Meet Our Team
Rev. Veronica M. Johnson
Outreach Director | she/her
Rev. Veronica M. Johnson was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Maywood, IL. She attended the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors. She worked in the fields of engineering and project management for several Fortune 500 companies for 20 years prior to answering her call to ministry in 2006.
Rev. Johnson earned a Master of Divinity Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in 2012, graduating with academic commendation. Rev. Johnson currently serves as CoPastor of Hyde Park Union Church. She has served previously in the Baptist, AME, and UCC churches, and is the former president of the council for the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago.
Rev. Johnson has been instrumental in mentoring and guiding persons of many nationalities, ages, religious backgrounds, etc., to pursue theological education, as she served for seven years as the Sr. Director of Admissions and Enrollment of McCormick Theological Seminary.
She has also served as a motivational speaker, mentor, workshop facilitator and consultant for corporations, K-12 and higher educational institutions, churches and faith-based organizations.
Rev. Johnson is the mother of two children: Curtis Johnson II, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Vanessa Johnson, a student at Howard University in Washington D.C.
Rev. Cindy Shepherd
Green Team Director | she/her
Rev. Shepherd directs all of Faith in Place’s Central Illinois outreach programs.
Her enjoyment of working with the many people and communities of the region inspire her every day in her desire to live out faith with compassion for Earth and her inhabitants. Cindy grew up in Kansas and has lived in Illinois for 24 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from the University of Kansas and Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.
She served in parish ministry for the Presbyterian Church (USA) and joined Faith in Place in 2012 as a discussion leader for the Just Eating Sustainable Food Curriculum. Cindy became the Director of Outreach for the Central Illinois office in June 2014.
North & West Chicago Suburbs Senior Outreach Coordinator | he/him
Dan first joined Faith in Place in 2014 as a volunteer working to gather grassroots support for the EPA Carbon Rules, and later the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill. In 2015 he joined our outreach staff to help with our smart energy programs in the western and northwestern Chicago suburbs.
He grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, currently resides in Rolling Meadows, and is a member of Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist. His B.A. in Communications is from DePauw University, and he previously volunteered with environmental education and advocacy organizations including The John G. Shedd Aquarium, Sierra Club, and The Climate Reality Project.
By living his philosophy, “Try to learn something from everyone,” while spending time with many climate organizations, he’s been able to develop a creative climate communication style that produces action. He strives to be a catalyst for positive healthy change by connecting people’s existing passions with Faith in Place’s action-focused programs.
Rev. Wade Halva
Southern Illinois Outreach Coordinator | he/him
Wade grew up in Raleigh, NC at the end of a half-mile long dead end dirt road. The back property line was a creek, and Wade’s early playground was the woods. His roots in the forest continue to ground his care for creation.
Wade received his Bachelor of Arts in history and religious studies from the College of Wooster, a Master’s in Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary. He has served in parish ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Illinois and Utah.
For rest and relaxation, Wade enjoys the mountains and the beach, the forests and the bluff. Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia hold a special place in his heart.
Chicago Outreach Senior Coordinator | she/her
Isioma grew up in Vancouver, Washington surrounded by evergreen trees. Her father is the Director of the Department of Ecology for Washington state, which is where her passion for all things environmental stems from.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science concentrating in Sociology and Psychology from Washington State University, and an Master of Arts in Social Justice from Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies. During her graduate program, she was an Intern Facilitator at the Brother David Darst Center. Prior to that, she worked for the Health Justice Project and was involved in the Initiative to Amend Lead-Based Paint Poisoning in Federal Homes.
Isioma joined Faith in Place as the Bronzeville Outreach Coordinator in May 2018. Now she serves the organization as the Chicago Outreach Senior Coordinator.
Indiana Outreach Coordinator | she/her
Jalisa Mauldin lives in Gary, IN and serves as Faith in Place’s Gary Indiana Outreach Coordinator. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Fisk University. Jalisa is passionate about environmental justice, community building, and resource management.
