WVE seeks a diverse group of dedicated, creative, and savvy individuals, aligned with WVE’s mission, to serve on its board of directors. Interested in joining WVE’s board? We are currently seeking nominations. Click here.
Nicole Acevedo is a reproductive and environmental health scientist with expertise on the health risks of everyday exposures to hormone-disrupting chemicals. Dr. Acevedo received her doctorate in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan and her postdoctoral research at Tufts University School of Medicine focused on the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the development of human health disorders and disease. Her academic research formed part of an unprecedented collaboration between government and academic scientists to integrate the strengths of academic and regulatory research approaches to identify best practices for hazard assessment of environmental chemical contaminants. In 2015, she was recruited by a pioneering brand in ‘clean beauty’ to lead and build out their company strategy on ingredient and product safety and sustainability. In 2016, Nicole joined the Board of Directors for The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), a science-based, non-profit research institute that serves to assure the integrity of the science that supports the endocrine disruption movement and the larger environmental health movement by maintaining and championing the scientific foundations of sound advocacy.
In 2017, Dr. Acevedo launched her own scientific consulting business, Elavo Mundi Solutions, LLC, to provide personal care and household cleaning brands clear solutions for cleaner, more sustainable and high-performing product development. She is also actively involved with international working groups engaged in creating viable business solutions for cleaner, safer, more sustainable product development across different industries. Nicole is deeply driven by a desire to build awareness for science-based approaches to environmental injustice issues that disproportionately affect women, children and minority populations around the world.
M. Isabelle Chaudry is a public policy advocate, and expert on women’s health and consumer safety policy, with a particular focus on overburdened populations. She is the National Women’s Health Network’s (NWHN) Senior Policy Manager, responsible for developing and leading their women’s health and consumer safety policy efforts. Isabelle actively lobbies, at the grassroots and federal level, on women’s health and cosmetics policy and has provided expert testimony before Congress and the Food and Drug Administration. Her advocacy has been recognized by PBS NewsHour, Good Morning America, NBC News and a host of other publications and networks.
Over the course of her career, Isabelle has worked in various policy areas including health, education, and labor. Isabelle has held fellowships with government, labor unions, and nonprofit organizations including, AFL-CIO, National Education Association, National Lawyers Employment Association (as a Peggy Browning Fellow), and Congress. Prior to joining NWHN, Isabelle served as a law clerk for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Oversight Committee, and as an Associate Staff Counsel at the Pennsylvania State Education Association, advocating on behalf of union workers and teachers.
Isabelle earned a J.D. with distinction in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Howard University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University.
As Strategic Director for the Cancer Free Economy Network, Debra serves as lead staff for a multi-sector network collaborating to promote healthy environments where no one gets sick because of toxic chemicals where they live, learn, work, and play. Prior to joining CFE in 2018, Debra consulted on network best practices; developed a coalition-building guide to combat anti-Semitism and hate crimes for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); served as National Field Coordinator for the 2017 Peoples Climate March; and designed a strategy for an environmental health approach to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. As Director of State Affairs at Justice at Stake, she oversaw advocacy for fair and impartial state courts and to promote diversity on the bench. As Midwest Regional Director for Amnesty International USA, Debra led human rights efforts in 13 states, representing the organization on successful collaborative campaigns to abolish the death penalty in Illinois and shut down a notorious Supermax prison. She has also worked as Organizing Director for Rainforest Action Network and Director of Affiliate Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America. She holds a J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and a Master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P.) and Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Sally Edwards has many years of experience in engaging a wide range of stakeholders to promote the environmental health of communities and develop safer and greener products. She is a senior research associate at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is director of retailer engagement for the Green Chemistry & Commerce Council (GC3) and facilitates the work of GC3’s Retailer Leadership Council, whose mission is to promote safer chemicals, materials and products across retail supply and value chains. Sally is a co-founder of the Chemical Footprint Project, which is designed to evaluate corporate chemicals management systems, benchmark companies and recognize leadership in the use of safer chemicals. She also provides consulting services to NGOS, businesses, and communities to support their environmental sustainability efforts. Sally holds an MS in Environmental Health Science from Harvard University and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University. She completed her doctorate in Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her book, Beyond Child’s Play: Sustainable Product Design in the Global Doll-Making Industry, was published in 2009.
Karla James is the Director of Finance and Operations for the National Center for Youth Law. Prior to that she was the chief financial officer and chief operating officer at the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, a nonprofit that supports organization working for public health, consumer and environmental protection. She also served as at the program director for several grantmaking funds at the Foundation including the Consumer Products Fund, the Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund, the Consumer Privacy Fund, and oversaw fiscally sponsored projects. Her experience in small business management includes founding and managing a whitewater rafting company in Missoula, Montana. She previously taught high school and has an extensive volunteer background with grassroots social and environmental nonprofits, including Copwatch, a police accountability organization in Berkeley, California.
