Elenor Hodges has been EcoAction Arlington’s executive director since 2000. Her previous experience includes environmental consulting with DynCorp, developing the Animal Tracks environmental education program for Wal-Mart and program management in the education department at National Wildlife Federation. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Education from George Mason University. She lives in Arlington with her husband and two daughters.
Michele Bianchi joined EcoAction Arlington in April 2019 as the program and outreach assistant. She has worked as an ESL teacher with the NYC Department of Education and became interested in green initiatives and sustainable living after having her son and becoming a SAHM. Michele has a BA in English Language Arts and a Masters in TESOL, both from CUNY Hunter College. Michele moved to Arlington with her husband and son in 2016 and began volunteering at cleanups with EcoAction Arlington. She is excited to be a part of promoting sustainability in Arlington.
Lydia Cole joined EcoAction Arlington in May 2016 as communications manager. Her experience includes senior management experience overseeing branding, program scheduling, program acquisitions, and program production for a national cable television network and leading the internal communications organization for Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics business area. She has a bachelor’s degree in Television and Film Production from Howard University and a master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. She is a native of Arlington, Virginia and currently lives in Columbia, Maryland with her husband. She enjoys the opportunity to apply her diverse communications skills to advance sustainability in Arlington.
Amy Hjerstedt joined EcoAction Arlington in late June 2022 as the program coordinator. She worked and volunteered with voting rights nonprofits, notably the League of Women Voters, for over 15 years doing volunteer coordinating and training, program management, fundraising, lobbying and advocacy, and event planning. Amy taught U.S. and Canadian government and politics at Lake Superior State University in Michigan, and substitute taught in Arlington Public Schools. Amy is a Coast Guard veteran and an active-duty military spouse with two sons. She considers herself a nomad walker who is passionate about eliminating single-use plastic and lifting up the many “Rs”: Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, regift, repair, rot, and refuse.
Heather Jeff joined EcoAction Arlington in 2022 as the Fundraising and Development Manager. Her experience includes teaching in Fairfax County Schools and managing running events for Pacers Running. Heather is a Hokie, earning a Degree in Fine and Studio Arts from Virginia Tech and a Masters Degree in Special Education from Loyola University in Baltimore. You might see her out enjoying the robust trail network in Arlington County with her husband, two children, and puppy.
Kisha Sogunro joined EcoAction Arlington in November 2022 to work with the Tree Canopy Equity Program. Kisha is a dynamic and innovative public-sector leader that has garnered 12 national, state and local awards for her successful projects. Her body of work includes introducing
Family Search, the largest genealogical database in the world, to local NAACP chapters to connect families across generations. Additionally, having recruited over 10,000 volunteers, she is internationally recognized for her leadership in community and volunteer engagements.
One of her proudest moments came in 2011, when she was invited to participate at the White House as part of the President’s “Champions of Change” program. Kisha earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Brigham Young University.
Jennie Swisher joined the EcoAction Arlington development office part-time in October 2022 after working full-time in Arlington Food Assistance Center’s development office. She was a regular substitute teacher in Arlington County Public Schools and has twelve years combined project management experience with Freddie Mac and KPMG. Jennie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Rhetoric & Communications Studies from the University of Virginia. She lives in Arlington with her husband and has three adult sons.
Giuliana de la Incera is currently interning at Eco-Action Arlington as part of her capstone project. She has been a student at Arlington Tech High School for 4 years and is currently completing her senior year of high school. Giuliana has been interested in environmental preservation and activism since she was young. Throughout her life, she has been trying to live more sustainably by buying consciously as well as educating her family and others on the many benefits of sustainable living. In the past, she has volunteered with Clean the DMV through Wakefield High School in doing student-led cleanups. Through Eco Action Arlington, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding of how the community can help the environment through education, activism, and volunteering.