Jalisa’s passion for community building continued during her years as a student at Fisk University. As a member of the Fisk Regional Club, Jalisa was given the opportunity to connect with community members in the North Nashville, TN area. With a continued partnership with the local Boys and Girls Club, Jalisa unearthed her interest in teaching. Jalisa’s opportunity to teach, coupled with her experience as a Media Management Intern, gave her a true appreciation for providing communities with information for change! Jalisa also acted as Class Senator for two consecutive terms which ingrained in her a greater desire to champion community involvement, especially regarding the evolution of legislation.
Jalisa’s skills in outreach, education, and community advocacy will propel her mission to continue bringing environmental health and community building to the forefront of Gary, Indiana.
Central Illinois Outreach Coordinator | he/him
Aiden Meyer is the Central IL Outreach Coordinator.
Originally from Vandalia, IL, Aiden became interested in social justice issues when he would travel to St. Louis with his high school youth group to support low-income communities with public service projects.
His passion for social justice deepened when Professor Becky Croteau taught him about environmental injustice at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield. Professor Croteau is a member of the Green Team at Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Her mentorship, and especially her Prairie Restoration course, inspired Aiden to change his major from Criminal Justice to Biology. After earning his Associate degree at Lincoln Land, Aiden continued his studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a Minor in Criminal Justice.
He currently resides in Springfield, and is very active in the local community. During college, he served as president of the Gay-Straight Alliance club and the secretary for the Environmental club. He loves being outdoors hiking, kayaking, camping, rock climbing, bouldering, you name it! He also regularly volunteers for Friends of the Sangamon Valley—a Springfield-based nonprofit that focuses on restoring natural habitats such as prairies, wetlands, and savannas.
Aiden has also served five years in the Air Force National Guard as an Engineer Apprentice.
Ramont "Ray" Bell
Director of Programs | he/him
Ramont is the Director of Programs at Faith in Place. In his current role, he carries the overall responsibility for achieving measurable impacts for environmental justice across all 5 program areas by supervising program staff, budgets, tracking of KPIs, creation of programs, and implementation. Ray also coaches 3-5 Green Teams.
Previously, he served as Outreach Coordinator for the Water Preservation program at Faith in Place. He was responsible for overseeing and facilitating the improvement of storm water management systems at houses of worship in the Calumet region. The Water Preservation program includes storm water audits, green infrastructure planning, water audits and retrofits, and utilizing Faith in Place’s Interfaith Water Curriculum.
Ramont joined the Faith in Place staff in February 2016. He has a passion for economic/social justice and environmental issues, especially water preservation.
Previously, he worked for AT&T in various engineering positions. His last position was the Area Manager of Engineering and Planning for Illinois and Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and Education from Chicago State University, his Master of Science degree in Information Systems and Telecommunications from DePaul University, and his Professional Certificate in Watershed Management from Purdue University.
Northern Illinois Outreach Coordinator | she/her
LaSheena Jenkins is originally from Chicago and is the founder and Executive Creative Director of Shee Creates Theater Company. Prior to coming to Faith in Place, Jenkins completed a dual Master of Arts Degree at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. It was during this program that LaSheena sought to understand her own carbon footprint and its impact on Gaia.
Aside from earning a Master of Arts in Public Ministry and a Master of Divinity, LaSheena Jenkins has been trained by Second City in acting and playwriting. She also received community organizing training through PICO California in San Francisco and IMAN Leadership Development located on Chicago’s South Side. Coming into this role, she has partnerships with churches, community organizing campaigns, and local theaters throughout Illinois. Jenkins possesses an enormous vision and passion for authentic community, for both the human and beyond human.
She brings a wealth of knowledge and innovative coping techniques for families impacted by abuse, divorce, neurodiversity, mental illness, natural disasters, and theological harm, to name a few.
Jenkins exhibits bold leadership in service to those in need of an advocate. When LaSheena isn’t facilitating challenging conversations with the broader community, she is journaling, painting, weight-training, and spending time with her "littles".
Sustainable Food & Land Use Senior Coordinator | she/her
Princess joined Faith in Place in March 2018. She is the Sustainable Food & Land Use Senior Coordinator, managing the Migration & Me Story Circles, nature outings, and other related programs. Previously, she served as Outreach Coordinator for the Migration & Me program and managed our former Winter Farmers Market program.
