Rob brings a career’s worth of environmental, climate, and energy expertise to his advance clean energy solutions for Pennsylvania. As Energy Center director, he analyzes and provides expert comments and testimony on legislation and regulations. He works with regulatory agencies and clean energy industry experts on climate and energy issues and provides technical assistance and research on methane and fossil fuel impacts. Rob speaks extensively throughout Pennsylvania to students, community groups, and other organizations on climate and energy issues.
Rob has also provided testimony to the U.S. Environmental Protection and the White House and co-authored a chapter on federal climate policy in the 2nd edition of the book "Climate Change and US Law".
Rob previously spent nearly 22 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). He calculated and predicted emissions from factories, vehicles, and off-road equipment. That led to predicting concentrations of air pollutants for the Bureau of Air Quality using computer models. For several years, Rob was the primary forecaster for southcentral and Lehigh valley regions of Pennsylvania, deciding if days meet the parameters for air quality action days. He served as an executive policy specialist in DEP’s policy office advising the governor’s office and department executive staff on a variety of environmental and public health issues.
While working for DEP, Rob attended Widener Commonwealth Law School in the evenings. He graduated cum laude, earned certificates in both environmental law and administrative/constitutional law through Widener’s Law and Government Institute. He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania.
Rob worked in software development and systems administration. While serving in the U.S. Army Reserve, he commanded a combat engineer company and earned the U.S. Army Parachutist Badge jumping out of airplanes.
Rob is an avid hiker, serving on the board of directors of the Keystone Trails Association. He is also certified scuba diver and dived on shipwrecks in the Atlantic as well as local lakes and quarries. He travels extensively with his wife, Juliet, and is sure to get a few hikes in during his journeys.
Jay manages PennFuture's internal operations, implementing and overseeing the administrative, human resources, institutional, and financial functions of the organization. He works closely with the President/CEO and the Vice-President/Chief of Staff as well as the Board of Directors to ensure that PennFuture’s operations are efficient and effective.
Jay earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. in political science from SUNY Buffalo. Prior to assuming his current role, Jay served for many years as PennFuture’s Director of Outreach. He started his career as a professor at Temple University and, before joining PennFuture, worked with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) directing legislative advocacy programs, political mobilization campaigns, and fundraising efforts for its Pennsylvania state affiliate.
As a world traveler, Jay camped in the Sahara, paddled the Ganges, hiked in Europe, trekked in Asia, got lost in the Middle-East, and wandered in South America, taking note of the human impact on the planet throughout his journeys.
Emily manages PennFuture's issue campaigns, organizes coalition efforts, and maintains relationships with policymakers, members of the organization, and the general public. Overseeing a staff of experts, she is familiar with numerous environmental issues including watersheds, sustainability, urban issues, forest conservation, climate action, air pollution, and consumer energy issues.
She is the state lead for both the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed (CDRW) and Climate Action Campaign (CAC). Emily also manages the “Our Pocono Waters” campaign, an Exceptional Value (EV) stream designation community and legislative outreach campaign in the Pocono Mountains region.
Emily earned a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from Keystone College. She started her career as an Urban Resource Conservationist for Berks County Conservation District and then a Watershed Specialist at Pike County Conservation District prior to joining PennFuture’s team. She is currently a kayak instructor and water trail manager for the Endless Mountain Heritage Region, as well as an adjunct professor at Keystone College.
Born and raised in the Borough of Throop, PA, Emily is an avid angler, hiker, traveler, kayaker, camper, and birder. Emily’s love for birding has resulted in a nine-year stretch of volunteering at a bird banding station in Dalton, PA. It has also brought her to Costa Rica and Belize twice and to volunteer with Operation Ruby-throat, a program that tracks hummingbird and Neo-tropical migration patterns from North America to Central America.
Sarah is the Campaign Manager for Clean Water Advocacy in the Erie office. In this role she manages the Our Water, Our Future campaign advocating for clean water in the Lake Erie Watershed.
Sarah earned her B.S. and M.S. in Zoology at Michigan State University. She credits her undergraduate experience in Lyman Briggs College for teaching her the complexity of science, technology, and social issues. As a graduate student in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior program, Sarah continued to explore the interdisciplinary nature of biology with a focus on ecology.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Sarah was the Chairperson of the Biology Department and Co-Director of the Environmental Science program at Mercyhurst University. She also previously served as the university’s Sustainability Officer. In that role, Sarah oversaw university efforts toward sustainability, including energy benchmarking, and chaired the Green Team and Sustainability Fund Review Board.
