Executive Director - she/her/hers
Heather followed her passion for environmental protection and justice to MCE in 2013. She earned a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. While there, she participated as a student and later as a student attorney in the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic. Before coming to MCE, she spent over three years practicing as a civil rights lawyer at a private firm in St. Louis. She was an inaugural fellow of the St. Louis New Leaders Council and has volunteered and served on the boards of several organizations, including The Green Center, the national council of Pax Christi USA, and the Central West End Association. She enjoys camping with her family, practicing yoga, and traveling. And she's proud to call Missouri home.
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.
Rivers Organizer - she/her/hers
Jessie graduated magna cum laude from Regis University and earned an MA in political science from the University of Colorado Denver. She moved back to her hometown of Hannibal, MO in 2012 and has spent the last 7 years conducting ethnography on poverty in rural Missouri. As an independent researcher using peace as the objective and sustainable-green methodology as the practice, Jessie applies research to design community-based programs that encourage grassroots, systemic changes in rural areas to offset the cost-burden of living. She looks forward to making sustainable communities intentional and making Missouri green again, stream by stream. Jessie finds joy in life planting seeds barefoot, rolling around in the Mississippi mud, making sculptures out of river trash, herding kittens and other creatures, and solving social problems.
Food & Farm VISTA - she/her/they
Emmaline is thrilled to be doing her year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA with MCE. Although relatively new to St. Louis, Emmaline dived into local food justice work by volunteering with a number of local change-making organizations that lead the charge for sustainable and equitable food access in St. Louis. Emmaline comes from a background in social services and nonprofit work with diverse experience in development, event planning, social media marketing, community building, and international sustainable development. She earned her Bachelor's degree in 2014 from the University of California, Berkeley in International Development Studies with a minor in Peace & Conflict Studies. Emmaline currently serves on the Advisory Board of City Greens Market, volunteers with Global Farms of the International Institute, and works part-time with the Self Care Alliance STL. Emmaline loves to spend her free time urban farming, cooking, reading, hiking, and cuddling her two cats, KC and Kai.
Communications Director - she/her/hers
Ellyn joins MCE with a lifelong love for protecting the environment and a background in non-profit development and communications. Ellyn graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2016 where she focused her studies on environmental law, spending her time with the Environmental Law Society, serving on the Journal of Environmental & Sustainability Law and working for organizations like Renew Missouri and Great Rivers Environmental Law Center. Being a St. Louis native, she is excited to share her passion for protecting Missouri's natural resources with her fellow Missourians. In her free time, Ellyn loves hiking with her dog and attending as many concerts as possible.
Water Policy Director - she/her/hers
Maisah's passion for people and the environment has taken her around the country and across the globe. She is thrilled to be working on water policy issues now in the "Show Me" state -- home to two of America's greatest rivers and a rich river heritage. Maisah previously served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy where she focused on international climate change policy and clean energy technology deployment. Maisah earned her Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and her B.S. in Conservation Biology and Ecological Sustainability from Arizona State University. In her free time, you'll find her flexing her master gardener skills, supporting local flower farmers, or exploring MO's green spaces with her dog.
Development Director - she/her/hers
Laura is thrilled to be part of MCE's passionate team, and is excited to build on the successful outreach strategies incorporated by staff and members over the decades. Laura's professional experience has covered a gamut of development and public relations initiatives, working for corporate, government, and non-profit entities on diverse environmental initiatives. She earned her Bachelors degree from Concordia University in Business Management and Communications. In 2011, she earned her MS in Sustainability at St. Louis University where her academic focus was on water management principles. Laura is inspired and energized by giving back, having served on many boards and committees in the St. Louis region. She is also very involved with her local church, specifically the food bank and tutoring program with an inner-city grade school. Laura is an avid hiker, biker, and gardener, and a life long lover of people and nature.
Local Food Coordinator - she/her/hers
Rae 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 Justice Organizer - she/her/hers
Tosha joins MCE after working in social services for seven years, helping children, teaching, and creating programming. Tosha's passion for food justice and urban and rural farming stems from her work with local growers and other organizations, like New Roots. At New Roots, Tosha taught homeless children how to grow their own food and the importance of access to healthy foods. Along with her work and volunteer experience, she also serves on the board of City Greens Market. In her free time, you can find Tosha having fun and exploring local gardens with her seven-year-old son.
