Executive Team

 

 

Bob Allison

Bob is the Deputy Director for Michigan LCV Education Fund, overseeing its communications, lobbying, member engagement, and coalition building. He has a deep background in electoral politics, government affairs, community organizing, and strategic messaging. Bob brings over 20 years of experience in running field campaigns, working on public policy, and building collaboration amongst donors and funders. His extensive work experience includes: Press Secretary for former U.S. Rep. David Bonior in both his congressional office and as a candidate for Governor; Executive Director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Michigan; and investigative reporter for Gannett and Booth newspapers. Bob graduated from Michigan State University with Bachelor’s degree in both journalism and political science. He lives in Berkley, Michigan with his wife and two daughters, and his family owns property in Boon (outside Cadillac) that borders the majestic Manistee National Forest.

Bob’s Favorite Place In Michigan: Glen Lake, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and anywhere along that stretch of M-22 country

You can reach Bob at [email protected]

LAUREN MALLAS

Lauren is the Development Director based in Michigan LCV Education Fund’s Grand Rapids office. Lauren brings a wide range of career experience to Michigan LCV Education Fund from political campaign work to professional and corporate writing to restaurant management and sales. She has a steadfast belief that whom we elect matters and a desire to protect and preserve our great state. Lauren lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and their dog, Ella. She graduated from Grand Valley State with a degree in Political Science. Lauren loves the creativity, vibrancy and natural beauty of Grand Rapids and Michigan. 

Lauren’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Anywhere with a view of Lake Michigan is her happy place.

You can reach Lauren at [email protected]

Vicki Speer

Vicki grew up in Michigan enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer.  From fishing, swimming and sledding to camping and touring all the historical landmarks, parks and vineyards.  She is now able to fufill her second career passion – fighting for the environment.

Vicki comes to us with 25+ years of experience in operations, finance, and executive support, primarily in the health care sector.  Working at the Family Medical Center of Michigan, a community health center, for 15 years, assisting those patients that were low income or without affordable healthcare was her first passion.  It is here that she grew in her fight to help those in need.

Most recently she worked at SEIU, for 8 years, where she met our friends Bob and Mero.  Here she served as the Executive Assistant to the President, worked with the Board of Directors, finance and operations.  Here she fought for the rights of healthcare workers and their right to have a reasonable living wage.

At Michigan LCV, Vicki supports Lisa, the Board of Directors and manages our offices, organizational and finance administration and supports this entire team.

Vicki is married to Brian, has a son, Nicholas, a daughter, Rebecca, son in law, Ben and two wonderful grandchildren, Leo and Louie.  During the summer months you can find her up north with her family and friends enjoying their cottage.

You can reach Vicki at [email protected].

 


LISA WOZNIAK

Lisa is the Executive Director of Michigan LCV Education Fund. Her career spans over two decades of environmental and conservation advocacy in the political arena. She is a nationally- recognized expert in non-profit growth and management and a leader in Great Lakes protections. Lisa is a three-time graduate from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelors Degree and two ensuing Masters Degrees in Social Work and Education. Before becoming Executive Director in 2006, Lisa was a member of the Michigan LCV Board and today serves on the boards of the Friends of Rutherford Pool, the Huron River Watershed Council, and the National League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.  

Lisa’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Saugatuck Dunes.

You can reach Lisa at [email protected]

Communications

Nick Dodge

Nick is the Communications Director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters. He crafts and guides messaging for the organization and oversees all internal and external communications as well as the League’s social media. 

Nick has a strong background in advocacy communications, earned media and policy. He previously worked at East Lansing-based Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications where he focused on issues ranging from the environment, energy, education, labor and more. He is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University and holds degrees in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy and Social Relations & Policy. 

In his spare time, Nick enjoys snow skiing, hiking, swimming in Lake Michigan and playing the guitar. He currently resides in Grand Rapids. 

Nick’s Favorite Place In Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes

You can reach Nick at [email protected].

Aida Amirul

Aida is a communications intern for Michigan LCV, helping support the Communications Team. 

Aida was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and moved to West Michigan for school. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in environmental studies at Western Michigan University. Her activism work focuses on climate action, environmental justice, and leader accountability. Before Michigan LCV, she was a volunteer leader with local climate and environmental groups in Kalamazoo to expand the green movement. 

In her free time, Aida loves exploring the outdoors and discovering new hidden natural gems in the State. 

