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EcoRise mobilizes a new generation of leaders to design healthy, just, and thriving communities for all.

We work at the intersection of sustainability education, climate resilience, and environmental justice to elevate youth voices and advance student-led solutions to real-world challenges. We offer a range of curricula and programs designed to advance environmental literacy, sustainable schools, and equitable access to green career pathways.

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We believe…

education is the bedrock of social and environmental change.

youth have the power to design a sustainable world.

teachers are the key to unlocking student innovation.

partners magnify and accelerate community impact.

Our Staff

Abby Randall, M.S.

Co-Executive Director

Abby Randall is a visionary leader in the green schools movement with a passion for deeply embedding sustainability and climate justice education into every facet of school systems. She taught secondary science in the Austin Independent School District and has more than 15 years of experience designing and facilitating educational programs for a wide variety of K–12 science courses and alternative education programs across the U.S. Abby earned a bachelor of art in anthropology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and an master of science in agriculture, food, and environment from Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Abby was honored to serve as a 2018 ee360 Fellow for the North American Association for Environmental Educators and is currently the Principal Investigator for the Building a Green Texas Project, funded through a NOAA Environmental Literacy Program grant. She also serves on the governance board of the SGSO Network.
In her role as EcoRise’s Deputy Director, Abby oversees program strategy, partnerships, and curriculum development, and co-leads the organization’s equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. She is also responsible for leveraging and streamlining technology to efficiently scale EcoRise's innovative programs to educators and youth across the globe.

Amaryllis Martin

Senior Manager, Finance & Operations

Amaryllis Martin earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas State University in 2012 and graduated in 2020 from Austin Community College’s Nonprofit Financial Management program. With over a decade of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, Amaryllis facilitates the efficient and effective operations of the organization. She is responsible for the meticulous coordination and support of accounting, budgeting, and all other organizational financial functions. She has the privilege of providing administrative and human resource support to staff members and exuberantly organizes EcoRise events for youth gatherings and educator summits. Naturally resilient and enthusiastic, Amaryllis welcomes change and proactively seeks new challenges.

Amaryllis is passionate about serving humanity through volunteer work and board service. By learning, listening, advocating, and serving, Amaryllis is committed to collaboratively creating a more equitable and inclusive society for all. Having recently become a certified Master Gardener, she also enjoys spending her time working in the garden, volunteering for community events, and spending quality time with her partner Jeremy, her dog Ollie, and her many friends and family.

Anel Torres, M.A.

Online Education Manager

Anel Torres is an educator, historian, and creative. She has seven years of experience as an elementary classroom teacher and math instructional coach in various school settings, including a charter organization and public schools in South Gate, Huntington Park, and Compton, CA. Anel is passionate about the power educational experiences hold for learners, including the deeper value education can have when a learner’s identity and lived experiences are affirmed throughout. In 2018, she traveled for nine months to eight countries in South America. While in Lima, Peru, she designed and led a Spanish-language training for elementary school teachers and education leaders on the structure of a lesson.

Anel received her bachelor of arts in history with a minor in child and adolescent development from California State University, Fullerton. She received her master of arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of the Pacific. She is also a certified CA Naturalist and yoga instructor (RYT200). In her current role as Online Education Manager, Anel is responsible for creating instructional materials that complement and extend existing curricula and programs. She is also responsible for managing the new Climate Education Teacher Courses that will support teachers to deepen their understanding of topics related to climate change and strengthen their confidence in addressing these topics in the classroom. Movement activities such as yoga, morning walks and birding, dancing, and participating in foot races bring her joy. She also loves deepening her creative outlets through cooking, painting, sketching, and writing.

Brittany Jayroe

Senior Director, Youth Programs

Brittany Jayroe is the Senior Director of Youth Programs for EcoRise. She leads the design, execution, and evaluation of EcoRise’s youth climate councils rooted in civic engagement, climate resilience, equity, and action, and a paid summer internship program designed to create equitable pathways to green careers for youth from communities that are historically underrepresented in the field of sustainability. Brittany’s passion lies in elevating youth voices and highlighting and enhancing representation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color in green career fields.

