fbpx

Women’s Voices Board + Staff

Our Board of Directors

WVE board member, Nicole AcevedoDr. Nicole Acevedo / Minneapolis, MN

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.

Dr. Sally EdwardsDr. Sally Edwards / Lowell, MA

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 JamesKarla James / Oakland, CA

Treasurer

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.

WVE board member, Olivia RiuttaOlivia Riutta / Missoula, MT

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.

Board member, Monica SchrockMonica 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.

Tamara Toles-O-LaughlinTamara Toles-O’Laughlin / Washington, DC

Board Chair

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. 

Marrya Torrez Picture WVEMarya Torrez / Washington, DC

Secretary

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.

Annie_watson_webAnnie Watson / Missoula, MT

Annie Watson graduated from the Montana State University School of nursing and most recently worked as a school nurse in the public school setting. Prior to that she worked at St. Patrick’s hospital in Missoula, where she served on the hospital’s sustainability committee and supported initiatives to make healthcare less toxic. Before earning her BSN, Annie worked throughout the Southwest Unites States, Alaska, and Mexico as both an educator and program manager with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Her background and passion for the environment and public health lead her to her involvement with Women’s Voices. Annie currently serves on the Board of the New Priorities Foundation and spends her days caring for her young daughter at home.

Our Staff

head shot Beth ConwayBeth Conway

Communications Director

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.

Amber Garcia

Executive Director

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.

WVE staff member, Kathy MaestasKathy Maestas

Finance Consultant

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 McConnellJamie McConnell

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).


Maria Ignacia Miranda Santis

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.

Alex head shotAlexandra Scranton

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.

Robyn Windham

Director of Development

Robyn has a background in feminist organizing and fundraising. She has an B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and a graduate certification in Nonprofit Administration from the University of Montana, where she directed her campus Women’s Resource Center as an undergraduate. Before coming to WVE, she served two Americorps VISTA terms, and worked to improve the lives of low-income women and families through fundraising and program development. A born-and-raised Montanan, Robyn spends her off-hours hiking, biking, skiing, cooking, reading, and enjoying Missoula’s microbreweries.

Alicia Ybarra

Operations Consultant

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.