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Meet Our Team

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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. Veronica M. Johnson
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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. 

Rev. Cindy Shepherd
Dan Huntsha
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Dan Huntsha

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.

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Rev. Wade Halva

Southern Illinois Outreach Senior 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. 

Rev. Wade Halva

Isioma Odum

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. 

Isioma Odum

Jalisa Mauldin

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.

Jalisa Mauldin

Aiden Meyer

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.

Aiden Meyer

LaSheena Jenkins

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".

LaSheena Jenkins
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Muhammad Shahzad Hussain

Multifaith Outreach Coordinator | he/him

Shahzad belongs to the northern region of Pakistan where he spent most of his life. Trained as an Islamic scholar in the traditional Islamic seminaries (madaris), his intellectual pursuits are stretched along the lines of tradition, scholarship, and a deep commitment to global challenges. 

Following his graduation from the seminaries, Shahzad made a scholarly contribution by co-authoring The Untold Truth of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law. This report not only compiles but critically examines the perspectives of traditional jurists from diverse Islamic Schools of Law on the sensitive issue of blasphemy. His academic exploration continued with M.Phil. research, where he delved into the complex topic of ISIS’ (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) notion of excommunication, viewed through the lens of al-Ghazali, an eleventh-century theologian and Sufi. 

In the United States, Shahzad graduated from the University of Notre Dame, specializing in International Peace Studies. His transformative internship at the World Hunger Relief Institute in Texas fueled his passion for regenerative practices and sustainability. It is reflected in the capstone project for his master’s degree in which he developed a captivating children’s handbook on gardening, written in his national language, Urdu.  

Shahzad is also the co-founder of “hara bhara Haripur,” a social media campaign dedicated to raising climate awareness in his hometown, Haripur, showing his commitment to grassroot change and community engagement. 

In the midst of his dynamic pursuits, Shahzad finds balance and inner peace through meditative practices of Tai Chi and sketching. 

Shahzad Hussain
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Tanya W. Crothers-Lewis

Wisconsin Outreach Coordinator | she/her

Tanya grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and earned her Associate of Arts in Business with a study in communications along with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Concordia University Wisconsin. She has worked in the field of banking for several major corporations throughout Wisconsin and served 15 years with the Milwaukee County Clerk of Circuit Court providing accounting, customer service, and purchasing before deciding to pursue a career change. She is a member of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee, WI.   


With her love for people and desire for economic growth for her community, she brings a fresh perspective to the racial injustice and work needed to foster healthier communities. With her love for youth, she has also worked part-time as a tutor for at-risk youth. Tanya is excited to join the Faith in Place team and is looking forward to being an advocate for youth and faith-based houses of worship throughout Wisconsin.    


In her spare time, she loves coordinating, organizing, taking nature drives and just spending time with family and friends. She’s always meditating and finding ways to relax for her own peace. She values building long-term friendships, singing, and learning about different ethnic and religious backgrounds. She is always willing to help out, donate to the community when asked, and volunteer for organizations such as United Way. 

Tanya W. Crothers-Lewis
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Samantha Miller

Outreach Support 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!"

Samantha Miller
Ramont Bell
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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.

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Princess Harris

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.”

Princess Harris

Cesar Almeida

Youth Empowerment Senior 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.

Cesar Almeida
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April Parker

Energy & Climate Change Coordinator | she/her

April is located in the south suburban area of Chicago and serves as the Energy and Climate Change Coordinator at Faith in Place. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in ecology and a minor in Spanish from Loyola University Chicago. April continued her education, earning her first Master of Science in Environmental Science and Sustainability with a concentration in Environmental Law and Policy from Loyola University Chicago.


Her love for plants and passion for environmental justice led her to obtain a second master's degree from Northwestern University, where she received a Master of Science in Plant Biology and Conservation. 

In her free time, April is developing an urban farm on the South Side of Chicago to help mitigate food insecurity and provide a safe community food hub where residents have access to fresh, nutritious, and culturally relevant food options. 

April Parker
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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.

Rev. Scott Onqué
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Alexander Malchow

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. 

Alexander Malchow
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Christine Glaser

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.

Christine Glaser
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Mohammad Ahmadi

Policy & Endorsement Campaign Coordinator | he/him

Mohammad Ahmadi is an Iranian climate justice activist based in the Chicago metropolitan area in the United States. He is the Co-founder, Board Member, & Communications Director of the MENA Youth Network, the first and only region-wide, youth-led organization that aims to empower, educate, and engage youth in the area of climate justice in the Middle East & North Africa. He was also the Co-founder, Board Member, & Global Youth Leadership Director of Earth Uprising International, another youth-led organization with the same goal, but on a global level. He is an alum of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he received a Bachelor of Science in both Environmental Sustainability and Geography & GIS. 


