Tiziana Bottino, Northern Virginia Organizer
Tiziana Bottino lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, a community impacted by multiple sources of pollution. Her driving force in the fight for a livable planet are her young daughter and son, whom she is raising to be climate activists. Tiziana earned a Bachelor of Science in International Business in 2009 and worked in many 9-5 positions, but it wasn't until the birth of her daughter in 2015 that she realized there was no time to waste, and began volunteering and working with various environmental organizations. On May 2018, Tiziana earned a Masters of Science in Energy Climate and Policy from Johns Hopkins University and founded the Greater Prince William Climate Action Network, to raise awareness and take climate action in her community. Tiziana is a Christian, and her faith influences her engagement with policy issues. She is originally from Naples, Italy but has also lived in France, England, Belgium and Colombia.
Betsy Ericksen, Massachusetts Community Organizer
Michele Gielis, Digital Organizer
Michele graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a dual degree in communications and anthropology, followed by a career supporting audio-visual teams at Lotus Development Corporation, Harvard Law School, and the Museum of Science. Since childhood, Michele has been a part-time activist for the environment and human rights. Recently, she decided that working to grow the movement to address climate change needed full-time attention and changed her trajectory to focus completely on what she sees as the most crucial cause of our time. Known as “Mish” by the Mothers Out Front community, she likes to learn how people make meaning.
Janet Groat, Massachusetts Organizing Manager
Janet Groat joined Mothers Out Front in April 2017 as the Massachusetts Organizing Manager. Janet brings a rich history as an organizer, strategist, and trainer to her new position, with a particular interest in team building and fostering successful structures for shared leadership. As Regional Manager for Moms Demand Gun Sense in America, she coached five state-based chapters, cultivated leaders, worked with teams to activate and track voters and met the challenges head on. Janet has a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. With the knowledge that many of the solutions to climate change, as well as the political will, will come from those most affected, Janet is excited to work on the strategic effort to elevate their voices.
Etel Haxhiaj, Massachusetts Community Organizer
Etel was born and raised in Albania until the age of 17. She left Albania due to civil unrest and immigrated to Athens, Greece where she lived with her parents and 85-year-old grandmother for two years. In 1999, Etel immigrated to the United States with her parents through the Green Card lottery and became an American citizen in 2005. She has a B.A. in International Development and Social Change and M.A in Community Development and Planning from Clark University. She lives in Worcester with her parents and the two loves of her life, her sons Luke and Danny. She has been a community activist and organizer in Worcester in areas of gender and racial justice and has served on three City of Worcester Boards and Commissions, as well as on the Board of the YWCA. She is passionate about racial justice, community building, seeing others grow as leaders, and organizing. Her work has spanned from working for the Attorney General’s Office as a mediator, running peer mediation programs in urban schools, mentoring and coaching first-generation college-bound youth, and working with families in public housing and homeless shelters. Her inspiration for the community work she does comes from growing up hearing stories of her grandfather who was a war hero and a humble man who fought for freedom and justice. Besides her beautiful sons being her biggest joy, she enjoys spending alone time in the woods, reading, journaling, meditating, taking salsa lessons, learning new languages, and cooking Albanian food for her friends.
Linda Hutchins-Knowles, Expansion Organizer (CA)
Linda is passionate about engaging mothers in the climate movement, asking "Who has a greater stake in ensuring a livable climate than parents?” Linda first got involved with Mothers Out Front as a member leader co-founding the San Jose team, then guiding their successful campaign to pass Community Choice Energy in the nation’s tenth largest city. Since 2013, she's volunteered with several climate action groups, including Citizens Climate Lobby, 350.org, Moms Clean Air Force, and Friends Committee on National Legislation. Linda brings with her an extensive background in Nonviolent Communication and educational therapy, coaching students with learning differences to achieve their full potential. Fluent in Spanish, she and her husband have traveled extensively in Latin America and also Kenya. Besides being the mother of a spirited teen and preteen, one of her proudest accomplishments is having completed a 110-mile “century” bike ride with Team in Training in the Yosemite foothills.
