Board Members

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Traci Lichtenberg

Board President, Symposium Committee

Traci Lichtenberg graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2004 with a B.S. in Biology. In 2010, she successfully completed her Master’s degree thesis, “Wetland Policies and Water Quality: The Effect of Banking Mitigation on Atrazine Concentrations”, and was awarded a M.S. in Environmental Science from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. Since 2004, she has worked in the Water Quality and Environmental Management Department at Missouri American Water. In her current role as Water Quality Specialist she ensures that Missouri American Water systems across the state meet sampling and reporting requirements for both the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act. Traci also leads Missouri American Water in numerous environmental and educational projects throughout the year including stream monitoring, trash pick-ups and festivals. As Chairperson for the East Central Section of the Missouri Water and Wastewater Conference, she coordinates training for certified operators in the area.

Contact:  board.president@stlouisearthday.org

Board Member since 2011.

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Cindy Bambini

Past President

Cindy Bambini is currently the Director of Business Development for Brightergy. Brightergy is changing the way businesses, schools, cities, and nonprofits manage energy. Cindy focuses predominately on solar and other alternative energy/energy efficiency solutions for schools and non-profits. Prior to Brightergy, Cindy was the Senior Partnership Manager for 3Degrees Group, Inc., the San Francisco-based vendor/partner selected by Ameren to market and manage Ameren’s Voluntary Renewable Energy Program, Pure Power. Prior to joining 3Degrees, Cindy was a Product Engineer with Ameren’s Products and Services Group.

Cindy is a member of the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter Green Schools Policy Sub-Committee, past secretary of the St. Louis Earth Day Board, and a member of the Kirkwood School District Foundation Board. A lifelong St. Louis resident, Cindy is a 1985 Industrial Engineering graduate from the University of Missouri-Columbia, she also earned a Masters of Business Administration in 1989 from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

Board Member since 2009.

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Jane Davis

Secretary, Symposium Committee

Jane Davis, a Missouri native originally from the Festus area, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After working as a teacher and youth education assistant with the University of Missouri Extension, Jane began her career with the Department of Natural Resources in 1998. She started in the Hazardous Waste Program, and has since worked with the Environmental Services Program and the Solid Waste Management Program, before moving to the Water Protection Program in late 2009. Jane has been fortunate that most of her positions with MDNR have allowed her to work with the public, whether it is with reduce/reuse/recycle and composting/vermicomposting issues, or providing grant management to communities who are seeking funding for watershed projects to improve their water quality.

Jane is also an advanced Master Gardener with the Cole County Master Gardeners, serving on the board for several years, and is a member of the Bittersweet Garden Club in Jefferson City, an American Horticultural Society affiliate. She teaches classes for the Master Gardeners and the public on creating garden art, and is listed on the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau as a certified trainer.

Board Member since 2011.

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Susan Zareh

Treasurer

Susan Zareh is a sixth grade math teacher at Forsyth School, a private independent school near Forest Park. Her interest in sustainability began when she was a student herself, which is why she believes that teaching students about being good stewards of the Earth and loving our planet is so important. This past school year, Forsyth School began a lease of a 105 solar array system, which Susan integrates into her math curriculum through a graphing project using a website which tracks the energy generated each day by the panels. Susan enjoys camping with her family during the summer months, visiting state and national parks. She is excited to be a part of the St. Louis Earth Day Festival and is looking forward to helping inform other teachers and families about this great event.

Board Member since 2013.

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Jake Barnett

Board Member

Jake Barnett’s focus is at the intersection of economics and environmental/social good. This interest has led Jake to his work as a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley, where he helps educate individuals, businesses and institutions in the St. Louis region about how to intentionally implement sustainable investment strategies. Jake is excited to be joining the Board of St. Louis Earth Day, and is committed to helping the organization demonstrate how sustainability can make economic sense within the St. Louis community.

Jake originally came to the region as a FOCUS St. Louis Coro Fellow in Public Affairs where he worked with the City of Maplewood Sustainability Commission and the Enterprise Holdings Inc. Corporate Sustainability Department to adopt best-practices in their respective fields. Before moving to St. Louis, Jake worked with a domestic microfinance group in Chicago and fundraised for a local orphanage in Ghana. Jake holds a B.A. in International Studies and Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and grew up in Chicago and England/Ireland. Jake now lives in Tower Grove East with his wife and two dogs.

New Board Member!