Aida’s favorite place in Michigan: Chapel Beach in Munising

You can reach aida at [email protected].

Zach Simón

Zach is a communications intern for Michigan LCV, helping support the communications team. 

Zach grew up in Michigan and has always loved the outdoors and wonderful natural resources of his home state. Some of his earliest memories are associated with taking trips to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks, and other beautiful areas around the state. From these experiences, Zach has fostered a passion for fighting to protect the environment and the opportunities it provides to Michiganders.

Zach is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College and holds a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Cultures & Politics. Before coming to Michigan LCV, Zach gained experience as a communications assistant at Byrum & Fisk Communications, where he developed communications and public relations skills and expertise. 

Zach lives in Detroit and loves exploring the city as it continues to grow and develop. In his time off, he enjoys going up north, playing golf with friends on some of Michigan’s beautiful public courses, and playing the guitar. 

Zach’s favorite place in Michigan: North Bar Lake & Good Harbor Beach on the Leelanau Peninsula.

You can reach Zach at [email protected]

Civic Engagement

Clare allenson

Clare is the Civic Engagement Director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters. She leads the voting rights and democracy agenda, voter registration efforts, and coordinates work with partner organizations.

Clare has a strong background in project management and community organizing. She previously served as the Constituency Organizer and Regional Field Director for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, building coalitions among critical campaign support groups including organized labor, environmental organizations, Human Rights Campaign, religious and affinity groups. Prior to her campaign work, Clare ran the political risk advisory firm, Eurasia Group’s sub-Saharan Africa team where she led research strategy and client engagement.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from American University and a master’s degree in International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

In her spare time, Clare enjoys hiking, yoga and cooking for her friends and family. She lives in Detroit.

Clare’s Favorite Place In Michigan: Hartwick Pines

You can reach Clare at [email protected]

Darnesha  Billings

Darnesha is the Quality Control Manager for Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. She handles the data for Macomb, Wayne and Oakland Counties.

Darnesha has always cared about helping people, which led her to become a volunteer with Detroit Action Commonwealth Voters Registration team. Darnesha enjoyed this work and soon found herself working with Michigan Voice as Data Support. Her love of helping others prompted her to start a nonprofit organization called Alicia’s Helping Hand. Named after her mother, who demonstrated the importance of helping others. Darnesha soon realized how empowering people through information, training and guidance achieves a lasting effect. Darnesha brings the same sense of service to her position with the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

In her spare time, Darnesha enjoys fishing, spending time with family, vacationing and listening to music. She lives in Detroit.

Darnesha’s favorite place in Michigan: Mears

You can reach Darnesha at [email protected]

Olivia  bradley

Olivia is the Civic Engagement Manager for Michigan League of Conservation Voters. She currently manages our Voter Registration team for the 2020 election season.

Olivia previously worked as a Data Lead for SEIU/ Fight for 15 Campaign known as Detroit 15 for several years. After serving for the Fight for 15 Campaign on various international projects, she became an Organizer for the Non-Union Hospital Workers Campaign in 2018.

Olivia is originally from Saginaw, where she served her community working for WIA-Workforce Investment Act youth program. She assisted with data upkeep of the program and mentored the young women enrolled into the WIA program. Olivia came from a strong unionized family with UAW and SteelWorker union blood. She believes that democracy lives inside all of us. She has three children: two teenage girls and one son who currently resides in Wayne County.

Olivia’s favorite place in Michigan: Saginaw

You can reach Olivia at [email protected]

Ashle  Kelley

As a Quality Control Coordinator Ashle manages data for Wayne County.  Before she came to Michigan LCV, she volunteered at her son’s elementary school. She would frequently donate clothing, shoes and coats to the children who were in need, providing them clothing so they did not feel out of place. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her son Ayden.

Ashle’s favorite place in Michigan: Detroit River Walk.

You can reach Ashle at [email protected]

Mark  Payne

Mark is the Regional Director for Wayne County. As a former Detroit Public School teacher who left the classroom to focus on shifting policy and moving legislation in the Michigan capitol. In addition to serving as Legislative Director for a Detroit Representative over two terms, Mark is a published author and brings years of experience of working on campaigns, issue-based advocacy, and policy analysis. Mark is also President of the Cortland Street Block Club.

Mark is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University in Teacher Education, currently residing in Detroit with his family. Aside from his passion for politics, Mark spends his time working on his community garden, enjoys reading and going for walks at his favorite place, Belle Isle.

