Executive Director - he/him/his
Jared began his professional career in web development handling the online advertising efforts of companies such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Kroger. After 5 years in this field he decided to return to school in order to change career paths and begin working for nonprofits. Jared earned a B.S. in Health Education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Masters in Public Administration at Saint Louis University.
Jared's nonprofit career began with Tobacco Free St. Louis where he worked on updating tobacco policies to improve public health. He later worked for PreventEd organizing a region-wide campaign to educate people about the opioid epidemic and mobilize them into action. Later, Jared helped found the St. Louis Downtown Neighborhood Association and became its first Executive Director. He was also the Executive Director of Givable - a philanthropic catalyst for St. Louis area nonprofits.
Executive Assistant - she/her/hers
Denise began her lifelong environmental non-profit career at Indiana's largest environmental organization, where she served as Administration Director, Assistant Development Director, and Managing Editor of Monitor, the statewide environmental magazine. Afterward, she served as Advancement Director for the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay in gorgeous northern Michigan. In St.Louis, Denise served as Director of Development at the Academy of Science. Denise graduated cum laude with a B.A. in journalism and English from Indiana University. She is the author of a book of poetry and the drummer for Swampcat Holler. Denise loves tending to her native garden and hiking.
Communications Coordinator - she/her/they
Courtney considers herself a deeply passionate individual, which shows in the work that she does. She has obtained her Bachelors in management, marketing and sustainability studies from Webster University. She's also working on becoming certified in health and life coaching at the international Health Coach Institute. Other than MCE, she has worked with the nonprofits the Missouri Botanical Garden, earthday365, Nonprofit Marketers Network, and the United Nations. At earthday365, she helped to coordinate and run one of the largest Earth Day celebrations in the country, the St. Louis Earth Day Festival. In her free time, she indulges in reading, painting, yoga and meditation, appreciating nature, raising money for charity and loving on her cat, July.
Operations Coordinator - she/her/hersChristen joins MCE with nearly a decade of experience advocating for the cleanup of Manhattan Project radioactive waste in St. Louis. She served as Communications Coordinator for Just Moms STL and was a member of the West Lake Landfill Steering Committee. Additionally, she is the creator of the social media project, Humans of West Lake Landfill, developed to raise awareness of the human cost of exposure to radioactive waste and document the efforts to restore our communities. She also has eleven years of experience as a Purchaser and Bookkeeper for a busy E-Commerce store. She is excited to be a part of the MCE team and continue following her passion to protect our natural spaces and human health. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and kayaking with her family, nature photography, and traveling.
Membership & Volunteer Coordinator - she/her/hers
Carmen is a graduate of University of Missouri - St. Louis and brings experience in nonprofit fundraising as well as membership sales experience with national retail businesses such as Cole Haan and Warby Parker. She is extremely excited to be working with a mission-driven organization once again. Carmen is looking forward to applying her knowledge of customer service and relationship management to foster impactful relationships within her community and beyond. Carmen also has developed a love for houseplants, and she loves the classic Mickey Mouse cartoons. Keep your eyes peeled when you meet her because you can find her wearing at least one item with Mickey on it every day!
River Advocate - he/him/his
For the past thirty years, Jim has combined his passion for wildlife, wild places and environmental issues with high quality video production. Transforming complex scientific concepts into compelling stories has become his hallmark, and the numerous awards and honors his work has received speak to the popularity of his programs with the general public. For over 20 years, Jim was a lead producer for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Missouri Outdoors program. With over 100 story segments in the can, Jim evolved into long-form production, not only for the Missouri Department of Conservation, but other state and federal resource agencies as well. Jim has produced dozens of award winning documentary films concerning a wide range of natural history and environmental issues. In 2001, Jim stepped from behind the camera to found Missouri River Relief, a hands-on, on-the-river advocacy group devoted to physically cleaning up the wide Missouri. Thousands of volunteers have picked up hundreds of tons of trash on the lower Missouri as a result of this organization. Jim's river-adjacent Boone County property has served as the organizations boatyard and equipment headquarters for nearly 20 years.