Board of Directors
Jill Barker, Chair
Jenn Yates, Vice Chair
Carrie Thomspon, Treasurer
Mike Lowe, Assistant Treasurer
|Jill Barker||Nate Luca (student board member)|
|Chris Baumgartner||Melody Mobley|
|Alex Chacaltana||Levi Novey|
|Elizabeth Elee||Joseph Testa|
|Eliza Gromada (student board member)||Carrie Thompson|
|Angelo Ioffreda||Laura Vickers|
|Ruth Ivory-Moore||DeShay Williams|
|Eric Laurence||Jenn Yates|
Board of Directors
I am passionate about the award-winning Energy Masters program that has promoted a more energy-efficient sustainable community since 2011. This program highlights how effectively EcoAction Arlington partners with local nonprofits, businesses, and volunteers to reduce carbon emissions, to improve comfort and to reduce costs for our neighbors in need. I am also an Earthkeeper, commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. An important element in creating a sustainable future is reducing wasteful energy consumption, and I am committed to ensuring that everyone, even those with modest resources, can be full participants in helping Arlington achieve its environmental goals. I am humbled and honored to assist EcoAction Arlington in continuing its mission of improving sustainability in Arlington.
As a Northern Virginia native, I grew up enjoying a county park in my backyard. That exposure and experience had a profound impact on my appreciation for our natural world, built environment and my career. I’ve returned from living in the progressive city of Minneapolis several years ago and am excited to have planted roots here in Arlington as well as work with EcoAction Arlington. I’ve worked on a variety of sustainability initiatives throughout my career and am eager to help Arlington continue to build a more sustainable and conscious community.
I believe in the mission of community organizations such as EcoAction Arlington. EcoAction Arlington (formerly ACE) has been assisting our community for 40 years and continues to effectively impact our lives by advancing energy efficiency, reducing litter and engaging our community in supporting a healthy planet by volunteering.
Some of my most memorable childhood moments outdoors involve gardening and composting with my family, and running along rivers and trails with friends and school teams in my native northeast Ohio. I love the outdoors; I embrace being a caretaker for nature, the environment, and our collective footprint. Volunteering with EcoAction Energy Masters is an outgrowth of that love. Teaching computer skills to new learners is an outgrowth of that embrace. Sculpting computer code to facilitate community-building online and offline is a personal mission I take seriously. EcoAction Arlington’s mission of practical solutions and sustainable lifestyles is teachable and attainable. I hope to leverage my technical and organizing expertise in service of this shared mission.
Eliza Gromada (Student board member)
I have lived in Arlington, Virginia my entire life. Inspired by the many years of enjoying the trails and parks in my neighborhood near Donaldson Run, I am passionate about sustainability and efforts to conserve our natural resources for future generations. Arlington is strongly committed to environmental activism, and I have been exposed to these important values throughout my experience in Arlington Public Schools from elementary school through high school. I look forward to providing a student perspective at the EcoAction Arlington meetings and to lead efforts to communicate and activate initiatives of EcoAction Arlington at Yorktown High School as well as in various other organizations that am involved in. I am looking forward to bridging EcoAction Arlington’s mission and activities with young people in the community.
I am an independent strategic communication and management consultant, leadership coach, and adjunct professor at American University and George Washington University. I am a long-time Arlington resident in the Barcroft neighborhood, and I enjoy the nearby WO&D trail as an avid cyclist and walker. I studied biology and environmental sciences in college and have long enjoyed the outdoors. I want to apply my organizational, communication, and leadership skills to help EcoAction Arlington create a more sustainable and enjoyable environment in Arlington as well as a more diverse and inclusive organization able to expand engagement within the Arlington community and beyond.
I am passionate about working to ensure the resiliency of ecological and social systems to protect the planet for future generations.
As Program Director, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), I manage climate change, ESG, sustainability, agriculture, and energy policy coordination. I also consult with companies addressing business growth matters, emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion principles. Before joining the ELCA, I held senior positions in the chemical and energy sectors. I have degrees in chemical engineering from Howard University and Ohio State University and a law degree from Rutgers University. I am excited to use my advocacy and policy analyses skills to contribute to EcoAction Arlington’s goals.
As a DC area native and an outdoor enthusiast, I’ve spent countless hours in our community parks, athletic fields, and trail system. As a lifetime runner and member of the trail running community, I’ve grown to appreciate our local ecosystem, and I’m passionate about preserving and feeding the environment for future generations. I’m committed to leveraging my experience in digital media and online fundraising to raise awareness for the EcoAction Arlington mission and affect positive change within our local community.
My environmental consciousness was formed during a high-school semester on an organic farm in Vermont. Ever since, I have aspired to be a suburban homesteader and live a lower-impact life. Professionally, I am a management consultant and have worked with companies, government agencies, and law firms to strategize, solve difficult problems, and implement change programs. I am thrilled about the opportunity to contribute my professional skills and passion to support EcoAction Arlington’s mission. Moreover, I am eager to engage with and learn from a diverse community of Arlingtonians who share a commitment to making our county a model of sustainability.
