people.  As we continue to grow and develop, we must embody principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity in order to remain vibrant and innovative and truly be the change that we wish to see in our communities and world.  

Diverse organizations are stronger, more resilient and more innovative.  Greater diversity will help us sustain a movement in which all voices are represented and in which all communities contribute to addressing the environmental issues that confront us now, and for generations to come.  On an individual and organizational level, diversity and inclusion are important values we will continue to  to build upon in the coming months and years in order to truly help build social justice and equity.

Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee is currently working to create a long term plan that will help us advance toward our goals, including:

  • building competency among staff, management, and board on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity;
  • cultivating a culture of inclusion, learning and innovation in the organization;
  • creating internal processes that will better nurture a more diverse staff and a more inclusive work atmosphere;
  • integrating these principles more fully into our programs and communications;
  • building relationships with diverse organizations and individuals that support these goals;
  • helping to promote and grow diversity and inclusion in the environmental movement as a whole.

 

Work with us

As the breadth of the Ecology Center’s work continues to increase, so has our need for visionary and creative leaders at all levels of engagement. Curious about careers with the Ecology Center? 

The Ecology Center is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage women, people of color, and people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds to apply.

Here are our current postings:

Employment Opportunities 

Science and Health Senior Organizer 

 

  • Volunteer
    We’re always accepting volunteers at the Ecology Center. If you’re interested in local opportunities around Ann Arbor, click here. If you’d like to volunteer with our Development Team, email our Development Associate, Julia Madden.

 

Published on October 31, 2016

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