He has served as a delegate to the UN Youth Climate Summit, COP27, LCOY USA, Youth4Climate Pre-COP26, MENA Climate Week, World Food Forum Flagship Event, SDG Action Weekend / Summit, UN Water Conference, and COY18. He was also selected as one of the 100 COP28 International Youth Climate Delegates and a Global Youth Climate Network MTE Climate Ambassador. For COP28, he served as the Networking Sessions Lead for the Children & Youth Pavilion and organized and spoke at side events at the World Bank, Food4Climate, Greening Education, and Entertainment & Culture Pavilions. 


He has met with leaders such as John Kerry, UAE Minister of Climate and Environment, KSA Minister of Energy, FAO Chief Economist, and the COP28 President, High-Level Champion, and Director-General, and has worked on partnerships with the FAO, World Food Forum, EARTHDAY.ORG, Ecosia, MoveOn, and the Islamic Development Bank. 


His work focuses on climate education, youth mobilization and inclusion in decision-making spaces, the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus in MENA, and faith-based advocacy on climate/environmental issues. He has been featured by BBC, VICE, and the Chicago Tribune. 

He can be reached by email and through LinkedIn.

Mohammad Ahmadi
Kira Dault
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Kira Dault

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. 

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Lauren Paris

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!

Lauren Paris

Carla Aldana

Regional Communications Senior 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.

Carla Aldana

Jennifer Aguilera

Digital Communications Coordinator | she/her

Jennifer Aguilera is a digital communications strategist from Waukegan, Illinois.


Passionate about the potential of digital communications for social impact, Jennifer brings a unique blend of expertise in digital strategy, graphic design, and anthropology. Her research background from Brandeis University allows her to weave a deep understanding of visual culture and human behavior into her work, ensuring that her communications efforts are not only data-driven, but also rooted in human experience. Her ethnographic research at Brandeis spanned across topics of labor, sustainability, and the intersectionality of identity.


Jennifer has carried out communications strategy and research projects for the Schuler Scholar Program, a non-profit that works with first-generation students from the Chicago area navigating the challenges that come from being the first in their family to attend college. Jennifer has also worked as a marketing consultant at LightbeamTV, a film start-up harnessing the power of storytelling for daily inspiration, connection, and motivation.


Jennifer mobilizes the digital sphere as a catalyst for change. Her work seeks to democratize knowledge, nurture meaningful conversations, and create online spaces that inspire a network of change-makers.


Outside of her digital endeavors, you can find her enjoying nature preserves, tinkering with ideas she discovers through books and listening to music.

Jennifer Aguilera
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Rev. Brian Sauder

President & CEO | 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:

Rev. Brian Sauder

Elena Canler

Chief Operating Officer | 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.

Elena Canler
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Ginnie Judd

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.

Ginnie Judd
Greg Tisher

Greg Tisher

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. 


Michelle Luu

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. 

Michelle Luu
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Liz Ferguson

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.

Liz Ferguson
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Angie Wiliford

Grants Management Coordinator | she/her

As the Grants Management Coordinator at Faith in Place, Angie is committed to optimizing processes related to the execution of our grant deliverables and operations. With a focus on continuous improvement and collaboration, she aspires to set the team up for success by developing systems that are efficient, effective, and adaptable for organizational growth. 

Angie earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Indiana University in 1996. She spent most of her career as an administrative assistant and pediatric cardiovascular surgery coordinator at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. 

Angie began her work with environmental non-profits in 2015 as a bookkeeper for the Indiana Urban Forest Council. In 2017 she took on the role of Administrative Manager for Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, where she cultivated a deeper passion for climate care and environmental justice within faith communities. Faith in Place welcomed her to the team after the Tri-State merger with Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light and Wisconsin Power & Light in 2022.  

Angie grew up surrounded by farms and cornfields in central Indiana, where she still resides. Her religious affiliation is non-denominational Christian. Having grown up in a conservative, Evangelical Christian environment, she is specifically interested in ways to discuss the importance of climate care to conservatives in a way that is engaging, positive, and impactful. 

Angie Wiliford
Eric Riddle
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Eric Riddle

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.

Veronica Kyle
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Veronica Kyle

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.

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