Marnese Jackson, Frontline Fellowship Manager (MI)
Marnese Jackson joined Mothers Out Front in December 2018 as the Frontline Fellowship Manager. She is an advocate, organizer and mother from Pontiac, Michigan where she lives with her two children London and Dawson. Marnese has been organizing since high school and brings a breadth of experience in the Environmental and Climate Justice movement. She is the former Midwest and Great Plain States Regional Organizer for the NAACP's Environmental and Climate Justice Program where she built capacity within the NAACP members to engage in energy-related projects across 17 states and created the ECJ Live Podcast talk show. She was the Weatherization Coordinator for Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency and Energy Outreach Specialist for Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.
Marnese has presented at the 2016 Michigan Human Rights Coalition-Environmental Justice is a Human Right, 2017 Webster University Human Rights Conference, 2017 National Environmental and Climate Justice training and at the 2018 Race Forward’s Facing Race Conference. Marnese was a part of the 2015 Climate Justice Alliance - East Michigan Environmental Action Council delegation for the Hurricane Katrina commemoration. Marnese helped organize the 2018 Michigan Environmental Justice Summit, the 2017 Detroit Climate Justice March and is a Member of 2017 Al Gore's Climate Leadership Corps, Soulardarity, MEJC's Clean Air Council, Pontiac City Policy Council, Roosevelt PTO Member and Mothering Justice. Marnese holds a Master’s Degree in Social Justice from Marygrove College and a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University. Marnese is passionate about Environmental, Energy, Climate, Utility, Racial, Economic, Education and Gender Justice. Her passion for Environmental Justice comes from her extended family members being exposed to the Hurricane Katrina aftermath and her children having asthma due to poor air quality. Marnese enjoys kayaking, dancing, going to the movies, creating science experiments and crafts with the kids, baking and facilitating workshops.
Neely Kelley, New York State Senior Organizer
Neely’s first active involvement with the climate movement was to lead the fossil fuel divestment campaign of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. She has a B.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences, and a B.A. in French Languages and Literature from Virginia Tech as well as an M.S. in Animal and Avian Sciences from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Accounting from the University of Rochester. Neely has committed to full time organizing because of the urgency of the climate crisis. For two years, she volunteered with the Peace Corps in Gabon, Central Africa, but now lives in Rochester, NY with her husband Doug and their two daughters.
Terry Kush, Director of Operations
Terry Kush joined the Mothers Out Front team in September 2018 and has served as a director or a consultant to both domestic and international organizations including small NGOs and firms in the U.K., the Caribbean, West Africa, the Middle East and the United States. She spent a year living in Kenya after undergrad where she did independent research on elephants, camping out in the Maasai Mara. Kush joined Mothers Out Front because she feels urgency around climate change. Kush believes mothers have the ability to create real, impactful change that transcends generations beginning with our children, in our homes and the communities where we live.
Terry holds a Bachelor’s in business administration from Howard University and a Master’s in international service from American University with a focus on development & education policy. She lives in Washington, D.C., has three young adult children and is most happy on a beach in some distant land.
Katie Main, Development Coordinator (Yellow Springs, Ohio)
Katie is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.A in English Literature. Before joining Mothers Out Front she spent her time freelance writing and homeschooling her two children. Katie has a passion for environmental advocacy which began in elementary school when she watched a video about the importance of recycling. She has continued that passion, working to reduce her carbon footprint while educating others in her community on the importance to do so, as well. Katie lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. They love to travel across the United States, exploring National Parks along the way. Their goal is to visit all 58 National Parks, to experience the true beauty and vastness of this country and to learn how to protect it for future generations.