Local Food Director - she/her/hersRae comes to MCE having worked on sustainable farms, with local non-profits, and as an environmental compliance Project Manager. Originally from St. Louis, Rae is connecting sustainable local farmers to new markets in the St. Louis area, with focus on public institutions. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities with her dog Woolly, especially gardening.
Food & Farm Policy Director - she/her/hersMelissa came to MCE first as a legal intern, reviewing agricultural permits and also researching and writing about the state of our food system. From there, she was hooked on MCE! Melissa brings her law degree, her B.S. in environmental science, and her minor in agricultural economics to the MCE table to transition our food system away from industrial agriculture and corporate consolidation to one that is equitable, sustainable, nutritious, and localized with community at the forefront. In her spare time, Melissa loves weight lifting, rollerblading, biking, and refurbishing furniture!
Rural Justice Organizer - she/her/hersSophie Watterson graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May of 2020 with Bachelor's degrees in Environmental Policy and Spanish. After working as a Research Analyst with the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Sophie is excited to join the MCE staff as Rural Justice Organizer and continue her previous work with the organization. While in school at Washington University, Sophie spent a summer in Billings, Montana interning with the Western Organization of Resource Councils and was a student consultant at Washington University’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Law Clinic. Sophie aspires to make sustainable, equitable agricultural policy relevant and attainable for Missourians. Outside of work, you will find Sophie running in the St. Louis area, eating at local restaurants, and sharing her vegan cooking with friends.
Known & Grown Specialist - he/him/his
Chris Wimmer joined the Missouri Coalition for the Environment’s Food & Farm team as the Known & Grown Farm Specialist in July of 2019. Chris was born and raised in St. Louis and always dreamed of becoming a farmer. He received his BS in Agronomy from University of Missouri Columbia. Eager to combine his passion for environmental stewardship and growing food Chris founded The Farm at Kraut Run in 1995. The farm produced organic vegetables and meat sold locally through a Community Supported Agriculture program, farmers markets, and local restaurants. The farm’s hands-on educational field trips were designed to impress on visitors the importance of enhancing nature while producing food responsibly. In 2017 MCE sponsored a trip to the farm that introduced Chris to the effective environmental work they have been doing for the last 50 years. He is excited to join the newly formed Known and Grown Team, and to share his desire to expand the availability of locally grown, organic and humanely raised food.
Graphic Design/Photography/Communications Intern - he/him/hisJosh Valeri is a junior at WashU majoring in Environmental Biology and Comparative Arts. He is a student program coordinator for Deneb STARS, a Civic Scholar, and an executive member of Performing Musicians Resource Group. As a student of both arts and sciences, he is especially interested in the potential for creative projects to express ideas typically confined to STEM fields. In his free time, he enjoys reading, biking, and watching movies.
Communications Intern - she/her
Charlotte Renner is a senior at Webster University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Photography and Anthropology. She is our communications intern for fall 2021. Charlotte is passionate about creating content that will make change and spread awareness about environmental and sustainable issues in Missouri. At school, she is the Editor in Chief for the student-run magazine called the Ampersand and contributes to the Webster Journal. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys hiking, reading, going to concerts and spending time with friends and family. Her future career plans include working for environmental or scientific publications, working for nonprofits and promoting independent, unbiased journalism.
Board President - she/her/hersAfter 3 years on MCE's Board in the early 2000's, Kally rejoined the board in the fall of 2015, and has served as Board President since 2019. Kally brings a unique environmental experience to MCE with her legacy as co-founder of Friends of Ozark Riverways (FOR), an affiliate organization of MCE. FOR advocates for stronger enforcement of regulations on the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, and works to foster awareness, appreciation, & respect for the history, culture, and natural splendor of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. She has served on the boards of Missouri Parks Association and The Green Center, and has been involved with the Missouri Arts Council as an advisor and grant panelist for the Missouri Folk Arts Program. Through her work at Washington University School of Medicine, Kally serves on the Steering Committee of the Neurology Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging. At MCE, Kally chairs the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees, is co-chair of the Anti-Racism Committee, and serves on the Board Development, Board Governance, Personnel, and Policy Committees at MCE. Having lived most of her life along the Current River, she is an avid fisherman and enjoys paddling, hiking, and camping along Ozark streams.