Sarah has extensive experience working with community organizations, including Keep Erie County Beautiful, Erie2030 District advisory committee, the Children’s Water Festival planning committee, and the executive committee of Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter of Sigma Xi. Previously, Sarah led Adopt-a-Beach and International Coastal Cleanup teams and conducted a cigarette litter prevention program at Presque Isle State Park.
Sarah is a lifelong resident of the Great Lakes Region. She grew up in Michigan where her love of the outdoors began. She has fond memories of walks in the woods and camping at Ludington State Park. Sarah and her family moved to Erie in 2008. They have enjoyed the Erie area, especially the beautiful Presque Isle State Park. Sarah’s experiences have shaped her view that people can live productive, happy, and sustainable lives only when they are respectful and mindful of the world around them.
Jacquelyn Bonomo brings a career’s worth of national environmental leadership, personal activism and conservation efforts to her role as President and CEO of PennFuture. Prior to her promotion to this role, Bonomo served as the organization’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, with expert oversight of PennFuture’s departmental operations, vendors and contracts, fiscal planning and fundraising, as well as grant initiatives and strategic planning. During this time, she led PennFuture to stability on many levels, assembling a strong team of staff members while successfully managing finances and operations.
Prior to joining PennFuture’s executive team, Bonomo served as executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. There, she led the development of communications and policy frameworks to ensure accountability within the Environmental Protection Agency’s pollution reduction plan, convened thought leaders to solve problems and identify opportunities for network investments ranging from strategies to implement innovative best management practices, to investments in land protection, agricultural and stormwater arenas, to developing next generation programs in agriculture and capacity building.
Bonomo’s state expertise stems from nine years as vice president of conservation programs for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where she led budgeting, planning and the administration of the largest natural resource conservation program in the region, with staff in eight different locations. With her oversight, the conservancy increased its forest and water protection program and science operating budget over the course of eight years from $1 million to $5.7 million, while growing staff from 11 to more than 80 through 2007. Jacqui successfully won several multi-million dollar grants from major foundations, numerous large individual gifts and government grants and contracts.
Bonomo also has 13 years of experience in various leadership positions with National Wildlife Federation, working with 24 states and territories from Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C. locations. She has also previously served as executive director and vice president of the Maryland and D.C. state program of the National Audubon Society.
While Bonomo has worked throughout the country and traveled the world, she never strayed far from her roots. She is devoted to her extended family in Hazleton. A former whitewater guide, she still enjoys paddling, hiking and biking, bird watching, and fly fishing as well as learning Italian.
M. Travis DiNicola is a champion of mission-based nonprofits. Originally from Pennsylvania, most of his professional career has taken place in Indianapolis, where he served as the executive director of Indy Reads, an adult literacy organization, and the founder of Indy Reads Books, a nonprofit bookstore and community arts center.
He was also the co-host and producer of The Art of the Matter, a weekly arts talk show on WFYI public radio in Indianapolis, where he broadcast more than 2,000 interviews with artists, writers, and performers. Most recently, he served as the director of development for the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.
In addition, DiNicola has served on a number of nonprofit boards and committees. He is currently on the board of the Art Association of Harrisburg, Theatre Harrisburg’s Arts Awards Committee, the advisory board of WITF, and a member of the Harrisburg Rotary. He graduated from the Leadership Harrisburg’s Executive Leadership Series and previously served on the board of the Mount Gretna School of Art.
DiNicola received both his B.A. in Theatre with a dance minor and an M.S. in Art Education from Penn State. While at Penn State, he was recognized in 1996 for the Best Graduate Research in the Arts & Humanities for creating the original website for the Palmer Museum of Art. He and his wife, Michelle, like to kayak on the Susquehanna, where he fishes while she takes photographs. They have eight cats.
Emily is PennFuture's Director of Civic Engagement. In this role, Emily is helping to create a new non-partisan voter registration program for PennFuture, which will be active in the counties of Monroe, Northampton, Lehigh, Dauphin, York, Lancaster, and Luzerne.
Before joining PennFuture, Emily worked for STEP Inc. as Program Manager for STEP AmeriCorps, a national service program. During her time there, she helped create new partnerships within the community and managed state and federal policies and procedures regarding the AmeriCorps program.
She’s been a candidate for elected office and for a number of years managed field operations for the last U.S. Census in 13 north-central Pennsylvania counties. Emily is an active member of the Williamsport Junior League, a board member at the Community Theatre League, Chair of the Outreach Committee and Co-Organizer for TedX Williamsport.