Olivia Riutta is the Outreach and Engagement Manager at the Montana Primary Care Association (MPCA). She leads MPCA’s work to identify and impact the social needs of patients served at health centers. Olivia joined MPCA in 2013 and worked extensively on outreach, enrollment, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Prior to joining MPCA, Olivia was the co-director of Montana Women Vote. She helped plan and implement Montana Women Vote’s voter registration, GOTV, issue education, and ballot initiative efforts. Her work included policy advocacy on issues that impact low-income women and families in Montana including access to health care, reproductive rights, violence against women, and tax and budget issues.
Olivia has a B.A. in Grassroots Development from the University of Michigan. She lives in Missoula, Montana with her partner and son.
Monica Schrock / Vancourver, WA
Monica Schrock is an introverted copywriter and marketing strategist with over a decade of marketing experience helping brands and people find their voice and create a business that truly speaks to who they are and what they want to accomplish.
Monica’s taught over 200 clients to craft their message and helped them gain the confidence to share it, and themselves, with the world. She’s created marketing campaigns for international nonprofits, including an App that’s been downloaded in over 170 countries. She created over 40 celebrity ads that have been shared thousands of times and created educational content that has reached hundreds of thousands of people.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest, working from home (like a true introvert!) and helping people achieve their goals through authentic, growth-driven marketing strategies, and implementation. She gets joy out of playing basketball, reading, and hanging with her cats. You can catch her drinking a coffee and reading a comic book at any given moment.
Aimée R. Thorne-Thomsen
Aimée R. Thorne-Thomsen, MPA, is a long-time reproductive justice activist who focuses on advocating with and for women, communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people and young people. She recently launched Guerrera Strategies, LLC, a woman-of-color lead strategic consulting firm with other women of color from progressive movements. Prior to that, she served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships of Advocates for Youth, where she oversaw and coordinated the development, implementation and evaluation of Advocates’ strategic partnerships with youth activists and organizations in allied social justice movements. Aimée was also Interim Executive Director of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Executive Director of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP). She is the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and a member of the Board of Directors for the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program. Aimee has spoken throughout the country in places like the National Abortion Federation Conference, the Women’s Convention, NOW National Conference, Netroots Nation, Center for American Progress and Facing Race, and her writings and blogs have appeared in Women’s e-News, Daily Kos, Feministing, Feministe and Rewire , among others. A proud Boricua, Aimée received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Public Administration from the City University of New York.
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin is an environmental advocate focused on human health, equity, access, and justice. She is the new North American Director at 350.org where she is responsible for driving regional strategy in the United States and Canada and leading and managing a diverse team of campaigners and organizers. Her niche in environmental work is developing capacity building programs and creating multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access health air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy at the local, regional and national level.
Tamara casts a wide net in service to community. Among her activities, she is a co-chair of the Green Leadership Trust, which builds a more powerful environmental movement by expanding the impact and leadership of people of color and indigenous people serving on US environmental nonprofit boards. Additionally, Tamara is the outgoing Co-chair of DC Eco Women, serving 6000 professional women in the environment, and she is the Chair and state representative on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee.
She graduated from the Vermont Law School in 2009, with a Juris Doctor and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy with a concentration in energy generation and carbon constraint.
Tamara has worked for over fifteen years to embed the principles of environmental justice into environmental work, with attention to community capacity building, mobilization, equity of enforcement, and environmental health.
Prior to joining 350.org. Tamara was the Executive Director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network in Baltimore, Maryland, where she championed its mission to promote the elimination of environmental threats to human health.
Over the course of her career she has held full time, fellowship and intern positions with distinguished organizations including the District Department of Energy and Environment in Washington DC, the Maryland Energy Administration Advisory Council of Historic Preservation, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Center on Race, Poverty and Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, among others.
Marya Torrez is an attorney, advocate, and policy expert based in Washington, DC. She has more than twenty years experience committed to civil rights, social justice, and environmental protection. She is particularly passionate about the rights of women, youth, LGBTQ people, and nonhuman animals. Marya has spent the last twelve years of her career focused mostly on sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. She is currently Director of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, as well as an adjunct professor teaching Reproduction and the Law at American University Washington College of Law. Marya came to PPFA from the DC Office of Administrative Hearings where she was Assistant General Counsel. Prior to that, she spent five years advocating for reproductive health at the National Partnership for Women & Families, after completing legal fellowships at PPFA and Alliance for Justice. Prior to moving to Washington, DC, Marya led a youth crisis shelter, teen center, and other programs for youth and their families in Santa Barbara, CA.