Brittany has been an educator for nine years. She is a former middle- and high-school humanities teacher and consults on social studies education, building capacity in humanities educators to approach content through the lens of sustainability, project- and place-based learning, cultural responsiveness, and equity. She also works with Johns Hopkins University's Graduate School of Education, coaching master’s candidates on access and advocacy in the classroom, culturally responsive pedagogy, and dramatic academic growth. She has a master of arts in teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Daniel Ramirez, LEED Green Associate

Program Manager, Gen:Thrive

Daniel Ramirez is a first-generation Mexican-American from Brownsville, Texas, where his passion for environmental stewardship and conservation first sprouted. Having been raised in the “Border by the Sea,” he developed an appreciation for its hybridized culture and unique opportunity to unify two countries. He is passionate about environmental sustainability, improving systems, and bridging social gaps in our society. Daniel lived abroad in Italy for nine months, studying culinary arts, Italian, and Renaissance history. Daniel graduated from St Edward's University in Austin, Texas, where he earned a bachelor of science. in environmental science and policy. Daniel has a deep appreciation for sustainable values such as improving the built environment, equitable nutrition, and cultural preservation.

He has built his career in the fields of environmental education, nonprofit advocacy, energy efficiency, and COVID-19 relief programs. Daniel has further refined his skills by earning certifications such as LEED Green Associate and Google Data Analytics. He strives to create impact with a team-oriented approach and by applying his data analysis knowledge. As the Gen:Thrive program manager, Daniel has the opportunity to improve the current state of environmental education landscape analysis. His responsibilities include generating project engagement, managing partner data, and using visualization tools to tell the story of Gen:Thrive.

Elizabeth Harper, M.A., LEED Green Associate

Senior Program Manager

Elizabeth Harper is a compassionate and creative educator with ten years of experience in Texas public schools as a teacher, instructional coach, administrator, and district-level coordinator, with Brownsville ISD, Austin ISD, Austin Achieve Public Schools, and Manor ISD. She has authored and edited curriculum resources for EcoRise and other nonprofits including the ACLU of Texas and Centro de los Derechos del Migrante in Mexico City. She worked for the education design lab 2Revolutions on school design initiatives for the Aspen Institute and DC Public Schools.

As EcoRise Program Manager for Central Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Elizabeth provides support and training to K–12 teachers. Elizabeth holds a vision of equity and sustainability for all and believes that transformation begins in a moment of shared discovery. She is passionate about creating opportunities that spark transformation for teachers and students. Elizabeth holds a bachelor of arts in English and political science from Rice University and a master of arts in sustainable international development from Brandeis University.

Gina LaMotte

Senior Director of Innovation

Gina has over 20 years of experience working in education, sustainability, and social innovation. In 2008, Gina founded EcoRise as a nonprofit that aims to unlock the power and potential of youth to design resilient communities of the future. Gina has stewarded its dramatic growth, introducing the principles of sustainability, social entrepreneurship, biomimicry, design thinking, and green building to over 4,100 schools in all 50 states and 60 other countries.

Prior to the founding of EcoRise, Gina spent 10 years working with innovative educational programs serving youth in Brazil, India, Nepal, and Guatemala, as well as in Harlem, New York, and Taos, New Mexico. In 2004, Gina moved to Austin, Texas, and pioneered a robust summer and afterschool program at a Title I middle school. She also built and led a youth cultural exchange program to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and served as a facilitator and counselor at the Global Youth Peace Summit. While in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, Gina studied sustainable development and social entrepreneurship and earned a certificate in nonprofit studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Gina practices systems thinking and human-centered design, and recently completed the School for Systems Change program at the Forum for the Future. Gina serves on the SXSWedu Advisory Board and the Green Schools Conference and Expo Program Working Group and is a former co-chair of Austin ISD's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee. Gina has presented extensively at local, regional, and national conferences and recently received the Women in Sustainability Leadership Award by Green Building and Design.

Govnor Payne

Technology Specialist, Gen:Thrive

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Govnor Payne grew up curious about how things worked. He moved to Texas with his family, where his interest in how things work and fixing issues began. He became a building engineer, taking care of impressive structures. However, he felt a pull toward something new. Govnor went back to school to learn software engineering. The world of coding fascinated him and allowed him to be creative. Even though he was deep into technology, he never lost his love for basketball. He found a balance between software work and his passion for the game.

