Clean and Healthy New York Announces Leadership Transition

Kathleen Curtis, founding Executive Director, to pass reins to co-founder Bobbi Wilding

(Albany, New York - December 15, 2020) After over 30 years of dedicated advocacy, collaboration, and leadership, Kathy Curtis is transitioning from her current position as Executive Director at Clean and Healthy New York on December 31 to become a consultant. Stepping into the Executive Director position is Bobbi Wilding, now Deputy Director and Co-Founder of the organization, who has worked with Kathy on a shared vision for environmental health and justice for over 20 years. Kathy will remain active with the organization and serve as Senior Policy Advisor to Clean and Healthy New York and co-leader of the 

CHNY Executive Director Kathy Curtis (left) will be succeeded by Bobbi Wilding (right).

JustGreen Partnership during the 2021 legislative session.

Kathy’s leadership at Clean and Healthy New York grew a powerful reputation and significant accomplishments including:

  • Establishment of several collaborations, including the JustGreen Partnership, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Lead-Free New York, and the Getting Ready for Baby campaign.

  • Winning keystone policies in New York State that put the state at the national forefront on environmental health issues: 

    • The Child Safe Products Act, which requires companies to disclose toxic chemicals in children’s products, and restricts the worst of them;

    • Bans on toxic flame retardants; 

    • Extended Producer Responsibility of electronic waste;

    • Bans on heavy metals lead and mercury in several product sectors;

    • Bans on PFAS in fire fighting foam and food service ware;

    • Funding for the creation of an Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse, the Pollution Prevention Institute, and seven Children’s Environmental Health Centers;

    • Nation-leading bans on BPA in baby bottles in numerous NYS counties, followed by state-level action, which helped drive total national market shift;

  • Creation of a Safe Baby Products Guide and numerous reports, such as Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care, Is It In Us, and Toxic Hide and Seek;

  • Development of a Roadmap for Environmental Health, built through collaborative dialog with organizations across New York State.

 

”I’ve had the time of my life during my 14 wonderful years as Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York,” said Kathy Curtis, LPN. “Ensuring a smooth transition is of highest importance to me, given how deeply I care about the mission of making a toxic environment unthinkable Bobbi and I advanced together. We have made so much progress together, and it is with utter confidence that I pass this baton to her, and I look forward to the next chapters in Clean and Healthy New York’s growth and success. I’m sure the best is yet to come!”

 

The CHNY Board is extremely grateful for Kathy’s consistent leadership, collaboration, tenacity, and dedication to CHNY’s mission to build a healthy, just society where toxic chemicals are simply unthinkable.  

 

“This is an exciting time for Clean and Healthy New York – we have built up significant momentum for New York’s leadership on environmental health, and have won policies that will inform and protect people in New York and across the country,” said Penny Fujiko Willgerodt, CHNY Board Chair. “We deeply appreciate all that Kathy has done to build this organization from an idea into a well-recognized, powerful force for change, and look forward to benefiting from her wisdom, tenacity, and collaborative connections, even as her day-to-day involvement with the organization evolves.”

 

“The Board is excited that Bobbi Wilding is stepping up as Executive Director, and is confident that her years of experience, deep knowledge about chemicals and environmental health, and broad collaborative connections across the country will bring CHNY continued success and powerful impact in the years to come,” Willgerodt added.

 

“This work is my life’s passion, and I am thrilled to serve Clean and Healthy New York as Executive Director. Over the last 14 years, we gained powerful momentum to advance a just society where toxic chemicals are simply unthinkable. We have an amazing board, staff, colleagues and supporters, and together we will make real strides toward a clean, safe, and healthy world in which all people are free to grow and thrive,” said Bobbi Wilding, MS. “It’s been a privilege to do this work with Kathy, and I am glad she will continue to play a valuable role going forward. I’m excited for the direction CHNY is headed, and look forward to shepherding ongoing wins and growth.” 

 

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Clean and Healthy New York is an advocacy group building a just society in which toxic chemicals are unthinkable. Our work changes laws, shifts markets, and empowers people to advance innovative solutions and create a sustainable economy.  Learn more: www.cleanhealthyny.org


Bobbi Wilding is co-founder of Clean and Healthy New York, and as of January 1, 2021, moves into the Executive Director position from her long-time role as Deputy Director. She leads the Getting Ready for Baby campaign, and serves as the organization’s CFO. She is author and co-author of many of CHNY’s reports, including The Mattress Still Matters, focused on materials used in crib mattresses, and New York State’s Environmental Health Leadership: A Roadmap for a Just, Nontoxic, Sustainable Circular Economy. Wilding has served on the advisory board of the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute since its inception, and is a long-time member of the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse.  She regularly presents at the International Consumer Product Safety Organization annual meetings and other national engagements. Prior to founding Clean and Healthy New York, she worked for Citizens’ Environmental Coalition and the New York Public Interest Research Group. She holds both a BS in Environmental Science and an MS in Ecological Economics, Values, and Policy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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