Board of Directors


 

Rosemary Spalding

Board President

ROSEMARY GLASS SPALDING is an attorney with the law firm SPALDING & HILMES, PC, which practices in the area of environmental law. She was formerly General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Rosemary has taught courses on environmental issues in business transactions as an adjunct professor at the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington, and written and lectured on various natural resources and environmental law topics. Rosemary earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University (Phi Beta Kappa) and a J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Texas School of Law, Austin. She holds the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® PreeminentTM Rating and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of environmental law.

Rosemary and her husband Mark have lived in Irvington for over 25 years. Rosemary was a founding member and is immediate past President of the Board of the Irvington Development Organization. She is active in the Irvington Green Initiative and the Eastside Creation Care Network. Rosemary also has served on the Executive Committee of the Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, Earth Day Indiana Board, Indiana Solid Waste Management Board, the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, the Indiana Clean Manufacturing Advisory Committee and the Marion County Wellfield Education Corporation Board.

In 2012 Rosemary was named “Legal Advocate of the Year” by the Hoosier Environmental Council. In 2013 Citizens Energy Group honored Rosemary as one of its 125 Neighborhood Leaders and she received the Founders Award from the Historic Irvington Community Council. Rosemary and Mark enjoy gardening and spending time with friends on their back porch. Their backyard is a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.

“After years of being involved in environmental, public policy and social causes, I had become very disheartened by the extreme polarization and divisiveness in our country and, for the first time, I felt pessimistic about our future. When I discovered the Earth Charter, it reenergized me. The Earth Charter principles provide a positive, integrated and holistic approach to social change, and they are a very effective tool with which to analyze and communicate about the critical issues we face as a city, state, nation, and global citizen.”

Brian R. Pozen

board Treasurer

BRIAN R. POZEN leads the development, design and construction of affordable housing for The Englewood Group. He has been recognized as a Certified Green Professional by the National Association of Home Builders, which has served as the springboard into his involvement with Earth Charter Indiana and now serves as its treasurer. He hopes for a world that values compassion over greed, conservation over waste & cooperation over gridlock.

Born and raised in Illinois, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   He is also a member of the Urban Land Institute, volunteer for Camp Healing Tree and is completing his final examinations to become a licensed architect. In his free time, he enjoys sports, music and traveling. An adopted Hoosier since 1998, he currently resides in Broad Ripple with his wife Goda.

“If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed..” - Chinese Proverb

Kait Baffoe

Kait Baffoe is the Manager of Real Estate Development for Partners in Housing, where she oversees new affordable housing developments along with Partner’s current portfolio. Partners In Housing is dedicated to housing the most vulnerable populations through permanent supportive housing, using the housing first approach. Kait received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University-Bloomington and then went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, with a concentration on affordable housing from the University of Illinois- Chicago. Kait has spent a great deal of time traveling/living in developing countries where she saw first-hand the impact the environment can have on a community. Kait joined this cause because of her passion for environmental justice and the impact that the environment has on social order around the globe. 


Kate Franzman

Kate Franzman uses her 10+ experience in advertising, public relations, and journalism to effectively raise awareness and connect communities to sustainable agriculture, beekeeping and the environment. Through collaborative partnerships with nonprofits, cultural institutions and local schools, Kate has engaged the community through art, advocacy and action.  

Known as "a voice for the bees," Kate is also a beekeeper and the founder Bee Public, a local honeybee advocacy organization. Bee Public raises awareness about the plight of honeybees and other pollinators by keeping beehives in high-traffic areas including the Sky Farm and Eskenazi Health and along the Monon Trail at the Public Greens restaurant and micro farm. She also teaches beekeeping classes and makes presentations about the importance of bees to classrooms all over Indianapolis. 

In 2015, Bee Public and Earth Charter Indiana teamed up to launch Save the Bees Indiana and won a $10,000 grant from SustainIndy to focus on youth education, placing beehives at area schools and putting on a student-made honeybee art exhibit in collaboration with the Arts Council at the Artsgarden.


Andy Fry

Andy Fry is an artist, designer and musician. In addition to his work as creative director at Big Car Collaborative, he has maintained his own graphic design practice for over 15 years. He has a BFA in painting and a BA in philosophy from Indiana University, Bloomington.


