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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.

Deputy Director

A former secondary science teacher and the 2015 EcoRise Teacher of the Year, Abby Randall is passionate about inspiring teachers and students to ignite a new generation of green leaders. Abby was born in London, England, raised in Hingham, Massachusetts, and spent the last decade in Austin, Texas, teaching and designing curriculum for a wide variety of K-12 science courses and alternative education programs. Abby holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Trinity College and an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

In her current position as Deputy Director, Abby oversees the implementation of a wide variety of leading-edge educational resources including sustainability and design curriculum, a workforce development program focused on green building education, teacher professional development, and a K-12 grant program that brings students' green innovations to life. Abby also leads EcoRise's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives and is responsible for leveraging and streamlining technology to efficiently scale EcoRise's innovative programs to thousands of educators across the globe. In 2018 Abby was selected as an ee360 Fellow for the North American Association for Environmental Educators. In her free time, she enjoys tending her vegetable garden and backyard chickens, swimming in Barton Springs, hiking, camping, and traveling the world to visit friends and family.

Amaryllis Martin

Operations & Finance Manager

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Amaryllis is a passionate environmentalist who enjoys serving the community that has significantly shaped her development. She is a vocal champion of environmental conservation and strongly believes that through innovation we are capable of providing society with transformative results. As a native, she has watched the city change dramatically throughout her life and has remained committed to contributing to the unique values that have made Austin such a special place to live. Naturally resilient and enthusiastic, Amaryllis welcomes change and proactively seeks new challenges. She is thrilled to be a part of the EcoRise family.

Amaryllis received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas State University in 2012. She began her career at Birds, a locally owned and operated barbershop, then transitioned quickly into a fast-paced position at Whole Foods Market. The experience provided her the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge regarding efficient and effective operations—something she has grown quite passionate about.

Anel Torres, M.A.

Curriculum 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. For nine months, she traveled to eight countries in South America. While in Lima, Peru, she designed and led a Spanish-language professional development training to elementary school teachers and education leaders on the structure of a lesson.

Anel received her Batchelor's of Art in History with a minor in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton. She received her Master's of Art 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 Curriculum Manager, Anel is responsible for creating instructional materials that complement and extend existing curricula and programs. 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

Director of Youth Programs

Brittany Jayroe is the Director of Youth Programs for EcoRise. She has been an educator for 9 years. She is a former middle and high school humanities teacher and serves as a consultant on social studies education, building capacity in humanities educators to approach content through the lenses of sustainability, project and place-based learning, cultural responsiveness, and equity. She is also a Portfolio Coach for the 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.

Brittany Jayroe has worked in education for over 6 years. She stumbled into the field by happy accident and found a home in helping young people establish their own footing in the world. She's honed her knowledge and teaching skills through leading instructional teams in project-based learning, leading school departments in sustainability and social justice-minded curriculum development and implementation, coaching Master's candidates on capstone portfolios, consulting on homeschooling education, and facilitating 21st Century Skills seminars to young people preparing to enter the workforce.

Brittany oversees the design, execution, and evaluation of EcoRise’s youth climate councils rooted in civic engagement, climate resiliency, 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 fields 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.

Celine Rendon

Youth Programs Manager

Celine Rendon is passionate about sustainability education and racial equity. Prior to joining EcoRise, Celine was the Community Engagement Specialist with the Office of Sustainability, supporting the development and community involvement of Austin’s 2021 Climate Equity Plan. During her years as an undergrad, she worked and volunteered with PODER focusing on environmental, economic, health, and cultural impacts of land use and community development. Celine was the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Fellow for the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability during the summer of 2018, working towards the development of an equitable community resilience plan. While studying abroad in Botswana, she learned about the complexity of climate change, ecosystems, and human dynamics through field work, data collection, and field lessons with local stakeholders. Celine co-founded and led the Environmental Justice Collective at UT, the first initiative to incorporate environmental justice and equity into the Campus Environmental Center, a UT-sponsored organization. Celine has a BS in Environmental Science and a Bridging Disciplines certificate in Public Policy from the University of Texas at Austin.

In her current role at EcoRise, Celine is supporting Gen:Thrive’s mission to utilize GIS mapping and data visualization to build coalitions at the local, state and national level and identify strategies for effectively serving marginalized communities. In her spare time, Celine enjoys film photography, gardening, and DIY projects.