Board Vice PresidentDebbie joins the MCE Board with a deep passion for the outdoors and protecting everything in it. Debbie’s love for the outdoors began after venturing out on her first hike in August of 2019. Shortly after, Debbie founded Black People Who Hike (BPWH), a St. Louis based organization that serves as a platform to empower, educate and expose black people to the outdoors. Debbie believes spending time outdoors is fundamental to our health and that a healthy lifestyle includes a proper balance of nutrition, exercise and adequate time in nature. She received her Bachelor's degree in Business Finance and Management from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and has spent the last 10 years working with people in all aspects of management operations including, sales, hiring, training, recruiting and marketing. Debbie has experience blogging, creating and managing global social media campaigns and building creative content. She also enjoys hiking, running, camping, golfing, plant based cooking and spending time outdoors with her dog Brownie.
Dawn T. Christoffersen
Board SecretaryDawn is an estate planning, business and tax attorney in St. Louis, Missouri and is licensed to practice law in Missouri, Illinois and Colorado. She founded her own firm, DTC Advisors, LLC in 2011 after practicing at several large firms in St. Louis, Missouri. Dawn received her BSBA in accounting from Washington University in St. Louis, her JD from Northwestern University and her LLM in taxation from Washington University, where she taught as adjunct faculty for some time. She also passed the CPA exam and has her Masters in Sustainability from St. Louis University. Dawn has been and is involved in a variety of charitable endeavors, including chairing the Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis Major Gifts and Planned Giving Committee, as a member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Planned Advisory Group and as a member of the Spirit of St. Louis Finance Committee, among others. In her spare time, Dawn enjoys hiking with her husband Jared and their two dogs, exploring the Colorado wilderness, and preparing international and vegan cuisine. She is passionate about altering the course of climate change, saving our national parks and creating healthy food systems for all.
Board TreasurerNygel is a passionate servant leader who has dedicated his career to public health and health equity who is thrilled to be on the board at MCE. He is currently the Manager of Patient Accounts for the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine and a previous Executive Management Fellow. In this role, Nygel works to coordinate a positive patient experience and has been a key leader in advancing equity through the implementation of telehealth and improved self-pay programs. Prior to coming to Washington University, Nygel served as the first African-American Villers Fellow for Healthcare Justice at Families USA in Washington, DC where he worked to advance healthcare policy at a national level. He also worked at Inova Mt. Vernon Hospital where he managed a public health initiative in conjunction with the AARP to advance health education for patients. Nygel earned a Master in Healthcare Administration from the University of Maryland College Park as well as a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Saint Louis University. Nygel is an avid cook and loves fitness and the outdoors, and (when it’s warm out) you can often catch him biking or running the stairs in Forest Park, or tackling a local trail for a weekend hike.
Board of Directors
Steve joined the board in early 2017. He has earned a BS in Social Studies and an MS in Park Administration. He has over thirty years experience in park management with Missouri State Parks, St. Louis County Parks, the city of Clayton Parks and the US Forest Service in Granby, Colorado. Steve also served in the US Army and the US Peace Corps-Afghanistan. He retired from the VA where he served as a budget analyst and finally as a national records officer. An avid canoeist, kayaker and self-acclaimed river rat.
Board of DirectorsAntonia is a part of the leadership team for the outdoor advocacy group Black People Who Hike and a first time board member of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. An urban St. Louis native, she developed a love for adventure and outdoors with guidance from the Camp Wyman Leadership program as a teenager to adulthood 2005-2010. She has continued to express her love for nature through educating friends and family on ways to lessen their carbon footprint. Conserving water resources, protecting wilderness animal habitats and educating people on the importance of respecting nature are her lifelong goals. Her mission is to diversify the outdoors and bring people of color into spaces that were thought to be out of reach. In her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, Korean pop music, gaming and anime.
