Alexis Boxer — Associate Organizing Representative
Alexis is an Associate Organizing Representative working with Beyond Coal and the Sierra Student Coalition. She has been with the SSC since March of 2009 on the Campuses Beyond Coal Campaign, initially working in Indiana. After 3 years of successful campaigning to transition Indiana’s on-campus coal plants to cleaner energy sources she has moved to Minnesota to join the North Star team in the fight for clean energy. Her primary focus is youth engagement, empowerment and leadership development around clean energy campaigns across the state.
Prior to her joining the Sierra Club she spent time working with Greenpeace USA working on several conservation and climate campaigns and STAND working on social justice issues on campuses in the North East.
In her spare time (of which there is little) Alexis is enjoying exploring her new state of Minnesota, playing with her dog Cowboy, baking bread and camping.
Heather Cusick — Director of Regional Strategies, Beyond Coal Campaign
Heather has served in her current position since 2008, having worked as Midwest Senior Regional Representative and as Conservation Director for the North Star Chapter from 2001 2007. Since 1986 she has worked in a variety of roles from grassroots organizer to executive director in progressive non-profits. Her most recent positions include executive director of the Minnesota Senior Federation (1998-2001) and executive director of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (1990-1998). In 1996 she received her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.
Scott Elkins — Director of Grassroots Effectiveness
Scott has held his current position since 2011. In this national management role, he oversees the work of five senior managers and the approximately 130 staff throughout the country who organize and support the Club’s grassroots conservation work and outdoor activities. Scott’s involvement in the Sierra Club started as a North Star Chapter volunteer in 1995. He first joined staff as the North Star Chapter Director in 2000, and has worked in national management roles since 2008.
Justin Fay — Legislative and Policy Coordinator
Justin joined the Sierra Club staff in January 2011 after having previously worked as the Chapter’s contract lobbyist since 2009. Justin is responsible for overseeing the Chapter’s presence at the state capitol as well as supporting the Chapter’s electoral activities. Prior to working with the Sierra Club, Justin was the Field Director for the successful campaign in support of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, and has previously worked with The Nature Conservancy, Campaign for Conservation and the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, among others. He has a BA in political science from the University of Minnesota, Morris and a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. When not advocating on behalf of Minnesota’s environment, Justin enjoys exploring the lakes, restaurants and coffee shops of Minneapolis.
Tim Harlan-Marks — SSC Trainings & Communications Director
Works with youth volunteer leaders to create, improve, and implement initiatives that develop leaders for the SSC and youth climate movement. Works with SSC staff to set strategy for capacity building, leadership development, and national mobilization. A member of the Conservation Training Team, a multi-program team that coordinates department and program-related training efforts.
Joshua Houdek — Land Use and Transportation Program Manager
Joshua began as a conservation organizer in 2005. He manages the Chapter’s work on promoting sustainable development and expanded transportation choices that will move Minnesota beyond oil. When he is not working with an incredible group of committee members and fellow staff, he volunteers with the Sierra Club’s Redrock Wilderness Campaign, is a member of the City of Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee, and is an all-season bicycle commuter. Joshua loves the outdoors, travelling and digging in his garden. His green wedding, in the summer of 2007, was eco-friendly and zero waste. Joshua has a BS in Geography from the University of Iowa and holds a Masters in Outdoor Education and Recreation from the University of Minnesota.
Andrea Kiepe — Associate Organizing Representative
Andrea is the North Star Chapter’s Associate Organizing Representative for Rochester and Southeastern Minnesota. Her primary focus is on energy conservation, clean renewable energy and green buildings. She grew up on a small family farm in southeast Missouri and graduated from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with a double major in biology and environmental studies. She spent her early career with Clean Water Action, moving a variety of environmental issues, including renewable energy, sustainable farming, water quality protections, chemical policy reform and stewarding the Great Lakes. Several of her most significant campaigns include clean-up of several Twin Cities coal burning power plants and helping prevent the construction of a tire burning incinerator in Preston, Minnesota. Before beginning work with the Sierra Club in April of 2014, Andrea worked with national nonprofit Transportation for America advocating for a robust, multi-modal transportation network in the federal transportation bill. Andrea enjoys biking around the city, reading feminist science fiction novels, slowly renovating her house and seeing movies at the Riverview. Her last name rhymes with sleepy.