Daniel Ramirez, LEED Green Associate

Project Specialist

Daniel Ramirez is a first-generation Mexican/American from Brownsville, Texas, where his appreciation for environmental stewardship and conservation first sprouted. Having been raised in the “Border by the Sea '' he developed a deep appreciation for its hybridized culture and unique opportunity to unify two countries. He’s passionate about environmental sustainability, improving systems, and bridging social gaps in our society. Daniel lived abroad in Italy for 9 months studying culinary arts, Italian language, and renaissance history.

Daniel graduated from St Edward's University in Austin, Texas, where he earned a bachelor of science in Environmental Science & 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 applying his data analysis knowledge.

As a Gen:Thrive Project Specialist, Daniel has the opportunity to improve the current state of EE landscape analysis using his accumulated knowledge and skills. 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

Program Manager

Elizabeth Harper is a compassionate and creative educator with ten years of experience in Texas public schools (Brownsville ISD, Austin ISD, Austin Achieve Public Schools, and Manor ISD) as a teacher, instructional coach, administrator, and district-level coordinator. She has authored and edited curriculum resources for EcoRise and other non-profits 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 Batchelor's of Art in English and Political Science from Rice University and an Master's of Art in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University.

Gina LaMotte

Founder, President & Chief Innovation Officer

Gina LaMotte is a social entrepreneur who is most passionate about unlocking the power and potential of youths as bold leaders and innovators. Gina founded EcoRise in 2008, bringing the topics of sustainability, social entrepreneurship, biomimicry, design thinking, and green building into hundreds of classrooms around the world.

Leading up to 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 One 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 she recently completed the School of System Change program at the Forum for the Future. She currently serves on the SXSW Edu Advisory Board and is a former co-chair of Austin ISD's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee. Gina has presented extensively at local, regional, and national conferences on the topics of green schools, design thinking, and sustainability education.

Jenji Henson, M.Ed., LEED Green Associate

Director of Special Projects

For 29 years, Jenji has served within the field of education in a number of ways including instructional design and writing/editing, program management, professional development, and thought leadership. During the first 10 years of her career, Jenji worked in-house at the internationally known educational publisher Holt, Rinehart & Winston (HRW)/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). There she led the development of one of the first environmental science textbooks designed specifically for high school students, which helped influence the widespread creation of Environmental Science courses in schools across the country and beyond. Jenji also contributed heavily to middle school science programs and a high school health series for HRW/HMH. Jenji left HMH to gain broader experience working on a range of educational topics spanning kindergarten to adult for clients that included HMH,
other publishers, corporations, and nonprofits. Throughout her career, Jenji has helped develop a number of influential and award-winning instructional materials, including environmental science field guides and virtual laboratories, critical thinking and habits of mind skill development resources, and online curricula for K–12 Science and Literature and college-level World History, Humanities, Web Design, Management, and Criminal Justice Ethics programs.

Jenji holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Philosophy from Southern Methodist University, a Master of Education in Educational Technology degree and E-Learning Certification from the University of Texas, and the LEED Green Associate credential. Since joining EcoRise in 2014, Jenji has overseen the development of curricular projects on sustainability, entrepreneurship, green building, biomimicry, design thinking, electric vehicle technology, water footprints, and environmental justice. Jenji is also using her attention to detail and writing aptitude to assist with other vital EcoRise needs, including program evaluation, reporting, and institutional giving. In her spare time, Jenji enjoys
gardening, writing, yoga, and spending time with her family and two border collies.

Jonathan Stott, M.P.A.

Executive Director

Jonathan Stott is an experienced leader with a passion for building community and driving impact. He believes that a nonprofit organization can further its mission through a values-based organizational culture that fosters staff autonomy, mastery, and purpose. He has led organizations through periods of rapid growth and change and improved performance measures and outcomes.