Today, Govnor is a skilled software engineer, bridging his building background with his coding skills. He brings his expertise to EcoRise as a technology specialist, handling technology-related issues for EcoRise and within the Gen:Thrive platform. With a basketball by his side, Govnor continues to explore, create, and shoot for success.

Jonathan Stott, M.P.A.

Co-Executive Director

Jonathan Stott has always believed youth need to be at the forefront of developing solutions to the climate and environmental crisis. Since 2013, he has had the privilege of being a part of this work at EcoRise; as the organization’s founding Program Director, he helped served just a handful of teachers and students in Central Texas. Today, Jon is the organization's Executive Director. Prior to working at EcoRise, Jon worked in K¬–12 education as a consultant, administrator, and teacher, with campus leadership roles at K–12 public schools in Massachusetts and Texas, and project management consulting roles that helped launch innovative schools rooted in community-based partnerships, including Boston’s first dual-language public high school.

Jon is passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive community and striving for equity in his work, both internally and externally. He is grateful to work alongside an incredible team that continues to bring new insights, ideas, and energy to inform and evolve the organization's trajectory and his own leadership practices. Jon earned his executive master in nonprofit leadership at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Jon is also a graduate of Swarthmore College with a degree in political science and a minor in environmental studies. In his spare time, Jon enjoys cooking, backyard gardening, and cycling.

Kizzy Hannibal Xolani

Program Manager

Kizzy Hannibal Xolani is a co-founder of EcoRise and has played key roles in every department since the organization's inception. In her current position, she manages school programming in Washington, DC; works on curriculum development and design; and is a co-collaborator of EcoRise’s Environmental Justice (EJ) curriculum and EJ Professional Development workshops, initiatives, and outreach. Kizzy co-leads EcoRise’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and is also the facilitation and development advisor for the Youth Climate Council programs. Kizzy has 20 years of experience in teaching, developing, and running youth leadership programs, training and mentoring facilitators, and launching nonprofit organizations.
Kizzy is a devoted community member who is passionate about serving youth in finding their unique purpose and potential, creating accessible education, prioritizing justice, racial equity and community upliftment, and fostering local intergenerational leadership and helping people maintain their personal well-being. Kizzy believes that collaboration and a healing-centered approach are key to community engagement and transformation.

Kristi Hibler-Luton, M.A., NBCT

Senior Director, School Programs

Kristi Hibler-Luton serves as Senior Director of School Programs at EcoRise. She oversees the enrichment and expansion of EcoRise's K–12 offerings, emphasizing the classroom implementation of authentic, engaging, real-world learning experiences through the lens of sustainability. She is passionate about supporting her team in designing and facilitating leading-edge, hyperlocal professional development for K–12 educators and providing customized teacher support and resources that advance local community action and environmental justice.
Kristi has more than 17 years of education experience. She is a former public school science teacher and instructional leader. She has written science curricula and has expertise in integrating technology and outdoor learning into curricular materials. Kristi's experience as an educational leader also includes serving as a Content Seminar Leader for Texas Teaching Fellows, an instructional coach for the New Teacher Project and the University of Texas UTeach program, as well as the Director of National Board Certification for Teach for America in Texas. Kristi is a National Board Certified Teacher with a master’s degree in educational leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening with her kids in her NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat, camping, and hiking.

Laura Fuller

Senior Manager, Communications & Design

Passionate about finding ways to intertwine the practical with the creative, Laura is EcoRise's Communications & Design Manager. Laura has always been a jill of many trades. Before finding EcoRise, she worked in theatre production, costume and prop technology, and digital design while earning a bachelor of business administration in digital media management with a minor in communications and advertising from St. Edward's University. During undergrad, Laura co-founded a student TV station at St. Edward's, fostering a supportive community where students from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of interests could work together, learn new skills, and tell their stories, fictional and non-fictional, through a tangible medium.
Laura joined EcoRise in 2015 to support with curriculum writing and design. She transitioned into managing communications and created the foundation for the strang, multi-faceted communications program that the organization depends on for national recognition today. Laura enjoys creating and elevating the stories of educators, youth, and community organizations across the U.S. who are working to build a more climate resilient future for us all. She continues to grow her skills by exploring new mediums to use as communications tools, such as photography, website design, digital art, embroidery, and painting.

