Environment Picture

MEC Staff

Judy Bearup
Judy Bearup, Office Manager & Personal Assistant to the President, contributes significantly to this organization. She serves as telephone system administrator; plans and coordinates internal and external meetings and events; assists President Chris Kolb with scheduling, correspondence and other matters; and provides human resources management support, among other efforts. Judy spent years working for the Michigan State Senate and House of Representatives and brings strong administrative, clerical and organizational skills to her position. An avid gardener, she completed the Master Gardening Program at Michigan State University and also studied at Lansing Community College and Davenport College

Joe Bower
Director of Development Joe Bower handles annual and major gift fundraising activities. He joined the council in June 2016 after leading development efforts at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for 10 years. Joe previously worked as a reporter, editor, or freelance writer for a variety of local newspapers and regional and national magazines, including Audubon, Sports Illustrated, and National Wildlife. He has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. A native of Southwest Michigan, Joe lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, Maria, and their children, Sam and Matilda.

James Clift
Policy Director James Clift coordinates our work on clean energy, air quality, water protection, public health, and open government, among other issues. He also coordinates the residential ratepayer intervention work before the Michigan Public Service Commission. A graduate of Central Michigan University and Wayne State University Law School, James has taught or lectured at schools across the state including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Oakland University, Wayne State University and Central Michigan University. Before coming to the council, James worked at the Michigan Senate and served as a Policy Director, where he supervised a 12-member policy staff and was primarily responsible for environmental protection issues.

Andy Draheim
MEC's Director of Finance and Development, Andy Draheim, lives in East Lansing with his wife, Shanna, their son, Joe, and twin daughters, Jillian and Abbie. After graduating from Manistee High School and Michigan State University's James Madison College, Andy worked on two local political campaigns in Michigan before earning a master's degree in American history from Indiana University. In 1995, Andy began a nine-year career with Common Cause, a citizens' lobby dedicated to fair, open and accountable government. He served Common Cause in a variety of capacities, including volunteer coordinator, grassroots organizer, policy analyst, lobbyist, foundation relations director and organizational development specialist. In August 2004, Andy and his family returned to Michigan after living in San Francisco for almost four years. He also represents the organization on the Michigan Campaign Finance Network Board of Directors.

Elizabeth Fedorchuk
Editor Elizabeth Fedorchuk brings more than 20 years of experience in internal and external communications to MEC's mission of protecting the health of Michigan's people and the environment. Joining MEC in 2004, she manages a full range of communications products and services. Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications from Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and is an active community volunteer and arts supporter in the public schools. In her free time, she and husband Matt and two teenage children Emma and Julian love exploring Michigan beaches and trails on annual family vacations in Holland, Michigan and Les Cheneaux Islands in the Upper Peninsula.

Brad Garmon
Brad Garmon is the Director of Conservation and Emerging Issues at MEC, where he has worked since moving to Michigan in 2001. Brad holds degrees in Earth Science and Geospatial Analysis, and a master's degree in English. In addition to policy work on natural resources protection, land conservation, economic development and Smart Growth issues across Michigan, he is a member of the Michigan Sense of Place Council, the Michigan Environmental Advisory Council, the national Growth Management Leadership Alliance and the People And Land Leadership Council. He was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Michigan State Parks and Recreation Blue Ribbon Panel in 2011.

Sean Hammond
Deputy Policy Director Sean Hammond helps MEC build and maintain relationships with lawmakers, stay abreast of new bills and legislative committee activities, and keep the organization's member groups informed about developments at the Capitol. A native of Potterville, Mich., Hammond comes to MEC with experience working in the Legislature and state agencies. He held a legal externship with Michigan's Senate Majority Policy Office, where he provided Republican lawmakers with policy analysis and legal memos on proposed legislation. He also has interned with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the office of Attorney General Bill Schuette and with state Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), who was then serving in the House. Hammond is a 2014 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law and a member of the State Bar of Michigan. He graduated with honors from Saginaw Valley State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in biology and minors in political science and chemistry. He and his wife live in Lansing.

