Ellen has been working at the intersection of environmental sustainability and energy issues for the past 35 years.
She founded and led her own company, Clean Markets, for 11 years, and held senior leadership positions for the US Department of Energy, Exelon Corporation and Gamesa. After successfully selling Clean Markets in 2019 she has been happily retired and volunteers for numerous organizations she is passionate about.
She is an avid hiker, biker and kayaker, and loves spending recreational time with her children. Currently Ellen is enrolled in ongoing courses in herbal medicine. She has lived in Philadelphia since 1981.
Cecily Kihn has retired from the Agua Fund, a foundation that concentrates on environmental protection, social services, and civic engagement. Over the course of her career, she has worked in the US Senate, the US Department of Interior, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Island Press. She has a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Harvard University.
She is a longtime resident of Center City Philadelphia and a Board member of Conservation Pennsylvania, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania and PennFuture. From 2006 to 2013 she was a Democratic committee person in Ward 8. In 2008 and 2012 she was an active member of Center City West Neighbors, a group that aimed to increase voter turnout.
Since retiring after nearly half a century as Director and Curator of the Erie Art Museum, John Vanco has devoted his time to building a better community with an emphasis on environmental awareness, especially efforts to mitigate and cope with the effects of global climate change. From 1968 to 2017 he led the Museum through repeated expansions, culminating in the 2010 LEED Gold-certified building that connects five historic buildings into one complex. He developed a comprehensive green operations policy for the Museum, as well as an exhibit explaining the building’s green aspects. In 2011 the Museum received the nation’s highest honor, the National Medal for Museum Service, and in 2015 was honored with the Sustainability Excellence Award in Programming in 2015 by the American Alliance of Museums.
During his tenure at the Museum, Vanco organized more than 500 exhibitions, including a series of Environmental Art Fairs, promoting green awareness through art exhibits and performances. He led environmental art projects such as The Feather at Presque Isle and the Outdoor Classroom at the Multicultural Community Resource Center. He founded and continues to direct Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival, the community’s only green festival, now in its 26th year.
Carlos Claussell Velez (he/his/el) is a climate change and environmental professional with over 10 years of experience driving equity and community-centered processes and working with community-based organizations, non-profits, government and philanthropic entities committed to advancing climate justice and equity strategies at the local, regional, state and national level. He currently serves as the Climate, DEI and Environmental Justice Manager for the World Wildlife Fund focusing on advancing equitable strategies for the America is All In and Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC). Carlos also serves as Vice-Chair for the City of Philadelphia’s Inaugural Environmental Justice Advisory Commission (PEJAC), tasked with advising the Mayor, City Council and Office of Sustainability on environmental justice issues and advocating for environmental justice communities in the City. Carlos is a 2022 Climate Justice Design Fellow from Harvard University, 2022 Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) fellow, a 2020 Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow, and a Board Member for Taller Puertorriqueño, a community-based cultural organization that uses art to promote development within the Puerto Rican community and the Latino Diaspora in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Prior to joining WWF, Carlos worked as a Senior Program Officer at the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), serving as the National Program Office Lead for The Kresge Foundation Climate Change, Health & Equity Initiative (CCHE), as the Urban Conservation Project Manager for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) North America’s Cities Network tasked with supporting the implementation of Philadelphia's Green City Clean Waters Plan, and as the Urbanism & Infrastructure Project Manager for the Caño Martin Peña ENLACE Project Corporation, an internationally renowned community-led initiative and winner of the 2016 United Nations World Habitat Award. Carlos holds a master’s degree in architecture and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Puerto Rico.
R. John Dawes, Executive Director and Co-Founder (The Commons) - John is currently the lead for project strategy with a focus on system design and product development for The Commons. Originating as a small fiscally sponsored program delivering GIS services and information design to environmentally focused organizations, John grew the Commons into a stand-alone nonprofit organization that delivers leveraged products and digital services to organizations working to improve water quality. Prior to founding the Commons, John worked at Environmental Integrity Project as a Research Analyst, mapping public and private drinking water wells and their proximity to hazardous coal ash impoundments. John graduated from Juniata College with a B.A. in Environmental Policy and holds a M.S. in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Johns Hopkins University. He is a self taught front-end software developer, an avid cyclist, and manages his family’s grass-fed Angus beef operation located in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.
Alyssa Edwards has over 18 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, focusing on wind and solar energy. Her expert knowledge of wildlife regulations, permitting and sitting issues that impact renewable energy development, construction and operation have helped advance more than 10GW of executed projects.
In her role as Senior Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Government Relations, Alyssa along with her team, leads on environmental compliance and permitting for development, construction and operational phases for the U.S. portfolio. Additionally, they’ve created a successful biodiversity program in the U.S. that supports our global sustainability objectives.
Alyssa also manages government relations in the United States. Through extensive stakeholder engagement with legislators, regulators and environmental organizations she promotes renewable energy policies and legislation at the local, state and federal levels. Alyssa has highly established governmental agency and stakeholder relationships regionally and nationally and has served on advisory councils, committees and boards.
Alyssa holds a B.S. Environmental Science, Lehigh University and an M.S. Environmental Policy, Planning and Regulation from The London School of Economics and Political Science.