Mana Singri

Operations & Youth Program Specialist

Mana Singri's lived experiences and education have shown them how environmental justice is inextricably tied to racial and social justice. The child of immigrants, Mana brings a unique, intercultural lens to their work that enriches their approach to addressing these interconnected issues and fostering positive change. While majoring in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, Mana found a passion for studying and addressing inequities in educational systems. This passion has been a guiding force in their advocacy for anti-racist school curricula and their successful management of programs that have raised thousands of dollars for K–12 students. Mana firmly believes in the transformative power of knowledge as a driver of change and envisions pathways to a more equitable world around every corner.

At EcoRise, Mana plays a vital role in both the Youth Programs and Operations departments. They work to enhance organizational efficiency, contribute to the planning and execution of EcoRise events such as the annual Summer Institute, and support this generation's youth to engage in the climate justice movement through EcoRise’s Youth Climate Councils and the Green Careers Academy. Mana's multifaceted contributions reflect their commitment to building a more just and sustainable future.

Shanika Blunt

Program Manager

A former K–12 STEM instructor, Shanika is driven by inspiring educators and students to make STEM education accessible and applicable to everyday life. Born in Oakland, California, raised in the East Bay Area of Central California and Southwest Louisiana, she has spent the last six years in Louisiana teaching Math and various science courses; building a project-based curriculum in Chemistry and Anatomy; and coaching other educators to implement STEM courses with a high degree of success with student outcomes and learning experiences. She has over 8 years of classroom teaching experience and more than 13 years of experience working with youth in various educational settings. Outside of classroom instruction, Shanika is a basketball trainer and youth sports coach in the greater New Orleans area.

Shanika holds a B.A. in African American Studies with a Pre-Med Emphasis from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A.T in middle school mathematics from Relay Graduate School of Education. Her next educational goal will be to obtain her Post-Baccalaureate Certification in the Health Professionals Program from U.C. Berkeley. In her current role at EcoRise, Shanika serves as Program Manager for the Gulf Coast Region, providing support and training to K–12 educators in the coast regions of Texas and Louisiana. Her vision is to increase equity in the STEM field and provide educators and students with an accessible curriculum to move beyond the given content of a course and make it more applicable to students’ everyday lives. She is passionate about inclusive, hands-on instruction and applying scientific knowledge to improve the quality of life for those she serves and their communities. In her free time, Shanika enjoys CrossFit, gardening, reading, and nature walks.

Sy Blake Washington

Senior Director, Development

Sy Blake Washington is from Houston, Texas, but describes himself as a modern-day nomad having lived on every coast of the U.S. and several stops in between. Through his travels, he has learned much about our lands, the climate, and developed a passion for ecology and conservation. Blake went to Western Kentucky University where he studied Journalism, English, and Creative Advertising. After college, Blake worked in revenue cycle solutions and tech before ultimately finding fundraising.

Blake has been a fundraiser for nearly 15 years and has keen expertise in relationship-building and diversifying funding streams. He is a certified Salesforce Database Administrator and loves all things development. Through his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area, Equal Opportunity Schools, and Californians for Justice he has immersed himself in empowering youth leaders and found new strategies to support them. He is an advocate for opportunity and has dedicated much of his professional career to creating platforms for youth-led programs and opportunities for innovation. Blake has no kids, but 3 dogs (Brooke 8, Viktor 3, and Leo 3) who he treats like children. Blake is the Senior Director of Development where he will lead EcoRise’s fundraising efforts and contribute to the strategic Vision 2025 and beyond.

T Larson

Program Manager

T Larson is an educator, an artist, and a committed parent. They have seven years of classroom teaching experience at the secondary level and two years of experience working with nonprofit organizations. During these experiences, they developed a passion for sustainability and permaculture in arid climates and continue to share this passion with their community through board membership, community organizing, and workshops. T is passionate about inclusive education that provides students with opportunities to gain practical skills for the modern world. Before joining EcoRise, they taught middle school math and science at a local charter school in downtown Tucson, Arizona. T graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of science in ecology and evolutionary biology and secondary education and has stayed in Tucson since.

In their role with EcoRise, T provides professional development on the EcoRise curriculum as well as training and support to educators in the western U.S. In their free time, T tends to their plants and animals, creates and sells stickers, and cooks delicious meals.