Jon has seven years of prior experience in education reform, focused on closing the achievement gap and increasing experiential learning opportunities for all students. As the founding Dean of Students at Codman Academy Charter Public School, Jon co-designed a tutoring program that increased student growth percentiles on state assessments, resulting in Codman posting the highest combined median student growth profile of any district in the state. In 2010, Jon became an independent project management consultant working with a range of educators and private and public sector leaders in support of innovative school design projects. In 2011, he helped successfully launch two schools, one of which was the first public dual-language high school in Boston. In 2012, he moved to Austin, Texas, and joined Idea Public Schools as a founding member of their Campus Leadership Team. At Idea, Jon helped ensure a successful launch for one of the first in-district charters in Austin, resulting in strong academic and operational performance.

Jon recently completed his Executive Masters in Nonprofit Leadership at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Jon graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Studies. In his spare time, Jon enjoys cooking, backyard gardening, and exploring Austin by bike.

Kizzy Hannibal Xolani

Program Manager

As a founding member of EcoRise, Kizzy has played various roles for the organization since its inception. She has over 15 years of youth development experience as an impassioned sustainability educator and youth facilitator. Fueled by her natural orientation toward supporting youths to discover their unique potential in shaping our future, she employs an inquiry-based approach that effectively engages participation, draws out collective knowledge, inspires creative problem-solving, and creates spaces for authentic and meaningful connections across differences. Her diverse experience in education spans classrooms and communities in Nigeria, Brazil, Jamaica, Hawaii, and Austin and includes: classroom teaching, group facilitation, program development, curriculum development, youth facilitator training, and leadership and professional development.

Kizzy has been an avid member of the nonprofit world since she finished college. She is also a founding member of the Amala Foundation and was its first Youth Program Director. In this position, she created and directed a groundbreaking program, the Global Youth Peace Summit, which unites immigrant, refugee, international, and local teenagers for a week dedicated to personal growth, cultural exchange,
leadership development, and community building. She held this position for five years before she helped launch EcoRise.

Kristi Hibler-Luton, M.A., NBCT

Director of School Programs

Kristi Hibler-Luton has more than 14 years of experience in public education. She has served as a science teacher, department chair, and instructional coach. Kristi is passionate about supporting teachers through curricula, resources, and organization. She has written science curricula and has integrated technology and outdoor learning into learning materials. She has supported new teachers in her work as a Content Seminar Leader for Texas Teaching Fellows and as an instructional coach for the New Teacher Project and the University of Texas UTeach program. She has also supported in-service master teachers 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. As the Program Director for EcoRise, Kristi continues to make curricula and resources easily accessible to educators in the state of Texas. She also leads the EcoRise PBL Academy, where she supports teachers, campuses, and districts in implementing authentic, engaging real-world learning through the lens of sustainability. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening with her kids in her NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat, camping, and hiking.

Laura Fuller

Communications & Design Manager

Passionate about finding ways to intertwine the practical with the creative, Laura is EcoRise's Communiations & Design Manager. Laura has always been a jill of many trades. Before finding EcoRise, she worked in theatre production, costume technology, and digital design while earning a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree 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 and tell their stories, fictional and non-fictional, through a tangible medium.

Laura is now telling EcoRise's story through the lenses of educators and students across the U.S. She is enthusiastic about continuing to elevate the EcoRise brand through design and storytelling and about growing her collection of personal talents through her work with EcoRise students, teachers, and partners.

T Larson

Program Manager

T Larson is an educator, an artist, and a committed parent. They have 7 years of classroom teaching experience at the secondary level and 2 years of experience working with non-profit 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

Program Manager

Zakhia is a geologist and a LEED Green Associate and 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 sustainability and environmental education was inclusive of students of color while teaching science in the NYC schools in Far Rockaway. In addition, she has developed curriculum and implemented STEM programs for several New York area organizations such as the RISE, Henry Street Settlement, and the Intrepid Sea, Air & 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 BA in Geology from George Washington University and an MS 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 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, LI.

Our Board of Directors

Abi Nix

Founder and CEO, A|B Growth Marketing

Abi is an expert performance marketer specializing in customer acquisition with proven results both in generating demand and capturing it. Using both digital and traditional channels to drive results and establish high-performance go-to-market mechanisms in the process, Abi is used to working with companies who are looking for high-growth. On a personal level, Abi is passionate about environmental causes, sustainable living, and empowering younger generations. Having spent time volunteering with leatherback sea turtles in Costa Rica to teaching English in India, Abi is now excited to be part of the EcoRise mission.

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.