Marya has a BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado, a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, and an LLM in Law & Government from American University Washington College of Law. She has published extensively on the public health, environmental, and ethical implications of using animals for food. Marya previously served on the Community Advisory Board of the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting, which serves pregnant and parenting young people and their children, as well as Secretary of the board of DC Lawyers for Youth, an organization she co-founded that advocated for improvements in the juvenile justice system.
Beth spent the last decade spearheading marketing, communications and multi-media programs in the adventure and sustainable travel industry. During those ten years, she had the opportunity to travel the globe and connect with diverse communities across the world. Beth holds degrees in history, English and political science and has her MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana, Missoula. She brings her love of language — the power of message — to Women’s Voices for the Earth. She knows the potency voices have to strengthen like-minded communities, ignite action and invite conversations with the most seemingly surprising allies.
Digital and Communications Coordinator
Zonya Dawson was born in Bangkok, Thailand and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14 and is fluent in Thai. She studied International Studies at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado. Zonya has a passion for creating awareness within communities on topics such as healthy relationships, teen dating violence, and know your rights workshops. Zonya also shares her expertise around domestic violence in AANHPI communities, the importance of language access, and providing meaningful care to Immigrant communities with other service providers, members of law enforcement and judicial systems. For the last 3 years Zonya has been working with the Asian Pacific Development Center where she oversees advocates, interns and volunteers who work to connect immigrant and refugee communities with culturally and linguistically appropriate whole health services. Zonya’s hobbies include sharing Thai cooking, journaling and brainstorming the next great business. Zonya believes that awareness and education is the first step to change and is overjoyed to be joining the WVE team. She is committed to help spread the message to further its mission and is excited to realize additional passions and skills within her work at WVE.
Amber Garcia was born in Denver and raised in Boulder, Colorado. She studied Ethnic Studies and Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). For the last 5 years, Amber has been running COLOR’s grassroots voter engagement, community advocacy, and youth leadership development programs through a reproductive justice framework to mobilize the Latinx community in Denver. This lady is very family-oriented, and her wife and three younger sisters keep her inspired to fight for a just world every day. She is super excited about politics and engaging and empowering under represented communities. Her work in the broader social justice movement includes working with community partners on policies to provide drivers licenses for undocumented folx and increasing the minimum wage for all Coloradans. Securing wins at the legislature and at the ballot box to ensure access to abortion and other vital reproductive health care services positions her well to continue working with legislators and voters to eliminate toxins and advocate for better health all around. Amber envisions a world where we have liberation for all people and that each one of us is able to fully embody and use our power to continue to build a sustainable and collective future.
Kathy Maestas is a financial consultant with more than 25 years of experience. During the past five years, Kathy has worked with a number of Colorado small grassroots nonprofits, including Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Latin American Educational Foundation (LAEF), Latinas First Foundation (LFF), HCC Diversity Leader’s Contractor Academy, Individuals Demonstrating Empowerment to Achieve Success (IDEAS), Colorado Circles for Change (CCFC), Denver Botanic Gardens Dia de los Muertos Event and several more. In addition to her work in the nonprofit sector, Kathy has volunteered her time and has served on several Boards and councils including the Autism Society of Colorado, Florence Crittenton Services Hispanic Advisory Council Co-Chair, Denver Shared Spaces (DSS) Steering Committee and just recently joined the Colorado Community of Practice (CoP) Advisory Council on Cultural and Linguistic Competence for organizations that serve individuals with developmental disabilities. One of her most profound accomplishments was being a founder and board member of CEDIL Puerto Rico, a bilingual learning center for children with special needs and disabilities on the island.
Kathy holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Denver and a Masters of Public Administration with a Concentration in Nonprofit Organizations from the University of Colorado at Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs. She also successfully completed the Colorado Political Leadership (CPL) Fellowship program.
Kathy has a sincere passion for helping people and building strong long lasting relationships, which is evident in both her professional and personal life. Kathy is most proud of her three children, Sierra, Sage & Sofia.
Director of Programs and Policy
Jamie has worked in the environmental health field for nearly decade and oversees the organization’s programmatic work. In addition, she devises policy strategies on the state and federal level that will increase disclosure of ingredients and reduce the use of harmful chemicals in consumer and salon products. She is a co-convener of the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance and a former steering committee member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Montana Women Vote. Prior to working in the field of environmental health Jamie worked in Yellowstone as a park ranger keeping tourists away from grizzly bears.
Jamie has a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from UCLA. While attending the University of Montana, Jamie was named a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2005-2006).
