Rosemary glass spalding, board president
Rosemary has been active in various environmental advocacy organizations since she celebrated the first Earth Day while in college. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club and Earth Day Indiana Board, was a founding member of Irvington Green, and has supported other worthwhile organizations such as the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Indiana Forest Alliance, Earth Justice and the Natural Resources Defense Council. She currently is on the Creation Care Commission for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and represents Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church as a member of the Eastside Creation Care Network. As an attorney who practiced in the area of environmental law for over 30 years, Rosemary’s legal career included serving as General Counsel for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. She and her husband Mark recently downsized to a small home nestled in the woods near Fall Creek, where they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife from their back porch treehouse.
“After years of being involved in environmental, public policy and social justice causes, I had become very disheartened by the extreme polarization and divisiveness in our country and, for the first time in my life, I began to feel pessimistic about the future of our planet and its inhabitants.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 local, state, national, and global citizens.”
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.
Growing up, Jennifer listened quietly to the wisdom of the trees. Fortunate enough to have nature as her backdrop in her rural Indiana upbringing, Jen inherently knows the importance of preservation. But with the blessings of the forest, she spread her wings to New York as soon as she graduated from Indiana University in search of new adventure in unfamiliar terrain. By staying open to every opportunity, she worked for legendary institutions in television and film such as Saturday Night Live, MTV, Miramax Films, and NBC. Deciding to get a little closer to home, she made an abrupt change in career when she enrolled in the Aveda Institute of Chicago. Aveda’s mission for environmental leadership and responsibility deeply resonated with Jen. The oldest in her class, she found herself in somewhat a “mentern” (part mentor/ part intern) position as she went from flashy lights to sweeping floors as an apprentice. Having the richness of life experience behind her enabled her to tune into her client’s needs and truly see how to be the most useful to her guests. When it was time to get even closer to family, she moved to Indianapolis where she soon realized the chance to become an entrepreneur. With so much to learn, she whole-heartedly jumped into owning a business. Her hard work and perseverance paid off and she was able to sell her Broad Ripple salon in 2018. Since then, she’s been exploring new and old passions with more awareness and joy as life continues to take its twists and turns that is Jennifer’s path. She is grateful to share this life with her husband Doug and six-year-old daughter, Ruby.
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.
Mike Blackwell is a lifelong proponent of global stewardship. He is an attorney at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), a 501(c)(4) organization that operates the electric power transmission system throughout 15 U.S. states. Mike practices before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, focusing his work on the interconnection of new generation resources and the adoption of advanced technologies in the electric power sector. Mike received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University with high distinction in economics and business management, and graduated from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law with concentration in the fields of energy, environmental, and natural resources law. He most often enjoys biking, yoga, jazz improvisation, and new adventures.
Dr. Gabriel Filippelli is a Professor of Earth Sciences and Directs the Center for Urban Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His research and writing is aimed at climate change impacts on the environmental and on human health, and resultant human exposures to beneficial and harmful environmental components. He also works on small spatial and temporal scales in urban environments, relying strongly on citizen-science and community-engaged research to both understand the science and to motivate community action on environmental health. He publishes widely in scientific journals and informal venues, is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal GeoHealth, has research funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Indiana State Department of Health, is a Fellow of the International Association of GeoChemistry, is an Air Quality Fellow of the U.S. State Department, and serves on the Senior Leadership Team of the Indiana University Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge.
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.
Tim Nation is cofounder and executive director of Peace Learning Center, a community educational institution that teaches peace building and communication skills to youth and adults. With a background in management and public relations, Nation previously served as Indiana AmeriCorps Director and Director of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy. He is a graduate of Indiana State University and a Terre Haute native. Nation serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and the Indianapolis Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network. He was named a “Distinguished Hoosier” by Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon. Peace Learning Center has served more than 250,000 people in Indianapolis since its inception in 1997. Growing worldwide, Peace Learning Center now has programs in eight USA cities and five countries and is a proud founding partner of Climate Camp.
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.
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.
Alicia Nygra is an undergraduate student at IUPUI, pursuing her degree in Environmental Science with minors in Chinese and Sustainable Management. Her dedication to sustainability takes root in her passion to serve others, especially the food insecure. She is interested in the quality of our food, water, soil, and air, both on a local and global scale. Alicia was unaware of environmental issues until she took an AP Environmental Science class in high school, where she was completely shocked by the realities of climate change. As a result, she now hopes to educate youth on these important issues with the goal of empowering her own generation and those that follow. Alicia firmly believes in the power of lifestyle changes to combat environmental problems and likes to focus on the positive changes that are happening in her community and around the world.
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.
Christine Slover is a first-year Environmental Studies major at Butler University. She grew up in Versailles, Kentucky surrounded by agriculture and horses. She has always loved animals, and her interest in the environment was fostered by her third grade teacher and family. Christine is self-motivated and unafraid to stand up for her beliefs. Her positive and compassionate outlook on life infuses energy into our most dire issue - climate change. She enjoys working with people of all ages to educate the importance of one’s impact and to promote a positive and intentional lifestyle. Christine strives to be an authentic steward of earth.
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.