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.

Gerardo Gandy

Architectural Brand Experience Designer, Gensler

With a well-cultured background in architecture, interior design, and brand strategy, Gerardo creates seamless user experiences and unified brand expressions. Gerardo works with some of Austin’s largest developers on the front lines of creating the vision for how the urban, cultural, and architectural landscape is transforming in Austin. As a result of his dedication to impacting lives through design and creative thinking, Gerardo was named the 2018 Associate Member of the year by the AIA Austin and is a finalist in the 2020 Austin Under 40 Awards in the category of Architecture, Construction, and Engineering.

Gerardo is the founding Chairman of the ACE Mentor Program of Austin, a non-profit program dedicated to educating high school students about careers in architecture and design. In addition, he serves on the Business Advisory Council for the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. He also serves as the Chair for the AIA Austin’s Exhibit Committee and as a member of the steering committee for Gensler’s Community Impact Program.

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.

Jean Tien, Secretary

Executive Director, Banking Front Office Risk & Controls Team, Mizuho

Jean Tien is an Executive Director at Mizuho Americas, a corporate and investment bank. With over 15 years of experience in non-financial risk management, Jean is responsible for managing enterprise-wide risks at the firm. She is also a member of Mizuho's Sustainability Council, which is responsible for establishing, overseeing and operationalizing the sustainability strategy in U.S. Jean's commitment to sustainability also stems from her children, who continue to inspire her own environmental ethic. She believes we need strong, empowered voices to speak up and stand up for Mother Earth in order to provide an enriched life for her children.

In addition to her corporate experience, Jean is also an intuitive and the founder of the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Method™, which she created to support other executive women uplevel their success without the hustle and grind of the 9–5.

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.

Juan Lopez

Corporate Counsel, HubSpot, Inc.

Juan comes from a background in education and 7 years of commercial litigation experience in Massachusetts state and federal courts. Juan presently serves as corporate counsel at the tech company HubSpot, Inc. He is passionate about education, social justice, and sustainability. Juan drives an electric car and has solar panels on the roof of his house.

Keith Wright, Treasurer

Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, EverWest Real Estate Investors

Keith is the Chief Accounting Officer at EverWest, where he leads a team of accounting and finance professionals and serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee. Prior to joining EverWest he led the accounting team at a publicly traded health care 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.

Miche Jean

Founder & CEO, Grotte Business Partners

Before founding Grotte, Miche worked for Morgan Stanley as a Financial Advisor and M&A strategist for small and mid-sized companies. Coming from a legal background, he is able to transfer his analytical skills and attention to details to help clients plan for what is often their-once-in-a-lifetime transactions. Miche’s mission is to help clients accomplish their goals by using advanced M&A and capital acquisition tools and techniques leveraging his broad network and experience. His relentless focus on clients’ success is demonstrated through three core principles: extensive capability, disciplined approach, and proactive services.

Miche holds a Juris Doctorate degree, with a concentration in Business and Financial Services, from Suffolk University Law School and a BA in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University. He has completed courseworks in Mathematics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Rebeckah Piotrowski

Director of Corporate and Foundation Partnerships, The Global FoodBanking Network

Rebeckah Piotrowski is Director of Corporate and Foundation Partnerships at The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), an international nonprofit that works towards a hunger-free future in more than 40 countries by sustaining, uniting, and strengthening food banks. Rebeckah most recently served as the Director of Institutional Partnerships at City Harvest in New York. With more than 14 years of experience in international development and nonprofit management, Rebeckah worked in leadership positions at Action Against Hunger (ACF) since 2011 before assuming her role as Director of Programs in 2014, coordinating ACF’s humanitarian operations in Cambodia, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Uganda. Previously, Rebeckah worked with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for five years in roles based abroad and at their NYC Headquarters. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from Seton Hall University and an Executive Master of Public Administration for Public Service Leaders from New York University.

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.

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

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

Jenny Robertson

Director, Corporate Social Responsibility

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 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

Rachel Fagan

Senior Director of Integrated Marketing

Robert Leon

Senior Vice President of Global Services
Structure Tone, LLC

Sean McPhillips

Environmental, Social, and Governance Lead

Susan MacMurchy

Founder and Chief Innovation Officer
Big Blue Fish

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.!