Mark’s favorite place in Michigan: Belle Isle

Mark can be reached at [email protected].

Crystal  Reed

Crystal is the Quality Control Coordinator for Macomb County. Prior to this, she worked with Michigan First Credit Union for 17 years as a Student Branch/ Financial Services Representative. During her time with Michigan First Credit Union she supervised six student branch tellers, opened new accounts and promoted products and services to the staff and students within the school. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and shopping.

Crystal’s favorite place to visit in Michigan: All of the beautiful campgrounds

You can reach Crystal at [email protected]

 

Anthony  robinson

Anthony the Regional Coordinator for Oakland County. He is a former Business Representative and Organizer for SEIU. Anthony worked there for two years and acted as the lead member/organizer who organized Sinai Grace hospital with over 500 members. Anthony started working at Detroit Medical Center (DMC) in EVS and eventually became the business Representative over all of DMC. Anthony loves playing Chess, listening to music and conversing with his two boys.

In his spare time he loves to do anything that his boys want to do, seeing them smile everyday is so precious and he cherishes every moment.

Anthony’s favorite place to visit in Michigan: Mackinac Island.

Anthony can be reached at [email protected]

Rhonda  saxton

Rhonda is the Area Director for Macomb County. She believes the best way to predict the future is to create the future. Rhonda started out as a canvasser for the Mark Schauer campaign with Good Jobs Now, and later became a Lead Child Care Organizer with D15, Traveling to other states with the Child Care Campaign, training and attending conventions and meeting other Child Care Workers and Providers.

Rhonda has a passion for speaking up for people who can’t and won’t speak for themselves. She also has helped organize Shareholders Meetings as well as Strikes.

Rhonda has had the opportunity to work with and meet some amazing people in leadership and congress along her journey with various campaigns.

Rhonda has fought for higher wages for workers in Michigan and believes everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. In her spare time, Rhonda enjoys spending time with her grandson Kevin and shopping.

Rhonda’s favorite place in Michigan: Downtown Detroit

You can reach Rhonda at [email protected]

Development

BENTLEY JOHNSON

As the Partnerships Manager, Bentley focuses on strengthening relationships with community and business leaders in order to build a strong bench of conservation champions that are ready to act to protect Michigan’s land, air, and water. Before joining the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Bentley served on the legislative staff for U.S. Senator Gary Peters, specializing in issues related to energy, agriculture, transportation, and the environment. Prior to his time in the Senate, Bentley worked in Washington, D.C. for the National Wildlife Federation in a number of different roles related to policy and advocacy.

Bentley graduated from the University of Michigan, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Program in the Environment. He and his wife love raising their son in their original hometown of Ann Arbor, with parents nearby. 

Favorite Place in Michigan: Nordhouse Dunes in the Huron-Manistee National Forest

You can reach Bentley at [email protected].

Joané Booth

As a Partnerships Manager, Joané assists with building strong authentic and intentional relationships with diverse communities and businesses across the state. 

Prior to joining the Michigan LCV team, Joané lived in Minnesota and worked as a Diversity and Inclusion Outreach Director for U.S. Senator Tina Smith. Prior to that she worked as a Senior Policy advisor to former Minnesota Governor Mark  Dayton, she was a legislative assistant to Minnesota State Senator Bobby Joe Champion and worked on Presidential and local Minnesota campaigns as a Political Director.   

Joané graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012 with a bachelors in public relations. Joané is also an alumni of the 2016-2017 Humphrey Policy Fellowship at the University of Minnesota and a recipient of the 2018 40 under 40 award from The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. She currently lives in Canton with her husband. 

Favorite Place in Michigan: Eau Claire where her dad was raised and she spent many summers with family!

You can reach Joané at [email protected]

Kiff Hamp 

Kiff is a Partnerships Manager for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. In this capacity, he works to strengthen relationships with current donors and supporters and expand MLCV’s reach to new community and business leaders, potential donors,  foundations, and organizations throughout the state focused on environmental, climate, and civic engagement issues.

Kiff’s background includes work in politics, law, and the nonprofit sector, most recently serving as Policy and Advocacy Manager at After School Matters, a Chicago-based nonprofit that works to better the lives of at-risk teenagers. Prior to that, Kiff was a real estate attorney at Miller Canfield in Ann Arbor. His political experience includes working as a policy aid to then-Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker and serving as a senior staff member on former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Kiff holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Yale University, a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy, and a juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

Kiff lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and son. In his free time he enjoys running, hiking, reading, cooking, and hanging out with his family.