Emily believes that every person has a voice. Her mission is to help underserved populations take a stand for themselves, their neighborhoods, their communities, and their environment. One voice, one choice begins change. Be that change.
Abby is Vice President of Legal and Policy at PennFuture. As Vice President, Abby is responsible for integrating PennFuture's legal, regulatory, and policy activities in furtherance of the organization's mission of protecting Pennsylvania's air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations.
In her role as an attorney based out of PennFuture's Mt. Pocono office, her work focuses on water quality and watershed protection, special protection waters, stormwater management, and public land and open space protection. Abby also works on the issues related to the petrochemical and fracking industries that are threatening the health of Pennsylvania's people and environment.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Abby was a Staff Attorney at Riverkeeper, where her work focused on civil litigation and administrative enforcement actions targeted at safeguarding the water quality and ecological integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries. Before that, Abby worked as an environmental attorney in New York City and Cheyenne, Wyoming. She has written about and presented on a variety of environmental issues including the regulation and legal challenges of Marcellus Shale development in New York, energy leases for private property owners in Western States, and the Superfund cleanup of the Hudson River.
Abby earned a B.A. from Cornell University, where she was a member of the nationally-ranked Division I Women’s Lacrosse team. She received her J.D. and Certificate of Environmental Law from Pace University School of Law, cum laude, being presented with the prestigious Henry M. Feldschuh Environmental Law Award upon graduation for her leadership in and dedication to environmental law.
When not working to protect Pennsylvania’s natural resources, Abby enjoys being outdoors and exploring them.
As the Field Coordinator for Upper Bucks County, Donna engages with the community to identify and mobilize around local environmental issues. She recruits, trains, and manages volunteers for conservation projects and advocacy work so that we can progress towards a more equitable and sustainable Pennsylvania.
Donna holds a B.A. in Political Science and Writing from Moravian College and a M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, where she focused her studies on the history of social movements.
Inspired by her academic studies to become an intentional agent of social and environmental justice, Donna completed two terms of service with the Student Conservation Association in Utah and California, one term with the California Conservation Corps in Yosemite National Park, and served for one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Winooski, Vermont, supporting the local refugee resettlement program.
Donna has been an active volunteer for the Sierra Club and PennFuture in the Lehigh Valley. She hopes to use her perspective as a volunteer and love of service to inform her organizing. Most recently, Donna served as the Outdoor Program and Outreach Coordinator for L.L. Bean.
In her spare time, Donna gets her kicks whitewater kayaking, backpacking, traveling, and reading dystopian literature.
Josh McNeil believes that a strong democracy and an engaged population are the best defenses for our shared environment. That's why he serves as the Vice President for Civic Engagement for PennFuture.
Josh grew up near Space Camp in Alabama, studied history at Yale University, then dove into the occasionally related fields of comedy and environmental politics. He got married a couple years ago and has a new son. While not a native Pennsylvanian, he just made one, and thinks that should count.
Josh is still goofy about his new family. Ironically, he cuts up trees to make furniture in his spare time.
Josh also serves as the Executive Director of Conservation Voters of PA.
In his role as the Field Manager, Michael works with citizens to play a more active role in conservation policy. He recruits, trains, and manages volunteers in central Pennsylvania to advocate for environmental issues.
Michael is motivated by the desire to improve Pennsylvania’s air quality, safeguard its water supply, and fight against climate change. For Michael, these issues are nonpartisan, which gives him hope that people of diverse backgrounds will act together to ensure long-term environmental health.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Michael was a Field Organizer with For Our Future, where he recruited, trained, and managed a team of canvassers in Dauphin, York, and Cumberland counties.
Michael has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Lock Haven University. While at Lock Haven University, he was Vice President of his environmental club, Speaker of his student government’s senate, and interned at the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.
Michael enjoys playing and watching soccer, fiddling with computers, listening to podcasts, biking on trails, and all things Star Wars.
Based in the Harrisburg office, Renee leads PennFuture’s clean water advocacy efforts in the Susquehanna basin and serves as the Pennsylvania state lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Renee served as an Associate Director of Clean Water Supply at American Rivers working in both the Delaware and Susquehanna river basins. At American Rivers, Renee focused on green stormwater infrastructure and municipal stormwater management. In her capacity as Associate Director, Renee also served on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Workgroup and on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Riparian Forest Buffer Advisory Committee.