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Cherie Beckmann

Board Member

Cherie has enjoyed a successful business career in Operations, Marketing, and Sales.  Since 2011, Cherie has been an Account Executive with Anixter, Inc., a global distributor of communications infrastructure and physical security products.  Anixter also offers Supply Chain Services that help customers reduce jobsite trash, labor, and shipments on their Construction and IT projects which can help in achieving certain environmental goals and sustainability certifications.  Cherie has been a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization since 2010.

Cherie’s interest in the earth’s plant and animal kingdoms started early.  Growing up in Creve Coeur, her family also had a weekend farm in mid-Missouri where they kept horses and other animals as well as a large, annual garden plot.  Cherie’s compassion for animals, and love of fresh foods, began there.  After graduating from Lindenwood University with a BA in Business Administration, Cherie became interested in natural, alternative healing.  Cherie achieved her Usui Reiki Master status in 2006 and is a passionate and knowledgeable practitioner of therapeutic-grade essential oil techniques; she uses both to help others elevate their vibration and maintain their own health.  Cherie is excited about the opportunity to work with St. Louis Earth Day to expand her impact on elevating the planet.

Cherie lives in Chesterfield and enjoys Pilates, reading, walking her dogs, photography, traveling with her boyfriend and her large, extended family.

New Board Member!

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Laura Cohen

Board Member, Fundraising Committee

Laura Cohen has worked on a variety of community issues in St. Louis for 35 years.  She was project director for The Confluence Partnership (1997-2012), coordinating a collaboration of public and non-profit organizations to plan and implement a conservation, heritage and recreation corridor along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.  Cohen served as Assistant to the Mayor of the City of St. Louis (1993-97) where her responsibilities included the master plan for Forest Park and liaison for the Sister Cities program.  She also served as executive director of Missouri NARAL, a statewide advocacy organization (1983-93).

Laura has a B.A. from Hampshire College.  She is currently a member of the Missouri History Museum Subdistrict, and on the boards of St. Louis Earth Day, the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis and Gateway Housing First.

Board Member since 2008.

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Dori Degenhardt

Board Member

As the Regional Marketing Manager for Cosentry, an IT Solutions company, headquartered in Omaha, NE but with a central office in downtown St. Louis, Dori uses her passion and voice to help grow local clientele as well as spread the word about more energy-efficient technology. Cosentry’s data centers (9 total in the Midwest) boast efficiencies throughout, including solar panels on the roof of their primary St. Louis location. Sustainability, recycling, composting and all-around Earth-friendly habits have always played a significant role in Dori’s day-to-day activities. Having spent her early years on a farm near Ironton, MO, “farm-to-table” was not a fad but a way of life. She credits her parents and her upbringing for her genuine love, care and sense of responsibility for our environment. Dori has spent more years in Missouri than not, however, college took her to Syracuse, NY and a post-college career choice led her to Chicago, IL for a handful of years. She and her family now reside in the Webster Groves neighborhood and can often be seen at the WG Farmers Market or tooling around on her bike with two young her sons pedaling close behind.

New Board Member!

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Greg Lovett

Board Member, Earth Day Eve Committee

As Managing Supervisor Energy Efficiency Products and Services for Ameren Missouri, Greg is responsible for development, implementation and promotion of electric and natural gas energy efficiency and demand response programs. These programs are designed to educate and encourage commercial, industrial and residential customers to become more energy efficient. Greg has held numerous engineering positions at Ameren over his 29-year career at the utility.

He participates as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, on the board of directors of the Association of Professionals Energy Consultants, Energy Education Council and St Louis Earth Day. He is also a member of Facility Operators and Service Providers Association, Association of Energy Service Professionals, Association of Energy Engineers and Edison Electric Institute. Greg is a graduate of University of Illinois and holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA through Webster University.

His goal is to continuously be on the leading edge of new technology related to the improvements of the utility grid and customer’s premise and provide a cost effective vehicle for implementation of this strategy and technology.

Board Member since 2009.

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Catherine Redfern

Board Member, Fundraising Committee Chair

Catherine Redfern has been involved in conservation and wildlife rehabilitation since the age of 12. She has served as the Secretary and Grant Writer on the Board of Directors for BirdLife Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana; as the Project Manager and Fundraiser for Cayman Wildlife Rescue in the Cayman Islands; and most recently, as the Director of Development for World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis Missouri. Catherine is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and now works as an independent fundraising consultant in St. Louis, MO, providing niche professional fundraising services to animal and environment focused non-profits. Catherine believes that it is the responsibility of every human being to be armed with the knowledge to be able live a more humane and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, and works to help organizations successfully meet these goals.

