Meet our Board of Directors and Staff

Board of Directors
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PENNY FUJIKO WILLGERODT

Chair

Penny Fujiko Willgerodt is Executive Director of The Prospect Hill Foundation. In 1987, Penny started working at Ms. Foundation for Women; joined the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation as program officer in 1990; and the Rockefeller Family Office in 1999. She was part of the start-up team to create Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, where she was Vice President until 2008.  Among many other boards, she served as president and trustee of the Weeksville Heritage Center.

Currently, she is an advisory board member of Prison Watch Sierra Leone and a member of the funder network, New York Youth Justice Initiative. Penny graduated cum laude from Yale College with a B.A. in East Asian Studies, and holds an M.A. in secondary school education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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ALEXANDRA McPHERSON

Vice Chair

At Niagara Share, Alexandra McPherson works to foster a globally connected place-based regenerative economy strategy to leverage environmental entrepreneurship by working with private and public sector leaders on new opportunities and possibilities that account for emerging mega trends like climate change, resource degradation, poverty, loss of biodiversity and access to resources.

 

Prior to her work at Niagara Share, Alexandra launched an innovative start up – Clean Production Action – that successfully worked globally to scale environmental solutions through dynamic partnerships across businesses, unions, governments, academics, and nonprofit organizations. Alexandra served on the national advisory board of EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool).

In addition, Alexandra assisted Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper in the launch of a Blue Economy initiative and diversified their budget with new investments from national foundations and major corporations like HSBC and Patagonia. She serves on the board of the Western New York Environmental Alliance; is a trustee for the Nichols School and an ambassador for the Girls Education Collaborative. Alexandra earned her BA in Communication from the University of New Hampshire.

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ALEXANDRA ZISSU

Secretary

Alexandra Zissu is a writer and an editorial consultant. She’s the author of The Conscious Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, March 2010)—a Books for a Better Life Awards finalist—and co-author of Get on Top (Touchstone, March 2018), Planet Home (Clarkson Potter, December 2010), The Complete Organic Pregnancy (Collins, September 2006), and The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat (Clarkson Potter, May 2011).

As a journalist, Alexandra has written extensively about food, chefs, fashion, trends, pregnancy, parenting, and green living for The New York Times, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Bon Appétit, Health, New York, Vogue, Refinery29, Child, and Details, among many other publications. The majority of her consulting work is editorial. Her office directs, manages, advises, and/or reviews content for organizations, brands, and other companies to help them translate their eco-efforts into consumer English. She also speaks often about all things eco-friendly at private firms, mothers' groups, schools, non-profits, and industry expos and consults about green living for individuals and organizations.

 

​Alexandra has been actively involved in promoting her books as well as her green living platform on radio and television, including several appearances on the Today show. She has been called a “green culinary queen” by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, a “green guru” by New York Family Magazine, and a “green goddess” by DailyCandy.

A native New Yorker, Alexandra recently relocated to the Hudson Valley with her family to be close to the farms that feed them. She is obsessive about family meal and finds pure magic in growing a small raised bed of peas, lettuces, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and herbs with her two young girls.

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KAREN A. BALLARD, MA, RN, FAAN

Karen has a BSN from Niagara University’s College of Nursing and MA in child and adolescent psychiatric-mental health nursing from New York University. She has been a consultant for the Nurses Workgroup for Health Care Without Harm (HCWH); an adjunct associate professor at PACE University, teaching courses on psychiatric-mental health nursing, health care reform and nursing leadership, and an adjunct instructor at New York University, teaching graduate-level courses in health policy and psychiatric-mental health nursing.  She served as the first Executive Director of ANA-New York, the American Nurses Association's NY constituent.

 

Karen has held clinical positions in both pediatric and child psychiatric nursing working primarily with children and their families coping with chronic and terminal illnesses. Additionally, she held various staff positions including Director of the Practice and Governmental Affairs Program with the New York State Nurses Association. She served as a member and chair of ANA’s Standards and Guidelines Committee and as Vice-Chairperson of its Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics. Karen is the co-author with Patricia O’Brien and Winifred Kennedy of Psychiatric Nursing – An Integration of Theory and Practice (2012). She was a contributing editor of AJN’s quarterly column – “Environments and Health”. Karen served as a President of the New York State Nurses Association, was a First Vice-President of the American Nurses Association and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

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DR. JANET GRAY

Janet Gray is Professor Emerita in Psychology/Neuroscience and Science, Technology, & Society at Vassar College. As a lab scientist, for 25 years she studied the effects of estrogens and estrogen-disrupting compounds – including major breast cancer drugs – on brain cellular activity and behavior. For the past 20 years, she has focused her non-teaching work on the relationships between environmental toxicants and risk for developing breast cancer. For 10 years, she served on the national board of directors for Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and was a founding member of its Science Advisory Panel. She is the lead author on several editions of The State of the Evidence: The Connection between Breast Cancer and the Environment, a comprehensive examination of the scientific literature addressing the relationships between environmental toxicants and health outcomes.