Rev. Rodrick Burton
Board of DirectorsRodrick Burton has led the New Northside Baptist Church to be a regional leader in Environmental Justice and Sustainability issues in partnership with Green the Church, the Sierra Club of Eastern Mo and The Nature’s Conservancy. New Northside was the first African American congregation to install solar panels on their Church and Community Center. Reverend Burton advocated, along with the environmental community for St. Louis to pass Resolution 124 and was appointed to the City’s Clean Energy Advisory Board. Burton’s advocacy resulted in the EPA 2019 Publication, Supporting Healthy Houses of Worship, as well as the 2020’s webinar series: Interagency Interfaith Collaboration for Vulnerable Communities. These free Webinars were part of an education thrust to provide better access to EPA Efficiency programs and training for churches. Burton earned a Master’s in Educational Ministry from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis Mo and is currently a Visiting Instructor in Practical Theology at Covenant. Pastor Burton is married to Carlotta Burton, with adult twins, Zoe and Zarek, and resides in St. Louis, County.
Board of Directors
David retired from the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he was Associate Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Science and Technology. He co-authored the textbook, “Chemistry: Its Role in Society” and served as the first chairperson of Missouri’s Hazardous Waste Management Commission. David was a Congressional Science Fellow in 1980-81 working in Congressman Al Gore’s office on environmental issues. In October 2019, David received the first UMSL Retiree of the Year Award. He has served on MCE’s Board for more than 25 years in various roles.
Board of DirectorsDeidre Griffith is a dedicated community health leader, collaborator and champion for health equity. Currently, Deidre serves as Regional Director of Community Health for SSM Health-St. Louis. In this role, she provides leadership on a wide range of evidence-based, data-driven initiatives focused on addressing social determinants of health, advancing health equity and strengthening community partnerships. Prior to joining SSM, Deidre served as a program director at Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) where she provided strategic leadership on multiple health initiatives, including Childhood Obesity Prevention, Public Health Infrastructure, The Opportunity Fund and Health Care Workforce Development. Deidre also has a strong research background, developed over ten years in academia (Saint Louis University and Washington University), implementing community-based participatory research programs to improve nutrition, physical activity and health literacy in under-resourced communities. She also managed a pioneering fellowship program designed to increase the field of master and doctoral-level trained minority public health practitioners. Deidre earned a Master of Public Health from Saint Louis University and a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University New Orleans. She is an alumna of FOCUS St. Louis’ Leadership St. Louis program (class 40), is a 2016 fellow of the Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy, founded by Grantmakers in Health, serves on the Regional Health Commission’s Provider Services Advisory Board and serves on multiple community coalitions. Deidre has also co-authored several manuscripts and presented her work at national conferences including the American Public Health Association and the Biennial Childhood Obesity conference.
Board of Directors
As Curator of Environmental Life at the Missouri Historical Society, David is responsible for the acquisition, research, interpretation, and care of artifact collections representing environmental concerns, including transportation, agriculture, energy use, and natural resource exploitation and stewardship. His work documenting regional watershed history culminated in the Missouri History Museum's landmark Mighty Mississippi exhibit. A Board member of MCE since 2002, as well as past President, he has served on the Policy, Board Development, Fundraising and Development Committees, and the Smart Growth Action Team.
Board of Directors
Steve has a 40-year track record as an innovator and leader in the environmental, energy, and natural resource fields. He was appointed for 8 years by three successive governors as Cabinet Secretary to lead the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. During his tenure, he added over 60,000 acres to the state park system and led the development and construction of the first LEED Platinum state office. He also represented Missouri and the US by chairing the NAFTA-US Governmental Environmental Advisory Commission (GAC), serving on the EPA's Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) for 13 years, and he received the "United States Presidential Environmental Achievement Award" in 1989. His work was also the subject of a "60 Minutes" episode because of his leadership in negotiating the first agreement in US history for a corporate buy out of the houses of Missouri citizens whose children were being exposed to lead contamination and smelter emissions. Currently, he is advising the Nature Conservancy and many influential organizations on climate change, energy, environmental, natural resource and carbon management issues. Steve holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University and is a graduate of the Yale University Environmental and Management Leadership.