Princess’ interest in the environment started as a child when she would go into the Van Vlissingen Prairie & Wetland (now known as the Marian R. Byrnes Natural Area) with nothing but two dogs and the curiosity of a “cat” looking for some plant or creature to bring home. Having access to that area fueled her passion for all things green (watch her hike there!) and it is that experience that she wants to bring to all through the Migration & Me program.
Princess has worked on and managed an inner city farm, farmers market and understands the importance of having access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Princess hopes to use that knowledge to support Faith in Place’s mission to care for the Earth. Princess has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University and is working on her Master of Public Policy at Northwestern. She is honored to be part of Faith in Place and lives by the quote “There is no planet B.”
Energy & Climate Change Outreach Coordinator | she/her
Samantha educates and engages people of faith with Faith in Place’s Smart Energy programs that help individuals and faith communities save money and reduce their environmental impact.
Before joining the Faith in Place team in July 2014, Samantha worked for a nonprofit social service agency for over 20 years in Administrative Management. She is a member of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church located in the West Garfield Park neighborhood and is a longtime resident of the North Lawndale community. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management with a concentration in Accounting.
"I work at FiP because I want to do my part in helping people to care for our planet. I know a little about global warming and why we are getting these severe weather patterns. But working at FiP has inspired me to learn more about how I can make a significant difference by becoming a good steward of our beautiful Earth. People need to know that we only have this one planet and one chance to get it right!"
Youth Empowerment Coordinator | he/him
“The preservation of ancestral form is meaningless without a genuine development program.” As an artist, educator, and global meaning maker, Cesar designs artistic and educational programs for youth and young adults to conserve and uphold ancestral forms, which include environments, cultures, and languages. This work challenges Western Colonial approaches to education by centering the learner’s identity, embodying youth led approaches, and validating new media as literacy.
Ultimately, Cesar recognizes that the environment is not only about the birds, bees, and trees but is about the places we live, learn, eat, and sleep.
Rev. Scott Onqué
Policy Director | he/him
Pastor Onqué currently serves as Pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, a 100-year-old historic church on the south side of Chicago. He has served in this capacity for 14 years. Under his leadership the church has grown tremendously both spiritual and numerically. Pastor Onqué has a passion for teaching and preaching the Word of God. Pastor Onqué is very civically and socially conscious.
He serves on several community boards and commissions and realizes that volunteering his time in community efforts is an integral part of his ministry. He is currently the President of the Congress of Christian Education Department of the Salem Baptist District Association of Chicago and Vicinity. He currently serves as the Treasurer of Baptist General State Convention of Illinois. Pastor Onqué also serves as a commissioner for African American Families Commission for the State of Illinois.
Illinois Policy Senior Coordinator | she/her
Christina Krost (long o, rhymes with "most") grew up in suburban Detroit and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Albion College and an MAT from Marygrove College.
She taught in both public and private schools in Illinois and Michigan for 10 years before starting her ministry in creation justice. She joined Faith in Place in March 2015 to organize Houses of Worship around smart energy programs in Central and Southern Illinois. In addition to her work at Faith in Place, she is Vice President of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference United Methodist Women and Chair of her conference's Church & Society board.
She is married to Todd, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and has 3 daughters. The family lives in Mattoon, IL.
Wisconsin Policy Coordinator | he/him
Alexander Malchow lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and is the Wisconsin Policy Coordinator for Faith in Place.
He received his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and is working toward completing his Master in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Alexander is passionate about environmental and social justice, advocacy, and politics. Before joining the Faith in Place team in June 2022, Alexander's interest in justice led him to co-found Housing Navigation Services of Dane County. A program assisting individuals, families, and young adults, to get housed quickly and systematically.
In his free time, Alexander enjoys bicycling, coaching basketball, reading, and volunteering in his community.
Indiana Policy Coordinator | she/her
Christine joined Faith in Place in July 2022. She grew up in Germany and has lived in Indiana for more than three decades.