Zakhia Grant, M.S., LEED Green Associate

Senior Program Manager

Zakhia Grant is a geologist and LEED Green Associate who brings with her more than a decade of experience teaching science and sustainability at both the high school and collegiate levels. She found her passion for ensuring that sustainability and environmental education was inclusive of students of color while teaching science in the New York City schools in Far Rockaway. In addition, she has developed curricula and implemented STEM programs for several organizations in the New York area, such as The Rise, Henry Street Settlement, and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Before entering the educational arena, Zakhia spent several years working in the environmental consulting industry, where she was responsible for public water supply well construction and water quality monitoring. Zakhia holds a bachelor of arts in geology from George Washington University and a master of science in geology from Bowling Green State University.

In her current role, Zakhia provides professional development to K–12 teachers participating in the Sustainable Intelligence Program in the New York, New Jersey, and Boston areas and provides support in applying for student-driven Eco-Audit Grants. Zakhia likes to spend her spare time enjoying the beach and giving back to her hometown community of Wyandanch, Long Island.

Our Board of Directors

Amy Atchley

Senior Lead, EV Equity Program, Austin Energy

Amy Atchley is professional leader in social impact possessing a diverse and unique skill set that draws from over 20 years of experience working for Fortune 500 companies and distinguished non-profit organizations serving vulnerable communities. An expert in strategic planning for program development, Amy has been recognized nationally and internationally for her innovative initiatives and social entrepreneurship. She is frequently asked to present best practices for projects that facilitate the intersection of environmentalism and social justice; as well as marketing and outreach for diverse and inclusive audiences. Amy has a long history of community engagement serving those in need through her work with the non-profit sector with agencies like Meals on Wheels Central Texas and the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Her role at Austin Energy is rooted in building frameworks of equity through transportation electrification access by collaborations with community stakeholders and historically underserved communities. She brings an experienced perspective and passion to her work by designing human centered programs that ensure people are not left behind as emerging technologies become mainstream. The core of Amy’s work is to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through the launch of new market offerings that provide a meaningful impact with the benefits of transportation electrification programs.

Amy’s community leadership roles include Board of Directors at EcoRise and the Austin Forum on Technology and Society and she is also a working Austin-based singer/songwriter.

Analisa Wood

Analisa Wood is a dedicated student at Columbia University, where she is earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, focusing on Operations Research. Her enthusiasm for blending sustainability with technology is evident in her Java and Python expertise. A valedictorian from Legacy of Educational Excellence High School, Analisa has been an influential figure in STEM activities, consistently contributing to both innovation and leadership. Her journey with EcoRise began in high school, serving on the inaugural Mayor's Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives in San Antonio, Texas. She progressed to an Alumni Engagement Intern and now serves on the board, reinforcing her dedication to environmental advocacy. Outside her academic endeavors, Analisa embraces her passion for ballet, finding balance and expression through dance.

Brook Capps

Director, Services Marketing, Dell Technologies

Brook Capps leads operations and renewals marketing for Dell Technologies Services, where he oversees program management, marketing operations, creative development, field marketing, and customer-facing operations. Prior to joining Dell, Brook led marketing technology, automation, and advanced analytics teams at CA Technologies. Brook is an avid outdoorsman and is passionate about preserving and protecting the environment. He is also interested in the application of technology to solve our most challenging problems while considering the direct and indirect environmental consequences of rapid technological advances.

Brook serves on the board of the American Red Cross of Central Texas, where he has seen disaster relief efforts become increasingly challenging due to the growing intensity and magnitude of environmental impacts. He is excited to support EcoRise in its mission to mobilize a new generation of environmental leaders.

Esther Nai, Development Chair

Manager, Community and Climate Resilience, Salesforce

Esther Nai is a seasoned corporate social responsibility professional who has spent eight years working in the intersection between the corporate and nonprofit sectors in various markets across Asia and the United States. At Salesforce, she oversees corporate citizenship programs across the East Coast hubs, focusing on building employee engagement initiatives and growing strategic community engagement programs in the areas of education and workforce development, with an eye towards scalable and sustainable impact. She is a strong believer in empowering future generations through sustainability-centered education and is excited in supporting EcoRise's mission-driven work.

