Board of Directors

The Rev. Dr. Emilio Marrero, (Chair) Senior Pastor, Berachah Church, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Marrero was recently appointed as Senior Pastor, Berachah Church. Before named pastor, Emilio was Vice-President of National Programs for Esperanza and before joining the largest evangelical Hispanic ministry in the nation, served 32 years in the military as a Navy Chaplain. He attained the rank of Captain and was awarded three Legion of Merit medals and the Bronze Star Medal for his service and leadership. Emilio served with the US Marines in combat, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command forces and most recently was the senior chaplain over seeing all chaplains on Navy ships from California to Africa. He comes with extensive experience having served as pastor of La Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de New Brunswick, NJ, was co-founder of the Juniper Tree Academy Charter School in Yuma, Arizona and lead agent in community outreach programs overseas. Most recently he partnered the Navy with the San Ysidro, CA school district to provide mentoring and tutoring programs. Dr. Marrero holds a Doctor of Ministry in Religious Education from the School of Theology at Claremont and a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Leroy Barber, (Vice-Chair)Executive Director, Word Made Flesh

Leroy Barber has dedicated more than 20 years to eradicating poverty, confronting homelessness, restoring local neighborhoods, healing racism, and living what Dr. King called “the beloved community.”

Leroy starts projects that shape society; in 1989, burdened by the plight of Philadelphia’s homeless, he and his wife Donna founded Restoration Ministries, to serve homeless families and children living on the streets.  In 1994, he became Director of Internship Programs at Cornerstone Christian Academy.  Leroy was licensed and ordained at Mt Zion Baptist Church where he served as Youth Director with Donna, and also served as Associate Minister of Evangelism.  In 1997, he joined FCS Urban Ministries, working with Atlanta Youth Project to serve as the founding Executive Director of Atlanta Youth Academies, a private elementary school providing quality Christian education for low-income families in the inner city.  Leroy also helped found DOOR Atlanta, Community Life Church, South Atlanta Marketplace, and Community Grounds Coffee shop in Atlanta, as well as Green My Hood and The Voices Project.

Ms. Ann Alexander, Esq., (Treasurer) Senior Attorney, NRDC, Chicago

 I grew up in Seattle, Washington, then went to law school in New York City and lived there for 16 years before coming to the Midwest. I like to think that Seattle gave me a love of our natural environment, and New York gave me the legal street smarts to fight for it. While in New York, I was a clinical professor at the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic, helping law students to gain practical experience in environmental litigation. After coming to Chicago in 2002, I was Environmental Counsel to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, developing environmental initiatives and serving as her point person on multistate environmental litigation. I have been with NRDC since 2007, and since coming here have worked on a wide variety of issues of concern in the Great Lakes region, both as a litigator and a policy advocate.

Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Noel has worked in full-time ministry in Latino, urban communities since 1982.  He has served in youth ministry, church planting, advocacy and community development in San Francisco, San Jose, and Chicago.

After serving on the Board of the Christian Community Development Association for many years, he established the CCDA Institute, which equips emerging church leaders in the philosophy of Christian Community Development, and currently serves as the

Chief Executive Officer of CCDA.

Noel was appointed to serve on President Obama’s Council for Faith and Neighborhood

Partnerships, and is a highly sought after speaker, motivator, and mentor to young leaders throughout the USA, and has a deep passion to serve and invest in the lives of leaders committed to serving the poor.

Noel is the co-author of A Heart for the Community, New Models for Urban and

Suburban Ministry, and has contributed to various other books and publications, including Deep Justice in a Broken World, A Heart for the City, and Crazy Enough to Care.

He and his wife, Marianne, have three children; Noel Luis, Stefan, and Anna, and make their home in the barrio of La Villita in Chicago.

Paul Douglas, Aeris Weather

Paul Douglas is a nationally-respected meteorologist, with 34 years of broadcast television and 36 years of radio experience.  In high school, Kruhoeffer adopted a stage name, after being told his real name was too difficult for the station’s DJ’s to pronounce.  Douglas graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980.  While a senior at Penn State University, he broadcast the weekend weather for WNEP-TV in Wilkes Barre/Scranton – where he was promoted to the weekday position in 1980.  He was the second TV meteorologist in the country to tap computer graphics for his daily weathercasts.  In 1982-1983, he worked at Satellite News Channel in Stamford, Connecticut, delivering 21 national weather shows daily.  He was also tapped for appearances with Ted Koppel on ABC News Nightline.

WeatherNation founder & Chief Meteorologist.

From 1983 to 1994, Douglas was employed by KARE-TV in Minneapolis, where he launched the “Backyard” outdoor weather format, now being used by hundreds of TV stations nationwide.  While there he began a daily weather column in the Star Tribune newspaper.  He authored a book, “Prairie Skies, the Minnesota Weather Book”, and taught a broadcast meteorology class at the Saint Cloud State University in 1992-93.  His most recent weather-related book, “Restless Skies, the Ultimate Weather Book”, was released nationwide by Barnes and Noble in late 2004, now coming out of its second printing (Sterling Publishing).  He taught broadcast meteorology at St. Cloud State University in 1992.  Douglas visited thousands of Minnesota schools and service organizations, talking about weather prediction and storm-chasing.

