We are working in many areas of our state to implement sustainability initiatives and we are fortunate to have a team of Resiliency Coordinators leading these efforts in their own communities. Meet our statewide team!
Kathy Sipple: Valparaiso
Kathy Sipple is the host of 219 GreenConnect environmental podcast, an author, a marketing consultant and founder of CoThrive Timebank. She is an Indiana Master Naturalist, a Master Recycler & Composter, and an Indiana Master Watershed Steward. She attended Climate Reality Leadership training with Al Gore in 2019 and has also trained to be a facilitator for Project Drawdown. She earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Kathy has volunteered with the Pachamama Alliance since 2017 and is also involved with many environmental projects in Northwest Indiana. She lives in Valparaiso, Indiana with her husband John and their black Labrador rescue dog, Bodhi. She enjoys gardening, learning about permaculture and hiking at the Indiana Dunes and other nearby natural areas.
Caroline NEllis: Evansville
Caroline Nellis was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, where she continues to reside. She has been an environmental activist and volunteer for many years, having been a current or past member of The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Indiana Moral Mondays’ Environmental Justice Working Group, Environmental Education Association of Indiana, and Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light. Caroline founded the interfaith Tri-State Creation Care organization, which is H-IPL’s metro-Evansville subsidiary. She volunteers as a member of the Solarize Evansville 2019 team and serves as the Indiana 8th District Liaison in the Evansville chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. An Indiana University – Bloomington graduate, Caroline worked as a freelance writer/photographer for much of her career, but became a Reiki practitioner at the master level in 2004 and a massage therapist in 2005. She continues to work part-time in that capacity, but also volunteers extensively to use her skills with the elderly and dying.
Alison Zajdel: Richmond
Alison Zajdel is the former Executive Director of Cope Environmental Center and recently started a business as a nonprofit consultant and project manager writing grant proposals, training new fundraising professionals, and whatever else is needed by her clients! While serving as the primary fundraiser for Cope, she received her Certificate in Fundraising Management from IU's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy while also being trained in marketing, planned giving, capital campaigns, grant writing, board development and other areas of fundraising/nonprofit management. Recent accomplishments include managing Cope's first major capital campaign for Indiana's first attempted Living Building Challenge project. Alison serves as the chair of the Richmond Environmental Sustainability Commission and volunteers for a wide variety of community organizations and events. She graduated from DePauw University in 2001 and currently lives in Richmond with her husband, Kyle, and two children, Maggie and Joel.
Jason Donati: Muncie
Jason Donati has been the Stormwater and Recycling Educator for the Muncie Sanitary District and Stormwater Management Department in Muncie and Delaware County since 2009. Jason was born and raised in Delaware County and returned home to Muncie in 2007 after serving two years in AmeriCorps and living for 6 years in Buffalo, New York where he helped coordinate a youth employment program that converted vacant lots into urban gardens addressing food insecurity on Buffalo's Westside. He has helped lead the Annual Delaware County White River Cleanup for the last 11 years and hosts an annual week-long youth camp called Camp Prairie Creek that educates over 100+ youth about environmental stewardship. He was elected to the Muncie Community School Board in 2016 and serves as the President of the Muncie Urban Forestry Committee, board member of the Cardinal Greenway, the Muncie Land Bank, Bike Muncie, the Emergency Management Advisory Council, and a former board President of Muncie-Delaware Clean and Beautiful. Jason is a founding member and co-facilitator of R.A.C.E. Muncie (Reconciliation Achieved through Community Engagement), a group that focuses on bringing people together. Jason resides in downtown Muncie with his wife Sasha and their four children.
Aiste Manfredini: Fort Wayne
Aistė Manfredini is the Communications & Outreach Coordinator at the Allen County Department of Environmental Management in Fort Wayne where she leads the department’s marketing and communications efforts.
Originally from Lithuania, Aistė immigrated to the Chicago area with her mother in 2000. She moved to Fort Wayne in 2017 after earning her M.A. in Emerging Media Design and Development and B.A. in Journalism at Ball State University. For her culminating creative project at the Center for EMDD in partnership with Earth Charter Indiana, Aistė developed the transmedia storytelling experience “My Climate Journey” to inspire young people in Indiana to take climate action in their communities.
Aistė has dedicated her career to communicating environmental issues and supporting communities to develop resilient solutions to navigate the climate crisis. She is a member of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Sustainability Directors Network, has written for several publications, and was named Fort Wayne Magazine’s “Fort Wayne Creative Under 30” list for 2019. She enjoys exploring new places, writing, and hiking local parks with her rescue pup Leila.
Iris O'Donnell Bellisario: West Lafayette
Iris O'Donnell Bellisario is a Senior at Purdue University pursuing a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science.
She has interned with the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, working with scientists and environmental impact groups throughout Indiana. Her philosophy is to breathe the message of climate change into everything she does.
She is a vegan, an advocate for animals and animal rights, and strives for daily behavioral changes that can help the planet. She also works with the Purdue Campus Master Planning and Sustainability Office on bringing sustainability messages across campus to students and faculty alike and hopes to bring about changes in the residential portion of campus.