Kiff’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Crystal Lake

Kiff can be reached at [email protected]

Reese Shasteen

Reese is the Development Coordinator for Michigan League of Conservation Voters. Originally from Florida, she moved to Ann Arbor for graduate school in 2017 and fell in love with this beautiful state she now calls home.

Reese’s prior experience includes working in development at a nonprofit health center in Detroit, directing fundraising canvassing campaigns for multiple national nonprofit organizations, and managing a vegan cafe in South Florida. She is also currently a member of two young professional boards in Washtenaw County. Reese holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Florida Gulf Coast University and a Master of Social Work with a focus in management from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

In her free time, Reese loves practicing yoga, reading, spending time with her miniature dachshund, and being outside and active as much as possible.

Reese’s favorite place in Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes and the surrounding area on Lake Michigan.

You can reach Reese at [email protected]

Government Affairs

Hallie Fox

Hallie is the Government Affairs intern for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. She maintains candidate relations, tracks litigation, and provides administrative support for the team.

Hallie has a strong background in political advocacy and policy, recently graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and the Environment. Previously, Hallie has worked at the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), has served as her Citizens’ Climate Lobby chapter’s Vice President, and started a recycling initiative among fraternities at the University of Michigan that has diverted over 50 tons of waste from landfills. Currently, Hallie serves as the Youth Representative for Washtenaw County’s Environmental Council. Hallie also has a keen interest in civil litigation and plans to pursue a law degree within the next five years.

In her spare time, Hallie enjoys acting in musicals, jogging, and competing in trivia tournaments.

Hallie’s favorite place in Michigan: Belvidere and Anchor Bays in Lake St. Clair.

You can reach Hallie at [email protected]

Joe Fedewa

Joe is the Government Affairs Manager for Michigan League of Conservation Voters, supporting legislative and administrative strategy while building relationships with key elected and agency officials. He brings years of legislative experience and a network of bipartisan relationships to this role.

Prior to joining Michigan LCV, Joe spent four years in the Michigan House of Representatives. He served as Legislative Director for Rep. Tom Cochran during the 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 sessions while staffing him on the Energy Policy, Health Policy, and Appropriations Committees. He then served as Legislative Director for Rep. Angela Witwer during the 2019-2020 session, staffing her on the Agriculture and Health Policy Committees. Before working in the Legislature, he spent three years working on air quality and clean transportation programs at Capital Area Transportation Authority in Lansing.

Joe is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and political science and a master’s degree in public administration.

When he’s not at the Capitol, he loves exploring new locally owned restaurants, learning new recipes to try, and tailgating on fall Saturdays.

Joe’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Silver Lake and Stony Lake in Oceana County

Joe can be reached at [email protected]

NICHOLAS OCCHIPINTI

Nicholas Occhipinti brings to our team years of experience in policy, politics, and direct service. Before spending the 2015-2017 school year in Spain learning Spanish and teaching, he served for six years as the Policy and Community Activism Director for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC). Nick has a broad range of environmental policy experience having worked as a staffer for the Chair of Hawaii’s State Senate Energy and Environment Committee, in Lansing for the Granholm administration, and at the Rocky Mountain Institute — an energy think and do tank. He has also worked directly in communities as a field organizer for the Obama campaign in 2008 and as a Corps Member for AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and a Masters degree in Public Policy. In addition to big ideas, Nicholas loves craft beer, wine, sports, and the outdoors. As an avid kiteboarder, mountainbiker, and hiking enthusiast, he finds beauty, peace, and connection in nature. 

Kiff’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Crystal Lake

You can reach Nick at [email protected].

Outreach

Shannon Abbott

Shannon works as the West Michigan Field Organizer and is based in the Grand Rapids office. She went to school for residential architecture, interior design, and manufacturing, which landed her work specializing in kitchen and bath design and project management. Before joining Michigan LCV, she was an active volunteer in environmental justice, and continues those efforts today as a board member of Grand Rapids Water Protectors, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, and the Water is Life Alliance. Her work at Michigan LCV focuses on connecting with and activating community members. In her free time, you can find her volunteering, honing her vegan cooking and baking skills, and relaxing with her furbabies.