Office Assistant & Bookkeeper
Nancy Menning returned to Missoula in late summer 2019 after a 24-year absence. She has a PhD in religious studies from the University of Iowa and earlier academic and professional experience in natural resource management, social forestry, environmental studies, and environmental protection. She spent most of the last ten years teaching in the religious studies and environmental studies programs at Ithaca College in upstate New York. Most recently, she was the bookkeeper for two history-oriented nonprofits in Ithaca. She is also the Treasurer/Bookkeeper for the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans (an affiliation that explains the “simplicity” of her preferred hairstyle). Outside her work at WVE, Nancy is engaged in religious activism around climate change and is writing a book reinterpreting the Noah’s Ark narrative for our contemporary times of climate change and species extinctions.
Menstrual Equity Organizing Fellow
With a dedication to Scholar Activism, Isabela is currently a Master of Art’s candidate at Iliff School of Theology in the Social Justice and Ethics program with the intent to pursue Doctoral research in Postcolonial Feminist Theory and Liberative Ethics. Isabela is committed to uplifting and centering the narratives of socially marginalized identities through her personal and professional community organizing. In addition to graduate studies, she is also working as an Intern for the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights where she is developing a faith-based communication tool-kit for engaging the Reproductive Justice narrative with culturally Catholic communities. Isabela also regularly writes for and acts as the Blog Coordinator for Platform4Womxn, and is always looking for collaborators to play and co-create forms of Artivism! When not engaged in academia or work, Isabela can be found in the mountains, hiking and backpacking with her rescue dog, Alma.
Program & Outreach Manager
Maria Ignacia was born and raised in Chile, and moved to the U.S. in 2006 when she was 12 years old. She graduated from the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) with a B.A. in International Studies, Political Science, and a minor in Spanish. She is interested in a variety of social justice issues, especially concerning reproductive justice in different communities; however, she believes that the conversations around collaboration and intersectionality among social justice organizations are the key to creating effective change in the community. With a passion for learning, Maria Ignacia enjoys exchanging viewpoints and information with colleagues, friends, and family. As Gabriela Mistral once said, “Los días más felices son aquellos que nos hacen sabios”. Maria Ignacia’s favorite activities include speaking Spanish, photography, and brainstorming projects for the future. She has worked at COLOR for the last 2 years as a Community Organizer and Field Manager developing and implementing community outreach strategies to engage the Latinx community. She is also Rise Up Midwife’s Spanish Creative Consultant and is excited to work for a company that makes social justice t-shirts for people of color. You can follow Maria Ignacia’s creative endeavors on @mimsphotoart on instagram.
Director of Science and Research
Alexandra Scranton is the Director of Science and Research at Women’s Voices for the Earth. Alex authors WVE’s scientific reports and provides scientific review for the organization’s programs. Prior to working at WVE, she worked in the epidemiology and statistics unit at the American Lung Association headquarters in New York. She currently sits on the Research Advisory Committee for the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and on the Institutional Biosafety Committee for Rocky Mountain Laboratories (a National Institutes of Health facility). She has a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a B.A. from Amherst College. Alex lives and works from Missoula, MT, with her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Director of Development
Robyn has a background in feminist organizing, fundraising and theory. She has an B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Montana, where she directed her campus Women’s Resource Center as an undergraduate. Before joining the WVE team in 2015, she worked to improve the lives of low-income and at-risk women and families as an Americorps VISTA and fundraising professional. On the side, Robyn makes and sells snarky/feminist embroidery art (check it out @dgaf_stitching on Instagram). The rest of the time, she plays women’s hockey (badly), leads a feminist book brunch club, and enjoys life in Montana where she camps and hikes with her spouse and their two tiny chihuahuas.
Alicia Ybarra is an operations consultant at Women’s Voices for the Earth where she actively coordinates and creates policies and operations where previously none existed or where systems need a reboot — this includes updating HR manuals, file storage systems, and streamlining processes to ensure the organization has its functional needs met.
Alicia has a masters degree in sociology with an accompanying certificate in professional ethics, and an undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in social work, from Texas State University. Alicia has previously worked for a feminist non-profit reproductive justice organization whose focus is on empowering and educating young Latinas. More recently, Alicia worked at rehabilitation companies focusing on creating a safer community by providing court mandated therapeutic services to clients discharged from community corrections. She also helped expand the treatment services provided by her agency to include developmentally disabled people, transgender people, adolescents and human service clients.
When Alicia is not busy creating systems for organizations and advocating for people who may otherwise be marginalized, she takes self care very seriously. Her hobbies include watching reality TV romance, caring for pets, (a small chihuahua and a large cat), spending time with her long time partner, collecting rocks, practicing her long time skill in cosmetology and remaining a full operating cosmetologist licensed in the state of Texas. You may also find her at live music venues and little dive bars.