Lisa Marshall, New York Community Organizer
Before working with Mothers Out Front, Lisa was dedicated to empowering mothers in childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, homemaking and homeschooling while also raising and homeschooling her own three children. She has also worked as a middle school science teacher and a fiber arts teacher in a variety of educational settings. Lisa holds an M.S. in earth science from Dartmouth College and a B.A. in geology from Claremont McKenna College. In her free time she enjoys reading, knitting, quilting, doll-making, felting, yoga and walking her dogs. She and her family live in the town of Horseheads in New York's Southern Tier.
Aimee Maruyama, Director of Development (Yellow Springs, OH)
Aimee is a seasoned fundraiser and organizer who believes firmly in the power of connecting donors to the causes they care about. Inspired by an article about the Amazon she read as a teen, Aimee developed a deep passion for environmental advocacy. This resolve stuck with her through graduate school, leading her to get her BS in Environmental Science from Antioch College and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University. Aimee lives in Ohio with her husband, son, and daughter.
Kim Miller, Virginia Community Organizer
Born and raised in Hampton Roads, Kim has a strong connection to the beauty, culture and heartbeat of Southern Virginia. She is passionate about empowering people and bringing them together in purpose through organizing volunteer opportunities and hosting special events. Kim was the Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator at First Landing State Park and oversaw the commemorative production of the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of America’s first English colony as well as many special events and volunteer projects that helped encourage stewardship and enjoyment at Virginia State Parks. She has four beautiful daughters, a grandpuppy and is an active member of her church. Kim is an unapologetic lover of family, fun and hats. Kim currently lives in Virginia Beach.
Max Parish, Database Administrator
Max has had the opportunity to manage data for campaigns large and small in Greater Boston. Having previously worn the hats of organizer and data entry manager, he believes strongly in supporting the work of volunteers by making their experiences collecting and storing their data as easy as possible. Max is a volunteer with Mothers Out Front in Waltham, MA, and has seen firsthand how the message of local mothers who are passionate for climate justice has deeply resonated with the city and its elected officials. He graduated from Brandeis University with B.A.’s in Economics and Politics. In his free time, Max asks women (often mothers!) to run for local political office and supports them on their campaigns.
Bimina Ranjit, Communications Associate
Bimina comes to Mothers out front with a background in storytelling. In the past six years, Bimina has produced documentary films, original stories and short videos on the immigrant population in New York covering education, immigration, culture and social issues. She graduated from Columbia Graduate school for journalism in May 2017 with focus on video and audio production. She is inspired by Mothers Out front's mission to empower individuals and their community to educate and take actions against climate change. Bimina grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal and moved to the United States in 2006 as a teenager to pursue higher education. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and loves to travel, cook and watch horror films, in her free time.
Anne Roach, Communications Manager
Anne has spent over ten years in communications in political campaigns and governmental organizations such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Through her work, she has seen first hand how even the smallest action can have enormous impact on a community. Anne was drawn to Mothers Out Front’s emphasis on empowering individuals to create change within their own communities to address the crisis of climate change. Anne graduated Boston College with a B.A. in Communications. A Boston resident, she enjoys walks along the Harbor, public libraries and movies with wisecracking sidekicks.
Beth Roach, Richmond Community Organizer (VA)
Beth grew up being immersed in brackish James River waters surrounding rural Surry County. During her childhood, there was a decade long fishing ban due to a toxic chemical containment. This experience showed Beth how negligent human choices can devastate local environments. Fascinated by the intersection of community, environment, and public memory, Beth earned her degree in History from James Madison University. She spent 7 years leading programs that shared stories of communities and environments statewide for Virginia State Parks. As grants manager for the James River Association, Beth raised over $4 million for the James River, which has resiliently rebounded since her childhood. An enrolled member and Tribal Councilwoman for the Nottoway Indian Tribe of VA, Beth actively leads environmental and storytelling programs, and she was recently elected Vice-Chair for the Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice. When she’s not fighting to protect the communities and environments that she loves - Beth can be found cooking tamales, collecting wampum (purple and white clam shells), and surfing waves in the Outer Banks!