Shannon’s Favorite Place in Michigan: In the waters of the Straits of Mackinac

You can reach Shannon at: [email protected]

Abigail  barker

Abigail Barker is the Intern for the Political Outreach team as well as the Governs Affair team. She works mainly with the Political and Outreach team, where she mobilizes voters and empowers community members to take action on environmental and good governance issues. She assists the Government Affairs team by researching information on candidates and legislation.

Abigail began her internship during her senior year of college at Ferris State University in Traverse City. She has since graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work. Her educational background and experience in the field have shaped her understanding of the intersection of environmental and socioeconomic issues. She is passionate about raising the voices of marginalized communities and advocating for human rights, such as clean drinking water for all.

In her spare time, Abigail tends to her garden and enjoys the beauty of Northern Michigan.

Abigail’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Old Setter’s Park in Empire Township.

You can reach Abigail at [email protected]

Grover Easterling III

Grover Easterling III is our new Field Organizer in southeast Michigan. Dedicated to combating oppression of all kinds, he has spent equal amounts of time working in politics and organizing at the grassroots level. He organized and led many direct actions with a group of organizations known as the Coalition for Black Struggle. Before receiving his Bachelor’s degree in political science from Wayne State University, he served as field director for a Michigan State Representative campaign as well as legislative assistant to Detroit City Council.

In his spare time, Grover both teaches and performs poetry. He is the spokesperson for Young Curators Art Club, hosting art events on Detroit’s east side once a month.

You can reach Grover at: [email protected]

Kaitlin  flynn

Kaitlin Flynn is the new Northern Michigan Regional Coordinator on the Political & Outreach team. She received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work, which she uses to inform her work in community organizing. 

Prior to joining Michigan LCV, she spent seven years in Maine working on a variety of campaigns, from Marriage Equality to raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour. She is most proud of her work in deep canvassing while she worked at Planned Parenthood, and the work she did as field director in the successful campaign to expand Medicaid to 70,000 Mainers. 

Kaitlin is excited to be joining the Michigan LCV team and continue her organizing work in Northern Michigan.

Kaitlin’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Empire Beach

You can reach Kaitlin at [email protected]

EMily Magner

Emily Magner is the Political and Outreach Manager for Michigan LCV. She is originally from Traverse City, and she attended Northwestern Michigan College and Ferris State University at the University Center in TC. Later, she went attended University of Michigan’s School of Social Work and focused on community organizing and social systems.

As a political social worker, she has worked primarily in the fields of environmental justice and reproductive justice. Previously, she worked for Planned Parenthood in Maine, focused on building state and federal advocacy programs with the aims of persuading Susan Collins to save the ACA and PP.  

She has also worked on the ground breaking social science research project Bridging the Gap: Abortion to scientifically prove that long form, values-based, non-judgemental conversations with voters change hearts and minds on divisive subjects.

Emily’s Favorite Place in Michigan: Pierce Stocking Overlook

You can reach Emily at [email protected]

Londell  Thomas

Londell is the Political and Outreach Director for Michigan League of Conservation Voters, overseeing its political engagement and internal organizing. His background spans 18 years in electoral politics, government affairs, community organizing, and field campaigns.

Londell comes from the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) as the National Senior Manager of Organizing for the State’s Power Project, where he helped develop and support eleven CPD/A’s national partners’ with state power-building organizing strategies. 

Among some of his career accomplishments are SEIU as the State Political Director for the Michigan State Council, Field Director for Tammy Duckworth’s successful U.S. Senate primary bid.  In 2014, he served as Deputy Director of the Michigan Democratic Coordinated Campaign, which helped elect U.S. Senator Gary Peters. Equally notable was Londell’s work in 2013 as Field Director for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s 10-point write-in campaign victory. 

Londell’s experience goes beyond political campaigns. He has been a project manager for Good Jobs Now, the Neighborhood Services Organization, Warren Conner Development Coalition, and Mack Alive on Detroit’s east side.  He has also served in city government as a Legislative Assistant to the Detroit City Council, Deputy Director of Neighborhood City Halls and liaison to Detroit City Council representing the Mayor’s office. The Michigan Chronicle in 2014 honored Londell as one of their “40 Under 40” leaders.

Londell enjoys spending time with family, instructing ballroom dance and fishing.

He currently lives in Harper Woods, Michigan with his fiancee and Maltipoo, Lola. 

Londell’s Favorite Place In Michigan: Traverse City

You can reach Londell at [email protected].