Lauren Kastner

Lauren Kastner is committed to addressing social injustices and climate change through advocacy, youth leadership development, engagement between private and public entities, and international cooperation. Professionally, Lauren joined Cummins Inc. as an Environmental Sustainability and Policy Senior Analyst in 2013 after graduating from Indiana University-Bloomington with degrees in journalism and public affairs. While in college, Lauren led a four-year Campuses Beyond Coal campaign that secured a commitment to transition the university to clean energy. Lauren joined the Board of Directors of Earth Charter Indiana in 2015 and is a national youth leader with the Sierra Student Coalition, the Sierra Club's youth chapter, and is a delegate to the 2015 United Nations climate talks in Paris.


Larry Lindley

Larry Lindley is a retired home missionary from the Edna Martin Christian Center in Indianapolis and an ordained American Baptist minister. He has a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, where he is currently an adjunct faculty member. He also has a BA from Knox College, an MA from Indiana University, and a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Washington. He is currently President of the Community Outreach Ministry Eastside, Director of Operations for the Interfaith Hunger Initiative, Treasurer for the Cumberland Arts Fair, President of the Sugar Creek Trail Committee, and an activist for Bread for the World. He enjoys writing, photography, and Legos. He resides in New Palestine with his wife and two cats.

“There are few documents more widely relevant to today’s situation than the Earth Charter. I appreciate that it covers the gamut of important issues for the well-being of humanity.”

Steve Miknis

Originally from Battle Creek, Michigan, Steve moved to Indianapolis in 2016 to join the Indiana Pacers organization.  He connected with Earth Charter Indiana last year after looking to be active in sustainability efforts in Indiana after doing similar work around the Michigan area.  

Steve now works in group events with the Indiana Pacers organization and is looking forward to bringing his energy and experience to the Going Green initiative at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.


Dani Miller

Dani Miller is a Real Estate Analyst at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority as well as a Culinary Tour Guide with Taste Indy Food Tours. Dani was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri before going to Hanover College to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology. She now resides in downtown Indianapolis with her younger sister.

Dani is very passionate about healthy living and believes every person has the right to fresh, healthy foods. She believes the study of food to be one of the best ways to connect people back to the natural environment in order to understand the importance of living sustainably. Because of this, she is interested in urban agriculture and how local food systems can be tools for economic and community development through tourism and education.

When she has time, Dani enjoys volunteering at local urban farms and supporting Indianapolis-based organizations. She spends most of her time in the gym, kitchen, and on her bike and yoga mat.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” –Jane Goodall

Sara Pugh

Sara Pugh joined the ECI board in May 2013 and serves on the Development Committee.   She is the Coordinator of Volunteer Services at Volunteers of America of Indiana where she has worked since July 2007. Sara served as a U.S. Peace Corps Community Economic Volunteer is Lesotho, Africa and as an AmeriCorps VISTA leader at Horizon House in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sara holds a Masters in Public Affairs with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and a BFA with a concentration in Glass. Sara enjoys spending time with her dogs in her back yard (that is the home to 10 new fruit trees!) and creates art related to nature and environmental impact. Art projects include creating large-scale pictures with scraps of paper and 9 feet tall puppets of Indiana endangered species and other animals of interest like honey bees due to the issue of colony collapse.


Patricia Waters

Patricia Waters joined ECI’s board in October 2016.

She brings over 25 years’ experience with development, integration, and delivery of community-based health and education services-along with 20+ years of family rearing, home ownership, and community development volunteer work and project leadership in Indianapolis, IN- to the table. Life experiences from a western Michigan lakeshore childhood, to ‘growing up’ adventures in: Vancouver B.C., Petaluma California, Ann Arbor Michigan, Bloomington Indiana, Cape Breton Nova Scotia, greater metro Boston Massachusetts and right here in Indianapolis, have deepened her commitment to protection and conservation of natural resources, exploring systems for sustainable living, and supporting cultural diversity. Patricia is developing a small business, [Indy Living Services] POP UP,endeavoring to build a sustainability-driven metro area outfitting service to set up and equip personal, family and community occasions, happenings, and events.

She is a Hoosier Environmental Council Green Business member, and an active member of: Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indy Food Coop/Pogues Run Grocer, IndyCog, and the Irvington Development Organization with involvements in Friends of Ellenberger Park, Reconnecting to Our Waterways, and Sierra Club/Beyond Coal.