Megan Root, New York Community Organizer (Albany)
Megan Root is a Licensed Master Social Worker whose professional focus has been on raising awareness and motivating policy change on large scale social issues that lead to individual challenges in the community. Megan has a background with the NYS Tobacco Control program where she has helped develop and direct strategies with community partners to mobilize decisions makers to pass local ordinances on smoke free parks, smoke free playgrounds, smoke free public housing and active enforcement of NYS Clean Indoor Air Act.
Megan joined the Mothers Out Front New York team in December 2018 because of her strong sense of urgency around the climate change crisis, her passion for community organizing and a strong need to help the communities she serves preserve a healthy environment for our future generations.
Megan grew up in the sleepy Hudson river town of Athens, NY where her love for the mountains and New York’s rivers and lakes were cultivated. Megan holds a B.S.W. from Siena College’s school of social welfare and a M.S.W. from Binghamton University. Megan currently lives in Clifton Park, NY with her husband, two children and German Shepherd. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in the Catskill mountains, skiing in Vermont and travelling with her kids to national parks and historic sites.
Vanessa Rule, Co-Founder and Director of Expansion and Learning
Vanessa began working to address the climate crisis in the fall of 2006 as the lead organizer for Somerville Climate Action and as a board member of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network. She focused on helping residents, businesses, and municipalities reduce their carbon emissions through conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of renewables. Witnessing the relative lack of climate action at the state and federal levels, she co-founded Better Future Project, where she established 350 Massachusetts, then co-founded Mothers Out Front. Vanessa seeks to empower people—to give them the tools they need to build a movement powerful enough to re-align our political and economic decisions with the scientific and moral imperative to act on climate. She holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and an M.S. from Antioch University New England. She splits her time between Somerville, Massachusetts and Strafford, Vermont where she lives with her two children, Isabelle and Cedric.
Adelita Serena, Climate Action Organizer, Capital Region, CA
Adelita Serena is our Climate Action Organizer in the Capitol Region of California. She has lived in Woodland for nearly two decades, but grew up in Salinas as part of a farm-working family. Following in the footsteps of her father, who worked with Cesar Chavez, Adelita started organizing when she was in high school, rallying her peers to put on street performances about local issues. This experience was so powerful that it lead her to work with at-risk youth as well as Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence for many years. Adelita is passionate about using her ability to communicate with underserved communities to improve their conditions by providing resources and services. As the mother of two teenage boys, she has become increasingly concerned about the climate change impacts they are already experiencing, from extreme heat to wildfires. She is passionate about developing and centering the leadership of women from marginalized communities to achieve energy democracy and preserve a livable climate.
Adelita has a Bachelor of Science in Digital Film, and has held leadership positions in various agencies before joining Mothers Out Front in July of 2018.
Electa Sevier, Executive Director
Electa Sevier comes to Mothers Out Front with deep experience in non-profit management and a passion for community organizing. She is the co-founder of Case Associates, a consulting group that provides management assistance to nonprofit organizations, and has worked with numerous non-profits across many issues to develop strategic plans, manage critical projects and provide interim leadership. As a community organizer, she worked to create the City’s first official dog park, founded Neighborhood Parents for the Hurley School, and participated in numerous political campaigns and on community boards. Her concern about climate has always run deep, but has become more intense as her children have grown aware of the issue. Electa graduated from Harvard College and the Yale School of Management. She lives in Boston with her husband Jos Nicholas, their children Price and Nanneke, and too many pets.
Haley Wilson, Virginia Organizing Manager
Haley Wilson joined Mothers Out Front in December of 2018 as the Virginia Organizing Manager. After earning her Master’s degree in Policy Advocacy and Sustainable Development from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, Haley organized on grassroots and electoral campaigns across North Carolina and Virginia. After working for years on racial and LGBTQ justice issues, Haley realized the time to work to address climate change is now. Haley is excited to continue building community while lifting the voices of more directly affected people to create lasting, systemic change.