Board of DirectorsBryan is a 24 year Missouri resident who earned a Master of Public Health degree from St. Louis University in 2005. His studies at SLU focused on Community Health, Biostatistics and Epidemiology. He is one of the founders of Three Spring Farms in Perryville, Missouri, an MCE “Known and Grown” farm providing sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken to the St. Louis region since 2011. He serves on the faculty of the Department of Surgery in Washington University School of Medicine and has been awarded for his teaching efforts. His previous service on advisory boards includes work with Blackburn College, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is new to the MCE Board as of 2020. He is drawn to serve the MCE based on a longstanding passion for sustainability and environmental issues, catalyzed by his interactions with the Known and Grown program.
Angela A. Moore
Board of DirectorsAngela A. Moore is the Facilities and Sustainability Coordinator for the Missouri Historical Society, where she is responsible for sustainable operations and programs. Her work is primarily led by statistical data, current innovations within the built environment and a strong desire to preserve history and culture for future generations. Angela's educational background includes a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Missouri. With a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership along with recognition as a LEED AP O+M and TRUE Advisor. She uses her educational background to bridge organizations and increase sustainable practices in the museum field. Angela also serves on the Board of Directors for the US Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the American Alliance of Museums' Environment and Climate Professional Network. She is also the Executive in Residence for the Ohio Recycling Coalition in support of the National Recycling Coalition’s Diversity Equity Inclusion Council. In her free time, Angela enjoys gardening, reading, watercolor painting and drawing. And, loves traveling the world with her 8 year old daughter, Artist.
Board of DirectorsPrior to Joe's 1989 employment with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), he was employed as a classroom instructor of science and biology at Houston High School in Houston, Missouri from 1981 through the 1989 school years. While at DNR, he worked as an Environmental Specialist, Environmental Education Specialist and Unit Chief of the Environmental Education Unit. In which, he retired with 24 years of service on February 28, 2010. On March 1, 2010 Joe became the Executive Director of the James River Basin Partnership (JRBP) in Springfield. He then moved his family to Ozark in late summer 2010, serving 5½ years until retiring again on November 1, 2015. Expressing that his time at JRBP was the most rewarding. In October 2015, the MCE recognized Joe's career as an environmental educator and advocate by awarding him the Susan Flader Education and Advocacy Award. This was especially meaningful to Joe, as Susan is a friend of his. Joe enjoys canoeing and kayaking on the beautiful Ozark rivers and is an avid fisher. With his wife, they enjoy nature photography and traveling to hike and explore interesting outdoor spots. They are especially in love with Yellowstone Park and the surrounding area and make many trips there, as time and funds allow.
Board of Directors
When Arlene moved to St. Louis years ago, she was shocked to learn about St. Louis' legacy of the Atomic Age radioactive wastes. These wastes were dumped at many locations in the St. Louis metro area, and Arlene has been working toward their removal ever since. She joined MCE’s board in 1979, initially drawn to the organization to help with the ultimately successful referendum, “construction work in progress” or (CWIP), relating to the Callaway nuclear power plant. Collaborating with Kay Drey her mentor, Arlene helped write and edit fact sheets and pamphlets for the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and Beyond Nuclear. She offered her testimony for many public hearings. Arlene also remains concerned about land use and water pollution issues. Arlene was initially attracted to MCE because it was the only local environmental activist organization around in the 1970’s. She still sees MCE as the best place for her volunteer energy. Her career as a librarian gave her the opportunity and the resources to do research on environmental problems, and the governmental regulations that are supposed to protect us.
Board of Directors
Gwendolyn completed her Ph.D. in History at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been recognized with an Eisenhower-Roberts Fellowship, awarded by the Eisenhower Institute to support research into the Cold War; a Haas Fellowship promoting “understanding of the chemical industries in relation to societal, environmental, health, and safety issues and in the public understanding of science” completed in residence at the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and the Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation in Environmental History awarded by the American Society for Environmental History. She brings to MCE a life-long interest in education, advocacy, and preserving the environment for future generations. Her research focuses on the nuclear history of the United States, especially the implications of nuclear weapons production for human health and the environment.