Nate Luca ( Student board member)
I have always had a passion for environmental issues and has helped champion environmental efforts at my middle school and high school through student-led clubs. In 2019, I noticed a buildup of trash in local parks, so I worked with the Arlington County Parks and Recreation Department to organize a monthly trash cleanup at Tuckahoe Park. I had plans to expand the cleanup to other parks until the pandemic derailed my efforts. My past work experience includes baseball umpiring, camp counselor, pool attendant, and pet sitting. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and playing baseball. I am excited about the potential to work with EcoAction, an organization that has significant reach and impact. I have participated in EcoAction cleanups in the past and follow the organization on social media.
After graduating from the University of Washington in 1979 as the first African American woman with a BS in forest management, I had a 28-year career with the USDA Forest Service as the agency’s first Black female forester. I held a wide variety of positions from public affairs specialist to deputy forest supervisor all over the US and overseas. I retired in 2005 and now lives in Arlington, Virginia. My goals for being a member of the EcoAction Arlington Board are to increase its overall diversity, equity and inclusiveness in plans, programs and membership, to ensure service to all Arlington County residents, and to use the best science available.
I started my career as a park ranger and worked in many of our country’s amazing national parks. After meeting my wife, we lived with our family throughout Peru for several years and worked on environmental conservation and sustainability there. Since moving to Arlington in 2010, we realized that we want to create deeper roots in our community. Impressed by the positive and tangible impacts of EcoAction Arlington, I am excited to offer my career experience and skills to help the organization achieve its goals. As more people acknowledge the interconnectedness between nature, climate change, human well-being, and strong economies, it’s a terrific time to galvanize new and diverse champions within Arlington who think globally, and act locally.
I am a 25+ year resident of Northern Virginia and relative newcomer to Arlington. My professional background is lobbying and government relations in state capitals. I have served as an Arlington election officer, board member of the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures and volunteer with CASA of Fairfax. I earned my master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota. I enjoy living a low carbon lifestyle, jogging and cycling on area trails and shopping for fresh local produce at the Courthouse Farmers Market.
After a 30 plus-year career in international development, I am excited to be turning my attention locally. I served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development across Latin America, Asia, and Africa. I gained valuable experience addressing climate change, deforestation, air pollution and rapid urbanization in these places, in addition to alleviating poverty. I am very pleased to have the opportunity now to help guide Eco-Action Arlington on its important work. Among the issues, I am passionate about are maintaining our community’s tree cover and green spaces to mitigate stormwater runoff and enhance our health and enjoyment; increasing adoption of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy use in our homes and transport; and increasing and improving our sustainable use of resource and recycling.
In January 2019, I volunteered to work with the EcoExtravaganza Committee, and that experience inspired me. My goal is to assist EcoAction Arlington to promote environmental awareness further. My expertise includes Marketing and Advertising for The Washington Post. I have also worked as a realtor for almost twenty years, focusing on properties along the Metro corridor. I have a master’s degree in Telecommunications from George Mason University. As a lifelong resident of Arlington, I love living in the Nation’s first Leed Platinum Certified community that promotes environmental stewardship and sustainability. I enjoy living in the walkable neighborhood of Clarendon with my husband.
I developed a love for trails, streams, trees and everything nature while running cross country track as a child. Now, I run trails close to home in Arlington and in Georgetown where I own Definitions—a small boutique fitness studio—with my husband. In looking for solutions to our Arlington neighborhood’s low tree canopy coverage, I became interested in EcoAction Arlington—then ACE. With the help of Tree Stewarts and ACE Staff, our community received three TCF awards to plant over 100 trees over a three-year period. My goal then and now is to plant as many trees as possible using a process that incorporates community, education and fun. I look forward to using my project management and communication skills to further EcoAction Arlington’s overall mission.
My earliest memories are camping and hiking with my dad in the Southern California mountains. Imbued with a love of nature from that young age, I have spent my career working to improve federal environmental policies while taking action on a personal level to minimize my footprint. But as progress on federal environmental policy becomes more and more challenging, EcoAction Arlington is demonstrating locally the change we want to see globally and making a tangible impact. I’m excited to be leveraging my advocacy and environmental science background to continue to build on EcoAction Arlington’s impressive accomplishments to date and extend the reputation of Arlington as an innovative and conscientious community well into the future.