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Who We Are
Lois Marie Gibbs,
The Board is looking to hire a new Executive Director and Gibbs will continue on at CHEJ as Director of the Leadership Training Academy to strengthen and expand the field of grassroots group working for change.
To maintain our momentum in supporting community based environmental justice work, we have begun the formal search for the next grassroots leader with excellent training and management skills and a vision of powerful action – our successor Executive Director.
Lois Gibbs will shift her full time attention away from her current day-to-day administrative responsibilities with the engagement of our next Executive Director, which is expected to occur this summer. “I’m excited to spend more time in the field to build the advocacy base for change!” said Lois Gibbs, “and it’s a great opportunity for one of the emerging community leaders out there to take CHEJ to the next level!”
For more information:
Gregory Kolen II,
Jason Roberts, Database & Membership Manager
Board of Directors
CHEJ is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors. Currently, our board is comprised of five community leaders and five professionals. The board sets policy, reviews and approves projects, oversees finances and projects, and supervises the executive director. Board members serve three-year staggered terms and elect new members from nominations that may, under the by-laws, be submitted by anyone. Members of the board meet twice a year; they are reimbursed for travel expenses and lodging but are not compensated for their time. We strive to make our board mirror our constituency. Our board is made up of three men and five women, which includes one African American and two Hispanic American. We are presently looking to fill two vacancies on the board.
Capacity Builder/Trainer, Retired Director of The Needmor Fund – Toledo, OH
Activist, Citizens for Environmental Justice, Corpus Christi, TX
Experienced strategist and Chairman, CrossCurrents Foundation – Washington, DC
Grassroots leader, Love Canal Homeowners Association – Buffalo, NY
Grassroots leader, People for Clean Air and Water – Hanford, CA
Researcher, Environmental Research Foundation – New Brunswick, NJ
Experienced fundraiser and activist – Takoma Park, MD
Pete Sessa (Chairman)
Attorney/Activist – Boston, MA
Alonzo Spencer (Chairman Emeritus)
Grassroots leader, Save Our County – East Liverpool, OH
Grassroots Leader, BREDL – Glendale Springs, NC
Corporate Secretary – Richardsville, VA
General Counsel – Washington, D.C.
Mike Schade is the Markets Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), a national environmental health organization. Mike has over a decade of experience working on environmental health and justice issues. For four years, he was the Western New York Director of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, where he coordinated community, marketplace and policy campaigns, including the Toxic-Free Legacy, Bucket Brigade and Kodak Corporate Accountability campaigns, resulting in substantial victories for environmental and public health. He also worked for the Buffalo Coalition for Economic Justice. At CHEJ, Mike has coordinated the successful national PVC and BPA Marketplace Transformation Campaigns which has convinced some of the world’s biggest companies to phase out PVC, phthalates and BPA. Ethisphere Magazine listed Mike as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics for 2007 and the PVC Campaign received the “Path to Victory” Business Ethics Network award. He is the author or co-author of numerous reports including the Wasting of Rural New York State-Factory Farms and Public Health, Volatile Vinyl-the New Shower Curtain’s Chemical Smell, Baby’s Toxic Bottle-BPA Leaching From Popular Baby Bottles, No Silver Lining-An Investigation Into BPA in Canned Foods, and Toxic Toys R Us. He has a BS in Environmental Studies from the State University of NY at Buffalo.