Heather Hairston, Chair

Heather has worked as an educator in public schools for over 20 years. She joins us spending most of her career in early childhood, elementary education and school leadership. With a passion for improving outcomes for students and communities, Heather has looked to innovation and community partnerships as a vehicle to provide resources and promote advocacy within her community. Driven by a belief in family’s ability to advance student achievement, Heather’s school earned her Districts Standing Ovation Award for Family and Community engagement in 2016 and 2020. Heather has contributed to articles about the impact of social emotional competencies on learning and the responsibility of school leaders to serve as a catalyst for social change.

Josh Wiener

Assistant Vice President, Global Sustainability, MetLife

Josh Wiener is MetLife’s Assistant Vice President, Global Sustainability as well as the company’s environmental sustainability subject matter expert. He is tasked with leading the development and implementation of MetLife’s environmental sustainability strategies, associated programs and goals. Josh’s responsibilities cover a broad range of areas including corporate real estate, procurement, employee engagement, carbon footprint management, and climate change reporting. Outside of his role at MetLife, Josh serves on the Board of RideWise, a sustainable transportation organization in New Jersey; is an active volunteer on his city’s green team; and is the co-founder of the New York Area Sustainability Group (NYASG). Josh is a LEED AP O+M and earned his degree at Rutgers University where he studied Environmental Policy and Political Science. Having grown up in a family of educators and marrying a special education teacher, Josh is very excited to help EcoRise advance the intersection of sustainability and education.

Keith Wright, Treasurer

Chief Financial Officer, EverWest Real Estate Investors

Keith is the Chief Financial Officer at EverWest, where he oversees the accounting, finance, human resources, and corporate services functions, and serves as the Executive Sponsor of their Women’s Employee Resource Group. Prior to joining EverWest, he led the accounting team at a publicly traded healthcare company and worked as an auditor at EY and a regional accounting firm. Keith is passionate about education and the environment. He was recognized as an EY Top Tier Instructor and served as the Board President at Theatre of Youth, a non-profit organization focused on educating children through live theatre programs. Keith was also a volunteer instructor at Colorado Mountain Club, a non-profit organization that provides educational programs focused on safe and sustainable practices for enjoying the outdoors. Keith is excited to be part of the EcoRise team and contribute to advancing its mission.

Kelley Tapia, Vice-Chair

Founder, Samskara Studio

With over 20 years of directing high-profile projects as a licensed architect, Kelley Tapia is known for delivering imaginative and intuitive design solutions to her clients. Her leadership perspective and management approach is rooted in empathy and understanding, informed by extensive experience working on both sides of the built environment design process — as an owner and a design services leader.

Kelley’s intention to design healthy spaces for future generations led her to EcoRise, first as a volunteer, and now as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, has continued to inspire her to help create positive global change through mentorship and education. She is both a LEED and WELL accredited professional, driving future design solutions with sustainability and well-being in mind. These passions have led her to launch her own consulting collaborative - Samskara Studio; bringing sustainability + well-being solutions to life into the built environment.

Mohan Gunturu

Executive Director, Head of Enterprise Architecture, JPMorgan Chase

Mohan Gunturu is a seasoned software leader who has spent two decades working on various technologies across multiple industries. At the JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking line of business, he is responsible for leading enterprise architecture, promoting best practices and standards for software development, and defining strategic state views for the application portfolio. He is also very passionate about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. He holds a diploma from UC Berkeley in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. He also holds a master’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Madras.

Mohan is also an entrepreneur and an investor; he successfully built a field service management software company. He is very passionate about the environment, social and governance, and sustainability, which connected him to EcoRise.

Monique Hennington

Research Project Manager and External Relations Coordinator, University of Texas at Austin, Energy Institute

Monique Hennington is a research project manager passionate about promoting collaboration, increasing outcomes for disadvantaged populations, and encouraging the rising generation to believe in their potential and leadership aspirations. She has a track record of leading and implementing strategies to promote strategic marketing initiatives and project management for grant proposals in the advanced clean energy sector. Her expertise also extends to developing strategies for industry and community sponsor engagement. Since joining the University of Texas at Austin's Energy Institute, she has led and supported one of the largest academic conferences in the state, UT Energy Week.

Monique has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Mass Communications/Media Studies, a User Experience Design certification, and has managed major marketing campaigns. Her career began as an intern at CBS Network Studios in Los Angeles, she then worked as a television producer in Louisiana, and today ahs overseen budgets, branded programs, analyzed data, and completed complex strategic planning projects within the university, the State of Texas, and Austin-Travis County. Born and raised in Bastrop, TX, home of the Lost Pines, Monique is a native Texan who lives with her husband and son.