Be More. Together.” - a fitting personal motto for my aspiration to cultivate community and joyful, mindfully balanced living.”

John Young

John Young is a staff scientist at Keramida Inc., an environmental consulting firm. John also has experience as a grant administrator in Austin, TX, as well as experience in journalism as a circulation manager and freelancer. A passion and interest in the outdoors and literature led John to a course of study in Biology and English at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. John later continued his education by earning a Master’s of Science in Plant, Environmental and Soil Science at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where his course of study focused on particulate matter and air quality. An Indianapolis native, john has recently moved back to Indianapolis with his wife, Chelsea. In his free time John enjoys running, playing basketball, and wading the White River fishing for smallmouth bass.

“I joined the board of directors at Earth Charter Indiana to work with Hoosiers on important issues. The ability to affect meaningful change at the local level is a wonderful opportunity. Indiana is a state full of natural beauty, and a state that has plenty of room to grow in terms of achieving an environmentally friendly, socially just, and sustainable future.”

INTERNS

Emma Knuttel: I am a current Indiana University student going into my senior year, with a major in Law and Public Policy and minors in Environment and Sustainability Studies (focusing on sustainable energy and resources) and Communication and Culture. I was born and raised in Indiana and have always been passionate about environmental issues and social issues, and more recently have become more interested in their intersection. I am especially interested in climate change and its current and future effects on populations, and want to help persuade environmental policy to better protect the environment and people. I have worked as a photographer and writer for IU’s International Office when I studied abroad in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and work for the School of Public and Environmental Health, where I will next year be working to bring environmental speakers and presentations to SPEA. I am excited to get more involved in Indiana’s growing environmental movement, advocacy, and politics!

Sam Mirpoorian: Sam is a director, editor, writer and producer. His first feature film, a documentary entitled Unchartered: The Truth Behind Homelessness, inspired Indianapolis to adopt the nation’s first Homeless Bill of Rights. The film was re-edited by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers, and has been screened at Harvard, the US Department of Justice, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington D.C. with former President Barack Obama’s staff. The film was an official selection for the 2016 Indy Film Festival, and has received distribution through Indie Rights Movies and is available for rent or purchase on Amazon and Google.

Sam just completed his second film, a documentary on climate change, Little Warriors, which will enter the festival circuit this summer and seek distribution this fall. You can check out his web site here.

Donna Riner: I am a sophomore at DePauw University majoring in Environmental Biology and minoring in Geosciences. My passion for the environment was sparked by a high school Environmental Science course, however, nature has always held a special place in my heart. Some of my earliest memories include helping my mom plant flowers, studying ants, and marveling at the enormous Magnolia trees in my backyard. I am an Environmental Fellow at DePauw as well as a member of the DePauw Women's Volleyball team. During my freshman year, I got involved with the campus farm, attended the Indiana Small Farms Conference, and volunteered at several other farms. As an Environmental Fellow, I took on a project to promote the importance of pollinators on campus. I am driven to increase the consciousness of people about the food they eat and water they drink, as well as the beauty of the Earth around them. These experiences deepened my determination to make a difference in environmental issues, share my passion with those around me, and make a positive impact on the planet we all call home. To learn more about my experiences during my freshman year, you can visit my blog.

Sam Skipper: I was born in Indianapolis and raised in Zionsville, IN. I am currently a junior at Hanover College majoring in Political Science and minoring in Environmental Studies and in Economics. As a life long vegetarian I have always had a passion for the environment. However, during my sophomore year I felt a call to action when I took the class “Environmental Policy in Ecuador”. Our class went to the Amazon Rainforest, the Galapagos Islands, and other national parks in Ecuador. There we examined how third world countries have to sacrifice their culture and environments to attempt to reach the standard of living common in developed nations. But, we also observed how local governments and non-for-profits are working to balance conservation with development. When I graduate, I will pursue this issue through a career in environmental policy abroad. This fall I will gain more perspective studying at Kookmin University in Seoul, South Korea where I will take classes in environmental management and conservation.

Staff


Jim Poyser

Executive Director

Jim Poyser left his 2-decade career in journalism because of his urgency regarding climate change and future of our children and our children’s children. Thus he is the luckiest guy on earth to have joined Earth Charter Indiana as its executive director in September, 2013, to engage Indiana young people in climate leadership. He has been trained by the Climate Reality Project and has presented to over 10000 people, including live presentations, radio interviews, sermons and a TEDx talk. His climate change game show, The Ain’t Too Late Show, advances his mission of bringing humor to the heavy subject of climate change.

