Rosemary glass 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.
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 and 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.
Samantha Buran, Board Secretary
Samantha Buran is passionate about protecting what’s left of our environment. She enjoys photographing Indiana’s wild places, running, and spending time with loved ones. Samantha works as a graduate research assistant at the IU Public Policy Institute under the newly formed Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy. She is currently pursuing an MPA degree through SPEA at IUPUI.
Rebecca Berfanger is a solo attorney, freelance journalist, and adjunct professor in Indianapolis. As a law student at IU Robert McKinney School of Law, she worked with the Conservation Law Center researching legal issues that affect Hoosiers, and earned a graduate certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law, including courses in Environmental Justice, Environmental Compliance, and even River Law, comparing the Ozark National Scenic Riverways to the Indiana natural, scenic, and recreational river system. Shortly after law school, she worked for Environmental Services at the Indiana Department of Transportation reviewing locally and federally funded projects for compliance with federal laws. She currently splits her work time representing clients in civil legal matters, writing about arts and non-profit organizations for central Indiana magazines, and teaching media law and ethics to undergraduate journalism students at her alma mater of Ball State University. She also has a Master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. When she’s not working, she’s either riding a bike, cross stitching a pattern she bought off of SubversiveCrossStitch.com, or bragging about the energy she saves by using a reel lawn mower on her (tiny) lawn.
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 B.F.A. in painting and a B.A. in philosophy from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Amber Janzen is passionate about sustainability and community resiliency. This led her to receive her B.A. in Anthropology with a Minor in Sustainability and eventually with her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at Ball State University. This passion has extended into her professional career where she currently holds a position as a community planner for HWC Engineering. Her work primarily focuses on comprehensive planning, economic development and thoroughfare planning for communities across the state of Indiana. Previously, Amber was a Planner and Placemaker in Residence for Big Car Collaborative, a local arts nonprofit driven to strengthen human connection through art and placemaking. Amber currently lives in Garfield Park with her boyfriend and her cat. She often spends her time at local farmers markets and engaging with the Garfield Park Community.
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 B.A. from Knox College, an M.A. 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.
Originally from Battle Creek, Michigan, Steve Miknis 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.
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 B.F.A. 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.
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.
Maddie Brooks, a 17-year-old senior at Herron High School, is interning with Earth Charter Indiana for the 2018-2019 school year. Labeled as a “youth eco-activist,” Maddie has been fighting for her climate for the last five years. She is a passionate and dedicated person, fully invested in the idea of protecting not only her environment, but the future that lies ahead of her. Maddie has worked on numerous projects over the last few years including the Indianapolis climate recovery resolution and testifying against the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission. Maddie believes youth involvement in the fight against climate change is refreshing and incredibly dire. She strongly believes the issue of climate change should be pertinent in everybody’s life because before too long, it will be in everyone’s life and they won’t have the option of caring about it. Because of her strong beliefs and emotional attachment to the issue of combating climate change, she enjoys this field of work and wants everyone else to as well.
Want to hear Maddie talk about her activism? See here.
Cleveland Dietz is a senior journalism major and policy studies minor at IUPUI. As a communications intern at Earth Charter Indiana, he helps tell the story of climate change, its global and local impacts and the possibilities for mitigating them. Prior to coming to Earth Charter Indiana, he was general manager of a community radio station and a staff reporter for a community newspaper. Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia gave him a profound respect for the waters and wildlife around it, but moving to Indiana made the threat of climate change apparent to him. Like so many others, he went through thousands of years worth of intense rain events in a couple of decades, beginning in Martinsville, Indiana in 1993 and most recently in Ellettsville in 2015. Research suggests the situation will continue to worsen in the Midwest regardless of what is done now, but its severity can be curbed if action is taken. Cleveland believes mid-sized and large actors will play a critical role in mitigation.
Molly Denning is a senior at Indiana University - Bloomington studying marine ecology and sustainability and will be graduating in May 2019. She hase been working with Earth Charter Indiana since 2014 and serves as one of the youth leaders for Youth Power Indiana. She is passionate about community activism and inspiring youth. These organizations continue to do amazing things in her community and constantly inspire her to do good. She loves being part of the ECI family and hopes to see continued growth in her community in the future.
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 was 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. He is Producer and reluctant star of Little Warriors.
You can follow Jim's adventures on at his blog, Climate Chronicles.
Shannon Anderson, Assistant Director
Shannon Anderson is the Assistant Director for ECI and formerly Communications Director for Sustainable Indiana 2016, our Bicentennial Legacy Project. 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 served as the Chair of Legislative Action, and in Power Indy Forward.
John Gibson, Resilient Indiana Field Director
John Gibson currently serves as the project coordinator for the ECI Program, Resilient Indiana. He was the formerly 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.