Chris Kolb
Chris Kolb assumed the presidency of the Michigan Environmental Council on Jan. 1, 2009. An environmental champion in the legislature and a veteran of the environmental management field, Kolb was one of the legislature’s most consistent and vigorous defenders of clean water, clean air and public health during his six years as State Representative from the 53rd District. He was instrumental in important environmental legislation, including joint planning commissions, land bank authorities, lead poisoning prevention for children, regulation of dangerous polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs), establishment of a fund to help clean up leaking underground storage tanks, and numerous land use initiatives.

Kate Madigan
Kate Madigan works out of Traverse City, representing MEC in northern Michigan. She specializes in energy policy and assists MEC's communications and energy teams with research, writing, and advocacy. Kate joined MEC in 2005 as the Deputy Policy Director based in Lansing. In this role she worked closely with MEC member groups and Michigan's elected officials to strengthen our state's environmental protections. Prior to joining MEC, Kate worked for three years for Environment America as its safe foods advocate in Los Angeles and then as an advocate for Environment Michigan in Lansing. A Michigan native, Kate holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and the Environment and a master's degree in management from the School for International Training in Vermont. Kate lives with her husband Ross and their two children in Traverse City.

Katie Parrish
As Communications Officer, Katie Parrish manages media relations, writes and edits content for MEC’s website and publications, and helps shape the organization’s communications strategy. She joined MEC in 2017 after working as a communications manager in local government. A native of South Florida, Katie started her career as an organizer for Oceana where she worked to ban offshore oil drilling in the wake of the BP oil disaster. She later moved to Washington D.C. to work as Oceana’s national campaign organizer and later as a program manager at New Organizing Institute and campaign strategist at Free Range Studios. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelors degree in political science and minor in legal studies. Katie lives in Ann Arbor with her cat.

Tina Reynolds
Health Policy Director Tina Reynolds has extensive experience in the law and state public policy development. She holds a law degree from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. She has worked as a law clerk, as an environmental policy analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives, as a legislative assistant for the 53rd House District (Ann Arbor) and most recently as legal counsel for the 18th State Senate District (Washtenaw County).  Working closely with MEC’s policy experts during her time at the legislature, Reynolds came to appreciate the organization’s approach. “The people at MEC were intelligent and committed and I wanted to be a part of the team,” said Reynolds. “When the opportunity to work specifically on health care issues came up, it seemed a perfect fit. Protecting people, especially vulnerable children, from exposure to dangerous toxics, and improving health outcomes is important and rewarding work.”  Reynolds grew up in Keego Harbor, MI. She lives in East Lansing with her three children, Logan, Paige, and Gywn.

Sandra Turner-Handy
Sandra Turner-Handy works primarily from MEC's Detroit office, helping connect the numerous people and organizations working to improve the quality of life and environmental conditions for citizens in Southeast Michigan. Turner-Handy, a Cass Technical High School graduate with a B.S. in psychology from Wayne State University, is a lifelong Detroiter. Most recently, she was chief of staff for State Sen. Hansen Clarke. A widowed mother of six, Turner-Handy has spent decades involved in civic and charitable causes throughout the city, working to rebuild the city and encourage economic development while improving conditions for residents. As MEC's Community Outreach Director, she bridges the gap between urban environmental and justice issues and policy initiatives in the state legislature.

Tom Zimnicki
As Agriculture Policy Director, Tom Zimnicki leads MEC’s efforts in advancing a policy agenda focused on innovative and pragmatic ideas that encourage environmentally sustainable agriculture throughout Michigan. Prior to joining MEC in October 2016, Tom worked as an environmental consultant in Kalamazoo where he specialized in the use of market-based solutions to incentivize nonpoint source runoff controls for municipal and agricultural entities. A native of Allen Park, Tom earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Adrian College and holds a master of science degree in environmental science and a master of public affairs degree from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

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