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PATRICIA JENNY, MRP

Pat retired in February 2019 as Vice President for Grants at The New York Community Trust, the community foundation for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. She managed a $50 million program and staff providing grants to nonprofits to promote healthy lives, secure promising futures, and create thriving communities for residents in this region. Pat had prior positions at The Trust directing the community development and environment grant programs; founded a now 18-year old collaborative of New York City foundations focused on employment programs; and designed a special initiative in three neighborhoods to move people from welfare to work.  

 

She served on several boards of philanthropic associations including Neighborhood Funders Group, Environmental Grantmakers Association, and Health and Environment Funders Group during her career, Currently she is a member of the steering committee of an emerging coalition focused on creating a more sustainable agriculture industry, leading to healthier diets and reduced contributions to climate change, and will join the Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee of the New York City Bar Association in the fall. Pat is a graduate of Brown University and has a Masters of Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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DR. PHILIP J. LANDRIGAN, MD, MSc

Dr. Philip J. Landrigan is an environmental health expert whose advocacy has had national implications. He has served as a prolific mentor to many environmental health activists leading the field today, and indeed many in this room. His expertise has been relied upon in matters as diverse as lead, pesticides, smallpox, food quality, and asbestos. He was a central figure in the medical research following the collapse of the World Trade Centers and a leading researcher in the National Children’s Study. As the Senior Advisor on Children’s Health at the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Landrigan is credited for the establishment of the Office of Children’s Health Protection. Dr. Landrigan has made instrumental contributions to the establishment of the New York State Centers of Excellence in Children’s Environmental Health, providing a sound model for environmental health advocates nationwide. He has served as an influential, authoritative voice in ensuring the enactment of the Child Safe Products Act.

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GIADA LUBOMIRSKI

Born in Manhattan, NY to a Cuban mother and an Italian father, Giada Lubomirski (nee Torri) spent her childhood years in Rome, Italy before moving to the States at the age of 13. After acquiring her Bachelors in Textile Design and Fabric Styling, Giada pursued her passion through jobs in fashion design in New York City. After working as a stylist for several years, she decided to change career paths and move more towards the art and photography industry. She quickly landed the role of Director of Milk Gallery in New York City.


At Milk Studios, she was able to produce, curate, and oversee all details involving music concerts, events, fashion shows, art and photography exhibitions, film screenings and charity events with major clients and brands worldwide. In 2008, she met her husband, fashion photographer, Alexi Lubomirski, whilst producing and curating his photography show at Milk Studios, entitled “Transit”.


After Milk Studios, and giving birth to two sons, Giada’s social conscience was further awakened and she started to see the world through different eyes, realizing that she wanted to become part of the environmental solution rather than the problem. After watching an inspirational play about global issues, she started to educate herself about many different industries and their impact on the environment (which included the fashion industry, among others). She soon began to get involved in environmental, humanitarian, and creative projects that would define her life mission.


Presently, she is in the process of collaborating with different key personalities in the fashion industry and producing/directing her first documentary, Ecouture. This awareness piece, coming from a fashion lover’s perspective, will be the first of many, aimed to showcase solutions for global brands to follow environmental and sustainable practices.

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AARON MAIR

Aaron Mair of Schenectady, New York, is the president of the Sierra Club's board of directors. An epidemiological-spatial analyst with the New York State Department of Health, Mair's experience includes more than three decades of environmental activism and over 25 years as a Sierra Club volunteer leader, where he has worked diligently for environmental justice.

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GAVIN McINTYRE

Gavin McIntyre is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of Ecovative Design. Since founding the company in 2007, he has led all material and biological process development in the company’s strides to replace the fossil fuel derived chemicals in plastics and resins. Gavin co-invented Ecovative’s patent-pending technology that uses a fungal mycelium to transform agricultural waste into strong biological composite materials. These materials are 100% compostable and made with a fraction of the energy of conventional plastics. Gavin received a dual B.S. In Mechanical Engineering and Product Design from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has a number of utility patents to his name.

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JON WHELAN, MBA

Jon Whelan got his MBA while dabbling in Virtual Reality. He is the director of Stink!, an off-beat documentary about Whelan's tenacious quest to uncover the source of a chemical scent in a pair of his daughter's pajamas. Like most Americans, Whelan believed that if a product was on the store shelf then it must be safe. Through his investigation, Whelan discovers a culture of secrecy surrounding carcinogens in everyday consumer products that begins in corporate board rooms and extends all the way to the halls of Congress.