Policy Director - he/him/his
Ed joined MCE in 2011 and successfully helped prevent the legislature from eroding Missouri's voter-approved ban on Construction Work In Progress (CWIP). Missouri's ban on CWIP means that monopoly electric utilities cannot recover the cost of a new power plant until it is operational and the expenses are deemed prudent by the Public Service Commission, which helps prevent overbuilding and helps keep rates low. Ed continues to ensure our ban on CWIP is preserved as well as promoting the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan, implementation of Missouri's voter-approved Renewable Energy Standard, watchdogs the Callaway 1 nuclear reactor, and works with people impacted by the smoldering and radioactive West Lake Landfill.
Food & Farm Director - she/her/hers
Melissa graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2014, where she focused her studies in environmental and natural resource law. With a B.S. in environmental science and a minor in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri, Melissa has particular appreciation for soil conservation and environmental and agricultural policy. Since writing MCE's St. Louis Regional Food Study published in 2014, Melissa works to support environmentally-responsible farming practices and local food systems across the state, which includes directing the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition.
David first became involved with MCE in the late 1970s circulating an MCE petition in St. Louis and Kansas City against of the Callaway Nuclear power plant. He returned to MCE in 2014 to work on several projects: reviewing MSD’s semi-annual reports on their compliance with the Consent Decree and working on MCE’s comments on the US Park Service’s revised management plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. He is now the lead volunteer working on MCE's newest resources, The People's Guide to Environmental Action. David is a veteran of the United States Army and holds a BA in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C. and an AS in Bio-Medical Engineering from Forest Park. Since his retirement in 2014, he has been volunteering one day each week in the MCE office working on everything from research to assistance with clerical work. He also heads up many of MCE's tabling efforts at community events. He is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and has lived in Saint Louis for over four decades with his wife. He has two children and two grandchildren. He and his wife enjoy doing Laughter Yoga.
Food & Farm Intern
Clara is interning for MCE because of her passion for doing what she can to protect the environment. Clara is currently attending Visitation Academy College Preparatory School here in St. Louis. This upcoming semester she will be a senior set to graduate in May 2020. In the future, she hopes to major in environmental science and to start a career geared towards helping to preserve and protect the planet.
Special Events & Marketing Intern
Kayla is a senior communication studies major from SIU-Carbondale who is interning this summer as the Special Events and Marketing Intern. She is very excited to work next to an amazing group of individuals who have the same passion for protecting our environment as she does herself. She is also looking forward to planning all of the fun events MCE has coming up in the near future. In Kayla's free time, she loves to travel, go on hikes, spend time with her kitten, and hang out with her friends.
Foodshed Research Intern
Grace is excited to join MCE as an intern this summer working on compiling and analyzing data to determine whether or not our food system is improving for our health, our environment, our rural communities, and our local economy. A rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis, Grace is studying economics and environmental policy and enjoys photography and volunteering for local environmental organizations.
Food & Farm Marketing Intern
Nick joins MCE as an intern, excited and ready to contribute to MCE's goal of educating students and parents at the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District on the benefits of a "farm to table" program. Currently a Junior at Saint Louis University, Nick is majoring in marketing and minoring in environmental science. An avid outdoorsman and Missouri resident, Nick has enjoyed hiking, biking, and fishing all throughout Missouri, and is especially motivated to protect its fragile ecosystems for future generations.
Urban Agriculture and Planning Intern
Jo is excited to be working on issues of vacancy and urban agriculture this summer with MCE! She is originally from St. Louis and is currently a junior at Knox College majoring in Environmental Studies. She plans to continue working for environmental justice, throughout this summer and beyond. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, gardening, independent music, and theatre.
Food Waste Reduction Intern
Daun Lee is an undergraduate senior at Washington University in St. Louis from Birmingham, Alabama, majoring in Anthropology with a double minor in Writing and Business of Entertainment. On campus, she is a Food Associate at the Office of Sustainability and an active member of Net Impact, Writing Shelter, and Samulnori, a traditional Korean drum group. As someone who loves to eat and is concerned about the environmental threats the food industry poses, she is excited to work with MCE this summer to bring forth awareness and more solutions to alleviate food waste in St. Louis. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, trying new foods, cooking, and spontaneous road trips.
Farm to Table Intern
Sage is currently attending Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin going into her senior year. She is majoring in environmental science and geoscience with a focus on conservation, ecology, and GIS. Sage is from Belleville, Illinois, but hopes to explore another part of the U.S. when she moves on to graduate school. She wants to pursue a career in sustainable development and eco-justice. Sage is very excited to be working as the Farm to Table Intern with the Food & Farm Team and the Green Dining Alliance because food supply chains from the farm to institution are an integral part of modernizing a city to become more sustainable. Her role in connecting local farmers with interested restaurants helps boost local food sourcing in the St. Louis area to better support a more sustainable food system. She loves photography, hiking, and reading.