Margaret Levin — State Director
Margaret is privileged to have served as State Director of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter since 2008. She has over 10 years of experience as a grassroots community organizer, a degree in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Missouri and has studied nonprofit management and administration. Her passion is involving citizens to advance science-based policies that protect Minnesota’s air, lands, water and climate, and she is inspired each day by the knowledge, leadership and vision of the chapter’s volunteer leaders. At home she enjoys time with family, music, and hiking.
Karen Monahan — Community Organizer
Karen Monahan is a Senior Organizer with Beyond Coal campaign for the Sierra Club in Minnesota. Karen has provided racial equity and diversity training for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and served as the co-Chair of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter’s Diversity Council. She served as a co-chair of the subcommittee on workforce education and training with Senator Mike Jungbauer (R) for the Minnesota Green Jobs taskforce in 2008. Karen is a Green For All Fellow and Wellstone Action Fellow.
Karen is also the Ambassador for Minnesota representing NIAC (National Iranian American Council).
Karen is currently teaching a sustainability class at the U of M. She is also the director for the Urban Heat Island program at the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Vicki Munson — Chapter Coordinator
Vicki has served as chapter coordinator, performing bookkeeping and administrative work for the chapter, since 1987. She grew up on a small dairy farm in Goodhue County. She received a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Park Administration at Mankato State, and then spent a few years in the Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean. She enjoys working at the Sierra Club because it gives her an opportunity to protect the environment and to empower others to do the same.
Michelle Rosier — Senior Campaign and Organizing Manager
Michelle rejoined the Sierra Club in December 2007 after completing her Master’s in Public Policy degree at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She worked with the chapter from 2001 - 2005 as a Clean Air organizer and advocate before pursuing her degree in environmental and energy policy with a focus on industry and regulatory analysis. Most recently, she worked in Boston with energy efficiency administrators on market transformation efforts related to natural gas heating technology. Michelle has a strong affinity to the Iron Range where she grew up.
Jessica Tritsch — Senior Organizing Representative, Beyond Coal to Clean Energy
Jessica joined the Sierra Club in November 2009 as a Regional Representative with the Beyond Coal Campaign in Minnesota. Jessica brings a background in grassroots organizing and environmental advocacy, having previously worked for the state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGS) as a campus organizer and organizing director. Most recently, Jessica served as the program director for Reading to Kids - a community-based children’s literacy volunteer network that partners with underserved elementary schools in Los Angeles. Jessica attended the University of Wisconsin where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological aspects of conservation and music performance.
Sarah Vig — Online Engagement Systems Analyst
Sarah joined the Sierra Club staff in September 2010. As a regional online organizer, she works with field staff throughout the central United States to integrate online tactics into their campaign work. She graduated in 2008 from the University of Minnesota - Morris (home of a 1.65 MW wind turbine) with a B.A. in political science and English, and was a recipient of the Gieske Academic Award for outstanding achievement in the field of political science.
Following graduation, Sarah relocated to western North Carolina to serve as Associate Editor of The Appalachian Voice, an environmental newspaper covering the central Appalachian bio-region. After returning to Minneapolis in late 2009, she covered local food, land use, and the environment for the Twin Cities Daily Planet, an online, citizen-powered news source; volunteered with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal and Federal and International Climate Change campaigns; and worked with Minnesota grassroots organizations Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and Get Up Minnesota. She is thrilled to have all her interests (writing, policy, environmental stewardship, and grassroots advocacy) come together in her position with the Sierra Club!