In 1981 she received her M.A. in economics from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and a PhD in Public Affairs from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, in 1984.
She was rudely awakened by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster that resulted in radioactivity raining down over much of Europe, contaminating playgrounds and pastures, forests and fields. Radioactivity was soon detected in food, in the dust that collects in vacuum cleaner bags and in sewage treatment plants. This disaster, and a major chemical spill that made its way down the river Rhine, turned her attention to the fact that pollution doesn’t just happen “out there,” but that we are intimately affected by it as we eat, drink and breathe.
Since then, she has worked to further environmental protections in various capacities. She taught, until recently, courses on the environment at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington, IN, was co-founder and organizer of a local, volunteer driven non-profit called the Center for Sustainable Living, and at one point inspected small farms in Indiana for organic certification. For several years she worked as a consultant supporting environmental groups, some seeking to protect national and state forests, others fighting coal mining, biomass-burning power plants and highway construction.
Christine grew up in a Lutheran church in Germany. After moving to the US, she explored other faiths and spiritual traditions, and is now a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Bloomington, Indiana. She is active in an interfaith group in Bloomington Indiana, called Noah’s Ark, and loves exploring the infinite realm of Spirit.
Communications Director | she/her
Kira serves as the Director of Communications for Faith in Place. Her personal mission statement is “To wield empathy, creativity, and collaboration to advance positive change and justice in the world.” She has a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Allegheny College and a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University.
Kira spent her early career as a hospital chaplain for a pediatric trauma center. That early work in chaplaincy continues to inform her work in nonprofit communications. Kira brings more than a decade of eclectic experience to her role at Faith in Place including communications strategy, digital communications, and advocacy strategy.
Kira’s passion for environmental justice stems from her passion for democracy, abolition, and racial justice. She lives the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago with her family, including her husband and two children.
Media Relations Coordinator | she/her
Lauren serves as a Media Relations Coordinator at Faith in Place. She recently graduated from DePaul University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in both Journalism and Environmental Studies with a focus in sustainability. Her passion for environmental justice and environmental communications grew from her experience working as a freelance environmental journalist and writer—covering climate change and environmental justice issues in Chicago.
Lauren also served as the President and Director of Communications for DePaul’s chapter of the Climate Reality Project—a student-led organization focused on increasing the Catholic University’s sustainability initiatives. More recently, Lauren worked to conduct research and co-author a chapter for the Routledge Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communications on youth-led environmental movements and climate change communication in the digital era of activism.
Growing up on the southwest side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs, Lauren became passionate about writing and communicating issues of injustice that she witnessed in her own community and across the world. She is passionate about utilizing her strong writing, storytelling, and communications skills to advocate for just climate solutions and healthy communities, while working to empower and educate diverse communities of faith through her work at Faith in Place. Check out Voices of the Earth—a podcast she co-hosts with Katie—to learn more!
Regional Communications Coordinator | she/her
Carla is from Waukegan, IL where she later went to college as a first-generation student. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a minor in Communication Arts from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA in May 2020. Carla has always loved camping, hiking, and going out into nature when she was a child.
In college, Carla served as the multicultural intern for the admissions office where she assisted and created programming for student visits. Diversity and inclusion, which includes religious, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender & sexuality, etc. is a key factor when having various conversations, especially when talking about environmental justice. She has ethnographic research experience that helped her understand telling people’s stories is a powerful tool when advocating and learning about various communities.
Carla joined the team in 2021 to coordinate outreach efforts in Northern IL. She recently transitioned to the Communications Department to support the regional outreach staff in amplifying stories across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Rev. Brian Sauder
President & Executive Director | he/him
Rev. Sauder serves as the President and Executive Director of Faith in Place, a nonprofit empowering people of diverse faiths and spiritualities to be leaders in advancing environmental and racial justice by providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities.
Ordained by the Mennonite Church, U.S.A.—Rev. Sauder also serves as an Adjunct Professor at both McCormick Theological Seminary and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary—teaching public ministry courses for future clergy and faith leaders on organizing for environmental justice.