Jim was born in South Bend, then lived in Bloomington where he received his degree from IU (Telecommunications and English). His over 30 plays have been performed throughout Indiana, as well as Chicago and New York City. He is an award winning journalist and a published fiction writer, essayist and haiku poet. He lives on the White River with his wife.

Favorite Earth Charter quote: To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny.

You can follow Jim's adventures on his Climate Chronicles blog.


John Gibson

State Coordinator, Sustainable Indiana 2016

John Gibson is the State Coordinator for Earth Charter Indiana’s bicentennial initiative, Sustainable Indiana 2016. Prior to this position John directed the activities of the Institute of Cultural Affairs in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.   He and Mrs. Gibson (Anita, who died mid-December of 2011) traveled extensively abroad and spent over a year coordinating a social and economic development project in Sungai Lui, Malaysia. John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from South Dakota State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theology Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He and Anita have three children and two grandchildren.

Mr. Gibson is a co-founder of the Earth Charter movement in Indiana and has had a leadership role in its activities since the organization began in 2001. In 2010 he stepped down from the Executive Director position to focus his efforts on ECI’s bicentennial initiative. In this position he has recruited and coordinates a state-wide staff of 15 volunteer green-legacy leaders who discover, catalog and showcase Hoosier-based climate solutions as a bicentennial legacy.

In 2010 Gibson received the Cultural Vision “Lifetime Achievement Award” from NUVO, Central Indiana’s major weekly news magazine. In 2012 he was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Hoosier Environmental Council.

“I get up every day grateful to be alive, to have so many Earth Charter friends, and to have a place among them in making the world safer and more sustainable for generations to come.”

Shannon Anderson

Shannon Anderson is the Director of Communications for Sustainable Indiana 2016, the Bicentennial Legacy Project of Earth Charter Indiana. Her academic background is in cell biology, with many years of laboratory research on fundamental mechanisms that direct the life cycle of an eukaryotic cell and how DNA compression is managed. Her political advocacy background includes being a field organizer for Obama for America in 2007-8 and working on many other election campaigns, be they for candidates or specific issues, in the Greater NYC Area. She moved to Indiana in 2013 and immediately became active in the Indiana Climate Collaboration, Indiana Moral Mondays where she serves as the Chair of Legislative Action, the Indy Art Media Coop, and in Power Indy Forward.   

"I joined SI2016 because, for me, it has always been about the environment: to take the message, information, and urgency of reducing our damaging impact on the planet to Hoosiers is exactly what I wake up wanting to do every day. I’m very lucky that I get to be a part of this project which is all about protecting this beautiful world for my child and yours."

Judy Voss

Deputy State Coordinator for Sustainable Indiana 2016, Judy Voss moved to Indianapolis over three years ago to work with her brother, John Gibson, on a state wide bicentennial initiative of Earth Charter Indiana called Sustainable Indiana 2016. She is a Retired Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church of the Missouri Annual Conference. Judy served on Conference Boards and Commissions, Directed Summer Youth Camps and was the Senior Pastor of several congregations before her retirement in 2010.

Prior to entering the ministry, she worked eighteen years in hospital administration at Munson Army Hospital at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.After her retirement, Judy became an advocate for Justice issues such as Immigration, Single Payer Health Care for All, Living Wage, Woman’s Health Care, Interfaith Worker Justice and World Peace. Currently she is active in Community Faith and Labor Coalition and Indiana Moral Mondays. Judy holds a Masters in Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri and Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas.

 

Honorary Green Ambassadors


Richard Brendan Counselor, teacher, humanitarian and radio talk show host

Bill Brown LEED AP architect, Indiana University’s Sustainability Director

Philip Gulley Author, story teller, and Quaker pastor

Rick Lopez Civic leader, conservationist, philanthropy consultant

Carrie Newcomer Songwriter and performer

Judy O'Bannon Former first lady of Indiana and the hostess of WFYI’s “Communities Building Community”

Pat Payne Director of Multi-Cultural Studies for Indianapolis Public Schools

Scott Russell Sanders Professor author of twenty books and conservation advocate

Sara Snow Natural Living Expert, TV Host, Author