In 1989, while still at KARE-TV, Douglas founded a software venture: EarthWatch Communications.  Hundreds of television stations in the United States and 20 other countries licensed EarthWatch’s three-dimensional weather graphics technology.  In addition to applications for television, Steven Spielberg employed the special 3-D effects in the movies “Jurassic Park” and “Twister.”

From 1994 to 1997 Douglas worked at WBBM-TV in Chicago, where he made occasional appearances on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.  Douglas received a Seal of Approval from the AMS, The American Meteorological Society.  In 2005 he passed a rigorous exam to become Minnesota’s first CBM, or Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, recognized by the AMS in Boston.  He served as Chief Meteorologist for WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities from 1997 to 2008.  He makes monthly appearances on Public Television’s Almanac program where he discusses current weather trends and issues.  He currently provides daily weather reports (print, video and web) for the Star Tribune, additional daily blogs for the St. Cloud Times, Conservation Minnesota, and “WeatherNation”.

Jeremy Summers, (Secretary) Director of Discipleship, Wesleyan Church

Rev. Jeremy Summers currently serves as the Director of Adult Spiritual Formation and Community Based Ministries for The Wesleyan Denomination.  Prior to this role, Jeremy pastored at three Wesleyan churches.  He is also an Adjunct Professor for Indiana Wesleyan, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Wesley Seminary has studied at Indiana Wesleyan University, Asbury Theological Seminary, and is currently completing his doctorate at Fuller Theological Seminary.  Jeremy’s wife Andrea is also an ordained pastor (Wesleyan Church) and they have been blessed with four children (Macy, Ava, Micah, and Ty).

Ms. Jamesine Rogers Gibson, Union of Concerned Scientists, San Francisco, CA

Ms. Rogers Gibson has more than 15 years of experience shaping strategies to advance environmental and climate goals at the international, congressional, national, state, and local levels. She is currently the Western States Senior Climate Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, where she conducts research and policy analysis to inform and build support for robust climate policies in California and the Western states that maximize health, air quality, and economic benefits. 

Previously, she was a senior associate with the think tank Next Generation and project manager for the Risky Business Project. In this role, she was lead author for the Project’s California report, and engaged business and policy leaders on the economic risks of climate change to energy, agriculture, coastal property, health, and other sectors. Before that, she served as a fellow in the office of then-Senator John Kerry, where she co-led development of the STRONG Act of 2012 to address the nation’s vulnerability to extreme weather events. As an air pollution specialist at the California Air Resources Board, Ms. Rogers Gibson helped implement two of California’s landmark global warming laws. As an environmental protection specialist with the EPA, she supported an international climate research partnership.

David Kolsrud, Co-Founder of The Funding Farm

David has 20 years of proven experience in the renewable energy industries.  He helped develop, organize, and fund over twenty projects.  David’s expertise is used primarily in the areas of ethanol, biodiesel, and wind projects.  In 2006, David formed DAK Renewable Energy Inc.  DAK Renewable Energy manages six LLC’s with investments in multiple renewable projects.  In 2011, David founded The Funding Farm, a company that invests in start-up companies, since 2012, The Funding Farm successfully funded 4 projects.  Those areas include education, recreation, e-commerce, and healthy food products.

He also represents owners on several companies’ board of directors.  He is currently on the board of directors of Badger State Ethanol, Windustry, and on the advisory committee at the University of Minnesota for Bio Products and Bio Engineering.

In 2015, David co-founded and is president of the nonprofit Following the 7th Direction, whose mission is “Providing Hope and Inspiration” to struggling reservation communities through mentorship and economic development.

Dr. Noah Toly, Wheaton College

Dr. Toly is the author of numerous publications on environmental policy, urbanism, and religion, ethics, & environmental politics. His research has focused on the intersection of urban and global environmental politics, investigating municipal climate policy and the roles of cities and transnational municipal networks in global climate governance. He edits the Routledge series, Cities and Global Governance, and has given invited talks at several institutions, including Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois – Springfield, and University of Virginia.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Toly was appointed as Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion where he completed research for a book on ethics and global environmental governance. The book draws upon ethical, social theoretical, and literary reflections on ‘the tragic’ to illuminate approaches to scarcity and risk that often characterize environmental challenges.

In 2011, Dr. Toly was named an Emerging Leader by the Chicago Council for Global Affairs. Together with others in this fellowship program, he drafted an agenda-setting report on urban governance of food security challenges.  For 2013, Dr. Toly has been named to the Investment Council, a panel of evaluators working with a venture philanthropy firm in Chicago to assess and improve non-profit effectiveness.

Dr. Toly has also been named to the Steering Committee of the Thriving Cities Project, a multi-year, multi-site study based at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

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