He is an award recipient of the University of Illinois Business School's Community Scholar, a Central IL Business 40 Under 40 winner, and a 2019 Midwest Energy News' 40 Under 40 winner.
Rev. Sauder grew up in rural Tazewell County, IL and received his B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois, his M.A. in Religion from Urbana Theological Seminary, and his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois.
Notable Media Work and Features:
Crain’s Chicago Business: CEJA puts long-term health over short-term profits
The Chicago Tribune: Clean air should not be for sale: Why Chicago needs a clean buildings ordinance
Natural Awakenings: Brian Sauder on Faith-Based Grassroots Change
WGN Radio: Mark Carman Full Show
Sinai and Synapses: Empowering People of Faith to Care for the Environment
The New York Times: For Faithful, Social Justice Goals Demand Action on Environment
Things Not Seen Radio: An Interfaith Ecology: Rev. Brian Sauder
Deputy Director | they/them
Elena serves as the Deputy Director for Faith in Place. Their passion for environmental justice grew from time working in community health in the US, Latin American, and the Middle East, and from their own experience as a queer Latine. They are passionate about honoring the intersectional nature of environmental health and supporting Faith in Place as they address the social, racial, and economic roots of the climate crisis.
They also grew up in a multifaith home with a Buddhist father and Christian mother and today, they follow Buddhist practices. Elena uses this background to communicate across faith traditions and are passionate about utilizing their skills in messaging, digital media strategy, and graphic design to advocate for community health and just climate solutions.
After growing up in Tennessee, Elena got their Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Tennessee, a Master of Arts from North Park Theological Seminary, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Environmental and Occupational Health from the George Washington University. Their MPH thesis research focused on how to build climate resilience among Latinx youth through climate communications. They also serve on American Public Health Association's Center for Climate, Health and Equity Advisory Board as well as the Environmental Health and the Health and Climate Change Committees.
Operations & Finance Director | she/her
Ginnie grew up in the Chicago suburbs and received her Bachelor of Science in Food Science from Iowa State University in Ames. She spent the majority of her career in food industry management before taking a nine year career break for family reasons.
Faced with starting a new chapter of her life, she decided to move in the direction of environmental issues, something that has been close to her heart for many years. She joined the Faith in Place team in January 2013 as the bookkeeper and now serves as our Operations & Finance Director, overseeing financial matters and grant reporting so that we are able to support programs that inspire faith communities to better Earth care.
Ginnie also coordinates our product ordering to make our business practices more sustainable. In her community, she is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, and she serves as Board Treasurer for Pizza and Social Justice, a 501c3 community organization dedicated to building a society free from racism and discrimination by fostering lasting relationships across all racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds; by recognizing bias in ourselves and our communities; and by working together to promote a more just society.
Director of Development | he/him
Greg is the Director of Development at Faith in Place. He works as part of the Development Team to ensure the organization has the resources needed to sustain and expand its efforts toward healthier futures for all communities. He joined Faith in Place in June 2019.
Greg traces his passion for environmental sustainability to time spent at his grandparents’ farm and woods near Orrville, Ohio. His interest in nonprofit fundraising began during a two-year term as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in Alaska’s rural Copper River Basin.
Prior to joining Faith in Place, Greg was the Grants Manager for Vermont Law School’s U.S.-Asia Partnerships for Environmental Law. He holds a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science from the University of Vermont.
Development Coordinator | she/her
Michelle serves as a Development Coordinator at Faith in Place. Originally from Waukegan, Illinois, she recently graduated from Haverford College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a focus in Environmental Chemistry and Economic Policy. Driven by the environmental injustices her hometown faces, Michelle is passionate about advocating for and finding just solutions for communities disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.
Prior to joining Faith in Place, Michelle worked as a Program Assistant at the Climate + Energy Project (CEP) to turn out environmental voters in Kansas for the 2020 election. Hoping to engage more Kansan youth in the CEP’s work, she developed the KEY (Kansas Environmental Youth) Network to connect the youth movements happening across the state for collaboration. Drawing from her work at Haverford as a Student Advancement Officer, she began grant-writing for the Highwood Public Library and their capital campaign. She is excited to combine her skills in development and programming to support and expand FIP’s efforts in empowering communities of faith.