Formerly co-CEO of Afternic.com, internet/media start-up advisor, and a founding member of the New York Angels; Whelan currently advocates for truthful product labeling and is a full-time parent of two young daughters.

Cecil D. Corbin-Mark (In Memoriam)

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Judith Robinson

Daryl Ditz

Brenda Afzal

Margie Kelly

Penelope Jagessar

Staff
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BOBBI WILDING, MS

Executive Director

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Bobbi Wilding, MS, is co-founder of Clean and Healthy New York, and 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. 

Contact: (518) 641-1552 ex. 2

bobbi@cleanhealthyny.org

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KATHY CURTIS, LPN

Senior Policy Advisor

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Kathleen Curtis, LPN, former Executive Director, has 30 years of experience in the environmental health movement and is a widely recognized national leader whose policy expertise is in high demand. She is Clean and Healthy New York’s chief lobbyist and organizer, responsible for CHNY’s relationship with allies and policymakers. Her leadership has guided enactment of several local, state and federal policies regulating toxic chemicals. She co-coordinates the JustGreen Partnership and the Policy and Advocacy Workgroup of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. She was Senior Development Consultant at Healthy Building Network, co-leader of the Coming Clean Collaborative’s Policy Workgroup, and Executive Director at Citizens' Environmental Coalition, where she was an author of Building Green without Going in the Red. Previously, she was Outreach Director at Environmental Planning Lobby (now Environmental Advocates of NY) and worked as a nurse.

Kathy is the recipient of Health Care Without Harm's 2015 Charlotte Brody Award and a 2018 Children's Environmental Health Champion Award from the NYS Children's Environmental Health Centers. She is an author of numerous CHNY reports, including Is It In Us? Toxic Trespass, Regulatory Failure, and Opportunities for Action. She is on the steering committees of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition, SAFERStates, and Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. Kathy also serves on ANHE’s Board of Directors, the Advisory Board of the Occupational and Environmental Health Clinic of Eastern NY, Rotterdam Steering Committee, and Rotterdam Conservation Advisory Council.

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SIOBHAN BURKE

Senior Administrative Coordinator

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Siobhan has been active in environmental and social justice organizing in the Capital District for over a decade. Before joining Clean and Healthy New York, she worked in outreach and sales promoting wind power for Community Energy, and as a canvasser and administrative assistant with NYPIRG's community outreach office in Albany.

She co-founded the grassroots volunteer group Capital District Against Fracking, which pushed successfully for a local fracking ban in Albany; and has been active with local and regional groups in organizing to ban rail transport of crude oil. Siobhan is currently a Steering Committee member of ICE-Free Capital District and a volunteer with the Troy Sanctuary Campaign, which organize resistance to racism and xenophobia and advocate for sanctuary communities in the Capital District. 

Contact: (518) 641-1552 ex. 1

siobhan@cleanhealthyny.org

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GREG CAMPBELL-COHEN, MA

Campaigns Manager

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Greg Campbell-Cohen, MA, is the Campaigns Manager for Clean and Healthy New York. He is responsible for external communications, educational programs, and database management. Before coming to Albany, Greg served a term with AmeriCorps as the Program Coordinator at the University of Knoxville's Office of Sustainability, where he specialized in volunteer coordination, database management, and internal policy. There, he also served on the steering committee of the Knoxville EarthFest and as a voting member of the Student Environmental Initiatives Committee. In Virginia, Greg conducted historical research and taught outdoors for the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park. His writing has appeared in the Financial Times' fDi magazine and the People's Policy Project.

Greg is passionate about corporate accountability and consumer protection. He holds a Master of Arts with Honours in History & Politics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is currently attending graduate studies in GIS at the University of Kentucky.

Contact: (518) 641-1552 ex. 4

greg@cleanhealthyny.org

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SARAH HEIKKINEN, MA

Promotions Coordinator

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Sarah Heikkinen, MA, is the Promotions Coordinator for Clean and Healthy New York. She is responsible for building the organization’s profile, social capital and financial capacity through communications and fundraising. Before joining Clean and Healthy New York, she worked as the Development Coordinator at Capital Roots in Troy, NY. While there, she wrote grants for a variety of state and private funders, and spearheaded a highly successful fundraising appeal.

A lifelong vegetarian and activist, Sarah is passionate about advocating for animal rights, environmental preservation, and social justice. She holds a Master of Arts in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. 

 

Contact: (518) 641-1552 

sarah@cleanhealthyny.org

Board Emeritus

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