Prior to joining American Rivers, Renee was the Pennsylvania Staff Scientist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) where she developed policies to protect healthy local streams. While at the CBF, she also coauthored the annual Milestone Report on Pennsylvania’s progress towards Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load goals as well as designed an Environmental Justice stormwater education program.
Renee holds a B.S. in Environmental Geography and a M.S. in Environmental Studies, both from Ohio University. When she is not hard at work, Renee enjoys spending her time exploring Penn’s woods and waters.
Annie focuses her work on promoting clean energy in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. PennFuture’s Clean Energy Pennsylvania is a program designed to accelerate the use of renewable energy and energy efficiencies at the community level throughout Pennsylvania. This program is being developed and piloted in Pittsburgh, and leverages the hunger of communities to self-determine a clean energy future.
With her new role, Annie will utilize resources such as papowerswitch.com and PennFuture's partnership with Solar United Neighbor's Allegheny Solar Co-Op project to local communities as well as working extensively within the Swissvale, Braddock, and Wilkinsburg to produce clean energy projects.
Annie previously worked as PennFuture’s Western PA Outreach Coordinator, working with the Breathe Collaborative to reduce air pollution in the region. Her work involved community and coalition outreach around stormwater management, renewable energy, environmental enforcement, and sound environmental policy.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Annie was a policy intern for American Forests and the environmental legislative intern for the office of Senator Robert Casey, Jr.
She earned an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree from American University (AU), majoring in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG) with a minor in Spanish.
Annie, a Pittsburgh native, enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with her cat, Lionel.
Tom Sacino is the Lower Bucks Coordinator for PennFuture and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.
Tom believes strongly in the idea that our democracy functions better when we all get involved and that our environment is going to be the leading issue of the 21st Century. In his role as a Field Coordinator, Tom looks to engage residents in Bucks County on local environmental issues and connect with our elected officials to create opportunities for constituents to show they want people prioritized over polluters.
Before joining the team, Tom graduated from La Salle University in 2019 with a degree in political science and history. While at La Salle, Tom worked on congressional, presidential and senatorial campaigns. Most recently he campaigned in Chester County with our strategic partner, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, in 2019 for the county commissioners race.
In addition, he served as an intern for the Mayor of Philadelphia's Office of Public Engagement and was the student body President his senior year.
When Tom isn’t out in the field, he’s probably checking out new museum exhibits, looking for a new book, finding a nice hiking trail, or playing his guitar.
Lena serves as PennFuture's "Campaign Manager, Clean Water Advocacy." In this role, Lena leads a high-impact campaign around clean water issues, focusing on elevating green stormwater infrastructure as a key environmental issue among Philadelphia's municipal leaders and residents.
Before joining PennFuture, Lena was a Senior New Jersey Organizer and Policy Advocate with Food & Water Watch, where she organized communities to protect the right to public water in Atlantic City. She also successfully lobbied the New Jersey Senate and other state policy makers around a fracking waste ban, as well as renewable energy policies.
Previously, Lena worked as a Food Justice Organizer with the St. Louis Interfaith Committee on Latin America, a Community Development and Agriculture Cooperative Outreach Practitioner with The Runa Foundation in Peru, a Community Organizer with the Alliance for Building Capacity, and as an Agriculture Volunteer with Peace Corps, Paraguay.
Lena holds a M.S.W. in Social and Economic Development from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.A. in Social Work and Spanish from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts.
Lena is a transplant from St. Paul, MN to Philadelphia, where she has lived for over four years. She enjoys running in the Wissahickon, throwing pottery, reading in Clark Park, and remaining active in her West Philadelphia community. Lena has traveled to more than 10 countries on 5 continents, speaks three languages, and has hiked the Inca Trail twice!
Based in Philadelphia, Matthew oversees all internal operations and programs to ensure that PennFuture is advancing the organization’s mission and strategic plan. He is a spokesperson for the organization and assists the president and CEO on all matters, including fundraising, public policy, advocacy, key relationships, external communications, and partnerships. Stepp leads and manages PennFuture’s senior staff on issues of strategy, coordination, and execution and previously served as PennFuture's Director of Policy.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Matthew served as the director of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation (CCEI) in Washington, D.C., where he managed and directed high-profile energy and climate policy initiatives at the state, national, and international level. He has testified before Congress and his work has appeared in numerous national and state news and media outlets.
Matthew was also a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellow at the National Academies of Science, where he worked with the Transportation Research Board to analyze light duty vehicle energy reduction policy strategies. He also served as fellow at the Breakthrough Institute, where he focused on clean energy innovation policy opportunities, and participated in the inaugural Millennial Trains Project.