Operations & Data Management Coordinator | she/they
Liz serves as the Operations & Data Management Coordinator. They are passionate about using their analytic skills to create and manage systems that empower environmental justice leaders and bring about just climate solutions.
She transitioned from the Development Coordinator position in March 2023, where she served Faith in Place as a fundraising professional, which laid the groundwork for their current role.
After growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, Liz received their Bachelor of Arts in English at James Madison University with a minor in Environmental Humanities. She went on to serve as an Environment, Agriculture, and Food Security volunteer for the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa. There they lived for over two years in a rural, predominately Muslim Community of 1,500 Tchamba people, working alongside community members for sustainable climate solutions, eating an endless number of mangos, and exploring nature.
They grew up Catholic and have explored many faith traditions, embracing the Divine in each exploration. Today, they identify as a queer, nature-spiritualist with strong ties to eastern religious practices and pagan traditions. She holds a Master of Arts in Religious Studies with a concentration in Interfaith Engagement from Chicago Theological Seminary. Their MA thesis analyzed the connection between creativity and mysticism through mind, body, and spirit- a theme they return to again and again in their work.
Currently, they reside in Chicago, IL. If they aren’t working on data and spreadsheets, she can often be found at an open-mic night reciting poetry or on the Chicago River running trails.
Operations & Finance Coordinator | she/her
Angie comes to Faith in Place from Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, where she served as a part-time administrative support staff member since January 2017. Angie has a Bachelor of Science in Business from Indiana University and over 25 years of administrative experience. She previously worked for 13 years as an Administrative Assistant at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, where she supported the Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery department.
In January of 2020, she moved to a new position as Executive Assistant to the Town Manager of her small Hoosier hometown of Brownsburg, Indiana where she still resides. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games and cards, and attending trivia contests with her friends and family. She loves spending time outside especially trail walking, bike riding, swimming, and playing with her dogs.
Her religious affiliation is non-denominational Christian. Having grown up in a conservative Evangelical Christian home, she is specifically interested in ways to discuss the importance of climate care to conservatives in a way that is engaging, positive, and impactful.
Development Coordinator | he/him
Eric lives in Columbus, IN, his hometown since 1996. Hoosier National Forest, Brown County State Park, and Sycamore Land Trust hiking trails, all within an hour’s drive of his home, have served as a source of peace, inspiration, and advocacy. He loves camping with his 2 children, Nela and Isaac.
His young adulthood was shaped by natural disasters. Beginning with leading 2 mission trips to Gulfport, MS after Hurricane Katrina in 2006-2007, Eric has focused his volunteer life on environmental projects. Following a devastating 2008 flood in Columbus, Eric served as a case manager during the disaster recovery and published “Watershed: Service in the Wake of Disaster” about the city’s resilience.
Eric joined Faith in Place in 2023 as a Development Coordinator. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Business Administration with an emphasis on Social Entrepreneurship. He began grant writing in 2010. He is grateful to the Sierra Club for helping him grow as an environmental advocate prior to joining Faith in Place.
Eric’s faith was formed through a non-denominational house church community, Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Methodist Church. Eric led an effort to install a Chartres-style, outdoor, public labyrinth on church property in downtown Columbus in 2022. His wife, Jen, serves as Director of Children, Youth, and Young Adult Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Columbus.
Eric helped his community become Indiana’s first Bee City USA affiliate in 2021 and loves talking about gardening and native plants.
Modern Elder Emeritus | she/her
Veronica Kyle joined Faith in Place in 2008 and retired in 2021. Upon retirement, the Faith in Place staff bestowed an honorary title to Veronica as “Modern Elder Emeritus.” This title recognizes the significant contribution Veronica has made to shaping and growing not only Faith in Place’s impactful environmental justice programs, but also Veronica’s deep influence on the inclusive culture of Faith in Place for staff to learn and grow. Veronica’s wisdom is celebrated at Faith in Place and her influence carries us forward in advancing our mission.