Board Member since 2014.

Paul Merrill

Paul Todd Merrill

Board Member, Earth Day Eve Committee, Fundraising Committee

Paul leads the design and construction activities at Clayco and plays an active role in Pre-Construction services specializing in the procurement of energy efficient mechanical and electrical systems and controls. He has presented and authored many articles on design build, green building design and construction and leads the company sustainable construction training programs for employees, code officials, subcontractors, the design community and building owners. Paul has been actively involved in the design and construction activities on over 30 LEED certified projects the company has built across the country. Currently, Paul serves as Past Chair of the Missouri Gateway USGBC chapter, is an adjunct professor with Washington University in St. Louis and SIU-Edwardsville, and an instructor in Clayco USGBC Education Provider CMP programs. In his off time, Paul enjoys hanging out with his wife and four children ages 15 to 24. He is an avid runner, sailboat racer, guitar hack and loves to start home projects but frets to finish many of them.

Board Member since 2012.

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Brian Pelletier

President Elect, Marketing Committee

Brian Pelletier is owner and chief chocolatier at Kakao Chocolate, maker of all-natural handmade confections in St. Louis. Kakao has been named “Best Chocolate in St. Louis” twice by the Riverfront Times and by the readers of Sauce Magazine, and Pelletier was listed among a handful of “Tastemakers” by Feast Magazine. Prior to Kakao, Brian spent 20 years in business marketing, helping organizations ranging from small businesses to global enterprises communicate with people who are important to them. Brian has a passion for local, sustainable businesses and how they engage with their community to everyone’s benefit. He also serves on the boards of directors for the Retail Confectioners International Association, Discovering Options, and St. Louis Slow Food.

Read more about Kakao and Brian’s adventures in chocolating.

Board Member since 2012.

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Fred A. Ricks Jr.

Board Member, Fundraising Committee

Harris Dowell Fisher & Harris, L.C.
Email:  fricks@harrisdowell.com

Board Member since 2004.

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John Risberg

Board Member, Strategic Planning Committee Chair

John serves as Executive Vice President, Secretary & Counsel of Maritz Holdings Inc. His primary professional emphasis as a lawyer focused on transactional work, but he also has extensive experience in corporate governance, litigation management, and preventative law and counseling, including legal compliance and risk management issues. As a part of his responsibilities for Maritz, he provides guidance for the company’s corporate giving and environmental programs. John is active in philanthropic and civic affairs. In addition to St. Louis Earth Day, he currently serves on the boards of Teach for America-St. Louis Region, the World Bird Sanctuary, and the 24:1 Education Committee of Beyond Housing. He also volunteers as a middle school student mentor for Urban Future in the St. Louis Public School District. He is a past participant in the Leadership St. Louis program. John is an avid outdoorsman and traveler, who particularly enjoys fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, boating, golf, skiing and just about any activity that involves exploring someplace new. He also enjoys a broad spectrum of cultural activities, from theater to museums to live music of all sorts. John and his wife, Mary, have two grown children, David and Thomas.

Board Member since 2014.

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Lori Strawbridge, CPA

Board Member

Lori L. Strawbridge, CPA, is in private practice in St. Louis providing accounting and tax services to small businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations.  She joined the board of directors of St. Louis Earth Day in 2003 eager to demonstrate her commitment to making a difference in her community.

Lori earned a Masters in Accounting from the University of Missouri – St Louis in 2006.  She has been a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor for the past 6 years.  Lori also serves on the board of directors for Judevine Center for Autism, previously served as the Vice President of Professional Women’s Alliance, and on the Finance Committee at The College School in Webster Groves, MO.

Board Member since 2003.

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Marcia Whelan

Board Member, Earth Day Eve Committee, Marketing Committee

Marcia Whelan is the Marketing and Community Relations Specialist for Whole Foods Market – Town & Country. Marcia has worked with the company since it came to St. Louis in 2001, helping to open the store in Brentwood at that time. Finding a great alignment in her personal life with the core values of Whole Foods Market, Marcia has enjoyed a career of sharing the tenets of healthy eating, green living and community service with the St. Louis community. Prior to her tenure with Whole Foods Market, she graduated from Fontbonne College with a B.A. in Music Business and was a professional musician and instructor and worked in a local retail music store. She’s been an avid organic gardener as well as a conservationist and recycler for most of her life and loves animals, nature and children. Being on the board of St. Louis Earth Day gives her an opportunity to do something to help others and encourage St. Louisians to take action to preserve our precious earth.

Board Member since 2013.