Ann is honored to serve on PennFuture's board and believes that a healthy environment is a fundamental component of human health.
She is a Certified Oncology Nurse, currently working as a Clinical Research Coordinator. Advocacy is inherent to her profession and carries over to her volunteer activities. A member of The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Ann also serves as chair of the Brodhead Watershed Associations Climate Action committee and is a current board member and past officer.
She is an active participant in Trout Unlimited’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Climate Change workgroups, and is dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for all while working to protect our cold water resources for future generations. She also serves on the board of Brodhead Chapter Trout Unlimited, where she remains dedicated to their Stream Girls program, a STEM program for girls that helps break down barriers in science and the outdoors.
Ann is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and is a lifelong resident of northeastern PA where she has lived within 20 miles of the free-flowing Delaware River for most of her life. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains where you may find her casting a line in the Paradise Creek that flows behind her cottage.
Joyce has experience with community and economic development, with expertise in entrepreneurship consulting. She is also proficient in visioning and early stage project management, including branding, marketing, graphics, social and traditional media, as well as effective group facilitation, public engagement and team consensus-building utilizing the Art of Hosting techniques (World Cafe, Open Space Technology and Graphic Illustration.) She is an experienced host for online and physical gatherings of up to 100 participants. Other skills include collaborative project development, business plan development, proposal writing, program and grant structuring.
As someone who had witnessed the impact policymakers have had on public education and environmental policy during his long tenure teaching in the classroom, McCarter decided to run for public office to make a difference in the halls of the state Capitol. He believed the General Assembly needed to refocus its agenda toward environmental action, assisting middle-class families and helping those who are less fortunate.
Before joining the Legislature, McCarter spent his career educating future generations as a high school teacher in the Abington and Lower Merion school districts for 35 years. He also served as Lower Merion High School's director of community service and directed a joint Archaeology program between the National Park Service and the school district. In addition, he was an adjunct professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Fulbright Exchange Teacher to the United Kingdom. McCarter also served as a local and regional Pennsylvania State Education Association president and member of PSEA’s Board of Directors.
During his eight years in the PA House he proposed and supported legislation that provides a quality education for all our children, makes health care and higher education more affordable, protects our environment and creates good family-sustaining jobs. He was the creator of the Pennsylvania Legislative Climate Caucus and served as its Chairman and Co-Chairman from 2016-2020. With more than seventy members the Caucus was influential in encouraging Governor Tom Wolf to join the U.S. Climate Alliance and begin the process of joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. In addition, McCarter has been a leading advocate for protecting endangered species, a sensible Severance Tax on Natural Gas and improvements to Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.
McCarter served on the following House Committees: Appropriations, Education, Environmental Resources and Energy, Aging and Older Adults, Children and Youth, Commerce, and Game and Fisheries.
McCarter is a retired captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. He is the recipient of numerous teaching and community awards.
McCarter is an alumnus of Temple University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education. He earned a Master's of Science degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.
He and his wife Deborah have lived in Cheltenham Township for more than 30 years, currently residing in Glenside.
Jennifer Swann is committed to environmental sustainability.
As a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences she has worked with faculty, staff and students to address food insecurity and waste on Lehigh University’s campus. Her work with members of the Easton Hunger Coalition secured an Infy Maker Award for a battery powered cooler to assist in gleaning food from local farms.
She is an active member of Allentown’s Environmental Advisory Council where she advocates for reduction in single use plastics. She is the president of the board of directors of the Coalition for Appropriate Transportation which advocates for micro-mobility in part to improve our environment.
Suzette Munley is a COO with 20 years’ experience scaling talent, financial and operational efficiencies to grow purpose-driven organizations into sustainable market leaders across hospitality and non-profit sectors. She translates vision into implementable strategic roadmaps.
Currently, Suzette serves as board president of the Center City Business Association, where she has repositioned the brand, grown board diversity, and created a sustainable business model. As a volunteer speaker for Beyond Plastics’ Speakers Bureau, Suzette is reducing pollution and improving health in the region by spearheading the single-use plastic bag ban in Upper Moreland township and engaging in education, public policy, and community action.
Previously, Suzette served as Board Treasurer and Vice-Chair of the Montessori School as well as Vice President and Treasurer for the Philadelphia chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Hotel Association. Suzette has partnered with numerous non-profit organizations.
Dr. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center at Penn State. His research focuses on climate change. He was selected by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002, was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the EGU in 2012 and the National Conservation Achievement Award of the NWF in 2013.
He made Bloomberg News' list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education.
He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He has authored more than 200 publications, and several books including Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change in 2008 and The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines in 2012. He recently co-authored The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy with Tom Toles, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post.
Corey C. Wolff is the Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Solution Services or commonly known as ISS. ISS is the leading provider of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Solutions in the Philadelphia market. The company employs over 40 professionals, who focus on sales, engineering, construction and system maintenance.
Prior to running ISS, Corey owned and ran a successful Solar PV Company based near Harrisburg, PA. Under his leadership, that company installed over 290 solar arrays in 13 states.
Corey currently serves and volunteers as a 5th grade basketball coach, a member of the Hershey Country Club Board of Advisors, and a member of the development committee at Camp Victory.