Rodrigo Leal

Managing Consultant, Energy, Sustainability & Infrastructure, Guidehouse

Rodrigo is a sustainability strategist working at the intersection of climate resilience, inclusive planning, and social equity. As a managing consultant, Rodrigo leads cross-functional teams supporting governments, utilities, and corporations in the development of ambitious sustainability plans. Over the past several years, Rodrigo has advised Fortune 500 companies and city governments in the fastest-growing U.S. metro areas to embed equity and resilience principles in climate policies, plans, and investments.

A proud native of the Rio Grande Valley (Brownsville, TX), Rodrigo’s upbringing shaped his commitment to tackling environmental and climate injustices through his professional and volunteer work. His main objective is to bring in people historically excluded from decision-making to shape the plans and policies that affect their communities. Rodrigo also serves on the Board of Directors of Texas Campaign for the Environment and is a member of the Steering Committee for the City of Austin’s Climate Equity Plan. Rodrigo lives in East Austin, is a reluctant marathon runner, and is always happy to exchange notes on Austin’s best taquerias.

Sean McPhillips

Sean McPhillips leads environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy and reporting at Asana. He spearheaded Asana’s first greenhouse gas inventory, implemented 100% renewable electricity and carbon neutrality programs, and worked to publish the company’s first supplier code of conduct. Before joining Asana, Sean advised corporate leaders on ESG strategy and disclosure as a consultant. He has been published in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and in ISS Insights.

Sean’s mission is to build a more resilient and responsible business landscape in order to maximize both sustainable business growth and environmental and social well-being. In his off time Sean enjoys cooking and exploring the outdoors with his chocolate labrador mix, Mako.

Valerie Barron, Board Health Chair

Director, Client Team, TNTP

Valerie brings over 20 years of experience working in and with public schools, with a particular interest in bringing together communities and schools to find solutions for local issues. As part of the Client Team at TNTP, a non-profit education organization that partners with school systems to achieve their goals for students, Valerie supports districts and charter networks across the country with a focus on academic strategy and teacher development. Prior to TNTP, Valerie taught and coached middle school science in Los Angeles and Texas and worked as a Research Associate for the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition in Washington DC.

Interested in joining our Board? Contact us.

Our Advisory Council

Abi Nix

Founder and CEO
A|B Growth Marketing

Amy Lukken

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Brad Klein, Ph.D. (he/him)

Associate Director
SMU Human Rights Program

Bungane Mehlomakulu

Managing Principal
Integral Group

Charlie Gutierrez

Science Curriculum Supervisor
Austin Independent School District

Craig Steinfeld

People Operations and Technical Sourcing

Dan Jensen

Chief Financial Officer
American Innovations

Gerardo Gandy

Architectural Brand Experience Designer

Jenny Robertson

Director, Corporate Social Responsibility

Juan Lopez

Corporate Counsel
HubSpot, Inc

Katie Sternberg

Public Information Specialist Senior
City of Austin Watershed Protection Department

Kerry Getter

Chief Executive Officer
Balcones Resources

Lev Freedman

Founder, Sustainable Investments Director
Beyond Profits, LLC

Lucia Athens

Chief Sustainability Officer
City of Austin

Matt Singleton

Director of Engineering
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Mitch Lear

SVP, Private Wealth Advisor, Clarfeld
Citizens Private Wealth

Mitch Jacobson

Director, Austin Technology Incubator
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Olivia M. Aguilar (she/her)

Miller Worley Center for the Environment
Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
Mount Holyoke College

Peter Klante

Klante & Associates, LLC

Rebeckah Piotrowski

Director of Corporate and Foundation Partnerships
Global Food Banking Network

Robert Leon

Senior Vice President of Global Services
Structure Tone, LLC

Sophia Romee

Executive Director, Strategy
College Board

Susan MacMurchy

Founder and Chief Innovation Officer
Big Blue Fish

Suzanne Russo

Pecan Street Inc
Resources for the Future

Tommy Lynn

Head of Customer Experience Design

The EcoRise Teacher Ambassadors are trailblazers in sustainability education that bring the EcoRise mission and values to schools and communities across the U.S.!