Matthew holds a B.Sc. in Meteorology from Millersville University as well as a M.Sc. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a professional member of the American Meteorological Society.
Matthew was born and raised in Philadelphia and is an avid home brewer, amateur genealogist, and sports geek. His favorite band of all time is Pearl Jam.
Jared serves as the Director of Media Relations for PennFuture, where he oversees and manages all public communications, media relations, and communication campaigns for the organization. In that role, he supports PennFuture’s senior leadership team on all communications efforts and acts as a liaison between the organization and media outlets, other advocacy groups and the public. Though based in Pittsburgh, he was born in Philadelphia and grew up in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a few steps away from the Appalachian Trail. He spent every summer of his youth in the forests of Schuylkill County, which instilled in him a deep love of the outdoors.
Jared traveled west in 2003 to attend the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as an editor of the school’s student newspaper and graduated with dual degrees in journalism and political science in 2007. He’s worked for various media outlets since, with an emphasis on newspaper journalism.
He is an avid hiker and has visited nearly a dozen national parks, including Yellowstone (twice), Yosemite, Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, Sequoia and the Great Smoky Mountains, among others. Jared feels most at home enjoying the outdoors and the beautiful rolling hills of western Pennsylvania.
Jared lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and dog, and they welcomed their first child - a baby boy - in September of 2019.
Based in PennFuture’s Harrisburg office, Ezra Thrush leads and develops the organization's policy initiatives and is its liaison with elected officials in both Harrisburg and Washington D.C. In this role, Ezra manages all legislative and executive branch relationships as well as public policy decisions and processes for PennFuture.
As a member of the senior leadership team, Thrush serves as PennFuture’s chief lobbyist and external voice on policy positions, strategy, and relationships with decision makers at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Ezra also represents PennFuture on the Steering Committee of the Choose Clean Water Coalition.
Prior to serving as Director of Policy, Ezra worked as PennFuture’s Campaign Manager for Watershed Advocacy and state lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition, where he led high-impact outreach and communications campaigns around clean water issues affecting Pennsylvania’s environment and communities in the Susquehanna and Potomac River basins., Thrush focused on the Commonwealth’s waters, providing oversight and support of Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay plan and the state’s Watershed Implementation Plan. Ezra has worked extensively on state and federal issues, including stormwater management, clean water funding, agriculture, forest retention, the Farm Bill, climate change, and water infrastructure, among others.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Thrush served as the Advocacy and Coalition Coordinator at South Central Community Action Programs, working on criminal justice reform and human services policy issues. He also has served in previous roles in legislative and policy work on state environmental funding, public lands, and the Clean Power Plan, donor development, research and teaching, and program management at the New Birth of Freedom Council of Boy Scouts of America, Shippensburg University, and Sierra Club – Pennsylvania Chapter.
Ezra holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with concentrations in public policy and nonprofit management in addition to Bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science from Shippensburg University. He continues to write and speak in academic circles and his interests include stakeholder collaboration and public-private partnerships, collective governance, public participation, and solutions-oriented environmental policy.
Thrush enjoys volunteering as an instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the National Camping School, and local Boy Scouts camps. He is a proud member of the American Society for Public Administration and Pi Alpha Alpha, the global honor society for public affairs and administration. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association.
Ezra takes extra joy in hiking and traveling with friends in the outdoors, visiting family throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Broadway, Baltimore Orioles baseball, and spending quality time with his nephews.
Susanne is the personal contact for all PennFuture members and donors. She is responsible for major donor fundraising, stewardship, events, and communications. She works closely with executive leadership, board of directors, and major funders to grow the organization and foster financial sustainability.
Prior to working with PennFuture, Susanne was director of donor relations at the Kimmel Center Inc., where she was also the founding chair of the green committee.
Whitehead began her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the University of London, Kings College, in England, where she pursued oceanography, pharmacology, and genetics. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in biology with a minor in environment.
She was an active member of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's Citizens Committee and currently serves on the board of the Cheltenham Chamber of Citizens. Susanne enjoys time with family and is active in her local community and church.
Ellen oversees the statewide grant program and works closely with staff to manage our grants process. She also serves as a staff liaison to PennFuture’s board of directors.
Ellen has worked for numerous conservation organizations including the National Wildlife Federation, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, and has held a number of positions with the National Audubon Society. She brings a wealth of experience working for nonprofit conservation organizations and has extensive experience in both development and communications work.
A native of Rochester, New York, she attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and holds a bachelor's degree in Art and Art History from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.