River Protection Intern
Sophie is an undergraduate student going into her fourth year at Washington University in St. Louis. She is pursuing majors in Environmental Policy and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies and hopes to work in the non-profit sector affecting agricultural policy and food justice. Sophie is from Burlington, Vermont but plans to stay in St. Louis after graduating in the spring of 2020. She is very excited to be interning this summer with MCE and working to mitigate the environmental harms of commercial agriculture in our state. Sophie likes to spend her free time cooking, hiking, biking, running and reading.
Kally rejoined the MCE board in the summer of 2015. She brings a breadth of non-profit environmental knowledge to MCE with her legacy as co-founder of the Friends of Ozarks Riverways, which works to foster awareness, appreciation, & respect for the history, culture, and natural splendor of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Living most her life along the Current River, Kally is an avid fisherman and spends much of her free time paddling and camping along Ozark streams. She also serves as a Board member of the Missouri Parks Association, previously served as a Board member of the Green Center, and was a former Board member of MCE in the early 2000s. We are lucky to have her back "on board!"
Eric is a documentary filmmaker, professional video producer, and photographer who has worked with several major Los Angeles production companies, Friends of the Ozark Riverways, Rumble to the River, THF Realty, Washington University, St. Louis Variety, The Ronald McDonald House, The Youth Technology and Education Center, and UPN TV, among others. His film work and photography essays have been exhibited in several cities around the country. Eric enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including paddling, camping, rock climbing, and hiking.
Thomas Leb joined MCE's board in 2016. Tom has worked in industrial sales for the last 10 years and currently works in sales and marketing for a structural steel fabricator. His experience working with both private and public entities will be an asset to MCE. In his free time, Tom enjoys recreation on public lands in Missouri including State Park, Missouri Conservation, National Forest and National Park areas. He studied Environmental History under Dr. Susan Flader, researched Mining in the Perche Creek watershed in Boone Co., MO. Follow his outdoor Missouri adventures on Instagram by searching #TrailsOfMissouri or #MOParksChallenge where he is currently a leader wishing someone would catch up and pass him!
Nadim Kanafani, MD
Board of Directors, Immediate Past President
Dr. Kanafani joined the MCE Board in 2014. He attended Washington University and obtained his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Kanafani is a board-certified pediatrician who has worked in a wide variety of practice settings since completing his training at St. Louis Children's Hospital in 2001. He is currently a pediatrician with the Glennon Care Pediatrics. He completed a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology in 2009 and has conducted research and advocacy work in the areas of nutrition, obesity, and the environmental determinants of health. Dr. Kanafani has a strong interest in advancing the organization's goals to link health and community well-being with environmental advocacy.
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.
David recently 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 coauthored the textbook, Chemistry: Its Role in Society and continues to write. He served as the first chairperson of Missouri’s Hazardous Waste Management Commission and worked at the EPA in Washington, D.C. David was a Congressional Science Fellow in 1980-81 working in Congressman Al Gore’s office on environmental issues. He has served on the Coalition Board for more than 20 years in various roles.
Board of Directors
As Curator of Environmental Life at the Missouri History Museum, David is responsible for the acquisition, research, interpretation, and care of artifact collections relating to transportation, agriculture, energy use, and natural resource exploitation and stewardship. David has worked in museum facilities management, exhibit production, education, and collections preservation for over 30 years. Having joined the board in 2002, he has served on the Policy, Board Development, and Fundraising and Development Committees and the Smart Growth Action Team. He began serving as President in 2008.
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 Directors
Arlene joined the Board in 1979. She was initially drawn to the organization to help the “construction work in progress” referendum relating to the Callaway nuclear power plant. Since then, she has worked on other nuclear campaigns as well as petition drives about land use and rivers. The Coalition attracted Arlene because it was the only activist organization around in the seventies. She still sees it as the best place for her volunteer energy. She recently retired from her position as librarian at Crossroads School.
Suzie currently works as a digital marketer for Beanstalk Web Solutions. She holds a self-designed bachelors degree in Environmental Sustainability from Webster University and was formerly the Food Distribution Coordinator at Gateway Greening, where she worked on an urban farm and ran a successful CSA program. In her free time, Suzie enjoys hiking, kayaking, and cooking. Suzie was an intern at MCE in the Food and Farm Program before joining the board in 2017.
Board of Directors
Bernard, "Buddy" Waxman is a retired professor of computer science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In that position, he served for six years as the chair of the Department of Computer Science and then as the acting dean of the School of Engineering before retiring. He has long been interested in environmental issues and has volunteered with the coalition as far back as the effort to stop the Callaway nuclear power plant. Because of their interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, he and his wife have both solar heating and solar electricity on their home.
Board of Directors